Thursday, December 22, 2016

Christmas Wishes - All the best for the Coming Year

As this year comes to an end I would like to thank you for supporting the Arts and especially your support for Art by Wendy.  It is your encouragement that keeps me focused and on task throughout the year. I hope that the joy and excitement of Christmas stays in your heart all year.
Winter Berries - This little chickadee adds so much life and excitement to our garden during these snowy cold days.  (Contact Wendy to purchase)
I will take a Christmas break and my next post will be in two weeks, Thursday, Jan 5, 2017.  In the meantime here are a few last minute Christmas Ideas. Gift Ceriticates are available.  

 A heartfelt gift for that special person
A commission - Capture that Best Friend in a Pet Portrait.  A keepsake that will be cherished by everyone in the family. 

And for the Artist on your list.  
a. Private Drawing Lessons   Get more information  here. 

A really special gift for the Artist on your list:

 All day Marketing Workshop - Let's Get Your Art Out There - Sunday, Feb 26 or March 5, 2017.  This is an opportunity to work with a small group focusing on ways that work for you, to market your art.  Whether you are looking at full time or part Art Sales, there are effective, proven strategies that will get your work out the door. $70 Limited to 8 per session.  Art by Wendy Studio/Gallery, N. Surrey, BC.  REGISTER NOW  with Wendy.   Out of Towners give me a call and we can set something up.

 Be sure to like and share my posts. You won't miss a single one if you follow by email or Like my Facebook Page. Keep up with all the art events by joining my Email List.
Have a great artful day,
Wendy

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Working with Flowers and a Line of Action -Painting & Drawing Tips

NEW WORKS FROM THE STUDIO OF ART BY WENDY

I like flowers.
Big, Small, Pink, Blue or White.
Doesn't matter.  I enjoy painting and drawing them.

I know you are going to say, but wait, aren't you the wildlife artist.  I am, but flowers call to me and certain ones really call loudly.  Poppies are one of them.  There is something about the folds and curves of the poppies we have growing in our front yard that just shout my name.
THE DANCE OF THE POPPY - Watercolour,  4.5 x 6 
Drawing poppies presents challenges.  Those lines and folds that I love so much can really cause you grief if you don't have a firm plan in place to draw them.  I have found an approach that really helps me capture their beauty and excitement.  It is using a "Line of Action".  This approach is used a lot for drawing people (see my last post here) but not so much for other things.

The usual approach is to work with circles or oval type shapes with a flower like this one.  Yes, I do use those shapes for determining my composition.  However, for the actual drawing I find that gesture offers little information.
The oval tells me size but no real reference for placing the petals 
But a Line of Action is a gesture that really works.
Here's how a Line of Action works.  I study my flower and look for a strong line that indicates the main action or movement in the flower.
On it's own the line doesn't look like much, but it actually is a great reference!

This Line of Action tells me:
- the size of the flower
- the angle the flower will have
- gives a reference point for placing the center and most of the petals
- gives a reference for the size of the center and the petals.

The major components of the flower can be marked on the line and drawn from there. 
As you can see the points on the line give a reference for where to place each of the petals.  Also looking at the reference points gives a relationship for how big things are.  For example: the bottom petal is about half the length of the middle petal and the upper petals are larger than the bottom petal.  The end points of the line give a reference for the end points on those petals.  It is almost like magic.  This one crazy looking line is packed full of information, just waiting to be read!!

Have you used this type of line for starting a drawing?  Do you use other shapes or gestures?  What is your favourite?

If you would like to walk through a drawing using this method join me at Opus Art Supplies, Langley Store, BC on January 14, 2017, 10:30-12:30.  This will be a drawing class working with a black eyed-susie starting with a Line of Action.  $25 includes a small Drawing Kit.  Preregister here  through the store. This will fill up fast.

I offer Private Drawing Lessons throughout the year, and I would be happy to work with you.  Get more information on Private Drawing Lessons here. 

  A really special gift for the Artist on your list:

 All day Marketing Workshop - Let's Get Your Art Out There - Sunday, Feb 26 or March 5, 2017.  This is an opportunity to work with a small group focusing on ways that work for you, to market your art.  Whether you are looking at full time or part Art Sales, there are effective, proven strategies that will get your work out the door. $70 Limited to 8 per session.  Art by Wendy Studio/Gallery, N. Surrey, BC.  REGISTER NOW  with Wendy.   Out of Towners give me a call and we can set something up.
Great gift for yourself or an artist you know.  Gift Certificates are available.   

 Be sure to like and share my posts. You won't miss a single one if you follow by email or Like my Facebook Page. Keep up with all the art events by joining my Email List.
Have a great artful day,
Wendy

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Putting Figures in Your Painting - Drawing & Painting Tips

NEW WORKS FROM THE STUDIO OF ART BY WENDY
Do you want people in your paintings?
Believable looking people that you can be proud of?

I know what it is like, you have this great picture of a beach and you want some life on it: someone walking on your road; sitting on your bench; something like that.  I am not talking about portrait painting, just some life in your landscape.


Lady at the park throwing the ball for her dog - Graphite Sketch
I have been working with figures and people with one of my students recently.  It spurred me on to revisit this type of work.  (As you know, wildlife is more my focus)

For me the best approach is using a Line of Action.  This is a single gesture that captures the stance of the figure.  I find the Line of Action a powerful tool in capturing the shape or movement of birds, animals and even plants and flowers.  That simple gestured line tells you:
- the height
- where the figure fits on the page
- a reference for the movement
- a sense of proportion
- a strong starting point
- a reference point for relating the body parts
Line of Action for the Lady - note that it is on a bit of an angle
Once you have the line you can begin to dress it up.  Add the body trunk - notice it is in two parts, chest and shoulders is one and hips is the second part.  Look carefully at the angles for both.  They are not parallel unless the figure is standing total straight. Add the head and gestures for the arms and legs.
Main Body parts are indicated

As you add the shapes pay attention to size relationships and angles:  Trunk is bigger than hips; arms come down past the hip when straight;  bent arm meets at a specific junction.

