* Carmen Beecher * Cindy Michaud * Carol Schiff * Denette Schweikert * Donna Vines * Mary Warnick * Kathy Garvey *Fay Picardi * Jean Thomas

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Another Beautiful Monday at the Guild

Monday's are a great time for Pieces of 8 at the Guild and I try to capture everyone's project for the session and their progress - probably because I find it so interesting and inspiring to spend Mondays with such a creative group. We were missing Carmen and Fay today, and we're about to lose our Phillis as she is relocating to Georgia. We will miss her, but she's promised she'll be back for visits and invited us to retreat there in the fall! No one has to ask us twice - Georgia, here we come!

I've labeled the images so they can speak for themselves. Click on any image to enlarge it.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

But is it Art?

I'm teaching myself Illustrator CS6. One of my chosen topics this week was Live Paint. It was in other versions, but not one I used a lot. So, I decided to get serious about it. For a design idea, I was playing with the text of a common question "But is it art"? and decided the answer is that art just is. I did a quick sketch.
Then spent about an hour deciding on the right font. There wasn't one. Spent another hour modifying Felix Titling with two different versions, one that I came up with first and then a second closer to my sketch. Decided I liked the first attempt better.

I drew lots of other objects in Illustrator in black, white and shades of gray - things that are sort of my favorites: sprirals, birds, flowers.

Then converted that in a variety of ways to a live paint group. (If you ever used Flash, Live Paint was pretty much taken from Flash's clever way of letting you color objects based on where they intersect.) The first attempt I kept the intersections simple. Live Paint is fast. 23 minutes to totally recolor this!

The next one I changed the colors to mostly primaries. Time spent: 15 minutes.

The next one I changed to my preferred colors and created a new set of background shapes and let them create more intersections.  Time spent:45 minutes.

Fun exercise. The great thing about Live Paint (and Illustrator in general) is that it took so little time between the gray version and experimenting with the next colored version. (Actually painting each with acrylic or watercolor would have taken me weeks.) I'm not finished with Live Paint yet. I've only painted the "faces."  You can paint the strokes, too!  More fun to come. So is it art? Art is!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

A Zen Day

 When the Pieces of 8 met at the Guild for a very short Monday on Feb. 18, 2013, Carmen led Phillis, Mary, Donna and Fay in an exercise inspired by her exploration of a Daily Painters Zentangle challenge. Carmen has been creating some wonderful pieces (two are shown here) and as you can see from the pictures, it was a success with the rest of the group. (Click on any picture to enlarge the view.)

Read more on Carmen's Blog by clicking on the following link: http://carmenbeecher.blogspot.com/2013/01/zentangle-2-8x10-abstract-pen-and-ink.html.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Recital, 9x14" Pastel, SOLD

Today, I am posting something quite different........for me. I have not worked in pastel for almost ten years, but when a friend asked me to paint her two granddaughters in the medium, I could not refuse her.


We were both happy with the results of the first painting.

I love the fresh color of pastels, but I found it much more difficult than oils when I tried to nail the image
Hilda, I don't know how you do it!!

My client has two matching frames that she wanted to use.  Both paintings feature her granddaughters at the piano and the frames came with a clever mat  featuring sheet music.  My sweet husband helped me remove the old image and insert the painting.

I am working on the second painting now and will post it in the future.


Fine Chocolate Promotes a Piece of 8!

The makers of Bensons Fine Chocolates contacted our own Carol Schiff to produce the beautiful paintings on three of their products: Strawberry, Cherry & Blueberry Bites, Green Apple and Tart Lemon Bites, and Strawberry, Orange and Banana Bites. The packaging looks awesome (as in mouth wateringly good) and there's a link to Carol's web site on the back.  (Click here to visit Carol's web site at http://carolschiffstudio.blogspot.com/.)

Now, if we could only get our hands on some I'm sure we could tell you they are as delicious as the packaging, but.... they only sell them on the West Coast. If you're visiting California, keep your eyes out for them. Congratulations, Carol!

