The Pine Knot Farms are located here in Clarksville and they sell/ship Hellebores to places all over the world. Each year they hold a festival for 3 weekends (this weekend and the next two) where you can enjoy so many varieties they have created, ask them questions, purchase them, of course, and truly enjoy their unique beauty. Last year we went and I was able to create 6 paintings out of photos - this year I think I have even more to paint from - and I can't wait!
Just finished this piece of the Prizery and have one more nearly complete with my "old style" of painting! We went to the Prizery at night before a performance, hoping to capture a crowd of people lined up. The cars park very close to the building - had this many folks come, I would not have been able to get in between, around or on top of the cars to take it. So I opted to take it before the crowds and find some photos on the internet of crowds at night. Not sure if I pulled it off or not - the folks to the right of the painting are a little too small - but I do like how it turned out! My other painting I'm working on is one more of the Harvest Festival in South Boston with one of their many fabulous old buildings.
My Schmincke paints arrived from Cheap Joes, and I have my roll of Archers hot press 140 lb ready to go and begin painting Susan's techniques. I'm very excited and look forward to her critique of whichever one I choose - and I'm sure I'll send many more to her at just $40/pop until I have a complete grasp of this new style. Will be worth every penny!!
I'll have 13 paintings ready for the show as soon as I finish this last one. I'm aiming for 50 as that what current artist has on display - though many of mine are larger than hers, I can get by with a little less. More importantly the stress of pushing to crank out work is gone and now I can focus on quality. With 8 months to go, if I can get 3 done a month, I'll be just fine. I'll continue to paint for The Galleria on the Lake, too - and I will always fall back on my old ways to create funky, wild backgrounds - or buildings/crowds...though in my heart I know if I take the time to do Susan's style, I will be a much better artist!
Here's the Prizery!
Not everyone thinks I'm as funny as I think I am! :-) I did this painting as part of my 30 day challenge and wasn't happy with the results - I had used masking fluid and didn't like how the dumb squiggly lines looked trying to be soft foamy water. Imagine! So, I tried it again - this time lifting vs masking and am much happier with the results. The John Kerr Dam is in the background here on Buggs Island Lake - Clarksville, VA! Our neighbors took us out for a boat ride when we moved here - the lake keeps popping up along the roadsides, but we couldn't imagine how big it is until we finally got to see it from a boat! It was wonderful!!
Change is very difficult for me, as it is for many. I've loved watching Susan's DVDs and truly love her artwork. Hers is a very long process, but the end results will be worth it! I used Fabriano cold press - 300 lb. She recommends Arches hot press - 140 lbs. My new paper will arrive on Monday and I'm hoping it is better at absorbing the many, many layers of colors and will allow them to shine thru. I've not yet ordered her Schmincke paint pallet yet, and have chosen various brands/colors that I have on hand while I learn. Once I feel I have it - you bet I'll order them! :-) Right now I feel like I'm playing piano with my hands crossed! And all it takes is practice, practice, practice!
These results are in no way a reflection on Susan or her teachings - just my cluttered head full of many "rules" I've painted with for a long, long time. Painting with a limited palette and from dark to light finally taught me the concept of values - I used to think if I changed colors, I changed values - NOT! But, it didn't allow for considering warm/cool colors to bring items forward or back. Susan's palette has my old favorites - Phthalo Blue, Phthalo Green, Alizarin Crimson, and Aureolin Yellow - from my teachings with Lynn Ferris. She has 12 colors total that she uses - warm/cool variations, some purples and oranges for consistency - very nice selection!
On the Iris, (2nd try) I painted the flower for 10 days - a very long time for me. It started as 18X24 (with matt) and I cut it down to 16x20 as I was so intimidated by the huge surface of leaves! I did the forefront leaves with a bit of glazing, and opted to finish with negative painting - laid down the primary colors randomly and then worked from front to back. You'll note the hard lines from the masking on the detail of the flowers - I ordered a drafter's erasing template to start using that to lift vs hard edges of masking fluid.
On the beach scene, this is the 3rd try. I wanted to grasp the notion of reflections in the water - I think I did that OK. I played with the water too much. I did under painting of yellow on the sand which makes it lean towards green! Yellow priming doesn't work well with blues and purples - does great with yellows, oranges, reds, greens.... I'm learning! Slowly but surely!!!
I won a free one hour critique with Susan on a Facebook contest. I'm going to save it until I get a little better - and then if I need more, I will gladly pay for additional sessions. I haven't run across anyone who teaches like this - so generous with her knowledge and talents - and so dedicated to working with students until they get it! I'm very, very happy to have found her and look forward to improving by leaps and bounds!
I finally finished watching all 4 of Susan Harrison Tustain's DVDs. They are incredible and I love her style, her teaching, her art - just awesome! My discovery of her could not have come at a better time. For the last year I've painted "Life on the Lake Series" with all the events of this new area that we live in. It was fun, but I felt like I was painting the same thing over and over again. With this new direction I am changing the way I think about art - and my photographs will no longer be "tourism" but rather looking for the relationship, the emotions, the story, the connection! I'm very excited!!!
Doesn't look like much, but it's a great start!! Boydton Parade/Fire Truck is masked just so I can freely paint the sky - I won't do much underpainting on the firetruck as I want sharp images. "South Boston Harvest Festival" is ready for underpainting - so much of it is in shadow that there is really very little I want to preserve for bright colors. And "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun" isn't masked yet - will protect the 4 gals and underpaint the rest.
Probably looks like I've lost my mind!!! Here is today's progress report! Underpainting done! Paper must be completely dry before masking/taping the next sections if applicable, or it will pull up all the paint and the top layer of paper! I hate it when it does that!!! I usually paint series of 3 just because I have to wait so long in between layers.
Well, I made some progress - never as much as I want to, as life always gets in the way!!! I taped off the fire truck for the darkest greys - it needs to dry completely before adding masking and going to the mid tones. City of South Boston is off to a good start on the sky, trees and street - still needs more tweaking before going on to the buildings and finally the people! The girls are still having fun - I masked off the folks behind them and was able to put in the sky, trees and building. The fun part for me comes next - while they still keep having fun on their own!
Andrea Burke, WVWS
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