A Wedding, Three Workshops, and Two Paint-Outs

November 18, 2017 in Landscape, Other Art, Photography, Plein Air by joanvienot

The last 8 weeks have been amazingly busy.

Oil Painting of Brian and Megan Robertson's First Dance

Brian and Megan’s First Dance

In September in my capacity as the 30A Wedding Painter, I painted a commission en plein air

Plein air painting of first dance at wedding, unfinished

Unfinished, en plein air

at a wedding, oils on stretched canvas, 24×20, finishing the details in the studio. The plein air painting captured the basics, but I needed to tie the composition together better in the studio, which made it quite a bit more formal, and I corrected the proportions of the figures. I scumbled the chandelier, which I had greatly exaggerated on purpose because it set the tone for the scene, and I softened the white curtain behind the couple to create a glow around them, with the foliage creating a heart-shape over their heads.

I enjoy painting at weddings. It is a command performance, so I have butterflies when I first start, but they disappear soon after I start painting. Typically I have contact with the bride’s mother or the bride or couple as much as a year ahead of time, which gives me plenty of time to find out their relative heights, the location of the venue, their colors and styles of clothing, their flower colors, etc. I have a page on my website dedicated to event painting called Weddings, Etc.

Painting of the pelican statue at Ft. Walton Landing, used to demonstrate effective shape-making and atmospheric perspectiveI presented my one-day workshop, Effective Shape-Making and Atmospheric Perspective en Plein Air, in Ft. Walton Beach in October, and in Santa Rosa Beach in November the day before our first local plein air paint-out. The discussion and exercises centered around the use of recognizable silhouettes or external contours for effective shape-making, and exaggerating receding space by making distant shapes lighter and bluer and less detailed, perhaps even completely silhouetted, and with “soft” edges.

My goal in workshops is to give tools and techniques to the beginner, and to review and practicing those tools for the more advanced painter so that he or she may use them with more authority.

The third workshop is one I took, instead of taught, again from the instructor I consider my mentor, Morgan Samuel Price, at The Art Loft in Dahlonega, Georgia. Sometimes the learning is faster than I can absorb, and when that happens, it is difficult for me to paint. Oil painting of Deer Leap Falls near Dawsonville, GeorgiaThat seemed to have been the case in this three-day workshop – only one day resulted in an effective painting, and I struggled to reach a finishing point. Morgan gave me a number of suggestions, but in the end, I had to make my own decisions, and simplification, eliminating busy texture, is what ended up making it work.

I continue to paint weekly with the Emerald Coast Plein Air Painters when I am home. Below are a couple of little studies I enjoyed.

And there is the occasional photograph demanding to be shared…

And that brings me to the paint-outs. A paint-out is an invitation to paint any number of paintings over a period of several days, and often also includes a “Quickdraw” timed contest of usually 2- or 3-hours to paint within a particular area, the paintings to be framed and judged immediately afterwards. The first paint-out was in Gulf Shores, Alabama, produced by Craig Reynolds for the Alabama Plein Air Artists and guests. I am a member of the APAA. Living in the Florida Panhandle, APAA paint-outs are closer to me than most of the Florida paint-outs. Below are the paintings I produced there.

Billy’s Seafood, 11×14

 

Standing Vigil, 10×8

 

Boatyard Cat, 11×14

The Cultural Arts Alliance of Walton County is the arts association where I live, in Santa Rosa Beach, FL. For 25 years the CAA has produced the Flutterby Festival, an autumn event geared primarily toward children, celebrating the migration of the monarchs and other butterflies through our geographic area. This year, they added a plein air paint-out to the event, and 20 excited and enthusiastic painters participated on the beautiful grounds of Watersound Origins. I won some awards, taking second place in the Quickdraw, and honorable mention for a painting in the Wet Room. We were allowed to exhibit one piece we had painted prior to the paint-out, in the Wet Room, so that the Wet Room would have some paintings in it right away, and my piece that was honored, Pathways Pond, is the one that I had painted on a previous outing there with the Emerald Coast Plein Air Painters.