Next add the mass for the arms and legs:
Figure with arms and leg mass added
A few key things to remember here are: arms and legs have 3 parts each.  Arms are part of the shoulder and so come out of the trunk, they do not sit on the edge.  The arm shapes overlap because of the joints, they are not just tubes that touch each other.  The same is true with the legs. Notice that the legs start up into the hip and overlap at the knee and foot. Again, pay attention to size relationships and angles.

 At this point the drawing looks a bit like the Michelin Tire Man.  But that is a good thing.  You now have a figure that has mass and a believable the stance.  Now you can dress him or her.  You will find it easy to place the clothing on as you have good bench marks for things like where the shirt flares out, how the pants fit and more.

If you are looking for more info, this site here is good and free.  Their step by step tutorial has some very good examples.
Do you have trouble with putting interesting people in your work?  Any tricks or tips you do to help make it work?  We would all love to hear them.

I am going to spend a bit of time with the Line of Action.  I will show you some other ways to use it in my next post.  As I said before, it is a very powerful gesture.

Two Things to help with your Christmas Shopping:

Christmas Cards
1.  Take a Christmas Break for a Relaxing Evening: Make Tangled Christmas Cards Monday, Dec. 12, 5:30-7:30, Expressions Art Gallery, 227 & Lougheed Hwy, Maple Ridge.  Learn how to use ink and watercolour to make some really special cards.  $30 Supplies Included.  REGISTER NOW  with Wendy

2.  A really special gift for the Artist on your list:
 All day Marketing Workshop - Let's Get Your Art Out There - Sunday, Feb 26 or March 5, 2017.  This is an opportunity to work with a small group focusing on ways that work for you, to market your art.  Whether you are looking at full time or part Art Sales, there are effective, proven strategies that will get your work out the door. $70 Limited to 8 per session.  Art by Wendy Studio/Gallery, N. Surrey, BC.  REGISTER NOW  with Wendy.   Out of Towners give me a call and we can set something up.
Great gift for yourself or an artist you know.  Gift Certificates are available.   

 Be sure to like and share my posts. You won't miss a single one if you follow by email or Like my Facebook Page. Keep up with all the art events by joining my Email List.
Have a great artful day,
Wendy

Thursday, December 1, 2016

How to Finish a Painting Successfully - Painting and Drawing Tip

NEW WORKS FROM THE STUDIO OF ART BY WENDY

Curling is a passion for me.  I love being out on the ice, the comradeship with the team as we work together to "defeat" the opponent. But in order to succeed it is important to place your rock carefully.  Not an easy thing when it is 44 pounds. And did I mention you have to slide a few feet and let it go from 138 feet away.

Visualizing before you throw
To throw the rock,  you crouch down with your foot in a hollow on the ice, called a hack.  You then push off from the hack with your feet, slide along the ice holding the rock and then releasing it. As you release the rock your put 'a turn' on it.  The turn causes the rock to rotate either clockwise or counterclockwise which in turn cause it to move in that direction.  How hard you push off determines how fast the rock goes and also how much it curls.  "To place" a rock requires precise weight when you throw it.

In sports where precision is needed all athletes will tell you that it is important to visualize the shot/movement first for the most success.  This means to use all your senses to see a successful outcome.  To through a draw in curling and have it stop in just the right spot requires a clear picture in your mind. First you need to think about how fast to push off, then feel your speed as you slide out and sense when to release the rock.  You need to visualize that rock sliding and curling right to the spot you are aiming for.  Of course your other team members will sweep your rock, trying to make it go longer if it is light or get it to turn more or less.  But you need to give them a good delivery so they can work with it.

This is alot like your work in the studio.   You have the materials, you know your techniques, you have a goal - Paint a Picture.

But wait. . .

Have you visualized where you are going?  I know, you have an inspiration and you want to "get to it".  But have you really visualized where you are going?  In sports it is hard to do something concrete in the visualization process.  Some athletes will do body movements as they go through their routine.  But as artists we have the luxury of doing something physical.

Here is my process: I wanted a Christmas Card picture for my Christmas Cards.  I wanted something with snow, I wanted a chickadee in it.  (Part of my Chickadees in the Garden Series) So then I had to figure out what would be around when the snow comes for my chickadees.  I was out walking with Max and saw some red berries.  Perfect.  Something red for my Christmas scene.  Did I jump in with my paints right away? No.
Winter Berries - Under construction

First I did a pencil sketch of my picture. Since it was to be 7 x 10, my sketch was the same size. ( If I am going to do a bigger picture then my sketch will be in the same proportions but not the same size. Some artists do a Notan sketch to plan their work and others make a mock up on Photoshop.)   Once I was happy with my plan,  I then drew it on my paper and went to town with my paints. 

Making a plan before you paint does not have to be big job.  A simple sketch, maybe 10-30 minutes.
What are the benefits, you ask.  Well - 
- you get to see your shapes and see if they are interesting
- you can see what works for your value patterns
- you can easily make changes before committing yourself to paint
- you can work out problems as you go. 

I had a few problems to work out in my picture.  My snow reference was too bright and my snow was over exposed.  I had to work out where I would put shadows.  Also once I had it laid out I felt the bottom right hand corner was too boring with just snow there.  I decided to add a bit of a branch.  My plan allowed me to try different 'branches' before committing to my picture.

Before my Snow and the extra branch were added
You can see Winter Berries, the completed picture here.

Do you make a plan to visualize your work?  What is your process?