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Splash entry: Tribute to Tiffany

After a trip to the Morse Museum, and a gift of roses from my husband, I felt inspired to paint the roses as if they were a Tiffany stained glass window.  The result pleased me enough that I decided to enter the painting in the upcoming Splash Show, the annual Brevard Watercolor Society members show.  The Show will at the HBCA building 1500 W. Eau Ballie Blvd, Melbourne, FL, February 23 and 24 from 10 - 5.  It is always a beautiful exhibit of watercolor paintings; I hope you can come!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Yard Art

Since taking Cindy's Yard Art Flower class I am having a hard time passing up a dish that strikes my fancy. One of them was a Coca-Cola plate that has no earthly use except it is a Coca-Cola plate. I wanted to use it but not hide the logo and it was a little heavy for a flower so I decided to turn it into a bird bath. I found a small glass bowl, a few glass beads for the corners and glued a spoon for the birdies to rest and I had a bird bath. My husband put it up for me this afternoon and I was really excited, it looked so cute.
A few hours later I was walking by the bookcase and I noticed the little blue bird Kathy Garvey had made me for Christmas was gone. I thought I must have moved it when I was picking up but I couldn't find it and then noticed that my yellow chubby bird was gone too! I started searching around in the studio and looked out at the bird bath and.....need I say more. I quietly snuck around the side of the house and snapped this photo of them frolicking in the bird bath with a beautiful golden glitter bird from some alternative universe. As quiet as I thought I was I seemed to break the spell because when I got back into the house the birdies were back in their places looking as innocent as ever. If I didn't have these photos I would have thought I imagined the whole thing.

Splish Splash I was taking a bath

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Fabulous Guest Speaker Diana Gessler


One of Diana's Books

Thanks to Cindy, the Pieces were fortunate enough to have a talented, witty and informative guest yesterday, Diana Hollingsworth Gessler. Diana is the author of the highly successful series of hand illustrated travel journals about Charleston, California, New Orleans and Washington, D.C.. We also found out today that because of her beautiful journals Diana was invited by the Sampoerna family to do a privately commissioned work about the journey, over several generations of the Sampoernas, from impoverished immigrants from China to the third richest family in Indonesia.
Diana shared the story of her life so far: her childhood as an Air Force brat, attending The Ringling School of art, and her long career in New York City in many art-related fields. She was such a successful, busy woman she didn't have the time she would have liked to devote to painting. While on vacation she decided to keep a journal and sketch in it. That was the beginning of her love affair with illustrated journaling.
Diana was full of information on how to adapt your art to your life no matter where it takes you. She has developed her journals into works of art. She is an accomplished watercolor and oil painter who is represented by The Shaw Gallery in Naples, Fl.
Diana teaches Journaling Workshops and has developed a wonderful "Sampler" to help you get started. She has also put together a kit that contains everything you need. They are available on her website. She has also been asked by Artful Gatherings to develop an online six-week course called "Fantasy Journaling Charleston" which will be available online in June.
A rapt audience
Cindy, Kathy and Carmen were lucky enough to take her Workshop and have become sketching fools who cannot say enough about how wonderful the experience was in so many ways.

Thanks so much for a wonderful day, Diana.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Monday, Monday - working at the Guild

Well, for most of us it's playing at the Guild. Everyone's still doing their own thing. Despite a little Super Bowl fatigue, we set up and got to painting. Here's the latest summary of activity by the Pieces of 8 in text and pictures. (Click on any picture to enlarge its view.)

Carmen is illustrating another book, this one about sled dogs. Take a look at her precious little preliminary sketches.

Denette is finalizing a beautiful oil painting of a water lily she photographed at Rock City Gardens.
Donna is working on a new collage incorporating sewing patterns.
Kathy is watercoloring.
Mary is working on her series of paintings of historical buildings. This lovely church is now in Satellite Beach and Mary told me the history of it when I asked about her little watercolor sketch of the church on a barge - apparently that's how it was moved to its new location.
Phillis is finishing up her beautiful oil painting of a pumpkin.
Where are our other Pieces?  Carol wasn't with us, but if you click on her link or check out below and on our Facebook pages, you can tell how busy she's been with paintings. Cindy is enjoying her studio up in the snows of Seven Devils, North Carolina. Click on her link to catch up with her latest artworks. And last, but not least, Fay arrived in time to remind us to break for lunch!

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Marsh in Spring, 6x18 Gallery Wrap Canvas

I love viewing a marsh as the colors change with each season.  In the fall and winter, they are full of mauve and lavender color and in the spring they burst into glorious greens.