Exploration and Hidden Gems
Today: Sunny but windy... and...
Yikes... still just a little too cold for me to paint outdoors.
So what does a fair weather painter like me do as option B when the temperature and the wind are not worth fighting? I'll grab my sketchbook and iphone and go for a walk around town. The Branford Town Green and Main Street are a great place to walk around and explore.
Parking near the Towne Pharmacy, (2 hour free street parking - love that!) and found G's cafe just a few doors away. The little cafe chairs and tables outside along the sidewalk was a welcoming sign and a quick jot in my sketchbook that this will be a great place in the future to grab a cup of coffee and stay for a little while to sketch.
As I entered the building that offered several first floor business there was one that caught eye. Myer's Flower Shop. Here's a quick shot I snapped from the inside window. Of course the light flooding in the big front windows washing over all the colorful pots, flowers and greenery is like candy to an artist. But as I scanned the room I spotted several creative displays that suggested... this is no ordinary florist.
First, the green rain boots with the sunflower bouquet... now that's totally fun! The gigantic sunshine yellow, indigo blue and lime green flowers sunbathing in the window. Oh and the pink and purple pots stacked bottom to bottom is a clever way to add height and color. The white washed armoire with a sky blue cloth draping the inside of the panels to offer a soft feminine touch.
I will definitely make a trip back soon when I'm getting ready to paint a still life or just fill our new home with fresh cut flowers.
I guess you could say I'm a fool for colorful flowers! Happy April 1st!
Soup Prep - Chef Dean
oil on board, 6 x 8" framed in silver and gold tone frame
for purchase info click here
Often times I tell my art students to "trust in the process" and not to judge their painting too soon, especially while they are in the midst of creating it. I’ve said in the past it’s like baking a cake and trying to eat it when it’s half baked - it doesn’t taste good.
It’s easier for us to understand the cooking process when it comes to creating a meal. Planning the menu, buy the ingredients, prep the food, cook or bake, waiting time and then knowing when it’s done. And then.... yes enjoy eating it!
There are many similar steps and stages when it comes to creating a painting with the exception of one. The "Cook Time" or the "Create Time". For instance, you do have to plan and purchase materials. Find a place to create, whether a studio or a kitchen table. You'll also need some instruction, even the basics like mixing and applying paints. And surely what would be helpful, like in a recipe you are given the time it takes to prep and the time it takes to cook or bake. But that's not the case when it comes to creating art.
"Create Time" is the one mystery element. It's the one ingredient that is truly different for every artist. How can I tell my students that an exercise will take exactly one hour. Sometimes I'll try to set time limits and on occasion it will work but for the most part, I've come to the conclusion - a painting will get done on it's own time. We truly don't know how long it’s going to take to create a piece of art. For some it could be thrown together in minutes and called finished for others the "cook time" could take hours, days maybe even years.
But what if we savored and embraced that "time of simmer" - the "process time". What if, with patience and with a listening heart, we lean more into the method than the end result. I mean we aren't planning to eat our painting like we would a meal, so why can't we just take the time to listen to our heart not a grumbling stomach. What if we apply the phrase "Trust the process" to mean both trusting you will be satisfied with the end result AND enjoyment while in the midst of creating it.
So perhaps the next time you are in the middle of painting a painting whisper to yourself “ embrace the simmer” .....and I will do the same.
Happy to say this painting: "Soup Prep- Chef Dean" was accepted into the "Deck the Walls - Holiday Show and Sale" at Lyme Art Association in Lyme, CT - The show will run until January 4th, 2019.
Here's a quick little impromptu clip of my students finishing up their paintings in our 4 week beginner acrylic class. Such a fun class - my students are the BEST!
Over the summer Becky Butler, the Director at Arts Escape and I developed a new class format - well it's actually a blend of two classes I've been teaching. - We took the best parts of "Paint Nights" but creating a step by step instructional lesson of one painting and extended it out to 4 weeks. - 2 hours sessions. Within those 4 weeks I incorporate much of the lessons from the traditional beginners acrylics class - such as color mixing, brush techniques, canvas preparation and so much more. It really is the best of both worlds and It makes this art teacher so happy because not only do I get to see my students progress over the 4 weeks but I love the friendships that have been formed. I have students who come early to help set up and students who'll stay late to clean up -
We have new dates and paintings and lots of mini-lessons scheduled for September and October.... Plus... I'll be teaching this same format at Artsplace in Cheshire -
For more information on our NEW fusion class - go here -
Thanks again for reading my blog and I hope your day is bright and colorful!
Today's plein air class was with my one student Marilyn. I met Marilyn and her husband Joel last year at my husband’s cooking class on April 12 - Easy for me to remember that date because it’s my birthday and my husband Dean’s birthday and…. Joel’s birthday too! Dean taught us how to make homemade pizza that night and we finished off the evening with a triple wish birthday cake. Such fond memories of a wonderful night.
The first Plein Air class was scheduled for the previous day but unfortunately was cancelled due to severe thunderstorms and heavy rain. My small group class was then split in two with one student on Friday and two on Saturday. Our first location for the season took place at Elizabeth Park which is on the West Hartford/ Hartford Line.
Marilyn and I walked around the park. Sketched for about 30 minutes and then settled in on a place in the shade. We were fortunate that it remained shady until we packed up around 1:30pm. A sprinkling of visitors came by, politely asked permission to see what we were painting. Followed by a brief conversation and then back to work.
Apparently Elizabeth Park draws folks from all over the state and beyond. We met a nice group from Barkhemstead, Maine, Virginia and New Jersey. A few even asks permission to take a photo of our paintings… which was very flattering. Even when our paintings were still in the middle stages and without the flowers!
Here’s my piece. Not sure if I’m calling it finished or not… might need a little adjustments before varnishing. Looking forward to a second session at Elizabeth Park today.
Branford, CT 06405
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