Pathways Pond, Honorable Mention, Wet Room, CAA Flutterby Festival & Paint-Out

 

Nature Trail, Quickdraw Second Place, CAA Flutterby Festival & Paint-Out

 

Dawn Glow at Watersound Origins, 11×14

 

A Little Bit of Soul, 10×8


And now I have some time to clean out my studio, and re-organize. I will be retrieving the paintings I have been exhibiting at the local library, and I need to make space for them. It’s surprising how quickly more paintings can fill up a space! Sometimes it fills with projects for upcoming exhibits. Our arts alliance is calling for art for the annual One Size Fits All, the requirement being that all art is produced on a 10′ x 10′ cradled wood panel. I like to use special exhibits like this as an opportunity to do something a little different. This year I painted a simple sandpiper on one of the panels and on the other one today I learned how to make an acrylic pour, marbled using silicone, and I put some coquina shells on it that look like butterflies, and I titled it Migration.

 Oil painting of a sandpiper at water's edge  Acrylic pour on cradled wood panel, with seashells embedded

 

Joan Vienot, Live Event Painter

June 13, 2017 in Landscape, Other Art, Plein Air by joanvienot

Several years ago I was asked to paint the bride and groom’s First Dance at their wedding reception. That first request blossomed into more as word got out. I have dedicated a page on my website to Weddings, Etc.

Last fall I painted at a beautiful wedding which was held outdoors in front of a magnificent private mansion. The weather was gorgeous, the light exactly mirroring the day before when I had visited the site to work out the details with the wedding planner. I arrived about an hour early, so my painting was well underway by the time the first guests arrived. A trio played classical music behind me, to the accompaniment of the splashing sound of the beautiful marble fountain beside me, and pre-wedding cocktails encouraged the convivial atmosphere. Guests looked over my shoulder as I continued to structure the mansion, cheating the color towards the warm glow I knew would be present at the moment I was asked to capture, which would be the bride’s father escorting the bride to her wedding. (I had taken a few reference photos of the wedding planner standing approximately where I thought the bride and her father would be walking, so that I had an idea of scale when I started the painting.)

I was amused that a few of the guests wanted to have their photo taken with me painting — apparently my activity was something essential to their anticipated memories of the occasion. But I was wholly unprepared for the revelation that my work would be so significant to the bride, surprised and pleased that she had my painting printed on her Thank You cards!

And then gratitude upon gratitude, when she included a photo of me painting, in the feature article on her wedding in The Knot, the premier magazine for “all things wedding”! The issue will hit the newsstands on June 26, 2017. Below are small photos of the 3-page article, and the fourth one is a composite of the photo of me working and the list of vendors. Click each image for enlargeable view.

Click image for enlargeable view.

Click image for enlargeable view.

Click image for enlargeable view.

Click image for enlargeable view.

 

Faded Glory

June 11, 2017 in Other Art by joanvienot

Oil painting of faded American flag and rusty flagpoleSome paintings beg for no words. I painted this painting on the sad day the American president withdrew from the Paris Climate Accord.

Keeping up With Inventory: Sales, Week of April 13, 2017

April 16, 2017 in Landscape, Other Art, Plein Air by joanvienot

LABEL BY ARTWORKARCHIVE.COM

Inventory record keeping can be a chore. I have many paintings. Some are on my studio walls, some are in storage, some are entered in shows, some are entered in competitions, some are in galleries, and some are out on loan. I used to simply upload my works to my website. But I might want a list of the paintings in a collection at a particular gallery, and my website cannot make reports. For that I rely on an online inventory system called Artwork Archive. This site allows me to assign my artwork to various collections (galleries, competitions, locations, etc.). It generates nice reports, and it can create gallery labels with as much or as little information on them as I want. For example, for a recent show at St. George Plantation on St. George Island, FL, I opted to include the one-paragraph “description” on each 4 x 6 label, because each of the paintings had a story, my experience and observations while I was painting it there on location, with which I knew the viewers would identify.

Artwork Archive also allows me to immediately mark a piece sold, and to record where it was sold and by which gallery or exhibit. It was a valuable tool this week, when a number of sales happened through various avenues. I sold a plein air painting off the easel on Wednesday, to the owner of the house in my painting. I also sold 3 paintings this weekend at the the St. George Plantation show. One of the galleries showing a number of my paintings called to say they had sold one painting, and also a small figure drawing, and the interior design shop representing me sent me a check for the proceeds from 3 paintings sold. Plus I received an order for a commissioned painting. It was a good week! Artwork Archive made simple the record keeping for these sales.

