Archive

Aug

14

2013

Ken9

The second day of the Ken DeWaard workshop in the Memphis area was spent at the Memphis Botanic Gardens. What a great place for plein air painting! I love going there myself and do so often to paint and just enjoy the beautiful gardens. Ken chose a spot in the rose garden area. Because of the view he wanted to paint and also because of his extreme height, he had to kneel (ouch!) in order to get the angle on the view that he wanted. Height, another hazard of plein air painting for some!

For the morning, we enjoyed yet another great demo from him, all while explaining his methods and decision making process while painting. I always find this helpful to “hear” what an artist is thinking when painting, especially in plein air settings. There are so many distractions and so much information out there, and it is good to hear what kinds of questions an artist asks themselves when making these decisions under the time and changing light pressure you have when painting outdoors. Ken was excellent at doing this and I found it very helpful when watching him paint. See photos below for more of the demo that day.

Sketching in his basic composition lines with vine charcoal.

Sketching in his basic composition lines with vine charcoal.

Putting in first color notes of the painting.

Putting in first color notes of the painting.

A shot of Ken's palette while in use.

A shot of Ken’s palette while in use.

Ken works all over the painting, checking color notes and values against each other as he works.

Ken works all over the painting, checking color notes and values against each other as he works.

Demo at the close of the morning. Ken would later tweak the painting some but said at this point, he had enough information to do so later in his studio.

Demo at the close of the morning. Ken would later tweak the painting some but said at this point, he had enough information to do so later in his studio. I think too many painters who paint outdoors try to get the “perfect” painting. I am a firm believer that using time painting outdoors as the learning experience that it is makes for a more productive experience than trying to come out with a finished work of art. This is not to say that plein air paintings don’t make great art for your walls. MOST of the art I have purchased from other artists that graces the walls of my studio and my home was painted outdoors. But, I do think that the pressure that some artists put on themselves to create a perfect painting each time they are outdoors painting makes some miss the learning opportunity they have when painting from life. One of the best pieces of advice I have ever heard about plein air painting was from artist Scott Christensen during a workshop I took with him. Scott says that the power of observation and the things you can learn from just observing life should be one of the things an artist who works outdoors strives for. I believe that Ken has developed this skill of observation and understands this idea of using painting from life as a learning and growing experience.

After a lunch break, we all set up in various areas around the gardens and painted while Ken came around to help each artist. I really also enjoyed my time with him at my easel. He is able to help you understand and figure out what you need to do to a painting and in the most instructional way. His advice on design of a painting is some of the best I have ever had in a workshop at my easel.

After a lunch break, we all set up in various areas around the gardens and painted while Ken came around to help each artist. I really also enjoyed my time with him at my easel. He is able to help you understand and figure out what you need to do to a painting and in the most instructional way. His advice on design of a painting is some of the best I have ever had in a workshop at my easel.

Stay tuned for part three of this workshop review! I will combine days 3 and 4 into the next post!

Aug

11

2013

Ken1I am so excited about finally getting this workshop review posted. I am sorry for the delay, but my daughter had our first grandchildren right after the workshop (twins!) and I am just now getting back into the swing of things. First, let me say what a JOY it was to have Ken come to Memphis to teach. He had never visited Memphis before so, being the true Southern hostess that I am, I made sure to treat him in the kindest, most courteous way I knew how. After following his work for awhile online, I finally met him two years ago at the 2012 Florida's Forgotten Coast Paint Out in Apalachicola, FL. He is not only a fabulous painter, but such a fun and kind guy to hang out with. His genuine smile and spirit are contagious, and of course, anyone that loves to sit and talk about art is always someone I enjoy hanging around! But on to the workshop. I am going to split this post into three parts because of the amount of photos and information I would like to share with you. Ken arrived on a Tuesday and we had a meet and greet evening with the workshop participants at my home that night. I will say if you are a workshop teacher, this is the BEST thing to do, especially for a 3 day workshop. This way, the teacher can get to know the students some, the students can meet and chat with the teacher and each other, and the first day of the workshop is spent painting. I have been to many workshop where we either spent the whole first morning getting to know each other or we didn't introduce ourselves at all. This evening before thing is a great idea and I hope more of you teachers out there will adopt this idea. Anyway, we had good food, drink, and conversation, and were all ready to go the next morning. We spent our first day of the workshop out at a litte private farm on the edge of town. Ken decided to paint the covered bridge on the property, partly because of the shade in which we could sit while watching him. As he was so good to point out, this is not the best way to pick your subjects, but for our purposes, it was nice to sit in a shady spot and was also a pretty good subject. Ken3 Ken8 Ken began the demo with a brief description of his palette, which is a limited palette consisting of titanium white, ivory black, and a warm and a cool of each primary. He uses a fairly large hand held wooden mixing palette, which he handles so very well while working on his chosen subject. After toning his panel, he lightly sketches in his design with a vine charcoal, which makes it easier to make changes in design and composition than using paint at this point in the process. He then decides what the lightest light, the darkest dark, and the brightest color will be in the painting and paints these in as a guide for him as he proceeds mixing and painting the painting. See below: Ken7 Ken was so good at sharing his thoughts as he progressed along in the demo, and answered questions from the group as they were asked. I know from experience how difficult this is and appreciated the fact he was able to do this. Ken4 After his morning demo, we took a quick lunch break and all chose our own spots for painting. See photo below for Ken's finished demo - well, he said he would tweak it more if he had more time but I loved it as it was then! Ken5 Ken6 Day two of the workshop coming soon! Check back to see some more awesome paintings by this guy!

