Monday, April 29, 2013

Dreama Tolle Perry's Workshop

Artists in Dreama's Springfield, VA. workshop (April 19-21, 2013)
(That's me in the pink sweatshirt, front row in the middle of the gals sitting down)
I learned lots of great things about color and brush strokes from Dreama.  And not only did I have a grand time at the workshop, I met a lot of wonderful artists.  

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Mug Shot # 17 - Kathleen (Kat) “Dogs” Coy

If you are a fan of Karin Jurick, you know she paints mugs shots... real mugs shots she finds on the internet.  Maria Bennett Hock, who had taken Karin's workshop in 2011, came up with the idea of doing mugs of Karin's students and opened it up to the class.  It was a great success.   So in our  "continuing education" program from Karin "Quick Draw" Jurick's November 2012 Hilton Head workshop the class agree they wanted to try another round of class mugs.  Wanda Rottenfusser took over the task.  She took mug shots of everyone then sent out one each week.  She's posted the finished mugs on the 2012 Hilton Head Caper Blog.  Each posting has been made even more special with the wonderful write-ups she has done for each person.

Somehow April seemed to get away from me, but I'm happy to report that I'm still working away on them.   I love that I am seeing improvement.  It is true you need practice to improve. You would think after all this time it get easier. Not so much!

Kathleen (Kat) Coy, also known as (aka) "Dogs"

Kat Coy, 4x4", oil on gessobord

Supervisor Wanda's report on muggle #17:
Beware the Ides of March!  They have come but not yet gone so all things are possible. 
Kathleen (Kat) “Dogs” Coy is a felon with a mission.  On Day 230 of a year long vendetta to render all things in paint, “Dogs” has shown a clear preference for, well, dogs.  Her website and blog is littered with canines  immortalized in paint.  Until her momentous meeting with “Quickdraw” Jurick last fall very few humans were victims.  That has changed dramatically.  She has since been depicting her fellow felons as well as vintage mugshots of women we can only assume are role models for all things nefarious.
 “Dogs” has been gaining notoriety on the art scene by garnering the top prize at the Edward Hopper House exhibition in New York last year and has ventured into videos (check out UTube).  Is nothing beyond the reach of the sisterhood? 
“Dogs” is often seen hiking and biking in the hills and cornfields of Iowa so keep your brushes at the ready and your dogs on a leash (we are not in Kansas any more, Toto).
To see other eye witness accounts (paintings) of the Hilton Head Caper click on:
A big Congratulations to Kat... its her daily paintings one year anniversary!! Check Kat's work out at

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Day 2 - Dreama Tolle Perry Workshop

Painting Brings Me Joy .... The art affirmation on my name tag.   It is so true.  I liked all of the affirmations, but one I wrote in my notes was "Joy Flows from the tip of my brush."

My rendition of our assignment

Day 2  Dreama handed out a photo reference to the class so the class could paint along with her again.  She broke her demo into segments (still love that) to help us get a handle on her technique.  This time it was a scene.  Step 1 again was blocking the entire white surface (of your choice) in transparent color.  Boy, it looks so easy when she does it and I thought I was getting it as I follow along, then I quickly realize I need to take Dreama home with me... I really need her there as a safety net! 

Each day there was a general discussion about life and art.  When painting "Go with your gut." "Don't second guess yourself."  There is nothing harder in the world than a solo show or trying to get in a show.   I liked Dreama's way of putting it because it is exactly how I feel when I put my art out there...."how naked are you willing to be?"   

We were reminded to use colors other than white (which is cool) as highlights, plus it is unexpected.... a light orange on a blue shutter or a light green on something turquoise. A light touch of light orange or blue on a red.  Reminders to think out of the box... because my box has very high sides. 

Once again it was the darks that I found I had to keep going back in and to work on.  Dreama reminded us not to forget neutrals.  Without them the focal point is lost and colors will not pop.

You can find Dreama's palette on her website.  She introduced me to colors I really like and have continued to use.   Winson & Newton magenta is kind of a warm version of alizarin crimson, Rembrandt Transparent Red Medium & Transparent Oxide Orange (great color), and Richeson Shiva Ice Blue (not a transparent), a nice shadow color.   

