Karen Cooper is a figurative painter, who paint with oil or acrylic paints on canvas. She do not make reproductions of any of my paintings, so each one that you look at is a unique rendering of her point of view.
Yesterday I sent two paintings to an exhibit in Kansas City.
I decided I should double check my events page on my website. Just to make sure I had listed said exhibit.
Nor were several other pending events. Time for some catch up!
Staring me in the face from the #1 spot on the calendar, is the West Liberty Plein Air Paint Out. This weekend! July 20&21. Besides being hot, it should be fun! We paint at the Muscatine County Fair in West Liberty. Your handy link for pertinent info on my events page (click link) and the West Liberty Arts Council link (click link)
Next up on the 'just added to the calendar' list is Paint The Point. Another plein air paint out, this one is located in Mineral Point, Wisconsin. And following, a link to this on my events page: (click link) and the Paint The Point website (click link)
The aforementioned event in Kansas City that got this whole thought process rolling is Children's Mercy Hospital Kansas City Benefit Art Show, a juried gallery exhibit to support Children's. As I said, two paintings are on their way to the exhibit, very likely in a FedEx truck, as we speak!
The first painting is an all time favorite of mine:
Bykhanov Park Pigeon Feeders.
And the second holds the same adjective, all time favorite.
The Saturday Afternoon Crowd On De'Bassus Veranda.
I am planning on attending the opening reception for this benefit, on August 2nd. Links for the event (click link)
Whew. There! I think we are all caught up! And please note that there were already several events on the page before we played catch up just now. Really, you should go read the page in entirety, just so you don't miss out on a great art event near you!
Now. Just so you don't start thinking I really have a slacker schedule, I will share that just last week, I signed two paintings, took their photos and sent them off to jury for an upcoming event.
Last night, I brushed on the final (hopefully) strokes of paint onto to what is a great (possibly!) reader/bicycle painting. I need to go look at it with fresh eyes this morning, and see if it is in fact ready to sign. Then it too goes in front of the camera, and off to jury for a different event.
And there is yet another, on the easel, almost to the finishing stages - with a jury deadline of next week!!! Three little old ladies on a park bench - wait til you see it!!
Wow. And you thought artists lived a life of leisure!
Thanks for reading! Check out that events page, and I'll hope to see you at an art event soon!
I am a list making person. It helps me pretend that I am organized.
I love 3x5 note cards for just this purpose.
They say things like:
need to order gamsol and cad yellow or,
paint them as one shape first (notes for the canvas that just climbed up on the easel)
deadline for OPA is 8 10 or
current pricing for plein air and studies
I find that when the calendar has something out of the ordinary, maybe even slightly momentous on it, that the need for lists increases proportionately!
Tomorrow I will drive to Waukee Arts Festival. While driving to an arts festival exhibit used to be a regular event, for the past several years, they have been mostly absent from my calendar. Yes, by personal choice. So this summer, there are two (count'em 2) outdoor summer art festivals to travel to. That means not much time to practice, and organization is key.
The 3x5 card list count just took a big increase, but we're okay! I just bought a fresh new package
One thing I never have to worry about forgetting is the paintings. They always manage to make the trip! But with desire for organization always at the forefront, I will confess to having a list of which paintings I want to show.
Plein air painting on the 4th, I remembered to take an 'object of my desire' photo BEFORE I started, because we all know what that light is inclined to do.
Indeed, for the scene photo, I had to move my easel forward to get it out of glaring sunlight.
And there is more to the story!!
Right behind where I was painting on July 4th, is a funky laundromat building, which actually was talking to me about being painted.
AND THEN !!! As I was folding up the easel, I heard the train whistle, coming from the north. OH, WOW. Photo opp extraordinaire. I do not paint machines, but possibly I will need to make one exception.
What a fun morning :)Now if that darned white van hadn't pulled into my stellar train photo....