Two Things to help with your Christmas Shopping:

Christmas Cards
1.  Take a Christmas Break for a Relaxing Evening: Make Tangled Christmas Cards Monday, Dec. 12, 5:30-7:30, Expressions Art Gallery, 227 & Lougheed Hwy, Maple Ridge.  Learn how to use ink and watercolour to make some really special cards.  $30 Supplies Included.  REGISTER NOW  with Wendy

2.  A really special gift for the Artist on your list:
 All day Marketing Workshop - Let's Get Your Art Out There - Sunday, Feb 26 or March 5, 2017.  This is an opportunity to work with a small group focusing on ways that work for you, to market your art.  Whether you are looking at full time or part Art Sales, there are effective, proven strategies that will get your work out the door. $70 Limited to 8 per session.  Art by Wendy Studio/Gallery, N. Surrey, BC.  REGISTER NOW  with Wendy.   Out of Towners give me a call and we can set something up.
Great gift for yourself or an artist you know.  Gift Certificates are available.   

 Be sure to like and share my posts. You won't miss a single one if you follow by email or Like my Facebook Page. Keep up with all the art events by joining my Email List.
Have a great artful day,
Wendy

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Yikes! Patterns are everywhere. Painting & Drawing Tips

NEW WORKS FROM THE STUDIO OF ART BY WENDY
SITTING PRETTY - 5 X 7 - Watercolour
This is one of my pieces in my Constructive Organic Series

 
After working with patterns and tangles for my Constructive Organic series (see here to see more) I began to look around. You know what it is like, you are buried in the trenches and really can't see anything.  Your done so you lift your head up you begin to notice all kinds of things.

I noticed patterns.

Patterns are everywhere in our work.  Patterns of colours, patterns in shapes and patterns in lines.  Colours are bright, colourful, dark, mute; shapes are rounded, angular, big, small; even the lines can vary: curved, straight, soft,  hard, vertical,  horizontal it goes on and on.  You see what I mean, patterns are everywhere.

So what? 

Studying your patterns is an important part of critiquing your work.  However, when to critique and when to keep going is a fine step.  

As you draw or paint you make marks.  But each mark does not stand alone.  You are making a pattern as well. This means to critique a mark in isolation will lead you no where.  Have you been caught in that circle - paint/draw a spot, looks weird, you wipe it off, do it again, still looks weird, you wipe it off,  . . . . .  Bin there, done that.

Let's look at an example:
Here is a single rosebud.

 Draw this little rosebud. As you make the rosebud, it becomes very important. Your total focus is on it. You immediately begin to evaluate its success. Is it right? Round enough?Are there enough rings in it?

But Wait.  What happens when it is in a cluster?
The Rosebud is not alone, it is part of a cluster.  It begins to lose its individuality.

Now inside a picture? 

Note the Rosebuds in the little tree on the right.  Any inperfection in a single bud is lost when you view them as a whole.
This is one of my Christmas Cards - (5 x7) $10 handdrawn, one of a kind.  Fun to do after working with my Constructive Organic Series.

Note the Rosebuds in the center tree and the one on the right.  The perfection of each bud is no longer an issue.  As a group they look good.
This is one of my Christmas Cards - (5 x7) $10 handdrawn, one of a kind.  Fun to do after working with my Constructive Organic Series.

Suddenly it settles into "the whole" (your picture) and no longer has that importance.  Now is the time to evaluate.

Sounds simple. But do we do it?

In the heat of the battle, it gets forgotten.  Whether you are drawing or painting it is important to relate the mark to the whole pattern you are making rather than focusing just on the mark. 

How?  You ask?

Simple.  Step away from the easel, if standing or set your work upright and move back if you are working flat.  Still  unsure how things look. Leave the room. Work on something else. Make the decision with a cool head, not one deep in battle. 

Do you see the patterns in your work? Is your work about patterns in colour, shapes, lines or some else? 

Special Note:   My Series Constructive Organics  Premiering at The ACT Art Gallery- 11944 Haney Place, Maple Ridge  Sat. Nov 5 - Wed. Dec 21.    7 of my pieces will be featured.  You can see some of my pieces here and read about working in series starting here.  

Time to gear up for Christmas.  Two things coming up that may help your shopping list:

1.  All day Marketing Workshop - Let's Get Your Art Out There - Sunday, Feb 26 or March 5, 2017.
This is an opportunity to work with a small group focusing on ways that work for you, to market your art.  Whether you are looking at full time or part Art Sales, there are effective, proven strategies that will get your work out the door. $70 Limited to 8 per session.  Art by Wendy Studio/Gallery, N. Surrey, BC.  REGISTER NOW  with Wendy.   Out of Towners give me a call and we can set something up.

Great gift for yourself or an artist you know.  Gift Certificates are available.   
  
2.  Paints n'Bloom Fall Show & Sale -  Friday, Nov. 25 to Sunday, Nov. 27, 2016, 10-4pm.
Gardenworks at Mandeville, 4746 Marine Dr., Burnaby.  Featuring Award Winning Artists Audrey Bakewell and myself, Wendy Mould, AFCA.  Proud supporter of Alzheimer Society of BC

Awesome opportunity to pick up special works of arts and art gift-ware for those special people on your list.

Special Show Features: Start your Christmas Fun early with a:
a.   Beginner Watercolour Class - Wednesday, Nov. 23 3:30-5:30pm
b.  Christmas Card Making Class - Thursday, Nov. 24, 2-4pm.
No Experienced requried,  All suppllies included $35 each.
REGISTER NOW with Wendy.   Space is limited.

 Be sure to like and share my posts. You won't miss a single one if you follow by email or Like my Facebook Page. Keep up with all the art events by joining my email list (see sidebar)
Have a great artful day, Wendy

Thursday, November 10, 2016

What does snow look like? Painting and Drawing Tips

NEW WORKS FROM THE STUDIO OF ART BY WENDY

A dumb question? Right?  But really when you are painting snow, what does it look like?

Here on the west coast of British Columbia it is a challenge to paint snow.  Unlike the rest of Canada we don't get much.  We haven't really had a descent snow fall for 3 winters.  Actually our snow is up in the mountains, not here on the streets.  (Personally I think that is a great place for the snow to be.  I am not a big fan of driving in the snow.)
WINTER BERRIES - Watercolour 7 x 10
However, when it comes time to painting a picture for my Christmas Card, my Eastern roots demand that I include snow in the picture.  My reference file is very thin in the snow department.  So I turned to some of my favourite artists to see what they did.  Stephen Quiller is definitely one of my gurus for  watercolour.  He paints his snow all the time.  His approach works well for landscapes, which he is a master at.  But for my situation it did not answer all my questions.  Robert Bateman, is my other go to artist.  His wildlife work is real and his compositions are sooooo eye catching.  His snowy clumps fill his picture but don't steal the show. 

