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

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Challenge: Same still life in two different ways

By Kathy Garvey

It was my turn to come up with a challenge for Pieces of 8 on June 16 and I opted for an old design challenge from my long ago days at George Washington University under the wonderfully talented Danni Dawson. She set up a complex still life on a convoluted cloth and challenged us to pick and choose items to draw. We were required to do two versions of the same drawing, one as flat as we could make the design and one as dimensional as we could make it.

I totally loved that first (flat) view and she had to keep prodding me to complete the second (dimensional). I put the same challenge to Carmen, Donna and Mary who were at Mary's studio on the 16th for the challenge. I'm happy to say that they rose to the occasion. I didn't have to prod anyone! They actually liked the challenge enough to continue it the following Monday, June 23. (I haven't changed in all these years - I still balked at doing the more dimensional version even though I stuck to something as simple as just the flowers.) Here are some pictures from our two sessions. Click on any image to enlarge it.
Mary, Donna and Carmen get started. (I cheated and started at home.)
Mary starts to pencil in her items from the setup.

Mary perfecting her flat view!

My flat view which I enjoyed spending hours on.
My 3D view which I fought every minute of.
Donna using colored pencil on one of her views.
Carmen and Donna working the challenge.

Carmen's flat view which is almost complete!
Carmen's 3D view which is almost complete!

Maybe we can get Carol, Denette, Faye and Cindy to accept the challenge from afar! How about it fellow PO8ers?

Friday, June 20, 2014

Oh, What a Tangled Drawing We Weave...

Madame X
What do I do when I'm sick and can't lift a brush? I lift a pen. I doodle away in my nest on the couch. The lady above is named for Sargent's famed Madame X, because I like her attitude. This is a Zentangle style (if you don't know what that is, look it up in Pinterest. There are Zentangles a-plenty).
 My tree is not really a true Zentangle-type drawing, though I did use patterns in the shading. I am fascinated by twisty trees, real or imagined.

I am over my vicious virus so it's back to the easel today. Yippee!

Carmen Beecher

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Can you guess?

I have an itch to do some more collageing and have been organizing my supplies and checking out some collage websites.  While I was browsing I thought about a project we had done a few years ago with a local quilting group.  We each teamed up with a quilter and did a piece to correspond with their theme and quilt.  My quilter did a Christmas piece so I had to come up with something using her theme and colors.  Instead of painting I decided to do a collage,  somehow it felt more quilt like.  I did this piece and I still have it hanging in my living room.  I always loved the colors and the subject, I really like round things.  See if you can guess what it is....no hints.
Donna Vines

What am I?

Daily Painting | Abstract Painting | Small Oil Painting | Wishful Thinking by Carol Schiff | 14x11" SOLD

Well, it has happened again.........I had the urge to try my hand at abstract again.

I was determined to do a mixed media  abstract, get out my many Golden mediums, and just have a fun day playing.  Kind of like kindergarten.  Why did I think that?

Don't I know that mixed media abstract is one of the most stressful things I can try?  Why don't I remember that my mind goes blank, that I'm not one of those people that can stand in front of a blank canvas and pick up a brush without a plan?

Why do I always think, this time it will be different?

Well it wasn't.  I worked at least 4, maybe 5 hours with my Golden mediums, getting the texture just right, carefully choosing the acrylic colors, blah, blah, blah.  It was a mess.

The next day, I sanded down as much as I could,  turned to my beloved oils, and ended up with this result.  Something I can live with.  Something that might give me a tad more confidence the next time I decide to do an abstract.  Something that I really kind of ........ like.  NEVER GIVE UP!!


Friday, June 13, 2014

canvas board, Carol Schiff, daily painter, daily painting, fruit painting, fruit still life, kitchen painting, kitchen still life, pear painting, pear still life, Price $90.00, small oil painting,

If you follow this blog, you may remember a post recently of three pears with backlighting,  This is another painting that I did on that same day, with the same pears, just a slightly different composition and a different view point.


This is the original post.


Two very different paintings of the same subject matter, on the same day. Not earth shattering...but maybe a little interesting.


Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Metal Looks

By know you all know how much I enjoyed Carol Nelson's workshop and what a fan of hers I am.  Not only do I admire her talent but her fearlessness.  She just goes for it.  She is not afraid to fail and go on to the next thing.  Most of the time we are too intimated to stray from all the set rules.  Play and take risks should be a sign in all our "play" spaces.
This is another technique Carol showed us.  I loved doing this one because it not only used found objects but made them look like they had been around for ages.
For this exercise use anything you have from your garage.  I used washers, paperclips, a button and  some old gutter screening.  I glued down the found objects with gel medium and the screening I used as a stencil and spread some gel on and let dry until it was hard.  Once the glue was set and the medium dry I covered it with heavy duty aluminum foil.  I glued the foil in the back with gel medium then burnished around the objects with my finger.  Once all the shapes were outlined I spread a mixture of watered down acrylic paints till I got the finish I wanted.  This look is very "Steam punk", which I love.
Donna Vines

Steam punk

Monday, June 9, 2014

Sharing a Carol Nelson Experiment

Donna demonstrating
Today the few Pieces who were in town were treated to a lesson in one of Carol Nelson's mixed media techniques by our one and only Donna who had attended a Carol Nelson workshop last year. Donna brought all the supplies: foam plates, acrylic paints, black markers, glue, and paint brushes. She even gessoed over some of her old paintings to create backboards for us. Her instructions were wonderful. Basically you paint with acrylics on the center of the foam plate. When it's dry, you cut out a small square and bend and crease the square. Then you glue it to a gessoed board and extend your design out into the board. A black marker or black paint can highlight the creases. It's all very loose and abstract. Time passed quickly for Fay, Mary and I as we played with this technique. Below are a few pictures and our results.
It's that simple - paint some colors with acrylics on the plate!

Fay and Donna working on their plates.

Our finished and almost finished pieces against the backdrop of Mary's studio.
We have heard lots of praise from both Donna and our own Carol about their experience in the Carol Nelson workshop they attended and I notice she has one coming up next year in Clearwater, Florida. That's not too far away, and considering Carol Nelson classes fill up pretty quick, not too far ahead of time to consider signing up if you are interested. Here's the link to the Carol Nelson Experiments in Mixed Media Workshop in Clearwater. You can also explore her wonderful results from this technique by clicking here: Carol Nelson Small Paintings.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Flower Painting | Floral Still Life | Daily Painting | Horizontal Point of View II by Carol Schiff, 11x14 Oil

If this painting looks familiar to you......it should! Yes, my blog header is very similar... I painted it last year in a 6x8" format and have enjoyed painting flowers every since.

$176 + 16

I liked the original painting and wanted to see if I could paint larger using this same technique.  I have to say I  was pleased with the results.

This one is 11x14, but I think it still shows the same freshness and simplicity that I was trying to obtain.  Thank you for viewing my daily painting today.


Saturday, June 7, 2014

A Little Side Trip to Local Art Spots

by Kathy Garvey

On Thursday of this week, Denette, Donna and I got together at the Ruth Funk Center for Textile Arts (on the FIT campus) to tour the current Florida in Fabric II exhibit. What a great show! If you haven't been yet and you love fabric art, try to take the time to stop by. The art quilts were so gorgeous that we had trouble trying to decide on a favorite. (You get a little form when you enter the museum that allows you to pick your favorite.) There were only three of us, but the following four shown here were our top picks. The beauty and workmanship on all of the pieces deserve accolades. As the exhibit information states "Art accepted for this exhibition exemplifies innovation in quilting and surface design techniques as well as excellence in artistic composition and craftsmanship."  (Click on any image to view it closer.)
Orange Topiary by Margo Hucklebery Hicks of Palm Bay, Florida

Seagrape Leaf by Barbara Walter of Pembroke Pines, Florida

Sunshine State of Mind by Susan Rienzo of Vero Beach, Florida

Sweet Florida Blue by Lisa-Marie Sanders of Cocoa Beach, Florida
There were actually two exhibits. Besides the Florida in Fabric exhibit, there was a very interesting display of large beautifully made quilts by Eleanor McCain (a practicing Internal Medicine Physician in Fort Walton Beach, Florida) titled Oil Stains. You have to go see it to appreciate the workmanship and the meaning of her unusual quilts.

If you haven't visited the Ruth Funk Museum before, you may not know where to park to access it. The easiest way is to turn into the parking lot on the west side of Babcock Street that is right across the street from University Housing. There are a number of free parking spots over against the wooded area of the Botanical Gardens. The red marked parking spaces are specifically for visitors to the gardens or the Ruth Funk. After parking, follow the long covered wooden bridge that leads directly to the glass doors of the museum. One of the many great things about this beautiful little museum is that it is free to visit - and it's right next to a botanical garden with paved walkways, an old school house, pond complete with fish and turtles, picnic tables and a gazebo.

After leaving Ruth Funk, we went straight to the Eau Gallie Art District to tour the very interesting exhibit "Infinite Mirror: Images of American Identity" currently at the Foosaner Art Museum. (And while all of us are members, the Foosaner is also free to the public every Thursday.) And no matter what they are exhibiting, there is often a marvelous work by local artist Frits Van Eeden that is worth a trip all by itself.