Sep

16

2012

As most of you know by now if you have been following my art journey, I am a workshop junkie. I love learning anything really, and I especially love learning about art and painting. Plus, traveling to new places and meeting new people who love art as much as I do is also a huge reason for me to continue to take workshops. I have been fortunate to be able to study with some of the country's best artists in the style of painting that I love most - impressionist or painterly type painters. I have always admired (okay, LOVED!) Scott's work, but was a little apprehensive about trekking all the way to Idaho to study with him. It just seemed a little daunting and intimidating for some reason. Plus, I just didn't think I was "ready," whatever that means! However, since my husband LOVES to fly fish, I figured it would be a great trip for both of us, so after hearing Scott speak at the Plein Air Convention in Las Vegas earlier this year, I went out in the hallway and immediately signed up for his September workshop. It was truly a workshop that I will never regret taking. First of all, the surroundings are amazing. Immediately off the plane in Jackson, Wyoming, I told my husband that I "recognized" some of the trees from Scott's paintings. I'm sure he thought that was a little strange, but it wasn't the last strange thing I said all week! Being surrounded by scenes like the one above and the ones below is inspiring indeed. Also, walking into Scott's studio for the first time was almost a spiritual experience. I am not kidding - to sit there everyday and be surrounded with his paintings, some of which I had admired online or from magazines for years, was just amazing! Everywhere I looked, it was a feast for the eyes! Below are just a few of the photos I took of my daily view.[caption id="attachment_902" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Looking up..."]Looking up...[/caption] [caption id="attachment_903" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Looking down..."][/caption][caption id="attachment_915" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Looking all around!"][/caption] Since I took so many photos and have so much to share about this workshop, I will break up my review into a few separate blog posts. Look for more on this workshop to come!

Mar

11

2012

"Stacked and Sliced"
8"x10" oil on linen panel
©2012 Denise Rose Fine Art

This is a still life painting that I recently completed in my second workshop with artist Nancy Franke. I loved the beautiful colors of the little bowls and the gorgeous yellows of the meyer lemons in the set up. Because of this, I had a great time painting this little scene!

 I traveled to Chattanooga, TN, to take a workshop with Nancy at a relatively new art school there, ArtWorks Chattanooga, owned by the talented Lisa Seego. I love studying with Nancy because she focuses on painting in the style I love. She is also such a person of energy, that you just feel inspired the entire time you are in her presence! I also got to paint with one of my artist friends, Kathy Cousart, from Georgia, and that was fun to reconnect with her and paint together again. We first met last year during the first Nancy Franke workshop I took in Atlanta. 

Nancy does not teach often, so if you have a chance to be in one of her workshops, take it. She enjoys traveling with her husband and painting and visiting her grandchildren, so although she is an excellent and inspiring teacher, she does not spend much time doing it. You can see her work here.

This painting is available for purchase on my website.

Feb

15

2012

Momentary by Dawn Whitelaw

First, NO, this is not my painting! I wanted to share some of the beautiful work of the fabulous Dawn Whitelaw who is coming to my area today to teach a workshop. The workshop is going to be held at a local gallery, Artreach Gallery, in Germantown, TN. If you are an artist or an art patron and have not seen Dawn's work, make sure you click on the link and enjoy the feast for your eyes! 

