Monday, March 28, 2011

Catharine Lorillard Wolfe Award

I recently shipped these two accepted pieces "Pebbles and Reeds" and "Polka Dot Bowl" off to the Catharine Lorillard Wolfe Art Club's annual members exhibit at the Salmagundi Club in NYC. Then I received an email a few days ago saying that I had won first prize in the Graphics and Mixed Media category in the exhibit. I am very excited but not sure which piece won! I am trying to decide which one it might be and thinking it might be "Pebbles and Reeds" which has already won an award at the Providence Art Club a few years ago. I guess I will wait to find out when the certificate comes in the mail.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

New Hampshire Workshop

I drove up to New Hampshire on Friday afternoon and stayed with an artist friend I haven't seen in many years, Mary Jane Cross, who paints in oils. We had long conversations about art and she cooked me a delicious dinner and breakfast the next morning. Saturday morning I woke up to 11ยบ weather. Who would have thought it would be so cold at the end of March? Fortunately, at least the days are longer. I then drove to Keene where I taught a one-day colored pencil workshop for the Monadnock Area Artist Association. Fifteen students attended the workshop and it was a nice day. The range of expertise was from beginner to advanced, and several work in other mediums (pastel, watercolor, decorative painting) so colored pencil was somewhat new for them. I enjoyed it, I think they did also, and I'm honored that MAAA asked me to teach a workshop.

After talking about materials and having students do some practice exercises, I set out a variety of still life subjects for the students choose from for their drawings. The surface I chose to bring the students to work on was Rtistx board 300 for colored pencil. Here are some photos.

These two ladies chose a small grouping of shells to draw. Also shown is the apple drawing I had them practice on before starting.

Here Ellen is drawing the bottles in the upper left.
Liz chose a cluster of tomatoes (not pictured here) and started with a beautiful rendering of the stems and leaves.
Here are a few of the pieces and the practice exercises when we were setting them up for a final critique.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

A Little Progress on the Bowl of Cherries and My Life

I've started working on the cherries which are going to be my focal point so I really want them to stand out. I decided in order to do so, I will use the solvent with the colored pencil so I can achieve rich, intense color. The two cherries I began with are a bit too intense at the moment so I will attempt to tone them down and blend the edges into the background with dry colored pencil.

Progress on this piece is slow. Life with my father is challenging and I'm getting worn out, in fact I'm home with a cold today while my husband spends the rest of the day with my dad. My husband has been wonderful about filling in for me when I am exhausted. However, things are looking up because I have found someone to spend nights with my dad so I can at least go home to my own bed. This week, my project is to start setting up assistance for my dad during the days. Just in time because I'm teaching a colored pencil workshop for Monadnock Area Artist Association in New Hampshire next Saturday and have to start preparing this week.

I want to say thank you to everyone who has emailed, called or visited and offered their support! I am grateful to have so many kind friends in my life!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Life is Like a Bowl of Cherries ... Or Not

I've been plunged into a situation that was totally unexpected only two months ago. My father was hospitalized for congestive heart failure about 3 weeks ago and while he's back at home now, he needs full time care. I've been living with him for the last two weeks and finding that he not only has heart problems but also memory problems and possibly dementia. I am taking care of his every need, including daily care, coordinating visiting nurses and physical therapy as well as doctor appointments, not to mention the finances and legal things that the artist in me knows little about. This is the second most challenging task I've ever had to do in my life (the first was surviving cancer) and I've had more than one meltdown. As if that wasn't enough, my dad's lady friend died last week so we've dealt with his grief as well as attending the funeral and consoling the family. I am hoping to set up care for my dad within the next week so I can return to teaching my classes and doing my artwork soon. But first I can't wait to just return HOME and sleep in my own BED without having to worry about sleeping with one ear listening to when he wakes up and wanders.