I needed those kind of snow clumps. 

My picture is winter berries with my little chickadee.  Yes, a new member for my Chickadees in the Garden series.  It seems a fitting subject  to round out my year.

To get soft and fluffy snow, with volume, is a tricky thing I discovered.   You need to consider:
A.    colour:  reflected light plays a big part here.  Colour is reflected from everywhere in the picture and that white snow picks it all up.  The colours are soft but still need the light to dark progression to give the mounds of snow volume. In my case the red from the berries and soft yellow browns from my branches and chickadee are my soft colours and my sky blues are my darker shadow colour.
B.    Soft and hard edges: this is a biggy.  Soft edges tell the eye it is soft and fluffy but hard edges talk about melting snow in the sunshine. Don't let them get away on you, the hard edges shouldn't be far from the focal point.
C.   Shadows: you need at least 3 values to create good shape.  Those shadow colours have to have depth and that means your value range has to hit all the numbers.
D.   Negative space: With snow in watercolour you need your white.  So painting the negative space is very important in watercolour. No going back later with a dab of paint to recapture your white.  Looking at the the sharp contrast between the edge of the branches tells the eye that those white clumps are snow.
E.    Gumption:  What do I mean by that?  Well, after making your plan, doing your research,  get your paint ready and go for it.  That moment when you take charge, paint and get into the flow is when learning really happens. Put your paint down and 'see' what happens.  Be alert to the patterns you create.  Feel your way.  Layer by layer build up the clumps and let it snow.

Hard to believe something as simple as snow can be so much work!!

Winter Berries will be my featured picture for Christmas this year but I don't think I am finished with snow yet.  I think maybe my Stellar Jay, sitting at the feeder may end up on a snowy clump soon as well.  All of this snow has really inspired me. 

Have you started your Christmas card picture yet?  What will you feature on it?

Special Note:   My Series Constructive Organics  Premiering at The ACT Art Gallery- 11944 Haney Place, Maple Ridge  Sat. Nov 5 - Wed. Dec 21.    7 of my pieces will be featured.  You can see some of my pieces here and read about working in series starting here.  

Time to gear up for Christmas.  Two things coming up that may help your shopping list:

1.  All day Marketing Workshop - Let's Get Your Art Out There - Sunday, Feb 26 or March 5, 2017.
This is an opportunity to work with a small group focusing on ways that work for you, to market your art.  Whether you are looking at full time or part Art Sales, there are effective, proven strategies that will get your work out the door. $70 Limited to 8 per session.  Art by Wendy Studio/Gallery, N. Surrey, BC.  REGISTER NOW  with Wendy.   Out of Towners give me a call and we can set something up.

Great gift for yourself or an artist you know.  Gift Certificates are available.   
  
2.  Paints n'Bloom Fall Show & Sale -  Friday, Nov. 25 to Sunday, Nov. 27, 2016, 10-4pm.
Gardenworks at Mandeville, 4746 Marine Dr., Burnaby.  Featuring Award Winning Artists Audrey Bakewell and myself, Wendy Mould, AFCA.  Proud supporter of Alzheimer Society of BC

Awesome opportunity to pick up special works of arts and art gift-ware for those special people on your list.

Special Show Features: Start your Christmas Fun early with a:
a.   Beginner Watercolour Class - Wednesday, Nov. 23 3:30-5:30pm
b.  Christmas Card Making Class - Thursday, Nov. 24, 2-4pm.
No Experienced requried,  All suppllies included $35 each.
REGISTER NOW with Wendy.   Space is limited.

Be sure to like and share my posts. You won't miss a single one if you follow by email or Like my Facebook Page. Keep up with all the art events by joining my email list (see sidebar) Have a great artful day, Wendy

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Do you Know Your Subject? Part 4 - Painting and Drawing Tips

NEW WORKS FROM THE STUDIO OF ART BY WENDY

"Getting to know your subject, so you know its variances, so everything doesn't look the same." Robert McMurray.

Working in a series or a theme has been my focus for my last three posts and I must admit it started as a one-off post but grew and grew.  Kind of took off as a series of its own.  (You can read about the earlier posts starting here.). 

As I continued my research I talked to artists and read about some of the different types of series that  have been tried. I got some of their thoughts on this approach to their work.

New Adventures - 5 x 7 - My inspiration for my Constructive Organics Series
Robert McMurray, started painting in 1972, and like many of us was working his 'other job' for many years and painting on the side.  He successfully made the transition from one career to professional artist.  He talked about his 'trip' series.  He and a select group of artists would head out to location and paint for days.

One such trip was in 2000 when they chartered a boat and traveled around Haida Gwiaii.  He took hundreds of reference pictures from the trip and great memories.  When the group returned from the trip they did a series of shows in Alberta and British Columbia featuring their art from the trip.  He remembers setting up a display in a mall in Calgary.  As soon as they opened the show people ran up to the paintings and grabbed them.  It was an amazing thing to see.  ( I am sure we would all love to have that experience with selling our work.). He attributes their success to the high interest at that time in the west coast of British Columbia and the Haida Gwiaii.  And of course the quality of their work!

Bob says that he never feels trapped with a series as he finds as one series starts to fizzle out another one starts up.  His present series is painting the islets and islands of the West Coast.  See more of his work at artists.ca/rmcmurray

Bob is not the only one that has travelled the coast.  Stewart Marshall, who worked in watercolour, travelled for 4 or 5 months along the coast in his kayak.  Painting all the time and returning in the fall to launch a show of his work.  He even produced a video that showed how he lived and painted from his kayak as he travelled along the coast.  It has been over 30 years since he launched a show but I am sure anyone who has seen his work will remember it.  See a few of his pictures with the book Painter, Paddler: The Art and Adventures of Stewart Marshall. 