It also can make a beautiful report on any single painting, complete with image.

Before I started using Artwork Archive, I used to try to keep a spreadsheet of sorts, but it was cumbersome, to say the least. I still keep a spreadsheet of due dates and delivery dates for competitions and exhibits, but the bulk of my record keeping is on Artwork Archive.

Below are my sales for the week, a sample of the necessary record keeping. The first five are recent paintings.

Oil painting of General Miller's relocated house, in Point Washington, FL

Oil painting of two immature barn owls recently flown from the nest, St. George Plantation, St. George Island, FL

Oil painting the marsh view at Nick's Hole , Apalachicola National Estuarine Research Reserve

Oil painting o the Egrets' Pond on Leisure Lane, St. George Plantation, St. George Island, FL

 

The following paintings also sold this week.

Oil painting of the bright light on the water of the Gulf of Mexico at Henderson Beach State Park, Destin, Florida

Oil painting of misty palms in Marler's Park, painted en plein air

Oil painting of the beach foliage and beach umbrellas along the gulf-front at Seaside, FL, painted en plein air

Oil painting of the dunes south of Western Lake, at Grayton Beach State Park

All of the above paintings have sold. If you have a scene that you would like memorialized in a painting, contact me on this website’s “Contact Form”. I am happy to do commissioned work.

 

Making Art for Themed Shows: One Size Fits All

November 2, 2016 in Landscape, Other Art, Photography, Plein Air by joanvienot

My local arts organization, the Cultural Arts Alliance of Walton County, FL, produces an annual exhibit called One Size Fits All. The Call for Art stipulates that art is to be produced on 10×10 cradled wood panels 1.5″ deep. Participants can submit two panels, using either side, creating any kind of art or craft that they want. The panels will be hung at the Foster Gallery at the Market Shops in Sandestin, and will all be offered for sale for the low price of $125. The Gallery will take 40%. The artist may hang another panel in place of the ones that sell. Most of the artists who produce art for this show, put in far more value than $125, just for the fun of coming up with something creative and new. This year I produced two antiqued photo transfers and today I painted a third panel, a beach landscape, en plein air.

I was painting with the Emerald Coast Plein Air Painters at our weekly outing this morning. Our location was Beasley Park, on Okaloosa Island in Fort Walton Beach, FL. The sky was dark, but the sun was peaking through, highlighting the grasses on the dunes. Three or four old fence posts wandered up the dune, and a mockingbird perched on top of the nearest post. The scene was exquisite. The sun played with the scene off and on all morning, and painting was a delight from the beginning to the end.

Below are my three panels for 2016 One Size Fits All. I will turn in two, and have the other ready when one of the first two sells.

Photo transfer, antiqued, of a color-saturated sunrise over the Choctawhatchee Bay

2016

Photo transfer, antiqued, trees silhouetted against orange back-story

2016

Oil painting of the grasses and dunes at the Gulf of Mexico on a cloudy day, with mockingbird on a fence post

2016

Below are pieces I have done for One Size Fits All in years past.

Oil painting of blue heron standing on purple, brown, and orange stripes

2015

Oil painting of an apple and a half

2014

Oil painting of two apples

2014

Photo of the sunrise over the Choctawhatchee Bay, dramatized with Snapseed App

2015

Photograph of a lily on Ocheesee Pond, between Marianna and Chattahoochee, FL

2015

Oil painting of dune grasses at Henderson Beach State Park, Destin, FL

2015, 6×6, centered on the 10×10 cradle

Inspiration from the Creative Efforts of Others

February 28, 2015 in Landscape, Other Art by joanvienot

Art does not come out of the void. At a minimum, it interprets experience and renders a modicum of the artist’s truth, and at its best, it takes the artist’s inner and outer experience, undergoes experiments in alchemy in the boiler room of the artist’s soul, and then spawns something seemingly completely original. Yet to the artist, it merely is another step in the process of expressing herself or himself.  Most of the artists I know are amazingly humble in that regard. They see their work as an experience, a process; while those viewing the final piece, the artwork, see the magical release.

