Thursday, February 23, 2017

Being Your Own Juror

Afternoon Refuge, oil, 14x18
My first accepted entry into an Oil Painters of America show, 2013.

If you’ve ever served as a juror for a competitive show, you know it’s a real eye opener. I can honestly say that my own experience jurying shows has enabled me to understand why good paintings often get declined from shows. It has also helped me to not lose sleep over having my own work declined from a show. Here’s why…

For most of the shows I’ve juried, I can often narrow down to a slightly smaller number of entries fairly easily by assessing basic skill level. And I’ll usually notice a handful of standout pieces that I know I’ll include. But after that, the painful, tedious part begins when I’m assessing a still large number of outstanding paintings, and very competent work must still get weeded out in order to narrow the count down to the required number of paintings for the show. If I were to go back at a later time through those last, say, 20 paintings, that I had reluctantly placed in the “no” category, I would probably still find them to all be great paintings. And I’m sure those artists all wondered why they were declined. If I were one of those artists, I’d sure wonder why I didn’t get in.

One of the most painful things that goes through my mind as I move an entry into the “no” category is that it might very well be that artist’s best work to date. And that part is truly agonizing for any juror.

I look back at work I did 15 years ago and there are some pieces I painted then that were indeed my best work yet. But I still had a very long way to go before I could ever dream of being accepted into some of the shows I’ve juried recently. One of the difficult aspects about developing as an artist--or really developing a skill in any field-- is that in the early stages, you don’t always realize what you still have yet to learn.

Students have asked me, “What do I have to fix in my paintings to make them good enough to get juried into national shows?” In many cases, it’s not just something that needs “fixing.” It’s usually a combination of skills that still need developing within the artist. To those artists, I say be patient. Allow yourself the proper amount of time to develop the necessary skills, as well as your own unique artistic voice in your work.

If you want to get more into the mindset of what a juror sees, look up the previously accepted entries in the shows to which you aspire. Compare them one by one to your own. Consider the technical skills (composition, values, color temperature, edges, mark-making, etc.), and really scrutinize those skills in the accepted work and in your own work. Also notice any unique qualities of some of the previously accepted work, which pushes it out of the “typical painting” realm. (A juror sees LOTS of “typical” paintings in the jurying process.) Imagine the juror is seeing all of these accepted entries, one after another, and try to gauge where the level of your own work lies. Be honest with yourself … that’s how you’ll stretch yourself as an artist.


Aspen Road at Sunset, pastel, 9x12
My first accepted entry into a Pastel Society of America show, 2010.

I remember being anxious to get my work juried into the big national shows, getting rejected, and not quite understanding why. I look back at that work now and clearly see that my skill level just wasn’t there yet. In some of my workshops, I show a slide presentation of what my work looked like when I first started painting, to how it has evolved over the past 17 years. I show this in order to stress that developing as an artist takes time, patience and deliberate, persistent growth … not necessarily natural-born talent.

Many artists have a goal to get their work accepted into their dream shows. And that’s great if it’s pushing you to improve your work. I think juried shows are kind of fun to enter, and who doesn’t get excited about winning an award. (I have a bit of a competitive streak in me.) However, I honestly believe you’ll flourish even more if you focus primarily on just achieving the best work possible in your painting journey. 

Beware of putting too much emphasis on getting into shows and winning awards. Yes, they’re one way to gauge your progress (over time, NOT based on any one show). But shows and awards aren’t the only way. Be the juror for your own personal painting growth. Learn to self-critique. Take stock of how your work has progressed over time, and don’t forget to applaud yourself for the strides of improvement you’ve made over the years. After all, this painting thing isn’t easy. I know.