Jane Appleby, interviewed in the last post about her project, concluded with this comment,  "All in all working at a series of paintings, over a period of time especially on social media, makes you somewhat accountable for finishing it and the feedback is always helpful and encouraging. Painting doesn’t have to be a lonely act."

In my research I found an artist that 'painted the sky every day for a year'.  Another artist friend of mine did a series of night painting which he compiled into a book.  One of my favourite pen and ink artists, Gary Simmons, did 24 versions of the same Monk image which he included in his book.  It is a valuable resource for anyone that works in pen and ink.  I found so many different types of series it was truly amazing to see what interests artists and the many different directions that they want to go.  

Creating a body of work around a theme or series, does not mean that is all you paint. It also does not happen over night.  Most artists have more than one project on the go. It takes time to gather material to create that body of work so there is always opportunity to do other things. You may also find that your series or themes overlap.  As a wildlife artist, I find my birds and animals showing up in a variety of ways in my work.  For example, some of my chickadees, from my Chickadees in the Garden series flew over to my Constructive Organic work and ended up on a mechanical branch with plastic berries.  They do like to investigate shiny, bright things!

The most important thing about working in a series is you decide on the theme.  It is about what you are interested in.  It is your passion that is the driving force, you set the goal.  Look at your work now, you may already be on your road to a series.  It just needs to be refined and focused.

What series have you tried?  Where did it take you? 

To read my first post on working with a series see:  Do You Know your Subject- Part 1, Oct 13.   

Special Note:   My Series Constructive Organics  Premiering at The ACT Art Gallery- 11944 Haney Place, Maple Ridge  Sat. Nov 5 - Wed. Dec 21 - Reception:bSat. Nov. 5 2-4pm.  7 of my pieces will be featured.  

Time to gear up for Christmas.  Two things coming up that may help your shopping list:

1.  All day Marketing Workshop - Let's Get Your Art Out There - Sunday, Feb 26 or March 5, 2017.
This is an opportunity to work with a small group focusing on ways that work for you, to market your art.  Whether you are looking at full time or part Art Sales, there are effective, proven strategies that will get your work out the door. $70 Limited to 8 per session.  Art by Wendy Studio/Gallery, N. Surrey, BC.  REGISTER NOW  with Wendy 

Great gift for yourself or an artist you know.  Gift Certificates are available.   
  
2.  Paints n'Bloom Fall Show & Sale -  Friday, Nov. 25 to Sunday, Nov. 27, 2016, 10-4pm.
Gardenworks at Mandeville, 4746 Marine Dr., Burnaby.  Featuring Award Winning Artists Audrey Bakewell and myself, Wendy Mould, AFCA.  Proud supporter of Alzheimer Society of BC

Awesome opportunity to pick up special works of arts and art gift-ware for those special people on your list.

Special Show Features: Start your Christmas Fun early with a:
a.   Beginner Watercolour Class - Wednesday, Nov. 23 3:30-5:30pm
b.  Christmas Card Making Class - Thursday, Nov. 24, 2-4pm.
No Experienced requried,  All suppllies included $35 each.
REGISTER NOW with Wendy.   Space is limited.

 Be sure to like and share my posts. You won't miss a single one if you follow by email or Like my Facebook Page. Keep up with all the art events by joining my email list (see sidebar)
Have a great artful day, Wendy

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Do You Know your Subject? Part 3 - Painting and Drawing Tips

NEW WORKS FROM THE STUDIO OF ART BY WENDY

Have you a Body of Work?  

Is it focused on a subject, issue, theme?  

Have you considered working in a series or theme?  "Do you know you Subject" is a series of posts that examines this issue.  The first post, Oct 13 , looks at it from the artistic point of view; benefits to the Artistic Soul.  The second post on working in a series or theme, (Oct 20) looks at the benefits from a Marketing point of view.

Today I would like to introduce you to Jane Appleby.  Jane has spent the last year working on a series of Plein Air videos, publishing one each week on Social Media.  Yes, we do have mild winters here on the West Coast of Canada but still I am sure there were a few challenges for her to paint outdoors all winter.

I have asked Jane to comment on her experience in terms of both a contributing factor to her artistic growth and affect on her marketing.
Jane Appleby painting in Stanley Park

Hi Wendy, Thank you for this opportunity to share working in a series for growth and for marketing.

I certainly believe there is a benefit to working in series and one of the main aspects of doing this is understanding your own process of painting (even though it may be influenced by others). To actually do something for a dedicated time means it is important to you and you will discover during that time what that actually is. For me I knew I liked the outdoors and painting but I did not realize that I had to learn a few more disciplines in my work such as notans and reading values or shapes better. While working through my 37 minute and 37 stroke paintings (doing fast and purposeful paintings) I gained expertise in my intuition and brushwork while also working on specific elements or aspects. It also helped to be inspired by the landscape I so loved and that’s why I chose places already close to my heart.

The marketing aspect was not the main reason I took a year to do a series. I wanted to really embrace outdoor painting and see what I actually did while I painted, and with the videos I could watch and learn from them. I was able to document and follow my progress as well as share it with those that may be interested in it also.

As it turns out after a year of filming and sharing I have over 130 subscribers which I feel is a nice following. My goal of posting weekly and having 100 subscribers was met and I have to thank my videographer Peter for keeping me on track with all that. He does all the editing and posting (VancouverVideoProductions). If I did not set this goal I may not have posted on Facebook and or my newsletters as much and only enjoyed the videos as a keepsakes of my journey or practice in painting. In completing the year of painting for video, I have a nice series of Plein Air landscape paintings (11x14 to 16 x 20), some which I am making into greeting cards and a good body of work that has helped me get to where I am today.
Jane Appleby: Lighthouse Park - Oil on Board
At the same time, I am very pleased that my own journey can also be helping others. I recall before the halfway point I was ready to just stop, finding it too difficult to get out there and be focused for another video.  A painter friend said she looked forward to my weekly videos and that I couldn't stop (I recalled her words on the many occasions I felt like cancelling the day's work). As for sales - that happens but its a small part the work. I hope to have a show with these pieces but haven’t decided where yet. What really keeps me going is to become a better painter which is always a challenge (like a series) and sometimes means changing directions, such as doing abstract work from my plein airs.