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Day 1 - Dreama Tolle Perry's workshop

Day 1, My version of Dreama's demo.  12x12, oil on RayMar
It is always fun to see how 20 people interpret the same photo

If you haven't seen Dreama Tolle Perry's work it is a wonderful mix of glorious color and brushstrokes.  In addition to her art, Dreama is also a writer and story teller, a combination of talents I found make her a natural when it comes to teaching.

Our first day in Dreama's workshop was great.  Our name tags included an art affirmation.  We introduced ourselves and read the affirmation saying why the affirmation was true about our art. Dreama started the class reminding us to remember why we want to paint and to be careful not to get into a self defeating mind set which is easy to do if you start questioning and negatively self critiquing your art work.  Art is a journey you do because you love the creative process.  I still find myself in awe when a painting comes together.  It was also interesting to hear, just like you and me, not all of her paintings are successful and some actually get discarded.  I call my misses learning experiences.  She reminded us that just because we have successful paintings that almost paint themselves that isn't always true.  Every canvas is a blank white expanse waiting for you lay on paint.   

Dreama reminded us not to forget that workshops should not be about having a successful painting at the end of the day, but about the experience and what you can learn. Our painting style, like our handwriting is unique to us and learning new techniques will not change that, just like DNA.  Day one everyone is given the same picture to paint.  To help her students (and I needed lots of help) learn her way of painting, Dreama breaks up her teaching in segments which allows you to go back to your canvas and try to apply her techniques.  This is a technique that really works for me.  I've found if an instructor is using a technique new to me once they've completed their painting I sometimes have trouble remembering some of the essential points. And I admit I don't sit still well for long periods of time. 

Dreama's focus for the workshop is color and brushstrokes.  She paints with a fairly limited palette, mostly transparent colors, which she has changed and refined over the years as she finds colors or brands she believes work better with her style.  She starts with a white untoned canvas and lays in shapes and values with only transparent colors using a mix of 1/2 solvent (she is now using a non-toxic solvent) and 1/2 linseed oil.  The transparents will cover the entire canvas.  If the final layer will be a light color then the transparent color is laid on thinner in those areas.   

I must say the first layer is very contrary to the way I paint because there is little drawing going on and for the most part seems very dark.  But as almost every instructor will tell you the values of lights and darks are so very important and this first step is where you need to make sure your darks are DARK.  I think most of us have struggled with getting wonderful lights into our paintings.  I struggle with highlights and whites.  I keep reading that if you want something to look light don't add white, you need a darker dark next to the light.   Also rarely does white by itslef look right and she said that's because white by itself is cool so doesn't feel right if it something that is in the sun.  For a warm white add a touch of Indian yellow or orange but for a cool white add a touch of cad lemon yellow. 

Once the first layer is on, your medium is capped and Dreama does not use any solvent to clean her brush as she goes.  Boy, not swishing my brush clean every few minutes was the hardest part of the exercise!  She noted something I never thought about... every time you swish that brush to clean it in your solvent you contaminate your brush therefore potentially dulling the next color you pick up on your brush.  Who knew!?!

You need good absorbent paper towels (Viva or Blue Shop towels are both good).  Inexpensive ones just don't work.  Dreama "cleans" the paint off her brush pretty much after every stroke or two by starting at the ferrule (metal part of brush that holds the bristles to the handle) and gently pulling straight down to the end of the bristles in her paper towel (you will use a lot of paper towels).  That also helps keep the shape and a good edge to your brush.  Most of us have the bad habit of wiping a brush back and forth across our paper towel which can damage the end of the bristles and really doesn't remove the paint.  

While I knew transparent paint gives you wonderfully brilliant color,  I did not know that unlike opaque colors which can go "muddy" pretty fast if you aren't careful,  no matter how much mingling you do with transparent paint they will not get muddy.  So that first layer can be mingled with no problem.  It is only when you add the opaques you have to be careful. 

The first day was informative and fun.  I saw a few familiar faces from past workshops and made new friends.  Even though the workshop was near my home I went out to dinner with a number of the artists each night.  Since we're either listening or painting during the workshop, its the only time to get to know everyone. 

