Friday, February 24, 2012

A Reminder That I Promised Tips as Well as Art

Michael left a very kind comment on my blog thanking me for the art and the tips. It reminded me that although I promised art and tips, the tips have been few and far between. That said I decided to start making a concerted effort to share at least one new idea I've learned or one new product I've found useful each week or two.

Dollar Store laundry dryer
So to get started this week's tip is the best way I've found to dry my brushes after cleaning them. This is inexpensive (downright cheap) and dries the brushes in the best possible position to keep them from getting too much water in ferules. I clean my brushes and then use a plastic drying rack designed to dry panty hose and such. These are easily found in most dollar stores, dime stores, etc. Mine cost a dollar. It can hold up to 16 brushes hanging vertically with the brush part down and the handle clamped into the clothes pins at the top.

Something else I've decided to do, which I must admit, I've stolen from other daily painters, is to start numbering each of my paintings so I can keep better track of them, so from now on, each painting will have a number and a name. I find I've painted the same subject several times when it's one I particularly enjoy or feel challenged by. For example I've probably painted Mount Sopris a dozen times or more and will probably continue to. This way I will find it easier to identify which one is which. Today I uploaded my 144th painting to Daily Paintworks, so tomorrow's painting will be #145??? (I have no idea what it will be yet, we shall see).

141 "Plum Assignment" 10x8 oil on canvas
142 "Bird in the Bush" 8x10 oil on canvas
This past week I took a 3 day workshop with Qiang Huang (Chong Wong). If you'd like to see his beautiful work, I've added a link to his blog at the bottom right of this page. The workshop was on still life which has not been my favorite subject in the past. I'm now rethinking that. I learned a lot and really enjoyed the challenge of working with still life. During the course of the workshop we got to watch Qiang paint two gorgeous paintings. He offered Powerpoint presentations on his methods and also on the basics of painting (composition, value, color, etc). Each day we set up a still life and painted it while he came around to give us constructive critiques and assistance in how to correct our errors. On the last day he gave us an overview of how to market our art. A blog, Daily Paintworks or E-Bay, and an e-mail list were all important pieces of marketing for the beginning artist. I was glad to know I had already stumbled onto some of the recommended marketing avenues, and Qiang taught me some new tricks to do with them. The three paintings I did in the workshop are below. I think all 3 are a significant improvement on my previous still life attempts.
140 "Tea for One" 8x10 oil on canvas

In addition to these three workshop paintings, I also managed to knock out the following since my last post:

"Hill Country Drought" 6x6 oil on board
138 "Road to Nowhere" 6x6 oil on board
143 "Track to the Top" 8x8 oil on board

135 "SWEET" 6x6 oil on board

137 "Resting Longhorn" 6x6 oil on board
139 "Marathon" 6x6 oil on board

"Alley Parking" 10 x8 pastel on Wallis paper on board
 My other big news is that one of my paintings "Alley Parking" has been accepted to the Austin Pastel Society's 2012 Juried Show. I am so excited to have the opportunity to show with such a talented bunch of artists. The painting that juror, Dawn Emerson, selected is "Alley Parking". It is a 10" x 8" pastel of a scene I caught sight of in Salida Colorado when we were on our way back from our Christmas holiday with my husband's family. This slushy alley was bright with lined up kayaks and canoes against the wall and the "No Parking" sign. It was such an unusual sight that I had to run back with my camera to save it for painting fodder.  I've done a similar one in oil also.

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