UPCOMING WORKSHOPS:

Kiawah Island, SC - 4 day OIL workshop, studio & 1-day plein air - ONE SPOT JUST OPENED UP
March 14, 15, 16 & 17, 2017
$450
(This workshop wasn't previously promoted since it was filled from within the group hosting it.)
Contact: Colleen Parker, cpainter100@gmail.com 

Redondo Beach, CA - 3-day PASTEL workshop - MORE DATES JUST ADDED!
3- day workshop: April 17, 18 & 19, 2017 (Mon/Tues/Wed)
2- day workshop: April 20 & 21, 2017 (Thurs/Fri)
1-day workshop: April 22 (Sat)
Pastel Society of Southern California
Contact: Arturo Fribourg, Fribourgarch@aol.com
$325 (3-day), $220 (2-day), $110 (1-day)

Oregon City, OR - 3-day PASTEL/OIL workshop
May 19, 20& 21, 2017 (Fri/Sat/Sun)
"Meet & Greet" Thursday evening (5/18)
Carrie Moore Studios, Oregon City, OR
Contact: Carrie Moore, carriemoorestudios5@gmail.com, 503-866-5507
$400

Cumberland, MD - 1-day Plein Air workshop (all media/demo will be in oil)
June 25, 2017 (Sun)
Part of the Mountain Maryland Plein Air event happening June 19-24.
Contact: Chris Sloan, csloan@alleganyarts.org, 301-777-2787
$150

Bainbridge Island, WA - 3-day PASTEL/OIL workshop (studio & plein air)
July 19, 20 & 21, 2017 (Wed/Thurs/Fri)
Winslow Art Center
278 Winslow Way E, Bainbridge Island, WA 98110
Contact: Martha Jordan, martha@winslowartcenter.com, 206-715-6663
$400


For FULL WORKSHOP SCHEDULE, go to www.barbarajaenicke.com

My INSTRUCTIONAL VIDEOS are available at www.paintingthepoeticlandscape.com.


ONLINE CRITIQUES - Visit www.proartcritique.com where I and other painting instructors give quick, affordable online critiques of your work.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Embracing the Snowy Marsh

A few weeks ago I headed out to paint a quick study on location, and also gather some photos for studio work. The spot was Sawyer Park along the Deschutes River here in Bend, OR where I live. There was snow on the ground, some good late afternoon light (if I got there early enough), and this location had some great views of the river and interesting rock formations, which I knew would be nicely snow covered.


Because of a sore back that day, I didn’t want to carry my gear too far, so I painted a view near the parking lot that I normally passed right by on previous visits. The sun was already going down too fast by the time I was packing up, so I didn’t have time to get to the better views of the river and rocks for photos. But I noticed a marshy area also near the parking lot that caught my eye. 

Although the light was almost gone, the water was still capturing a glorious golden glow that contrasted vividly up against the snow that was now almost all in shadow. This created a beautiful contrast of warms against cools … in a slightly different way than when snow and water are lit more directly from the sun. I took lots of photos and knew I’d want to tackle at least a quick study back in my studio while the color temperature contrasts were still fresh in my memory.


6x8 pastel study

reference photo

Soon after I created the study, I dove right into a larger pastel piece. Although I liked the bold colors I used in the study, I thought they would be too intense in a larger format, and I also wanted to convey more of the fading light of that time of day, so I toned down the chroma of the vegetation in the larger piece.

Below are some progression shots and the finished painting based on the 6x8 study.


underpainting (alcohol wash over Nupastel block-in)

About 2/3 completed.

Faded Glory, pastel, 14x18

Then I had a request from one of my galleries for a pastel snow scene. I enjoyed working with the snowy marsh subject, and knew I had other reference photos with various compositions of the same area (and my pastels weren’t put away yet from the last painting!), so I moved right along with “Evening’s Sparkling Entrance” (shown below, with the reference photo, a preliminary stage and the finished piece).

reference photo

About 1/3 completed.

Evening's Sparkling Entrance, pastel, 11x14

So after completing a few pastel paintings of the snowy marsh, I did what I normally do when the subject matter intrigues me … I tried it in a different medium!

Below are a few progression shots for “Twilight’s Radiant Descent” (oil), which was from a similar view of the same spot as I used for "Faded Glory" but a different vantage point. (There's a moire pattern that unfortunately shows up in the photos of the preliminary stages.)


block-in

Early stage.

I thought it was almost completed here.


But as the painting was nearing completion, I wasn’t happy with the composition on this one. When I initially planned out my composition, I did have a concern that the grass in the water was too centered. Most of the value contrast would be below center, which I thought would offset it (but later decided that it didn't), and I initially liked the large shapes in the foreground contrasted with the smaller shapes in the background (but later decided the foreground shapes were too equal). I was working on a panel that could be trimmed, so I had the option to crop it to a better composition. I first cropped it on my phone's camera, and then decided to go for it. My 14x18 became a 12x16.