Monday, April 22, 2013

HH4 Challenge - It was all about the ripples

I found myself surfing art YouTube videos instead of painting this morning.... I confess, I was actually procrastinating since I needed to unpack my supplies from Dreama Tolle Perry's 3-day workshop which ended yesterday.  It is a mystery!...can anyone tell me why it is my supplies seem fairly condensed (for me) when I go to a workshop, but fill the car when I pack it to go home?
I had a wonderful time...Dreama is a fabulous artist, instructor and person.  I learned so much from her my brain is officially least for this week! OK, now I need to get going and finish the painting I started in class yesterday before it gets too dry.  Dreama's method is wet into wet.   More about Dreama's workshop tomorrow.  

Challenge #11 - My Pick

Once again, it was my turn to pick the Hilton Head Four (HH4) bi-monthly challenge.  The pressure was on!  I've had this photo set aside waiting for me to paint it.  I love paintings of people in water and when I saw this young girl floating on her noodle I couldn't resist.  I love the colors in the water.   Painting water seemed like it should be fairly easy, but how do you really paint ripples in water?  Just figuring out how to approach it was a bigger challenge than I thought it would be.   I also learned the weather is wonderful in Florida in February, but the traffic is brutal and the pool is always full of grand-kids... just say'n!


Noodling Along, 12x12, oil on RayMar panel

In the order of who is up next for the picks.....

Chris Werst.   
Christ never fails to think out of "my" box. She always goes somewhere I would never think about be it her colors, cropping or style.  She sent her submission to us saying she did the painting then decided to wipe it off and start again.  She decided she loved the look and kept it.  It is like looking through water.

  "Ripples" Regula "Lulu" Scheifele

"Dunkin"  Maria Bennett Hock

Friday, April 19, 2013

Dreama Tolle Perry Workshop - here I come!

Its a very excited day.  This morning is the first day of Dreama Tolle Perry's  workshop 3-day workship in Springfield, VA.  She had such a great response for the workshop she graciously agreed to have two back-to-back workshops & they completed the first one Wed.  Rumor has it fun was had by all.
My very first workshop ever was with Dreama 2 years ago in Lexington, Ky.  I was hooked.  It was such a fantastic experience that I've been trying to take a couple of workshops every year.  I found workshops are great because I can do a few days of intense painting studying with instructors I would never get the opportunity to paint with otherwise.  
I decided to take Dreama's class again since it is literally in my backyard and she is such a delight.  She is so organized and a wonderful speaker & instructor.   I also think because hers was my first workshop, a second time will help me grasp her techniques a little better.  I've learned my style doesn't change when I take workshops, but improves it because I can infuse a little bit of the new techniques into my style. 
Dreama Tolle Perry, "Color Song"

Dreama teaches in stages/steps which I love because it gives you time to try out her process without getting a little lost trying to remember what she did.  
Can you believe the wonderful color in her paintings!? 
I highly recommend Dreama's workshop.  If you want to step up your color in your paintings Dreama's class is definitely the place to  be.


Dreama Tolle Perry's Eddie


If you take Dreama's workshop you will learn one of her favorite subjects to paint is Eddie, who according to Dreama is one of the smartest cats on earth.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Diff4ent Strokes Painting Demonstration

If you are like me you forgot to be on the lookout for art opportunities of which there are many in the WDC area.   But there are so many wonderful free art events to take advantage of in many cities.  My art guild sponsors a guest artist almost every month and the event is open and free to the public.  Most city galleries have events and will put you on their email list to let you know so you don't miss them.  

Last Saturday, I attended a wonderful (free) painting demonstration called “Diff4ent Strokes” at ArtSquare  in Leesburg VA. ArtSquare is a very nice gallery with artists studios and classrooms.   Diff4ent Strokes was an interactive 4-Person Demo & exhibition by four talented Virginia artists --Trisha Adams, oil Libby Stevens, pastel, Christine Lashley, watercolor, and Elaine Elinsky,  acrylic.
They all painted from the same still life setup.  Normally they all paint in different mediums.  Their email announcement asked everyone to bring their inquisitive minds and feel free to ask questions.  The group painted from 2-5 pm. It was interesting to see how each saw the same thing yet yielded such different results with their own unique styles & mediums.  All of the ladies were very talented and kind in answering everyone’s questions as they painted.  They also allowed the enthralled gallery to take photographs. I've shared some of my photographs below.  It was funny how I truly thought I took a lot of photos then was surprised I didn't have as many as I thought.  I guess I was mesmerized by the painters!  

