Thursday, September 30, 2010

Designing a Bag for Support of CT Foodbank/Foodshare

I recently broke down and bought an Intuos professional pen tablet for my computer. I had been thinking about purchasing one for a while now. I've struggled without one when designing some illustrations for a cookbook and for a logo for a flag project. While I'm not an illustrator, I love to design things and have struggled with the mouse for a while now.

I must say that it isn't an easy thing to learn because you can't watch where your pen goes on the pad, but rather you have to watch it on the monitor as you draw. At least that is true of the model that I bought, which is the Intuos4 medium. One thing I struggled with at first was resizing the monitor to fit my tablet size. Once I was able to do this, it went easier.  I think that I will enjoy using the tablet, but it will take some practice. I would like to buy some of the extra pens with brush tips to go with it. It sure makes it easier to draw a design from scratch on the computer. I drew it in Photoshop in black on a transparent background and then converted it to white. The white will show up better on a dark background.

Here's the design and the bag for a promotion for the CT Food Bank through the Northford Women's Club and the North Branford Women's Club.

The bag with design in white.

The bag is an 8"x5" fold up nylon bag that you can easily tuck in your purse or carry bag and whip out when you are in a store. It comes in royal blue and black and goes for only $5, not including shipping. If you are interested, email me at All profits go to supporting the GFWC/CT State Project, which is the CT Food Bank/Foodshare.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Workshop in Maine with Stapleton Kearns

I went to Acadia, Maine last weekend for a three-day workshop with master painter Stapleton Kearns. The first day, we painted on top of some large rocks on the shoreline in Thunder Hole. It was warm and sunny mostly and quite pretty that day. Stape began with a demo with an underpainting in burnt sienna. He worked up a lot of the drawing into precise details. It was interesting to watch him use his large brush to work in the rocks and hills. He recommended that we work on the largest areas first, but keep working on different areas rather than finishing one area before going on to the next.

The next two days we spend painting at Ship's Harbor on the south side of the island near Bass Harbor. We had a short hike, though it seemed long when you had to carry a bunch of painting equipment, to a great spot near the water with beautiful pine trees hugging the shore. Both days were gray with mist and clouds, so it made for a softer, cooler painting. The colors were more intense but muted by the atmosphere, rather than a lot of light bouncing off of objects and desaturating the color.

Stape started out with a demo on the first day in Ship's Harbor with a purple underpainting, because of the cool light filtering through the picture. He then added color, working all over the canvas, bringing up one area and then another. Many of us had too short a range of values, with too little darks and too few lights. We tended to stay in the middle ranges. Perhaps the grayness of the day influenced our decisions. He did say that we needed to hone our drawing skills and work with larger brushes.  He told me to take a value scale and compare it to photos of masters' paintings so that I can see their range of values. Getting the values right is not as easy as it sounds. I hope to take this painting and work on it more at home this week.

The group was a fun mix of artists and art lovers, all enjoyable to be with. It was small, there were only ten of us, which is the best size, I think. I even met an artist from Durham, the next town over from mine. That was a coincidence.
The rain kept threatening by the end of the day on Monday, so I packed up and drove home. I would have loved to stay another day, but not with a forcast of rain.  It was a long drive, 7.5 hours, but it went okay. I will go back again on my own maybe next spring. I want to see more of the park and do some hiking. What a great place to paint and hike!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Open Doors Auction

Well the Open Doors of DT Milford Auction was Sunday, Sept. 19th. There were 25 doors auctioned off, including mine. My door sold for $350, which is about average for the group. There was a nice crowd and really good food provided by area businesses. Bidding was fairly subdued for an auction, but the economy is affecting art like anything else. Rosemary Gordon of Gilded Lily got the highest bid for her door, which was over 2K. Here's Rosemary's door:
It was painted on glass with a type of cloisanne style application. Very pretty and colorful. I heard that the same couple that won the bid for Rosemary's door also won my door and two others. Rosemary's door will go in the couple's new Milford home, and the others will go to the couple's children. 
So, on to next year and hopefully, the economy will improve and bidding will be better.  The Milford Fine Arts Council benefits from 45 percent of the sales. They are a wonderful group of which I am a member.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Atwater Library Painting

I painted this of the original Atwater Memorial Library building built in 1943. It was dedicated to Charles Atwater, and funded by his son, James. The new building that was just reopened after a year-long renovation project,  is three times as large, and incorporates the old building.

They are currently trying to raise funds for the Rock Crusher, a painting that I did of the mamoth rock crusher at the Tilcon plant in North Branford.