This will be my third workshop with Dawn, and to be perfectly honest, I will never miss an opportunity to spend time painting with this fabulous artist and most importantly, fabulous teacher. Being a teacher myself, I am more aware than most about what makes a "good" teacher and what does not. As you know if you are one of my regular blog readers, I have enjoyed every workshop I have taken, but some artists make better artists than they do teachers. However, let me emphasize here that Dawn is, indeed, a "great" teacher. She has the gift of being able to inspire, encourage, and lead a student to discover things on their own and develop those problem solving skills that will serve them so well in the future. Aside from all that, she has a gentle spirit and is so encouraging to be around. Her excitement about her work and her teaching is infectious, which makes it even more fun to be around her. If you are an artist, and you ever have the opportunity to study with Dawn, take it!


Nov

26

2011



A couple of weeks ago, I participated in an impressionist still life workshop with artist Lori Putnam at her studio in Franklin, TN. It was a great group of artists and we all learned a lot about setting up a still life, lighting, and just details that I have not thought about before when doing this type of painting. Above you see a couple of the timed studies we did during the workshop. Different setups were done in short amounts of time to make us focus on capturing the general shapes of the colors and not focus on drawing an object and filling it in with paint. As many of us soon realized, this is harder than it sounds! It is our natural tendency as artists to want to draw or sketch off the boundaries of an object and then mix colors to fill in that object. Although I don't generally seek out to paint still life, I felt like it was good for me (kinda like taking vitamins) and my painting journey to learn these things. It should help me in my overall development as a painter, which is one of my main goals at this point.

Like Camille's workshop, the studies in this workshop were intended as studies and not finished paintings. I really like that and it takes the "pressure" off that we as aritsts put on ourselves to always create something that we can hang on the wall or sell. I need the practice and can always see that I improve in aspects of my painting when I paint with this attitude and frame of mind. I am able to let go of that little voice inside that tells me what I am doing is terrible and just learn. The final day we painted a very involved and larger set up and although I wasn't thrilled with the results of mine, I managed to focus on the techniques Lori was teaching us and felt I was successful at that.

I also used a new brand of paint for the first time and loved them.  Blue Ridge Oil Paints are made by Eric Silver in Asheville, NC. I can't really explain why but the paints feel so nice on my brush and as I apply them to the canvas. They are made with a combination of several oils, which you can read about if you are interested on their website. They seem to be slower drying to me than some of the other brands I have used lately, but of course, that is just my first impression. Lori is using these now along with other artists I know, so I decided to give them a try. I know that the brand(s) of oil paints an artist uses is a very personal and individual decision, but if you are looking to trying something new, give him a call. It is a small company and made in America, which are both positives in my book. Plus, he is open to suggestions and feedback from the artists "out here" and is sincerely trying to create a quality product.

Oct

31

2011

"Beach Cottages 1"
9" x 12" oil on linen panel

Whew! October was a month of travel and fun workshops for me! Against the advice of most artists, I signed up for 3 workshops in the same month. I love to paint plein air, and in the South, October is a fabulous month for that because of the milder weather. Plus, all of these workshops were with people that I have always wanted to study with and it was just convenient for me to go the places they were going to be. And also contrary to what most artists say, I am not AT ALL confused or messed up or whatever from the three different teachers and their varied painting styles. Unlike most people, I go to workshops for several reasons. One, is to meet other artists and chat and visit during the week about something we all love - painting and art. Another reason is just to visit different places. And then, of course, to learn. I love learning about things and especially about painting. I don't go to workshops to totally change the way I paint or think about painting. I always come away from a workshop with something I can carry over into my own journey, whether it is a small tip about supplies, brushstrokes, other techniques, colors, or some idea or theory that I have heard explained a thousand times before that finally "makes sense" to me after another instructor says it their way. Anyway, I am not recommending that anyone do what I did, because it was physically exhausting (haha!) but mentally fun and I wouldn't trade anything for my month of October 2011!

Lori's workshop in beautiful Apalachicola, FL, was sponsored by the Apalachicola School of Art, which is a wonderful organization that is just getting started holding workshops in this quaint little town. They are working on a website currently but you can find some information if you Google the name. They have held a plein air event there for the last several years, and we were able to see some of the fabulous artwork from some of these events hanging in the school.

Not only did I meet some fun people here that also took the workshop, but I had a blast painting the shrimp boats, marshes, and the other sites here. It is really a plein air painter's dream here with all the choices in painting subjects, and I hope to return here maybe for the plein air event next May to watch all of the artists that are there painting. I can also recommend taking workshops from this school. They are really welcoming and the whole town is accepting of art and artists, so look them up and see what they have to offer if you are interested in workshops at all. They are just getting started so keep an eye out on the growing schedule. 