By mingling with other artists, seeing their work, talking with them, listening to their excitement, their struggles, observing their unbelievable courage and their ability to withstand misunderstanding and rejection along with acceptance and recognition, I see mirrors of myself, and my creative spirit is magnified.

Facebook has been a tremendous boon for me, creatively.  Through this phenomenon of social media, I have been able to see the work of my artist-friends and acquaintances, as well as that of other professional artists through the various groups I belong to, and then there are the very giving spirits who appreciate good art so much they share a veritable museum of found art on their Facebook pages, people like my friend the amazing Susan Lucas, who shares a wealth of creativity by others.

I volunteer for one such community, as a member of the Board of Directors of the Cultural Arts Alliance of Walton County (CAA). I serve on the A+Art Committee, whose mission is to showcase the work of CAA member artists. I had the privilege of being the show coordinator for Creative Textures, a current exhibit of the work of 11 artists known for the textural quality of the work, featuring the sculpted acrylics of Justin Gaffrey, colorful weavings by Margaret Rogers, art quilts and stitchery by Mary Zahner and Becky Brodersen, bold ceramic masks by Didon Comer, dyed silks and beaded fabric by Gabrielle Bullard, the haunting art dolls of Ann Welch, expressive tile work by Sherry McCall, exquisite glass and shell collages by Mary Hong (South Walton Artist of the Year 2014), wearable beadweaving by Emilie Pritchard, and unique art basketry by Carol Dickson.

Last month my own work was selected for the promotional materials for another one of our shows, Express Yourself, used on the posters, the program, and the custom wine labels.  Bottles of the show label were auctioned.  Photos are on the A+Art Facebook page, January 20 and 21, 2015. I’ve posted a few below. I believe Melissa Mercer Brown, 2014 Chair of A+Art, and Suzanne LeLoup-West, Express Yourself show coordinator, shot most of the photos, if not all. Music and song, poetry, theater, dance, all of the arts enrich the soul, and for artists, provide further inspiration, motivation, and a “refilling of the well”. Electronically we have the ability to bring all things “culture” into our living spaces and our studios.  But of course there is nothing quite like mingling in person, in the actual energy of creative people, attending events, or even just getting together in small groups or one-on-one.  We seem to energize from our contact with each other.  There is so much value in community.

1 Express Yourself table Express Yourself wine label Express Yourself Poster and original Express Yourself entrance pic Express Yourself photo by Melissa Brown
Eagle

Eagle, by Leslie Kolovich, pastel on sanded paper. Use Contact Form to request purchase information.

Recently I’ve been watching my good friend Leslie Kolovich develop Leslie Kolovich Live, her own internet radio/tv broadcast featuring “music, art, the environment, and purposeful living”, and especially observing her interaction with the musicians, and I see the very same creative energy exchange I’ve been writing about here. Likewise with my friend Melanie Cissone, organizing life drawing sessions for fellow figure-drawing artists, intent on improving her own skill and expression, but benefitting other artists at the same time. Community with other artists provides support and opportunity, infinitely energizing. Leslie comes to my art studio every week or so, a community I don’t invite into my personal creative space unless the energy is very, very simpatico, which it is, with her. This week I finished the painting I posted in my last blog, while Leslie produced an amazing pastel of an eagle, inspired by a pair of nesting bald eagles we saw when our paddle-group paddled the bay near my house last weekend (Leslie’s painting at right).

Water , Water, Everywhere – Julie Gilbert Pollard Workshop

July 24, 2013 in Landscape, Other Art by joanvienot

Oil painting of reflecting water scene, in Julie Gilbert Pollard workshop - first try Oil painting of reflecting water scene, in Julie Gilbert Pollard workshop, second try

Last week I learned that water can see.  Who knew?!  That was just one of the hundreds of tips Julie Gilbert Pollard gave in her workshop in Panama City Beach, Florida, “Wet and Wild:  Painting Vibrant Water Scenes in Brilliant Color”.  This tip came on the first day, when we were working on reflections.  In other words, Julie said, “Water reflects as if you were looking at the scene from its vantage point.”  To illustrate, if a dead tree is angled out over the water sideways to the viewer, the reflection is a reverse mirror image, the same size and directly underneath the tree, in reverse angle.  But if the tree is angled towards the viewer, the tree above the water will appear shorter due to foreshortening, but the reflection will be much longer in proportion, because the water is “seeing” the tree from underneath.

Watercolor painting of wave, in Julie Gilbert Pollard workshop
Oil painting of wave, in Julie Gilbert Pollard workshop

So I look at reflections differently now.  I look at color and shapes differently too.  Everything is more colorful since that workshop, and I am seeing much better.  I find this is always the case after any period of immersion in art, that I see better and am more aware of colors and shapes.  One of the other participants in the workshop said that one of the few things you get better at as you age, is art.  I laughed, but I understand that statement.

We worked in the classroom, from sample photographs Julie provided which illustrated the concepts and techniques she was teaching.  She used the first four chapters of her Adventurous Oils, a Workbook Companion to Brilliant Color as well as several hand-outs.  It was a treat being taught by someone who understands how artists learn, who was able to paint and talk at the same time (no small feat, integrating both the left and right brain at the same time!), and who was able to provide constructive assistance as we worked on our various pieces.  And the participants were a happy bunch, the paint-mixing and experimentation punctuated with their softly-spoken stories to their table-mate and their laughter.  My own table-mate, Faye Gibson, owner of Meacham Howell Design, also was using oil paint;  the rest were painting with watercolor.  Since the instructor was giving demonstrations in both watercolor and in oil painting, I brought in a 6-color Walmart watercolor set and made a watercolor painting and then painted an oil painting the second day when we were studying waves, shown at left.  The watercolor painting was snatched up by a good friend of mine as soon as I posted it on Facebook.

Oil painting of a cascading waterfall, painted with palette knife, in Julie Gilbert Pollard workshopThe third day we studied cascading water.  Julie teaches cascading water as if it were a gathered skirt of a wedding dress, with the initial drop being the waist and flowing skirt, followed by a ruffle of white where it splashes down on the pond below, with a “train of lace” surrounding the splash on the flat pond.  I painted my first palette knife painting that day.  Clean-up is much easier at the end of a knife painting — all you have to clean is the knife!

The fourth and fifth days we were supposed to finish the paintings we had started the first 3 days, but I had already finished mine and painted a second one each day too.  Plein air painting has made me pretty quick.  So the fourth day I cut a few flowers off the crepe myrtle bush in the parking lot, and put them in a pitcher of water on my desk, thinking I would learn to paint the pitcher full of water.  But the flowers fascinated me, so I painted them primarily, with only a suggestion of the pitcher underneath.  Our technique for the day was negative painting, where you paint the negative space surrounding the form.  My efforts taught me the techniques, but made the painting very twiggy, so the following day I painted out most of the twigs and branches, and it became flowers again.

Oil painting of a wave, painted with bright colors as a value study of color, in Julie Gilbert Pollard workshop
Photograph of bright color painting, de-saturated to show values of pure colors

On the final day, the technique assignment was to paint a scene in pure color, using colors straight out of the tube, or pre-mixed, using colors for their inherent light-dark values instead of as color.  I again painted with a palette knife, using the wave photos for reference.  Anywhere there were dark values in the painting, I used ultramarine blue, violet, and reds, and cobalt green, lavender, and orange for the middle values, and orange and yellow for the lighter values, with white for the froth.  The idea was that if you took away the color, the painting would read correctly as a black-white-gray value study.  So I took a photograph of my painting, and then de-saturated it to remove the color, and was pleasantly surprised that indeed, it looks “right” as a value study.

To top off the workshop, there was a drawing for one of the instructor’s paintings, and I won it!  Icing on the cake!

Photo by Helen Balance, Beach Art Group

Joan Vienot with Julie Gilbert Pollard
Photo by Helen Ballance, Beach Art Group

Incomplete oil painting in progress, crepe myrtle, negative painting assignment, in Julie Gilbert Pollard workshop Oil painting of crepe myrtle flowers, in Julie Gilbert Pollard workshop

Studio b. presents Light Impressions in Telluride, Colorado

March 9, 2012 in General, Other Art by joanvienot

Studio b. was the primary sponsor at the TEDx simulcast presentation in Telluride, Colorado last week.  I had the pleasure of accompanying owner Colleen Duffley and her assistant Garrett Griffis, for the installation of Light Impressions and for  TEDx-Telluride at the Michael Palm Theater.  In the unscripted interview below, Colleen explains the concept of Studio b. and the motivation and production of the Light Impressions exhibit to videographer Sue Rostvold.