There was a great turnout.  I overheard someone say this was the 3rd Diff4ent Strokes group event (each have been at different places) and the largest crowd they’ve had to date.  Many of the people there were artists.  

It was tough standing for 3 hours in a crowd when you aren’t painting too, but most people wandered in and out.   Except for the lucky ones who captured the few chairs.  Of course, I made sure I stayed to see the finished paintings.  Well worth the wait, they were great.

(L-R) Christine Lashley, Trisha Adams, Libby Stevens, Elaine Elinsky

It was a little tight for the large crowd, but everyone had fun. 
The setup

Libby after about an hour 

Elaine said she never paints this small

Christine putting on her finishing touches

Chistine Lashely's finished painting

Trisha's almost finished painting.  She joked it was
 painted by committee.  She asked for crowd input. 

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

HH4 challenge # 9

I had to go out of town unexpectedly before I started this challenge, so I'm the guilty party that held the up the Hilton Head 4 postings for challenge #9.  Maria provided the reference photo this time.  I love this this young lady with her wonderful red purse, heavy sweater and boots admiring Renoir's "A Girl with a Watering Can" (1876).  

Some days a title comes to me before I even start a painting and sometimes I'm blank.  I was in the blank mode when I finished this one, but decided since it has felt like Mother Nature skipped spring almost everywhere this year.  I am still hoping spring will still visit us so I decided I'd name this painting "Looking Forward to Spring."

"Looking Forward to Spring"

9x12” oil on canvas


"I am Blue", oil on RayMar

Lulu and Chris had super busy schedules this challenge and decided to give iPad painting a try.  I think they turned out great.  Isn't technology wonderful?  We can now paint anywhere with no fuss or muss in a pinch.  I have to get one of these aps. 

Christine Werst

iPad painting

"Just a Glance", iPad painting

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Mug # 16 - Donna "Chickens" Harmon

Only a few more mugs to go and I'm slowing down because I don't want them to end.  It's not because they've changed me into a portrait artist!... even though I've learned so much and will try to push myself to do more.  I'll be sad for them to end because they remind me of the fantastic time I had in Karin Jurick's class (great instructor if you are looking for a workshop) and the wonderful friends I made at the Hilton Head workshop.  The real challenge once we've finished the mugs will be keeping in touch.  

I'm getting more adventuresome as we are closing in on the finish line with the mugs. I decided I'd "rough draft" Donna's mug in acrylic then paint it in oil.  I've tried this with other larger paintings and it gives me a chance to see shapes before I get caught up in painting.  So I drew it, did my values and composite in acrylic, then painted it.  Not as long winded as it sounds and I find it fun because I can be very loose with the underpainting.  

Donna Harmon, aka, “Chickens”

Mug #16 Donna,
4x4" oil on Gessobord

Supervisor Wanda has done it again.  Her report on muggle #16:
This week the search is on for Donna C. “Chickens” Harmon so named because her local cover involves raising exotic chickens.  Her murky past seems to have involved much international travel (most likely for nefarious purposes) before settling in rural Tennessee somewhere near the Smoky Mountains. 

One could speculate she has retired from a life of crime EXCEPT … she was seen in the company of “Quickdraw” Jurick and the Hilton Head felons six months ago.  Before that she appeared to be happy capturing chickens and flowers but has since taken to shooting people and immortalizing them in oil.  In fact, she invites viewers “to step into the paintings and imagine that he or she is there”.  (This is very similar to what the spider said to the fly.)  “Chickens” admits to being fascinated with people and beginning to incorporate them into her work.  One shudders to speculate what this really entails.  She must be apprehended before more damage is done so your send your mugs asap!

To see other eye witness accounts (paintings) of the Hilton Head Caper click on: