Tag Archives: Painting

Summer Arts 2015

Cabrillo College Summer Arts 2015 Workshop

SummerArts2015_wed

Sanzu no Kawa

Our local junior college, Cabrillo College, in Aptos CA, has a fabulous Summer Arts program every year.  For me it is a wonderful “Stay-cation”.  This year Tim Craighead is teaching a week long abstract painting workshop.  It is just what I needed for my River series.  I needed to break away from my source material and take my paintings to another level.

TBT: Flowers 2

TBT Flowers 2

Amaryllis and NudeAs my friend Bonnie would say, “Flowers for your bouquet”.  An acrylic painting on canvas, “After the bath”.

Happy Thursday!

Free online art workshops

free online art workshopsFree online art workshops? Free?
Strathmore online workshops!  I love it when big companies give back to their customers.  And these workshops are wonderful.  The great thing about them, besides being free, are that you can take the course at anytime day or night and the workshops are available through to the end of 2015!  Instructor feedback is only available for the duration of the initial offering.

There are three workshops offered this year.  I’ve been wanting to take a workshop from Patti Mollica.  I’m excited that she will be offering an acrylic painting workshop.

Strathmore Free Online Art Workshops 2015

The first workshop begins March 2.
1. Bold, Expressive, and Unconventional Printmaking
Instructors: Traci Bautista
2. Expressive Acrylic Painting
Instructor: Patti Mollica
Start Date: May 4, 2015
3. Exploring Pen & Ink
Part 1 : Hand Lettering & Calligraphy

Instructor:  Maureen ‘Marzi’ Wilson
Start Date: September 7, 2015
4. Exploring Pen & Ink
Part 2 : Drawing

Instructor:  Alphonso Dunn
Start Date: September 21, 2015

 

 

Everybody’s Ocean Art Exhibit at MAH

Jellies: Mixed media 2014

Jellies: Mixed media 2014

Everybody’s Ocean, an art exhibit at the Santa Cruz Museum of Art and History.  Wave II runs Feb 27 through Apr 19.

My submission, “Jellies”, an abstract mixed media art piece of the surreal and ghostly jellies as they drift through the upper ocean realm.

Scuba diving in Monterey Bay, we saw many jellies as they were a frequent visitor.  As jellies float slowly through the water, it was easy to get close to examine them.  Sometimes one could spot small crabs on the bell, or an unfortunate fish tangled in the tentacles.  And sometimes swarms of jellies surrounded and flowed passed us.

For me, having lived along the coast all my life, the ocean is a circadian rhythm.

To be full immersed in the ocean, to give in to the power of the ocean, and to let oneself be gently rocked in the ocean’s embrace is an incredible feeling.

The ocean is life.  The ocean provides food, water, and air.  Without the ocean we cannot exist.

Framing on a rainy day

For me framing is the most nerve wracking part of making art, and that is why it costs so much to have a professional frame your art.  I prefer the “floating” method, especially for my watercolors as I like the deckle edges to show.  This piece is for the “Everybody’s Ocean” exhibit at the Santa Cruz Museum of Art and History, Feb 27 to April 19, 2015.

Jellies: Mixed media 2014

Jellies: Mixed media 2014

Small portrait study

watercolor study, mamacita

watercolor study, mamacita

Portrait Studies

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WIP Jan112015

wip_mom

watercolor sketch

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Online classes

“Taking Online Classes” part 2. In July I took an online art course from Artist Network University (ANU). I had always wanted to take a workshop from Betsy Dillard Stroud,  but either the time was not right or the place was too far. An online course seemed an attractive alternative, but how well do they work?

Floral assignment, working in layers

Assignment 3: Work in progress

The setup
Signing up for the course was simple. The cost for the four week online course was $170 US, compared to a four day workshop with Betsy Dillard Stroud which usually runs more than $500. BlackBoard was used for communicating assignments, uploading your work, feedback, and sharing. I did not care for the BlackBoard interface. I found it limited in navigating efficiently to the sections I always used, taking too many links to get to the assignments, feedback, and sharing sections.

The instructor
Betsy has been teaching this module, Painting Abstraction and Abstract Realism in Acrylics, for many years. It appeared that she used the written materials from her workshop. In addition, I was able to find a YouTube video from one of her workshops.  Also she provided one video for the first assignment, learning how to make rubber stamps.

Assignment 1: Work in progress

Assignment 1: Work in progress

BlackBoard provides an interface to communicate with the instructor and Betsy was diligent in answering questions. Answers usually arrived the next day. ANU runs on EST. I am on the west coast, PDT.

The assignments
As this is a course Betsy has previously taught, the assignments were well thought out and fun. Each assignment built on one another. She provided examples of her own work for the assignment.

Each week had one assignment, though the students could do more than one piece, however only one piece could be submitted for the assignment. Some assignments gave you more than one option to choose subject or technique.  I found the assignments took me 3 to 10 hours to complete.  We worked primarily on watercolor paper, though she allowed us to work on canvas if we chose.

I am a visual person and I would have liked more video demonstrations. One for each assignment would have been terrific.

The critiques
Finished assignments were due on Fridays; this was achieved by uploading a digital image to BlackBoard. Instructor feedback came in the next day, which was great. Betsy provided in depth analysis of your painting, praising the good parts and giving valuable suggestions for making your piece stronger. This was the best part of the course.

Sharing
Blackboard provided a section to share your work with other students. One

Final project: Putting it all together

could upload a work in progress or a finished piece. It is here where we asked questions or shared techniques. On this note though, it was often confusing where one was supposed to do this and often the students would receive an email saying we were posting in the wrong section. Plus the sharing only worked if other students took the time to post. Here I felt the online course was lacking, it was not like taking a break during a workshop and wandering around to view other works, sharing techniques, breakthroughs, challenges, products, and ideas.  This stimulation is invaluable, we learn not only from the instructor but also from each other.

Summary
Would I take another online course? I think I would if I were familiar with the instructor, or if it were an instructor from whom I would never be able to take a course. While there were short comings I did learn new techniques and I liked the paintings I produced. Was it worth $170? I think with the techniques I learned, I could generate that much in the paintings I will be able to sell. Could I have learned this from books? Probably, but I’m the type of person that needs an assignment to get going. For me, taking a class gets me further than I would on my own.

One would need to have experience working online.  Photographing one’s work is a challenge in itself and the topic for another course.  One needs to know how to upload images, navigate links, and post messages.  While it not impossible for a novice, it could become frustrating.

I think this course could have profited from more video content. The biggest lack I found was in student interaction. Sometimes being an artist is a lonely profession and in taking an online course, one still works alone.