Jane will be speaking at the Surrey Art Gallery on Jan. 5, 2017 on doing abstract work from Plein Air. 
You can see Jane's work at www.applebyart.com. And www.janeappleby.com.

A few of Jane's favourite videos:
A. Port Moody-Walk in the Park  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=469TzCq3tGk   (fast motion)
B.  Lighthouse Park - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QpNn97XPwVU   (painting explained)
C.  Third beach - 37 stroke which was dedicated to my dad on the 10th anniversary of his death and meant a lot for me to be doing what he had instilled in me (being outdoors, arts and putting our best efforts out).  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vdPhG_ldMW8   (37 stroke painting)

Still having a few reservations about trying a series, focusing on a project?  

On my next post I  have a few parting thoughts and other examples of what a series or project can look like  I hope you will join me.

To read my first post on working with a series see:  Do You Know your Subject- Part 1, Oct 13.   


My Series Constructive Organics  Premiering at The ACT Art Gallery- 11944 Haney Place, Maple Ridge  Sat. Nov 5 - Wed. Dec 21 - Reception: Sat. Nov. 5 2-4pm
7 of my pieces will be featured.  


Time to gear up for Christmas.  Two things coming up that may help your shopping list:

1.  All day Marketing Workshop - Let's Get Your Art Out There - Sunday, Feb 26 or March 5, 2017.
This is an opportunity to work with a small group focusing on ways that work for you, to market your art.  Whether you are looking at full time or part Art Sales, there are effective, proven strategies that will get your work out the door. $70 Limited to 8 per session.  Art by Wendy Studio/Gallery, N. Surrey, BC.  REGISTER NOW  with Wendy 

Great gift for yourself or an artist you know.  Gift Certificates are available.

For more Marketing thoughts see my Points to Ponder Page on this Blog.  
  
2.  Paints n'Bloom Fall Show & Sale -  Friday, Nov. 25 to Sunday, Nov. 27, 2016, 10-4pm.
Gardenworks at Mandeville, 4746 Marine Dr., Burnaby.  Featuring Award Winning Artists Audrey Bakewell and myself, Wendy Mould, AFCA.  Proud supporter of Alzheimer Society of BC

Awesome opportunity to pick up special works of arts and art gift-ware for those special people on your list.
Special Show Features: Start your Christmas Fun early with a:
a.   Beginner Watercolour Class - Wednesday, Nov. 23 3:30-5:30pm
b.  Christmas Card Making Class - Thursday, Nov. 24, 2-4pm.
No Experienced requried,  All suppllies included $35 each.
REGISTER NOW with Wendy.   Space is limited.

 Be sure to like and share my posts.
You won't miss a single one if you follow by email or Like my Facebook Page.
 Keep up with all the art events by joining my email list (see sidebar)
Have a great artful day, Wendy

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Do You Know your Subject? Part 2 - Painting & Drawing Tips

NEW WORKS FROM THE STUDIO OF ART BY WENDY

Does your work have a Theme?

Are you working on a series? Do you have a major Project planned?

No. . . You like to be free. Exercise your artist freedom. Follow your heart. Be true to yourself.  You get bored easily and you don't like to be repetitive. . . .. 

All very valued emotions. 

But, . . .  you knew I had a but . . .

CAUGHT IN THE SUNLIGHT - 5 x 7, Ink & Watercolour
Part of my Constructive Organic Series

Working on a theme, a series or a project focused on a particular direction, that you choose, can lead you into new territory.   It allows you to explore and examine ideas, concepts, issues that you are interested in, in a much deeper and more meaningful way. 

More importantly working in series has a lot of benefits for Marketing your art.  Don't get me wrong, I am not just focusing on the monetary value and forgetting the artistic values.  My last post,  "Do you know your Subject?" Oct.13, 2016, explored the ideas of series as enrichment for the artist's soul.  Now I would like to examine its role in marketing your art. 

Marketing your art requires a Body of Work.  What does your Body of Work look like? Is it grouped into smaller cohesive units of work or is made up of up "onesies".  One of this and one of that.  Heading in all different directions with no unifying points. 

The human mind is one that constantly needs to organize things, make sense of its surroundings no matter where it is.  If things are unclear, the brain instinctively feels compelled to eliminate the confusion.  This holds true with Art.  Observers want to feel connected and understand the art, a cohesive body of work is far more compelling and effective than a hodgepodge.  

So what does this look like in real life?

You have put together a group of 10 or 12 pictures for show in a small gallery, coffee shop or pop up show.  Your pieces are each isolates, unrelated to each other.  To look at the show requires your audience to stop at each piece and reorient themselves as to what your are doing, where you are going, what your art is about.

If those pieces are a cohesive unit, you appear more professional.  You have moxie. You are the authority on the ideas embodied within the art.  You have something to say. This is an amazing place to be.  You have more confidence to speak about your work, your passion shows through, and your connection with your audience is more profound. This is a very strong position to be in when marketing your art.

Also, a cohesive group of work means the branding of your show is focused, your show has a message.   Suddenly you are able to provide answers to burning questions, cause your viewers to explore new ideas, make your audience see other sides to an issue.  There are reasons to come and look at your art.

"Caught in the Sunlight" part of my Constructive Organics Series is about the changing environment and how birds and animals are caught up in it.  Their organic world is shrinking.  Artificial, mechanical and plastic is now a big part of their world.  They must adapt to survive.  My work is intended to make you stop, think, empathize. View the changes in our environment in a different way. Explore new ideas.  This is a show that is easy to market, I have no trouble speaking out about, it gives me confidence. That is the place where you want to be when your work is on display and you are asked to speak about it.