I'll give you a link (click link) to my portfolio for the FIRST painting. The second, yup, you'll have to wait a week or so for that one!!
I had mentioned on the studio page that timing was pretty critical (would never do to leave a 10 year old stranded at camp!) and as everybody knows, when it's a beautiful sunny day, that light changes so fast.
This specific morning fit the norm. I set my phone alarm for camp pick up time, knowing full well that by then the sun would also be telling me to stop!
Time flew, the phone alarm went off, I grabbed the camera to get the scene photo with the painting, and THEN the shop owner comes out to sit at the little bistro table on the front walk. "Sir", I think, "you have the world's most ironic timing today" because of course, their was NO TIME to paint him in. And yet we all realize he NEEDED to be in the painting.
So plein air purists, close your ears. When the painting got back to the studio in Grinnell, 13 or maybe 19 brushstrokes later, and there he was. Present and accounted for. The barber in the park, St Louis Park.
I signed up for the #AbundantArtShow which officially started today.
(Day 1 task was to officially sign up!)
Today's official mission is to share a work in progress, along with a few works from other artists doing this challenge, whose entries I especially like.
Logic says I grab the canvas that is leaning on the wall and photo it. But there, right next to it on the wall, is the board with the reference photo and the color sketch. Logic also says they should be included, right?
I have mentioned the "color sketch on brown craft paper" that we worked with at a workshop I took last fall. The workshop instructor was Dawn Whitelaw. Some day, I need to catch up with Dawn again, and let her know how much I appreciate this tool.
We were working from reference photos at the workshop, so for starters, everyone began by editing/combining/manipulating those. The comparable could be done with a viewfinder and thumbnail sketch, if working plein air.
Next step, was to fasten a small piece of brown craft paper to a board, and start exploring the reference material there, in color.
(I found it pretty amazing, how much freer it felt to be working on a piece of scrap paper!!)
My 'artist specific' task at the workshop was to focus on getting the light patterns to make more sense, and this tool continues to be used in my studio for that.
So now, for the color part of this post.
First, the work in progress, a cafe scene where the morning sun was bathing some folk in Malaga.
Followed by the board of reference material:
And then, a few more examples of the color sketches, that are now a part of my process:
I think it's pretty apparent that I don't consider the color sketches as sacred-pristine anything! It's okay to draw on them, accidentally smear them, make color checks on them. But still, I've found that no matter their condition when I'm done with the canvas they are 'the tool' for, that I find satisfaction in keeping them in a file to look back on. Possibly it's my track record. Possibly it's my record of playing with paint no holds barred??!!
At any rate, it's a tool taught to me, that I appreciate and enjoy.
It was a beautiful sunny Sunday afternoon. Church, dinner, and then absolutely nothing but play time.
My goal was to go to a spot and simply paint. None of this second guessing about if it could truly be a painting.
This seems to be my main hang up with plein air painting - settling in on a subject.
Oh wait - I forgot, there are others. At least 5, per the title?? Here we go:
1. Forgot the small brush at the studio - can't possibly finish that lettering on site.
2. Ran out of parking meter change. True story. Maybe you'll get that photo tomorrow.
3. Ran out of Viva towels. Major crisis.
Today, I encountered #1 right at the finish up stage.
Here's the easel photo, on location:
and here's the final photo, after I got back to the studio, found my littlest brush to paint in those everysotiny letters in that Clearance 8'3" sign.
There has been quite a bit of discussion over at the Facebook page "En Plein Air Paintings and Painters" (click link) lately regarding whether or not it's plein air if there is studio time spent on the painting as well.
I am saying 9 letters, 2 numbers, and 2 punctuation marks are allowed.
But next time, I will try to have a better brush selection at the ready.
Also of note, I gave up and made a new portfolio file exclusively for the bus window series. For those of you who have been watching the bus window paintings in my "paintings" file, they have all been moved. The menu bar can easily help you find them all. And here's a link for that (click link)