Welcome! This blog began as an assignment in a digital art class. That was in 2008. I decided to keep it going as my art journal. It is fascinating for me to see how a painting develops, so this is where I post my painting progressions and exciting new things I find on creative blogs and websites. I hope you will learn along with me about painting, drawing and all kinds of art.


Still Life with Hopper

Hi - I had taken a break from the little still life I was working on because of my Nancy Tankersley workshop and family visits. On March 3rd I had just set the charcoal drawing with the alcohol wash. Time to continue and reveal what came next.

 For some reason I needed to begin with the vase.

 Then flowers and books (art books, of course).

The card on the shelf is one of my birthday cards with an Edward Hopper image (love).

Still Life With Hopper    14 x 11 inches   oil on canvas
 During our recent art salon, suggestions were made (because I asked for them) for things I could do to improve this funny little painting. One of them was to change the card frame to something darker and I think it worked to pop the image.

... and here is the set-up. 
The poor old bouquet, the Hopper card - and my tea.

Thanks so much for stopping by!


Nancy T Workshop - Final Day

How did the days go by so fast? 

After our third full day of painting, 
we all went to a place called The Oasis on Lake Travis 
on the outskirts of Austin for some social time. 
We may or may not have had a margarita ...

A very exciting aspect for me on this trip, besides visiting our daughter and taking Nancy's workshop
was that I got to meet Qiang Huang!! (Click that link for his website!) 
He is one of my very favorite contemporary painters and I follow his blog. 
I have not been able to take his workshop, but would love love love to - one day.

Qiang and his lovely wife, Yuehong Song hosted Nancy Tankersley's workshop at the Anderson Mill Garden Center. 
Song was our organizing force for the workshop 
and I am sure she did much more work behind the scene. She was efficient and so sweet.

Yuehong Song and Qiang Huang

Nancy's demo today - Day 4 - focused on indoor photos where the light source is not the sun. 
She called it a tonal painting; the real color of the subject not affected by light and shadow.

Nancy's painting early on
At last I got the photo after she signed it. Really luscious, juicy paintstrokes.
My final day's notes:

18. When the day has no strong light (as often it is here in SE AK) or indoors, patterns are the goal
19. In a tonal painting colors will often be richer because you need to look for more color pattern
20. Repeat shapes
21. No symmetry
22. Darks are not as dark as outdoors
23. Values are closer together
24. Transitions are not too abrupt (it would make it feel like sunlight)
25. Look at your balance (your signature might do it!)
26. "Little rewards" = your big shapes attract from across the room, then a little detail can show up when you get up close!

But I didn't work on a tonal painting. What I worked on this last day was a portrait. 
The only thing I can post is this notan, from my photo in my ValueViewer app because I haven't even told my friend, who I painted, that I did it!
She might even recognize it anyway.

(I will post the finished painting after I ask my friend for permission. 
Or I might save the painting for a show we are applying for. 
So maybe she won't see it for a bit ...)

Reminder to check out the following for beautiful artworks - 

Thank you so much Nancy Tankersley - for a very fun, very educational painting workshop! 
Thank you Qiang and Song for all the work getting us all together, and hosting.
Thank you to my husband for driving in that crazy Austin traffic!

AND - thanks to all who are checking in to hear about the workshop.
I hope some of Nancy's tips will help you too. 
If you ever have the chance to take a workshop from Nancy, do it!


Nancy T Workshop - Day 3

We were well underway painting already at 9:00 am!

Painting away at the Anderson Mill Garden Center

I appreciated Nancy's quick evaluation of what each of us was doing right, or showing us what we may have missed. So spot on!

  Day 3 - Nancy Tankersley's demo was a portrait. 
She had taken photos of some Civil War re-inactors 
and for the demo, she chose one fellow who was particularly intriguing.

Using her iPad, she sketched out the shapes and blocked-out (mapped) the features.

Wonderful likeness of this bearded gent.

This is my painting after I added some color. 
Really fun! (but hard)
I learned so much about value in this workshop.

Continued notes:
  9. Reminder of my goal to document our time/era  (petit genre paintings)
10. Connect the lights and the darks !
11. If a shape is in the shadow, the paint value will stay in the shadow ...
12.  ... and vice versa for light
13. Think about the planes of the body
14. Do your notan (that link has a good explanation of notan)
15. Simplify - shapes, values, colors
16. Suggest - no detail!
17. Asymmetry
Thanks for following along. One more day to document.


Nancy T Workshop - Day 2

Nancy's second day demo. 
Her original photo had lots of adult cowboys 
standing behind this young man who is practicing his lassoing.

I think she may have added a few more marks after I took this.

In our discussions about using photographs for paintings, 
Nancy reminded us that there is lots of evidence that many of 
the great artists did use photos. 
I found this on RedBubble that also gives that theory credence.

The following three monotone sketches are my practice 
with getting proportions and the drawing (mostly) correct.

Some of the notes I took while watching her demo:
  1. Spend a fair amount of time with your dark block-in value forming the shape. Mapping.
  2. Highlights can come quite soon so you know where they'll be
  3. Think big to small
  4. Put down your stroke - and LEAVE it
  5. Cover the whole canvas with paint
  6. Decide on your own colors for the figure ... with hints from the photo
  7. Use one pop of an "alien" color at the very end
  8. Direction of brushstrokes toward focus
 Tomorrow, I'll post Day 3, another Nancy T demo 
and my color work over that first monotone sketch.

Thanks so much for viewing!


Back home from my ...

... wonderful Nancy Tankersley workshop in Austin!

Without further ado, here are some photos from the first day of our 4-day workshop:

Old Grist Mill at Anderson Mill Garden Center

 Traffic in Austin is horrendous at best.
My valiant husband drove me each day to/from this venue.
 We were staying about 20-30 minutes away and if the traffic was lighter, that is how long it took ... but a couple of times we/he were/was stuck in a traffic jam and it took 45 - 50 minutes!

The Bluebonnets were out in full glory. A Texas artist I follow is Laurel Daniel.
If you click her name, the link to a sweet Bluebonnet landscape painting by Laurel,
titled "Rolling Hills of Color" pops up.
(To us Alaskans/West Coast-ians ... they are a species of Lupine.)

Nancy Tankersley teaches several different types of painting workshops; this was a "painting figures from photos" one. You very often do not have the luxury of a model to sit for you, so painting from a photo is the next best thing ... other than painting a self-portrait, that is.

Why did I travel all the way from Alaska to Texas to take a workshop, you ask?
It was also an opportunity to visit our daughter and her husband, which was an equal goal and so much fun as well.
The first day we learned to draw the figure correctly because 
once your drawing is off, the thing looks contorted and will not work. 
Nancy's demo for the day was this darling little one running around on the beach. She captured the photo with a telephoto lens. She did speak with the parents for permission to use her photo for a painting.

Using an acetate sheet or page protector to get your proportions.
Projector captured what she was doing so we could all see.
Quick as a wink, Nancy blocked in the general shapes, on a toned & prepared surface. This is where you make sure to get the gesture and proportions right using a monotone blend of paint. No colors yet.

Now she is adding the colors of the background and thinking about the composition.

Nancy's palette. Very limited.

Nancy has a really cool paint tube carrier!

Nearly finished ... she put a few extra touches and signed after I took photo.

This is my first day's work in monotone from a photo Nancy loaned me. 

I didn't size it correctly so it overflowed my margins.
Tomorrow - Day 2 of our workshop.
Thanks for stopping in ... it has been awhile.
Happy Spring!