Twilight's Radiant Descent, oil, 12x16


UPCOMING WORKSHOPS:

Bend, OR - 3-day PASTEL/OIL workshop - ONE SPOT LEFT
January 21, 22 & 23, 2017 (Sat/Sun/Mon)
SageBrushers Art Society
117 SW Roosevelt Ave., Bend, OR  97702
Contact: Barbara Jaenicke, barbarajaenicke@msn.com
$375

Fresno, CA - 3-day PASTEL/OIL  workshop
February 9, 10 & 11, 2017 (Thurs/Fri/Sat)
A Sense of Place Art Gallery
2003 North Van Ness Blvd.
Fresno, CA  93704
Contact: Ginny Burdick, gallery@ginnyburdick.com, 559-392-6775
$375

Redondo Beach, CA - 3-day PASTEL workshop -- FULL W/WAIT LIST
April 20, 21& 22, 2017 
Pastel Society of Southern California
Contact: Arturo Fribourg, Fribourgarch@aol.com
$350 (tentative price, may change slightly)

Oregon City, OR - 3-day PASTEL/OIL workshop
May 19, 20& 21, 2017 (Fri/Sat/Sun)
"Meet & Greet" Thursday evening (5/18)
Carrie Moore Studios, Oregon City, OR
Contact: Carrie Moore, carriemoorestudios5@gmail.com, 503-866-5507
$400

Cumberland, MD - 1-day Plein Air workshop (all media/demo will be in oil)
June 25, 2017 (Sun)
Part of the Mountain Maryland Plein Air event happening June 19-24.
Contact: Chris Sloan, csloan@alleganyarts.org, 301-777-2787
$150


For FULL WORKSHOP SCHEDULE, go to www.barbarajaenicke.com

My INSTRUCTIONAL VIDEOS are available at www.paintingthepoeticlandscape.com.

ONLINE CRITIQUES - Visit www.proartcritique.com where I and other painting instructors give quick, affordable online critiques of your work.










Sunday, January 1, 2017

Ready or Not, 2017 is Here!



I hope this holiday season has been a fun-filled one for you, and I wish you all the best for 2017!

With snow on the ground here in Bend, I hope to have plenty of snow scenes on the easel over the next few months, and I look forward to sharing them with you!

I'm getting revved up for an active year ahead! In addition to my workshops, I'm excited to be part of the faculty of this year's Plein Air Convention in San Diego and the IAPS (pastel) Convention in Albuquerque. I'm also thrilled to announce that I'll be among the featured artists in this year's Door County Plein Air Festival in Wisconsin this July!

One other piece of news to let you in on ... I'm in the initial planning stages of developing an ongoing online instructional program. This is what I can tell you so far: It would be through my Painting the Poetic Landscape website, which houses my instructional video series that was launched this past fall. My plan is to provide short lessons online through this same website, as an extension to the lessons taught in the video series. Students will be able to complete their own painting based on each exercise and submit it for critique. Stay tuned ... more info to come!

In the meantime, I hope to continue sharing some painting tidbits, teachings and thoughts here on my blog. If you'd like to study with me "live and in person," please take a look at my workshop schedule below and see if I might be coming to a studio near you this year!

2017 Workshops:

Bend, OR - 3-day PASTEL/OIL workshop
January 21, 22 & 23, 2017 (Sat/Sun/Mon)
SageBrushers Art Society
117 SW Roosevelt Ave., Bend, OR  97702
Contact: Barbara Jaenicke, barbarajaenicke@msn.com
$375

Fresno, CA - 3-day PASTEL/OIL  workshop
February 9, 10 & 11, 2017 (Thurs/Fri/Sat)
A Sense of Place Art Gallery
2003 North Van Ness Blvd.
Fresno, CA  93704
Contact: Ginny Burdick, gallery@ginnyburdick.com, 559-392-6775
$375

Redondo Beach, CA - 3-day PASTEL workshop
April 20, 21 & 22, 2017 
Pastel Society of Southern California
Contact: Arturo Fribourg, Fribourgarch@aol.com
$350 (tentative price, may change slightly)

San Diego, CA - Plein Air Convention
April 24 - 28, 2017
Faculty/Pastel demonstrator
Exact day/time of demo TDB. Must be registered for convention to attend.