Still having a few reservations about trying a series, focusing on a project?  

For my next post I have planned an interview with an artist who has just finished a year long project she was passionate about.  She will share with us how she feels about the project both as an influence on her artistic development and her marketing success.  I hope you will join me.

To read my first post on working with a series:  Do You Know your Subject- Part 1, Oct 13.   

Time to gear up for Christmas.  Two things coming up that may help your shopping list:

1.  All day Marketing Workshop - Let's Get Your Art Out There - Sunday, Feb 26 or March 5, 2017.
This is an opportunity to work with a small group focusing on ways that work for you, to market your art.  Whether you are looking at full time or part Art Sales, there are effective, proven strategies that will get your work out the door. $70 Limited to 8 per session.  Art by Wendy Studio/Gallery, N. Surrey, BC.  REGISTER NOW  with Wendy 

Great gift for yourself or an artist you know.  Gift Certificates are available.

For more Marketing thoughts see my Points to Ponder Page on this Blog.  
  
2.  Paints n'Bloom Fall Show & Sale -  Friday, Nov. 25 to Sunday, Nov. 27, 2016, 10-4pm.
Gardenworks at Mandeville, 4746 Marine Dr., Burnaby.  Featuring Award Winning Artists Audrey Bakewell and myself, Wendy Mould, AFCA.  Proud supporter of Alzheimer Society of BC

Awesome opportunity to pick up special works of arts and art gift-ware for those special people on your list.
Special Show Features: Start your Christmas Fun early with a:
a.   Beginner Watercolour Class - Wednesday, Nov. 23 3:30-5:30pm
b.  Christmas Card Making Class - Thursday, Nov. 24, 2-4pm.
No Experienced requried,  All suppllies included $35 each.
REGISTER NOW with Wendy.   Space is limited.

 Be sure to like and share my posts.
You won't miss a single one if you follow by email or Like my Facebook Page.
 Keep up with all the art events by joining my email list (see sidebar)
Have a great artful day,
Wendy

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Do you Know your Subject?- Part 1, Painting & Drawing Tips

NEW WORKS FROM THE STUDIO OF ART BY WENDY

 Can you paint that bird so it really pops?

Can you make it sing for joy?

Can you make your viewers feel towards that bird the way you do?  Enchanted. Excited. Enjoying that special moment of encounter. 

Can you make them feel like coming back for more?

Okay, make not all of that but certainly that is your goal.  You love what you paint and you want others to feel your fascination and delight. 
  
Robert Bateman does this in the Wildlife World.  But what about ordinary people like you and me.
PERCHED ON THE LINE -Ink & Watercolour
  A mix of Chickadees in the Gardens and Constructive Organics.

I have learned that my thinking is flawed.  I have learned that I can inspire.  That even I can have fans.

How to captivate an audience. 

Capturing  an audience is something you can do.  It can be earned through knowledge and technique.  I am a wildlife artist and painting and drawing birds and animals is my passion.  To inspire and enchant my audience I work on knowledge and technique to present my subject. 

So what does this look like in practise. 

This spring I was excited to see the chickadees return to our garden after the cold grey days of winter.  It was so much more interesting to look out and see them chitter and fly about.  It really made my garden come alive.  I decided to work on a series of works, I called it, Chickadees in the Garden.

Suddenly I was challenged, I needed to find different things in the garden that would interest my little birds.  I was out photographing the early spring blossoms: apples and cherries; the fruits and vegetables as they started to ripe: cherry tomatoes hanging on the vine, plums and grapes basking in the sun; now as we head into fall I am watching for other things my chickadees will love before they disappear with winter.  Working in this series inspired me; It gave me the impetus to learn more about my birds, their habitat and life cycle.

At the same time I needed to work on my drawing skills.  How could I change their pose.  I wanted my chickadees to have a sense of action.  To interact with their environment, not just sit pretty on a branch.  Again I was busy with my camera, snapping pictures of those little guys in the sun, in the shade, on a branch, in flight, looking here and looking there.  BTW, that flight thing is very difficult, they really do flit about.  I am still trying to get good 'in flight' reference pictures.

Of course the learning didn't stop there.  Once I had gathered my ideas I wanted to execute them in watercolour.  The chickadees are a cute little bird, easily recognized by their black heads and white throat.  However, that sharp contrast of white and black means they really can command the attention in the picture.  Finding ways to 'sit them' in their setting without having them sabotage the picture was a bit of a learning curve. 

There was more.  At the same time I was working on my Constructive Organic Series.  This series looks at the world as birds and animals see it: a mix of mechanical and organic shapes.  My series suddenly merged; my chickadees flew into this constructive environment.  Up to now I had focused on larger birds and animals and hadn't really visualized the small birds there.  But on reflection I realized they were also seeing a world that was both artificial and natural.  It all made sense. 

Captivating your audience, happens when you capture their thoughts.  Give them many examples.  Give them new meaning.  Working in a series means work that will give them all of that.  It reaps hugh benefits for you as well.  Your knowledge and skill with your subject increases tremendously.  Your passion intensifies.  You become energized.  

What kind of series have you tried?  Did you keep it going for long?  What problems did you have with it.  I would be very interested to hear your experiences with series. 

You can see a few of my "Constructive Organics" pieces in the following posts:
a. My first picture that lead to this series, Oct 29, 2015
b. Bringing Christmas and a Stellar Jay together, Nov. 26, 2015
c. Celebrating the Sandhill Crane, June 9, 2016
d. Trying different palettes, Oct. 6, 2016.

You can see a few of my "Chickadees in the Gardens" pieces in the following posts: 
a.  My starting point, Sunflowers and Chickadees, Mar 10, 2016
b. Combining my chickadee with grapes in the sunshine, Mar 31, 2016
c. The chickadees were eating my seedlings in the garden and this sent me on a vegetables bender, here he is with tomatoes, Apr. 14, 2016
d.  The gorgeous cherry blossoms that welcome spring had to become part of this series, May 26, 2016

Working in Series has so much value for artists, not only in their growth and development but in a marketing perspective.  More on that in the next post. 

