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Sunday, August 16, 2009

Portrait Workshop

Every Sunday for the past 3 weekends I have been attending a workshop as I have told you with artist, Melanie Peter, This has put me way behind on my painting. I have done little on my daughter's Italy pic and barely started my pic of the church across from Ground Zero in NYC. But I thought I would share with you my learning experiences. The class has been a challenge and I always begin the class slightly frustrated. Not in a bad way though, it is just that the drawing lesson's are a challenge and I am constantly learning. Melanie is a great teacher and each week I am learning something new. The main thing this whole experience has taught me is that I have to practice drawing every chance I get. I remember reading in Linda Blondheim's blog how she talked about that very same issue. Here are some samples of my class assignments. They look a little strange, because of the different use of charcoal, and oil paint, and exactly what we are drawing. My shadow drawing of the woman model, I felt I made her look like Geronimo, the American Indian, but Melanie, my teacher seems to think I did a good job.

The first pics were of plaster casts of lips, nose and an ear, I did not have time for the eye. Then of course my "Geronimo" and this week was a lesson in the planes of the face and scull. This was hard to get all the right values of the many planes. The eyes look strange because the cast had one eye more developed than the other. I call him "GI Joe". We will see how I do next week. I look forward to it!

Tubing on the Santa Fe River

Finally, some cool pics of my family tubing down the Santa Fe River. I have been so busy with work and my portrait workshop on Sunday's that I haven't posted for awhile, so sorry. We started our trip down the river at beautiful Ginny Springs. The camera was a cheap water camera so the quality is poor on the photos. I thought I would get some good pics to paint but they are just not nice enough. I need to go there with my good Canon to get some painting shots. I will share these with you anyway. The first two here might be possible painting subjects, I would have to work with them. There are so many colors in the water, it was gorgeous, cool but not freezing, except by the spring itself. As you can see the water is a beautiful turquoise by the actual hole of the spring. Lots of people dive into the hole into the underground caves, but it is very scary. It is actually considered the most dangerous sport in the world. Not only is it very dark below the surface but the force of water that pushes you out of the hole is exhausting. The sights must be amazing though. You can check out more on the springs site, . I did see some cool turtles sunning themselves on the shore that would have made great subjects but the camera did not capture them well. Then the boys saw a gator slip into the river close to where Heather and I were floating, that was scary. The worse part was that two teenage girls saw it too and started splashing and screaming, which would only bring attention to themselves with the gator. I wanted to drown them myself. To the best of my knowledge there has never been a gator attack with the floaters. Hopefully they are more frightened of us than we are of them. Yeah, right!

My son-in-law, Scott and daughter, Heather, had a great time and found it very relaxing. The river naturally takes you lazily down. Lots of people take advantage of the river in the summer, it was quite crowded when we rented our tubes. Other people get quite ingenious with their floats and there were all kinds of shapes and sizes. Some even put their coolers on floats with their refreshments, beer! Some huge floats were multi contraptions for several people with drink slots for each. We will definitely look for floats that can enhance the experience in the future and our whole family plans on doing this again.

My husband Jay and son Dillon went with us so that was great. Then my son, Stephen came home for a quick overnight visit from University of Central Florida to join us so that was a surprise. The whole family was together for a spectacular day!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Art in Public Places

This year I have only done one Art Festival. They are great fun and exciting but a lot of work and demand an immense amount of preparation. Instead I consider this my year to educate my self artistically and to improve my craft. I have been participating in an Art Inspire Marketing Think Tank with Linda Blondeheim, for marketing, reading several library books about the Masters, such as Renoir and Degas, and today I started an art workshop for Portraits with Melanie Peter in Gainesville The workshop is Building a Better Portrait and runs until Sept. 19, my daughter, Heather's birthday. I really enjoyed my first lesson which was getting back to basic drawing, which I need to discipline myself to do more often. Each lesson will build our skills along with teaching anatomy, which after "Girl in a Pink Dress" I realize I need desperately. I struggled so much with that pic that it inspired me to study human figures more intensely.

I did hang "Girl in a Pink Dress" at the exhibition by my club, Gainesville Fine Arts Association at the beautiful Thomas Center in the Duckpond Historic District in Gainesville for a few weeks. I went to visit it last week and took this pic I think it fits in that house. The house if fabulous. This is an description of the house from Gainseville Cultural Affairs website

"The Thomas Center considered Gainesville's cultural center, is housed in a beautifully restored Mediterranean Revival-style hotel. The Thomas Center is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and contains art galleries, 1920's period rooms, local history exhibits, performance space, banquet rooms, and meeting rooms. The Thomas Center is surrounded by the lovely Thomas Center Gardens and the Grace and Sidney Knight Children's Theatre. The center is the site of a variety of art exhibits and musical programs. The Thomas Center is located at 302 NE 6th Ave."

I also delivered a commissioned landscape to my friend Ava's friend, Myrtle. I called this one "The Homestead." It has a great story. Meeting Myrtle was a blessing, what a sweet woman. She is over 90 years old and smart as a whip. She saved her money to pay me to paint this commission as a birthday gift to her daughter. She was so cute. It was a pleasure and I enjoyed painting it for her. I especially enjoyed sitting and talking with her when I delivered it. She told me the story behind the house where her husband grew up.

It is located near Bushnell, Florida, built by her husband's father. His mother was pregnant with Myrtle's husband and told her husband to hurry up and finish this house. She said she would not give birth to their baby until the house was finished. On the very day they moved into the house she gave birth to her son inside the house. I thought it was a pretty cool story.

If you have a story to tell or just a family photo, a fun place or memory or just a photo you love, why not order a custom painting or Pet Portrait for a loved one for the holidays. They will be here before you know it. You can have it taken care of and paid for before the Holidays get here. I offer a convenient layaway plan and Visa and Mastercard. All my paints and canvases are quality products and the paintings will last more than your lifetime, to be handed down to the next generation. Preserving your memory or loved one. Email me or call me and we can talk! Remember, also that I will give 10% off to any blog followers. It is free to sign up!

I talk with you soon, next entry I will tell you about my great weekend with my husband, Jay, sons, Dillon and Stephen, my daughter Heather and son-in-law Scott, and our tubing adventure on the Santa Fe River. I also finished my pic "On The Road Home"