We then crossed the street to check out many of our fellow artists' great work at the Fifth Avenue Gallery and walked down the street to stop in at Ralph's Art Supply where whatever you need to know about anything to do with art media, Ralph can answer. And if there's something you need and can't find locally, Ralph can find it.

If you get a chance, take a visit to all of these places. Click on the name of each in this article to see more information about each.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Mmmm good

I saw a cute little gem of a move last night that I liked very much called Chef with John Favreau.  Make no mistake about it this is a movie dedicated to the art of food.  Buying it, preparing it, cooking it, appreciating it and last but by no means least, eating it.  This movie was written, directed and acted by people that show their love of family and life through cooking, serving and savoring food.  Alas, I am not a foodie but craved a Cuban sandwich or anything with lots of ingredients after the movie was over.
After seeing this visual homage to all things edible it made me think about how many paintings I had done with food as the main "ingredient".   So, no matter how you eat or think about food you can't deny it is pretty to look at and fascinating to paint.
Donna Vines

Peppers and Pears



Thursday, June 5, 2014

We came, we partied, we made cards!

by Kathy Garvey

In lieu of painting this week, the Pieces who were in town (who managed to be all but Miss Cindy) got together to celebrate what? Oh, that would be Cindy's birthday! How do you have a party without the celebrant? You bring lots of goodies, hang up banners, goof around, eat, play, call and sing to the missing birthday girl, and make cards, lots of cards!

Hope by now you've gotten your cards in the mail, Cindy, so this post doesn't spoil it. Next year, you should try to make it to your own birthday party. You missed all the fun!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Abstract Landscape | Daily Painting | Small Oil Painting | Seeing Better Days by Carol Schiff | 6x8 Oil

This abstract landscape of an isolated structure in blazing sunlight is a memory of the days I lived in Louisiana and Texas.  Often we would find these abandoned structures awaiting a new life.

purchase here
115 + shipping
 But it could also be from the countryside of Arizona or even North Dakota, where the weather is very rugged.  Can you tell I moved a lot in my life?  Yes, I spent years and years following my Air Force husband from location to location.  We are so happy to have spread our roots in Florida and North Carolina.

I have to be in the mood to paint with a palette knife, but when I am.....it is really fun (and in my case messy).  Most of my favorite artwork (by me) has a least, some areas of knife work.  I really love the texture which I feel brings a whole new dimension to the piece.

Thanks so much for viewing my abstract landscape today.  I hope you will pin it!


Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Copying Claude (Monet, That Is) by Fay Picardi

        Many of you may know Tysons Corners of Northern Virginia close to Washington, DC, but few of you probably remember it as it looked like in the spring of 1965. As I tooled along in my MG-TD, top down going South on Route 123, early morning, I noticed a billboard newly posted on the hillside pastureland to the East just before the junction of 123 and Route 7. "COMING SOON: SHOPPING CENTER," it read and, of boy, was that sign right!
       Within months, the cows disappeared, road work began to widen the road, and the hillside was no long green pastureland with scattered trees. It was bare brown. The only reminder of the past within a few blocks of The Corners was a lovely old apple orchard on another hillside as one headed West toward Leesburg, Virginia. Not many years later, that bit of idyllic countryside was gone as well. Gone, but not forgotten.
       Monet's painting of Apple Trees in Bloom, although not painted at Tysons Corner, captures the look of that hillside orchard.

     I decided this scene would make the perfect 37 minute painting challenge. And it did. My painting is much simpler than Monet's, not nearly in the subtle colors or detail, and looking more like Thomas Hart Benton than Oscar Claude Monet. But I didn't cheat on the time!

     The best part about this experiment is that I can't wait to start another! Except this time, I may fudge a little on the timing.

Monday, June 2, 2014

New Again

Seeing the wonderful paintings that Carmen and Carol did for CFAI Juried Show inspired me to look through my photos and see what I might have that I haven't seen for awhile.  Something to inspire me and get those creative juices flowing again. 
While I was looking through my photos of New England, No. Carolina, the beach etc.  I came across some photos I took of an Old Masters Show we had done.  There right before me was my painting of "Tahitian Women Bathing" after Gauguin and "Starry Night" after Van Gogh.  It was such a kick to see these and remember how much fun we had doing the "Old Masters" but also how difficult it was to imitate a great painters style. Even though we were painting freehand it was almost like painting by numbers because all of the colors and parameters were laid out for you.  You had to be very exacting.
Donna Vines

Gauguin  Tahitian Women Bathing

Van Gogh   Starry Night