 Be sure to like and share my posts. You won't miss a single one if you follow by email or Like my Facebook Page. Keep up with all the art events by joining my email list (see sidebar)
 Have a great artful day, Wendy

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Fighting the Horrifyingly Crazy Battle of Colour Mixing - Painting & Drawing Tips

NEW WORKS FROM THE STUDIO OF ART BY WENDY

Is colour mixing a challenge?  Do you feel sometimes you are loosing the battle?  You start your project, everything is wonderful and then suddenly . . . .

Things are not working out.  Your colours are not doing what you want. Or you need to add a colour but nothing looks right. 

SITTING PRETTY - 5 x 7 Watercolour and Ink  - $130 Matted
I feel your pain. My background is black and white.  I love to work with black ink and graphite pencils.  The sculpturing of values in grey scales.    That really excites me.  The textures of graphite on paper, the sharp edge of an inked line.  They suck me in and devour me. 

But I want to work with colour too.


So my studio is often a battle ground; my black and white world fighting it out with colour.  Sometimes it can get pretty ugly.  My inks are permanent.  They don't give up easy. 
In the midst of battle a few secrets have merged. 
(Before I continue, I must point out that I work in watercolour.  Most colour mixing information is based on oils and acrylics.  Sometimes things apply but sometimes they don't.  Watercolour has its own magic that oil and acrylics just can't duplicate.  That's why I like it. )

So back to the colour mixing battle.

You have a better chance of winning if you have a bit of ammunition.  My first step is to limit my palette.  Yes I still keep warm and cold yellow, red and blues. There really is no set ones, most artists have their own combination.  This is based on their subject material and their own research.  These are colours they have worked with for a long time and know what they can do.  Putting together a palette and then painting with it for awhile is one of the best pieces of ammunition you will have.

I do have a regular palette too that I like for painting my wildlife on our west coast.  But I wanted something different for my picture "Sitting Pretty".  The grey I usually use is Ultramarine Blue and Burnt Sienna but it seems a little cold to me and I wanted something warmer.  And I wanted to try a few things I have been reading about. 

The palette for this picture was: Phaylo Blue (Green Shade), Burnt Sienna, Cad. Red, Cad Orange, Cad Yellow, Green Gold (Daniel Smith).  I hardly ever work with the Cadmium colours and I find Phaylo Blue gets way too dark for me.  So this was really a new palette for me.

My first job was to make sure I had complement colours so I did some mixing to find the greys. 
The winning grey was . . . Phaylo Blue with Burnt Sienna.  Yes, it had a bit of a green tone but some areas I could make more bluey (not sure if that is a word).  It just spoke to me. 

I was happy, the Stars were aligned, things were good.  I merrily sculptured Alvin, my cat.  However, once he was done, he did have a bit too much of that greenish thing.   Suddenly I was in trouble.  This is one of the battle points, right.  Suddenly colour doesn't work. 

Don't panic. Don't give up.  Take a deep breath, and evaluate. ( I really think this is the most important step.  Frustration and disappointment takes over and a clear head does not prevail.)
Spot on the right has no red glazing on it and the one of the left I glazed only half of it so you could see the difference it made.  More coats would of course changed it even more.  

First, what do you like?  I liked my cat, he had lovely shape and volume.  He had mass and really seemed fluffy.  Second, what do you not like?  (The order of these questions is very important.  Too often that critical side of your brain dominates your thoughts and you forget about the good things.) What I didn't like was the strong green tone of my grey.  So grey it down.  Get the complement.  (I know you read this all the time but do you remember in the heat of battle.) I took a very thin wash of the Cad Red and washed over all of my cat and extended into the white. I let it dry.  Oooooh . . . . .
I kind of liked that.  How about another layer.  Again, very thin, almost just dirty water.  Very wet so the colour wouldn't lift and run.  I let it dry.  That's it.

You know where I was now.  In Fiddleland.  Ready to fiddle a bit with Alvin.  The answer: Slap your hand and drop your brush.  Get out of Fiddleland.

When I was safely away from my cat, I picked up my brush and painted the rest of "Sitting Pretty".  I loved some of the colours I mixed with this palette and they really went well with 'my new grey'.  Filling in my patterning shapes really gave me a chance to 'test out' lots of combinations.  And once I was done I realized that my Alvin looked great just as he was.  "Sitting Pretty" was done. 

Each battle will churn up the paints and you will learn more about colour.  Don't hesitate to 'dig in' and go for it.  I find having a few books on hand helps me keep a cool head and provide ammunition.  Two that I find helpful are:
Stephen Quiller's book "Color Choices, Making Color Sense out of Color Theory"
Jeanne Dobie, "Making Color Sing, Practical Lessons in Color and Design"


How are your battles going?  What kind of palette do you favour?  Do you have any books/pointers to help you out?  I would love to hear about them.  I know you are thinking 'just take a colour course'. And I highly recommend that but even then, when you are hard at work in your studio, little skirmishes can erupt. You won't remember everything from the course and you need something now. 

Fall is coming fast but there is still time to paint and draw outside.  Check out my series of  Drawing Tips for Summer Fun.  It is a four part series starting here.  Great ideas for quick sketches in your journal or plein air pieces.  Best of all when the cold wind blows you can take these ideas inside and keep on going.

Looking for a starting point in your drawing?  I will be happy to get you up and running.  Call  now and set up a few lessons to get you on the road with your art.
For Commission Works see here
For Private Drawing Lessons see here
For Marketing Mentoring see here
For Marketing or Art Presentations Contact Wendy 

 Be sure to like and share my posts. You won't miss a single one if you follow by email or Like my Facebook Page. Keep up with all the art events by joining my email list (see sidebar) Have a great artful day, Wendy