While in Telluride, I visited most of the art galleries.  I particularly enjoyed the Telluride Gallery of Fine Art where I thought the graphite drawings and mixed media drawings by Bernie Fuchs are even more sensitive than his beautiful paintings, and Christian Burchard‘s sliced wood sculptures are so very interesting, and at Lustre Gallery, Steve & Katia Pflipsen’s glass and metal works are amazing.  But I have to say the most inspiring work is at Stronghouse Studios, where I met artist Elaine Fischer (except we talked about her issues as a County Commissioner of  San Miguel County instead of her art).  At Stronghouse I saw some of Judy Haas‘ amazing fractals, which have a faceted filter overlay such that they change to a different image as you pass by them.  And Sasha took me across the street to the Stronghouse Gallery, an eclectic collection of incredibly interesting and remarkably affordable art, fabric arts in particular.  My favorite works overall were at the Ah Haa School for the Arts, a series of paintings by Corinne Scheman depicting various interpretations and representations of Stonehenge.  Her works illustrated an excellent command of color.

I did no sketching myself, last week, instead using my camera to try to capture some of the winter wonderland of Telluride.  Here are a few examples.

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Refilling the Well – 30A Songwriters Festival

January 15, 2012 in General, Other Art by joanvienot

As an artist, I think I produce better work when I round out my life by attending art events, where I can appreciate the work of other artists.  Such is this week, the week of the annual 30A Songwriters Festival.  More than 120 singer/songwriters are performing at 40 venues up and down Scenic Highway 30A, which is the road following the coast of the county where I live.  The event is produced by the local arts association, the Cultural Arts Alliance of Walton County (Florida).  This year marks the third annual production, which takes place on MLK weekend every year.

When I was a about 8 years old, my Mom made me take piano lessons for 3 years.  I hated them, but my sister was taking lessons.  I tried to do everything she did, baton twirling, gymnastics, swimming, you name it, even though she was always better than me.  I was a good sport at most things, but it was hard to find joy in practicing the piano.  I think the only thing I disliked more was doing the dishes for our family of 6.  I can’t sing either — you can ask anybody and they will confirm that as fact.  I never learned any instrument, and in fact I can barely play the radio.

But I am absolutely transported when I watch a live musical performance, especially when the artist emotes.  So I take in all that I can stay awake for, at the 30A Songwriters Festival.  Some of the people are big names, others are known only in the industry, and yet others are new, budding artists, some known only locally:  Shawn Mullins, Joan Osborne, Sam Bush, Tommy Tolton, Amy Ray, Kelsey Anna, Dannica Lowery, Larkin Poe, Jeep Rosenberg, Suzi Ragsdale, Jim Lauderdale and many many others.

I posted a video of Nikolas Metaxas‘s vocal talent on YouTube for your awe and amazement.  Below are some of the artists who performed at Hibiscus the first night of the festival.

Adron Dannica Lowery Lara Herscovitch
Alicia McGovern Suzi Ragsdale Ben Friedman

 

More Fun with Encaustic Painting at Studio b.

April 21, 2011 in Other Art by joanvienot

I took an Encaustic Painting workshop from Rae Broyles at Studio b. last fall and I had a lot of fun, so I signed up for another workshop by Rae a few weeks ago, again at Studio b.  Rae demonstrated a number of techniques, and I tried a few.  I used stamps and stencils on the first piece, above left.  In the second piece, center, I built up texture by accretion, and in the third painting, I put the hot pigmented wax on top of the background to make the foreground stand out in relief.  At the end, I used gold leaf on the seahorses to give them a little sparkle.

I enjoy doing something like this, every once in a while, just “playing”.  It’s entirely different from my usual art.  It’s great fun, and maybe a little dangerous too, playing with hot wax and blowtorches!