Oregon City, OR - 3-day PASTEL/OIL workshop
May 19, 20 & 21, 2017 (Fri/Sat/Sun)
"Meet & Greet" Thursday evening (5/18)
Carrie Moore Studios, Oregon City, OR
Contact: Carrie Moore, carriemoorestudios5@gmail.com, 503-866-5507
$400

Albuquerque, NM - 1-day PASTEL workshop, plus two separate demos
IAPS Convention week, June 7-11, 2017 
(Must be registered for convention to participate in workshop or demos.)
3-hour demo, June 8: Rich, Vibrant Snow Scenes
2-hour demo, June 9: Making Your Mark
1-day workshop, June 11: The Landscape Composition Puzzle

Cumberland, MD - 1-day Plein Air workshop (all media/demo will be in oil)
June 25, 2017 (Sun)
Part of the Mountain Maryland Plein Air event happening June 19-24.
Contact: Chris Sloan, csloan@alleganyarts.org, 301-777-2787
$150

Bainbridge Island, WA - 3-day PASTEL/OIL workshop (studio & plein air)
July 19, 20 & 21, 2017 (Wed/Thurs/Fri)
Winslow Art Center
278 Winslow Way E, Bainbridge Island, WA 98110
Contact: Martha Jordan, martha@winslowartcenter.com, 206-715-6663
(Price TBD)

Richmond, IN - 3-day PASTEL/OIL workshop
Aug. 17, 18 & 19, 2017 (Thurs/Fri/Sat)
Richmond Art Museum
350 Hub Etchison Parkway, Richmond, Indiana, 47374
Contact: Lance Crow, lance@richmondartmuseum.org, 765-966-0256
$395/member; $450/non-member

Bend, OR - 3-day PASTEL/OIL workshop
Sept. 23, 24 & 25, 2017 (Sat/Sun/Mon)
SageBrushers Art Society
117 SW Roosevelt Ave., Bend, OR  97702
Contact: Barbara Jaenicke, barbarajaenicke@msn.com
$375

Landgrove, VT - 4-day PASTEL/OIL workshop (studio with some plein air, weather permitting)
Oct. 16, 17, 18 & 19, 2017 (MonTues/Wed/Thurs)
InView Center for the Arts at the Landgrove Inn
132 Landgrove Road
Landgrove, VT  05148
802-824-6673
$480

Bridgewater, NJ - 3-day PASTEL/OIL workshop
Nov. 3, 4 & 5, 2017 (Fri/Sat/Sun)
York Art Studio
350 Grove St. #4, Bridgewater, NJ 08807
yorkartstudio@gmail.com
908-392-0998
$400
Contact: Barbara Jaenicke, barbarajaenicke@msn.com


Wednesday, December 21, 2016

New Workshop Added for Early 2017

Los Carneros Park, pastel, 8x10

Just a quick announcement to let you know I've just added a workshop to my 2017 schedule happening pretty soon! Here are the details:

February 9 - 11, 2017
A Sense of Place Art Gallery
Fresno, California
$375
Studio landscape workshop for pastel and oil.
Contact Ginny Burdick, gallery@ginnyburdick.com, 559-392-6775

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Searching for the Gems in Your Landscape

I’ve lived in my new neighborhood in my new town for almost a year and a half now. As I expected, it took me awhile to get acclimated to my new subject matter. I now live in a high desert region, so the vegetation is very different from where I lived for 23 years in Georgia and also before that in New Jersey. Settling into the new color palette has been one hurdle, but this new landscape also has me approaching composition a bit differently at times, since I have more distant views to work with now. Not that I always have to capture the whole vast view—sometimes I still like to zoom in to a more intimate view.


The paintings I’ve shown here in this post are all from the same general area across the street from my neighborhood. The first three are all within several yards of each other, along a canal (although the canal is only visible in one of them), at different times throughout the past year, with the top one being from just this past week.


