You are currently browsing the daily archive for October 3, 2010.

by Leslie Walker

On Thursday, September 30th, I was contacted by the property manager of the Fine Arts Building on 7th St. in downtown LA. She said the lobby showcases were available for us to have a show there. We would hang the show on October 13 and they would host a reception on October 14, the night of The LA City Art Walk.  This was presented to the group on Saturday at the BAGSC meeting and everyone thought it was a good opportunity.

Each member may enter four paintings, with no particular framing requirements. There is no entry fee to enter the show. An email blast will be sent to all BAGSC members with the show entry form and delivery details. Members must fill out the show entry form and email or send them to Leslie Walker and Deborah Shaw by Thursday, October 7, 6 pm. All paintings must have show identification labels in place on the back of the painting. Paintings may be delivered to Tania Norris, Leslie Walker, or Deborah Shaw by October 10. Paintings should be in portfolios or boxes with cardboard dividers with the member’s name written on the outside of the portfolio.

The show will be up until the middle of the second week in November. We will provide email addresses of all participants who will handle all sales and delivery after show is taken down. There will be no percentage of sales taken by the gallery.

This is a wonderful opportunity to participate in the LA Art Walk and exhibit in a beautiful, historic LA building!

by Deborah Shaw

Akiko Enokido in front of her painting

Akiko Enokido with her painting at the Hunt opening. Photo by DB Shaw.

Akiko Enokido had her watercolor, Camellia japonica ‘Kramer’s Supreme’ accepted at the Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation for the 13th International Exhibition of Botanical Art & Illustration. The opening was in conjunction with the ASBA 2010 conference, attended by the following BAGSC members: Akiko Enokido, Olga Eysymontt, Clara Josephs, Tania Norris, Pat Mark, Janice Sharp, and Deborah Shaw.

Akiko also had a piece exhibited in the Thirteenth Annual International Juried Botanical Art Exhibition by the ASBA and The Horticultural Society of New York, her watercolor of Chorisia speciosa, Floss Silk Tree.

Additionally, Akiko presented her portfolio at the ASBA conference portfolio presentation.

Congratulations Akiko!

Akiko Enokido and Rose Pellicano at the ASBA Portfolio Presentation.

Akiko Enokido and Rose Pellicano at the ASBA Portfolio Presentation. Photo by Clara Josephs.

Deborah Shaw, Janice Sharp, Akiko Enokido about to go into the Hunt opening.

Deborah Shaw, Janice Sharp, Akiko Enokido about to go into the Hunt opening. Photo by Clara Josephs.

Akiko Enokido talking with Lugene Bruno

Akiko Enokido talking with Lugene Bruno at the well-attended opening. Photo by Clara Josephs.

by Clara Josephs

Without even introducing herself, Karen Kluglein was off and running in her very first sentence instructing the class in the ins and outs of painting on vellum. She gave a short talk and in just a few minutes we were sorting though piles of small pieces of various types of vellum, and trying our hand at as many as we had time to sample. I felt like a kid in a candy store! While we painted, Karen also painted, either demonstrating to four students at time, or working silently on her own piece. We were free to sit with her for as long as needed and then return to our work.

Sample card of different types of vellum

Sample card of different types of vellum

A sales representative from Pergamena was at the conference and provided the 8 x 10″ calf skin piece that was included in the class cost.  However, I think that Karen usually gets her calfskin Cowleys manuscript (creamy white) from Talas. It can be ordered by phone if you can’t go to Brooklyn, NY for the fun of picking out your own pieces. Tala also sells a sample card of Cowleys (see the photo).

When picking out pieces consider these points. Look for a flat piece. When framed and hung on a wall, rippling will be accented by overhead lighting. You can request pieces that are finished on both sides or only one side. If you want “veiny vellum” you may want to pick it out in person so as to get a piece that appeals to you or complements the subject. Paint on the top side which is smoother to the touch and may show indentations from the follicles.

Choose thicker pieces that are uniformly thick and even. Store flat. Vellum reacts to humidity. If it curls, it will relax later in the day. Vellum refers to calfskin, while parchment denotes sheep, which is oily and less desirable for our work.

Wash on vellum

Wash on vellum

Painting on vellum is a pleasure and a torture. The key is mastering the correct amount of water. Karen began with a light wash – slightly stronger than a tea wash-that dried instantly. From then on, it was all dry brush. Our first practice was creating a smooth transition on a 1 x 2 inch scrap using a light wash under cross hatching dry brush. Karen’s demonstration was so smooth it looked printed! (see photo)  She uses Series 7 brushes (000 is her favored) to limit the flow of water onto the surface.  She fills in tiny gaps with tinier dabs of paint. If you touch the paint with a brush that is too damp, it instantly removes all the under lying paint! Of course, the flip side is that may errors can easily be corrected in the same way.

While you can easily erase graphite from vellum, Karen transfers her finished composition using Seral paper and then lightens with a clean kneaded eraser. She also uses the eraser to remove surface oils in places where the paint beads and refuses to spread evenly. Keep hand oils off the surface to avoid this problem. While paint can be fairly easily lifted, water drops sully the surface permanently and can be seen in side light.

Kate Nessler's stitched vellum piece

Kate Nessler's stitched vellum piece, © Kate Nessler, photo by Clara Josephs

Frame vellum with an 8 ply mat and at least ½ margin under the mat to allow for some expansion and contraction, or it can be floated. Kate Nessler had several pieces in the Portfolio Show that were stitched onto a backing and floated; the stitching was part of the composition.

I have been fascinated and intimidated by vellum ever since I saw our Morgan Kari’s glowing painting of a clover at a BAGSC meeting several years ago at Norma Sarkin’s home. I was thrilled with this class and with Karen’s expert, content filled instruction.

by Clara Josephs

Phipps Garden Center

Phipps Garden Center, photo © Clara Josephs

Hillary Parker’s full day class entitled Composition was held a short bus ride from the hotel in the charming Phipps Garden Center. The class content began with an overview of the elements that Hillary thinks are most important to consider when developing a new composition: balance, movement, light, negative-positive space, and the “voice and vitality of both the artist and the plant”. Some interesting notes from this segment:

  • Think early on about how the subject will be lit.  Lighting plays a huge roll in composition.
  • Balance involves more than just size, also consider color, mass, placement. Balance does not have to be symmetrical.
  • Movement calls the viewer in and sustains attention. Be careful about creating square, circle or triangular negative shapes that can trap the eye. Any easily recognized shape can become a trap.

The ability to convey the Voice and Vitality of both the plant and the artist is a hallmark of fine art. Hillary suggests that it is very helpful to do a fair amount of writing about the plant before starting your composition. Once your have written, perhaps several pages about the plant, its habit, what interests you, what are the most outstanding characteristics and the defining  traits, then condense that down to one sentence or phrase that you keep on your table and refer to daily to make sure you are portraying those attibutes. Keep referring to the adjectives in your writing – are they coming through in the portrait? We looked at copies of 15 paintings attempting to identify the voice of the plant and artist.

Hillary cautioned that when drawing your subject be sure to use multiple subjects so that you are truly familiar with the species” botanical truths”.

Hillary Parker teaching

Hillary Parker and students, photo © Clara Josephs

Hillary paints a number of very large (8 feet plus) watercolor commissions for hotels, and a highlight of the class for me was viewing her enormous tracings for a painting of a cotton plant (see the photos). Done on 300 hot press cut from a roll, she used the familiar method of numerous tissue paper iterations. The individual bolls were drawn in final detail on small pieces and taped in place. Since she does not like to paint upside down, she had to carefully lie across the painting to reach into the center areas.

The afternoon concluded with students creating a composition of cotton bolls. I had never seen them up close and was stunned by how beautiful they are.  Every angle was captivating. The day was over too soon!

Cotton bolls

Cotton bolls, photo © Clara Josephs

by Deborah Shaw

Kathy Dunham painting, two day lilies

"A Love in Bloom", Kathy Dunham, watercolor, © 2010, all rights reserved.

Kathy Dunham is exhibiting her watercolor, “Love in Bloom”, in the:
Watercolor West XLII Annual International Exhibition

Opening Reception:  October 9, 2010, 5 – 7  pm
City of Brea Art Gallery
1 Civic Center Circle,
Brea, CA 92821

The juror is Frank Francese. The show will be up October 9 – December 19, 2010 and the demonstration schedule is listed on the Watercolor West website.

by Deborah Shaw

Sally Jacobs will be exhibiting at the TAG Gallery with her collection of works entitled “From the Ground Up”:

November 3 – 27, 2010
Gallery hours: Tuesday – Saturday, 11 am-5 pm

Everyone is invited to the:
Artist’s Reception: Saturday, November 6th, 5 – 8 pm

Artists’ Panel (Interviews with the three participating artists): November 13, 3 pm

TAG Gallery
Bergamot Station D3
2525 Michigan Avenue
Santa Monica, California 90404

Sally Jacobs postcard invitation front; painting of garden flowers

"Garden Flowers", by Sally Jacobs. Postcard invitation from a 27" x 22" watercolor. © 2010, all rights reserved.

Sally will have a dozen new paintings in the show. Two other TAG members will be exhibiting at TAG at the same time.

The TAG Gallery moved to Bergamot in January, into a large space and wonderful site for exhibiting. There are many galleries in the immediate area, so it’s fun to visit several while you’re there.

Strawberries, by Sally Jacobs, watercolor, © 2010, all rights reserved.

Sneak preview of one of Sally's new watercolors: "Strawberries", © 2010, all rights reserved.

Old Artichoke

Sneak preview of one of Sally's new watercolors: "Old Artichoke", © 2010, Sally Jacobs, all rights reserved.

"Tomatoes", © 2010, Sally Jacobs, all rights reserved.

Sneak preview of one of Sally's new watercolors: "Tomatoes", © 2010, Sally Jacobs, all rights reserved.

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