As you may remember, I am starting a mentoring program with Lori in 2012, so I am taking any workshop I can with her now so that she will be familiar with my painting and what I need to work on as we begin the mentoring in January. As with the first workshop I did with Lori, she was again a wonderfully patient and giving teacher and I felt so inspired and encouraged by watching her demo and also by her advice at my easel. Below is a photo of her teaching before her demo the first day. 


We painted in several places in the area, including a morning in the studio because of the high winds and light rain on the final day. The painting you see above at the top of this post was on the beach one beautiful and sunny morning. Below is a photo of my set up and the painting after I was finished. Of course, the light had changed by then but you can get an idea of the beautiful place I was standing while painting.


Stay tuned this week for another fabulous workshop review about my next October workshop, Dee Beard Dean. Maybe I should do this for a job? Anyone want to hire me to take workshops and write reviews? Plein Air Magazine maybe? Now THAT would be a dream job!

And, I just couldn't resist a little Photoshop editing of the photo below! You will probably have to click on it and enlarge to see the "hazard" well. We painted one day after lunch on the side of a road with beautiful marshes on either side and really high winds! We shielded ourselves with our cars and our equipment and setup was truly tested. After we painted, Lori also did a demo in that spot. As I sat with my new friends and watched, I kept imaging "critters" climbing out of the water which was just a few feet away from us. Needless to say, this is not a "real" photo but one I am deeming "The Hazards of Plein Air Painting" just for fun! I know all of you plein air painters out there can think of other hazards from your past plein air experiences.

Apr

19

2011


I just returned from a wonderful workshop with the fabulous and inspiring artist, Dreama Tolle Perry. It was held by a group of SUPER FUN people from the Artists on Main gallery and school in Goodletsville, TN. Led by the infamous David Gillahan (hey David!!), they are a group of artists on a journey to learn to paint and have fun together. David has classes at the gallery and let me just say, they really learn something there! He not only teaches about oil painting, but about friendship and support, which as artists, we all need! Most of the people in the workshop were David's students, but they made me feel so welcome and comfortable and I was so grateful for that. The photo below shows some of the workshop participants although some had already left by the time we took the photo.

I have been wanting to take a workshop with Dreama ever since I started painting again. Her beautiful use of color in her paintings always draws me in and the stories she writes along with them always make me smile. I was not disappointed at all and in fact, I would go back again and again just to study with her and hang out in the atmosphere she creates in her workshops. She is such a kind and graceful person, and immediately puts you at ease when the workshop begins with her attitude and humor. Also, she infuses so many pearls of wisdom throughout the workshop, you can't go home thinking anything else of your art but that you have something special to tell the world and you better get busy doing it! I have always tried to have a pretty positive outlook on my own work because I know I have to be my biggest fan (!!!), but she reiterates how important it is to look at what you want to say with your art and believe in yourself as you enjoy the process of painting, and not just the resulting artwork.

The painting above is one of the ones I completed in the workshop. I was able to use some colors of paint I had not used before and it was so fun! I also learned a lot about how to take my own reference photos that I photograph and add some fun elements to them in order to improve the composition and the color to make them more pleasing to the eye. For such a 'literal' person like me, this was eye opening and I now see so many more possibilities when looking through my photos I have in iPhoto.

I also included a photo of Dreama below with the beautiful smile on her face, which if you have met her before, will surely bring a smile to your face. Take her workshop if you have a chance.You, too, will not be disappointed!


Apr

01

2011


Although the first day of the Scottsdale workshop was inside due to rain and cold, the rest of the week was outside at beautiful locations around the area. The weather was just fabulous and so nice to enjoy the sunshine while painting. This demo above of Jennifer's was at the Papago Park location, where we painted for two days. So many great things to paint there! In addition to painting, I took TONS of reference photos that will no doubt make it into my paintings in the future.

Below I included my painting of the second day of the workshop. It is another study which I included the reference photo, value study, and the color study. Again, these are VERY SMALL, about 4" x 5.5", so the aim was to capture the big shapes and simplify them. It takes lots of practice to weed out the many details of a scene and only concentrate on big shapes and the major value areas. One of the ladies in the workshop who was accustomed to painting on very large canvases kept saying she felt like she was painting on postcards! However, it was a good way to keep the shapes simple and really concentrate on values. When I finally did a painting on an 8x10 canvas later in the week, I felt like I was painting on a giant canvas! These exercises were a great learning experience for me and something I will do again and again to develop the skills of painting that I would like to in my own painting experiences.

(Click on image to see enlarged)