Distant Light, pastel, 8x10

Winter Color, pastel, 11x14

High Desert Afternoon, oil, 8x10

I’ve completed many more paintings from this same general area, on location and from photos. Some worked. Many more didn’t. But it’s all part of the process of searching and understanding the landscape.

Last week after our first significant snowfall, I spent about an hour walking around this area, visually absorbing the light and color palette, and trying to visualize potential compositions for snow scenes.  The photo below shows the typical busy view of snow covered vegetation all around this area.  In this particular photo, there’s not a real strong composition to work with. 


The typical "snowy" landscape vegetation my area. 

As the artist, you have to search for the composition. If you’re working from reference photos, take LOTS of photos…from different angles and different directions. Look for a variety of shapes and possibly interesting diagonals rather than the first, more obvious, composition you see. Consider what’s special about this view of the landscape and how to best feature it in a composition.


Wintry Climb, oil, 14x11

Toward the end of my walk, I came upon this spot ("Wintry Climb" above).  I was immediately attracted to the strong light on the snow-covered rocks. After playing a bit with the composition, I decided that an upward view and high placement of the horizon would add some drama and nicely showcase the light.

Some days I wander my neighborhood and can’t find a thing to paint. And then other times the painting potential seems endless. Of course the light direction and light quality on a particular day has a lot to do with it. But otherwise, I think it’s just how well our vision is tuned into the landscape and how thoroughly we search for paintings within a given landscape. As with any skill, it takes plenty of practice. And some days you have it; some days you don’t. I personally LIVE for those days when I find a hidden gem in the landscape.


INSTRUCTIONAL VIDEOS
Visit www.paintingthepoeticlandscape.com for my instructional video series. Available for pastel or oil, as a DVD or online, and comes with an instructional booklet that's also available either as a hard copy or digital download.



UPCOMING WORKSHOPS:

Bend, OR - 3-day PASTEL/OIL workshop
January 21, 22 &23, 2017 (Sat/Sun/Mon)
SageBrushers Art Society
117 SW Roosevelt Ave., Bend, OR  97702
Contact: Barbara Jaenicke, barbarajaenicke@msn.com
$375

Redondo Beach, CA - 3-day PASTEL workshop
April 20, 21 & 22, 2017 
Pastel Society of Southern California
Contact: Arturo Fribourg, Fribourgarch@aol.com
$350 (tentative price, may change slightly)

San Diego, CA - Plein Air Convention
April 24 - 28, 2017
Faculty/Pastel demonstrator
Exact day/time of demo TDB. Must be registered for convention to attend.

Oregon City, OR - 3-day PASTEL/OIL workshop
May 19, 20 & 21, 2017 (Fri/Sat/Sun), with a "meet & greet" Thursday evening before the workshop
Carrie Moore Studios, Oregon City, OR
Contact: Carrie Moore, carriemoorestudios5@gmail.com, 503-866-5507
$400

For full workshop schedule, go to www.barbarajaenicke.com


ONLINE CRITIQUES
Visit www.proartcritique.com where I and other painting instructors give quick, affordable online critiques of your work.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Something Special for my Blog readers on Small Business Saturday!

I love the idea of having a day dedicated to purchasing something unique from a small business rather than a gigantic corporation, as is usually the case with Black Friday and Cyber Monday. So I thought I'd offer something special to my faithful blog readers on Small Business Saturday!

For just this one day--Saturday, November 26th--I'm offering a price of $95 plus shipping on each of the following three 8x10 studies (normally $235). They can be purchased through Daily Paintworks/PayPal by clicking on the links below. After this day, they'll each go back up to their normal prices.This won't be posted anywhere else; I'm announcing it only through my blog.

Whether it's by purchasing one of my little paintings or something else from another small business owner, I hope you'll consider supporting Small Business Saturday!


Springtime's Arrival, 8x10, oil on panel (unframed)
CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE

Creekside Sparkle, 8x10, oil on panel (unframed)
CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE

Los Carneros Park, 8x10, pastel on panel (unframed)
CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE


UPDATE: Thanks for the support! All three sold before I had breakfast this morning! Although my little promotion is over, I do still have several other 8x10s for sale on Daily Paintworks. CLICK HERE to go to my Daily Paintworks gallery page.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Exploring a Landscape Subject

Early on in my painting journey, I would never consider painting a subject more than once. But these days I spend quite a bit of time exploring multiple studies of a particular subject. Since I’m not trying to replicate my subject, I’m instead searching for a way to visually interpret what's special about it. And sometimes it takes some searching to find how I want to do that.