For now I am working on this one colored pencil drawing whenever I have a few hours alone. I should call this piece "My Sanity" because working with my colored pencils is keeping me sane. Right now it looks more like "ghostly" cherries because I am working on the background first. My surface is Rtistx board and I am using a variety of brands of pencils; Prismacolor, Prismacolor Verithin, Derwent Coloursoft, Luminance and Lyra Rembrandt Polycolor pencils. I am not using solvent on the background so I am working first with the Prismacolor Premier Pencils and Derwent Coloursoft and then burnishing with the Lyras and Verithins in order to create a solid surface with none of the textured Rtistx board showing through. I've chosen to render the colorful glass dish and reflection first and when I'm satisfied, I will begin on the cherries. The cherries really have to "pop" off the intricate background so I am waiting until last to tackle them. I will list colors in my next entry.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Chapter Project for CPSA & Boston Globe

Pictured here is the 3x3" drawing that I did for our district chapter 112 project for the hospitality suite at the CPSA national exhibition and convention. We were asked to choose something to represent one of our New England states and living so close to Newport in Rhode Island I chose a sailboat. The project coordinators are going to put all of the drawings together in a type of "crazy quilt" collage and I'm eager to see the finished project. Just look at all the pencils I used on this little drawing, I think I may have even left some out. They take up more space on the table than the actual drawing.

Today Debbi's and my Rock/Candy exhibit is written up in the G section of the Boston Globe on the "to do list". My candy apples are pictured in the actual newspaper but not in the on-line version which you can view here.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Wellesley Library Exhibit & Seasons Pass Program TV Segment

Here is Debbi Friedman and my invitation to our exhibit at the Wellesley Free Library, Wellesley, MA. Our opening reception is today from 2-4 p.m. but the exhibit is going to be up for the entire month of March.

I'm going to attempt to imbed the link or upload the video onto my blog. Being more of a fine artist and less of a techie, I'm not sure this is going to work but we'll see. This is the news segment from NBC Channel 10 in Rhode Island containing the Rhode Island Blood Center's Seasons Pass Program press conference. Reporter Barbara Morse Silva narrates the segment which about the need for blood donors and how local artists have helped promote the program for the past 9 years with their art.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

RI Blood Center Season's Pass Program

Over a year ago I was interviewed by the RI Blood Center to be a contributing artist for their Seasons' Pass Program. It wasn't until last fall when I learned that I had been selected to be the artist for 2012. What this means is that I will design and donate a piece of artwork of which the Blood Center will make prints and give to their 4-times- per-year blood donors. Today at their press conference, I was introduced as the next artist for the Seasons' Pass Program. Since this program was begun in 2002, 4 times-per-year-blood donors have increased by two thirds currently totaling more than 10,000. I am honored to be chosen as the next artist but this also has meaning to me because coincidentally in 2002 I was having surgery for cancer and needed a blood transfusion. In turn, this blood transfusion saved my life so I am happy to able to give back. The question on everyone's mind today was what is going to be my choice for subject matter. I'm not even sure of that myself right now because I want to give some thought to my subject, something that has meaning to me and a subject or scene donors will be happy to receive.
Here I'm being interviewed by Barbara Morse Silva of NBC Channel 10 news. The segment ran on the evening news today.
Talking to the CFO and COO of the Blood Center.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

My Frame Choices and Wellesley Exhibit

Debbi Friedman and I spent a rainy afternoon yesterday hanging our work in the Wellesley, MA library. We've been planning this exhibit for over a year and suddenly its here. Pictured here is the main lobby gallery where Debbi hung her rock series and I've hung my candy apple pieces which are at the far end of the photo. The exhibit really looks great (if I may say so myself) and while we were hanging, so many folks were stopping to look at the work. We received the same response from just about everyone "That's colored pencil????!!!!" Viewers were amazed at what could be done with colored pencil. Our opening reception is on Saturday, March 5 from 2 to 4 p.m. and we are hoping for a good turn out. Everyone is invited!
Here are our featured pieces, Debbi's rocks titled "The Red Angle" (right) and my candy apples "Reflections #2" (bottom left). My two candy apple pieces shown here are both on 3/4" cradled Gessobord and my frame choice is a light wood floater frame. I haven't been framing my cradled Gessobord pieces but I feel the work looks more professional and contemporary in the floater frames which compliment and don't overpower the drawings.
Shown here is my other style of framing (although the photo is not very good). As I mentioned previously, the galleries are asking for colored pencil work that is not under glass so I find that I must get innovative. The board I've worked on for this piece is Rtistx and I've chosen to frame it as one might frame an oil painting. Between the artwork and the frame is a 3/4" linen liner to put some space between the art and the frame and the frame I've chosen is a simple design in warm silver.
Here is another wall of the library gallery with my rocks, shells and glass pieces. All in all, I'm relieved the show is hung and look forward to our opening on Saturday.