Black Butte Ranch Aspens, 8x10, oil

I painted “Black Butte Ranch Aspens” on location recently. Although there was beautiful subject matter everywhere I looked, I wanted to focus on the brilliant light on the sides of the Aspen trees. I wasn’t too sure about the composition I was attempting as I was painting it—with the trees on the right ending almost at the center—but I wanted to paint just a portion of the tree mass since I knew the light would change quickly, and I took my best shot at this type of composition.


Last Glimpse of Autumn, 12x16, pastel

Back in the studio, I wanted to include more of the tree mass in the composition, so I backed up my view, which is more like how I photographed this spot.


reference photo

After looking at the 12x16 version, I was okay with it, but I didn’t think it captured the light on the Aspen tree trunks like I had wanted. It seemed that the light and shadow on the foreground grass had stolen some attention from the tree trunks.  So I decided to zoom back in on the composition—not as much as the plein air study, but a little closer so that it better featured the light on the trunk trunks. I also pulled the base of the trees down to lengthen the tree trunks, and created more “breathing space” in the sky on the left between the tree foliage at the top and the distant mountain by reducing the size of the mountain. 

In all three versions I exaggerated the size of the mountain to create additional depth. The mountain is indeed there in the photo, but barely visible.  When I was there painting my plein air study, I noticed that the mountain was higher further to the left of the view I was painting, and I loved the contrast against the other elements in the landscape, so I moved it into my composition.


Autumn's Fade at Black Butte Ranch, pastel, 14x18

I’ll look at my third version for a while and decide if I might want to explore it some more in oil. I find that moving back and forth between oil and pastel helps keep the exploring process interesting!

Stay tuned for a little special surprise I have planned for my blog readers on Saturday, November 26th ... Small Business Saturday!


UPCOMING WORKSHOPS;

Bend, OR - 3-day PASTEL/OIL workshop
January 21, 22 &23, 2017 (Sat/Sun/Mon)
SageBrushers Art Society
117 SW Roosevelt Ave., Bend, OR  97702
Contact: Barbara Jaenicke, barbarajaenicke@msn.com
$375

Redondo Beach, CA - 3-day PASTEL workshop
April 20, 21 & 22, 2017 
Pastel Society of Southern California
Contact: Arturo Fribourg, Fribourgarch@aol.com
$350 (tentative price, may change slightly)

San Diego, CA - Plein Air Convention
April 24 - 28, 2017
Faculty/Pastel demonstrator
Exact day/time of demo TDB. Must be registered for convention to attend.

Oregon City, OR - 3-day PASTEL/OIL workshop
May 19, 20 & 21, 2017 (Fri/Sat/Sun), with a "meet & greet" Thursday evening before the workshop
Carrie Moore Studios, Oregon City, OR
Contact: Carrie Moore, carriemoorestudios5@gmail.com, 503-866-5507
$400

For full schedule, go to www.barbarajaenicke.com

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Painting Instructional Series Now Available!

I'm excited to announce that my pastel and oil painting instructional series is now available! 






For those of you who have followed my blog, I'm thrilled to be able to share this instructional series with you. With this series, you'll be able to watch step-by-step demonstrations of the key skills I discuss frequently on my blog, with thorough explanations.

The video series is available in oil and pastel, and can be purchased as a combined package or just the one medium. Each medium shows a total viewing time of 4 hours and is broken down into 4 segments: Composition, Color Harmony, Color Temperature, and Edges & Editing.

Available online or on DVD, the series also comes with a 28-page booklet, which serves as a companion piece to the videos. The booklet is available as a .PDF download or a printed hardcopy, and contains summaries of each lesson and demo, all of the reference photos and thumbnail sketches used in the demos, and suggested exercises based on the topics covered in the video series.

For more details, to watch an introductory video, or to purchase, click the image above or go to www.paintingthepoeticlandscape.com.