Thursday, September 15, 2016

Choosing a Reference Photo

Everything Has Its Place, pastel, 9x12

While it's certainly best for the landscape artist to spend lots of time painting on location, we still need to spend time in the studio as well, where we can slow down a bit and experiment. So when we do work in the studio, it's important to have good reference photos from which to work.

As I look back over photo files from many years ago, I can see that I've become more discerning about what types of landscape subjects work well for my paintings, and which ones don't. A good reference photo doesn't necessarily require expert photography skills. It just needs to meet certain criteria. Here's a list of what I look for:

1. COMPOSITION - A variety of large and small shapes, possibly with some depth between the shapes. You can, of course, manipulate your composition to find the most eye-pleasing design of landscape elements (which I always encourage!), but you still need a fairly good arrangement to start with.

2. VALUES - A clear range of at least 3- 4 values, without the shadow areas turning solid black. If you have photo editing software (such as Photoshop) you may be able to bring back those areas by lightening just the shadows.

3. LIGHT SOURCE - Clear directional light and shadow. (This is, of course, not always necessary in situations such as haze, mist, or rain which can also be very beautiful and effective.)  Often midday flat light can be tricky to work with from photos, which is why most artists prefer early morning or late afternoon/early evening light.

4. COLOR RELATIONSHIPS - Usually based on sunlight and shadow, a clear indication of warms and cools. Even if the local color of your camera's image is slightly off, as long as the color temperature (warms and cools) isn't too obscured in the photographic or printing process, it will still give you the information you need for a painting. You mainly need to be able to see the warm-to-cool comparisons, even if the color is a tad off. Time spent at the actual location will also help you correct color from memory...I talk more about that in my last post.

During my workshops, I try to spend a good amount of time helping students choose their reference photos, explaining why one would be better than another. Often students make the mistake of choosing a photo based on subject matter, rather than the criteria shown above.

Here are some examples of my reference photos, and  why I think one works better than the other:




I used this reference photo above for my pastel painting, "Everything Has Its Place" (at top of this post). It had a good variety of large and small shapes, and a clear range of depth between the shapes (foreground, middle ground and background). The value and color temperature--and even chroma (saturation vs. grays)--in the photo was clear and accurate.




This photo above was from the same location. It has a nice, clear view of the mountains, which is very tempting! But it doesn't have the variety of shapes and depth between shapes that the other one has. It also has a very awkward crop of the foreground tree on the right. It would take lots of guess work to incorporate that tree in a visually appealing way, and would likely need to be left out.



I used this photo (above) for my painting (below).

Broken Top Mountain From South Sister Mountain, oil, 18x24

Below are additional photos also taken at the same location:




Although this photo directly above has a clearer view of the mountain and nice tree shapes, the scraggly tree in the other one above has lots of eye appeal in regard to variety of shapes, edges, values and color temperature. (Lot of great stuff for me to sink my artistic teeth into!) Also, the strong diagonal in photo directly above cuts the composition in half. I might be able to move that a bit, but it might be tough to shift it to an ideal spot and still keep other important elements where they need to be.

This photo below is lacking the variety of large and small shapes, would need lots of work on composition manipulation, and doesn't have much in the way of a foreground.




However, this photo below has possibilities! Good variety of shapes and depth, and good value range.





One more thing to note: In the studio, I work from a back lit screen such as my laptop or iPad, which displays a more accurate image than prints. Even a good quality print often obscures at least to some degree your values and color temperatures.


VIDEO SERIES:

Coming very soon!! (It's almost ready!) To be notified when it's ready for purchase, visit www.paintingthepoeticlandscape.com. (By the way, the painting shown at the top of this post is one of the demos from the series!)


UPCOMING WORKSHOPS:

DEMO AT THE ART LOFT IN DAHLONEGA, GA
The workshop below is full, but we've added a 3-hour oil painting demo on Sun., Sept. 25.
Topic - Painting Genuine Light and Shadow in the Snow Scene
10 am - 1 pm, $50
For those of you in the Atlanta area, it's a very easy drive to get to The Art Loft!
3-day PASTEL/OIL workshop - FULL WITH WAIT LIST
Sept., 22, 23 & 24, 2016 (Thurs/Fri/Sat)
The Art Loft
Dahlonega, GA
$465

Santa Barbara, CA - 3-day PASTEL/OIL workshop (studio & plein air) - FULL WITH WAIT LIST
Oct. 11, 12 & 13, 2016 (Tues/Wed/Thurs)
Studio & Plein Air
Santa Barbara, CA
Contact Kris Buck: 805-964-1464, mbuck18@cox.net 
$400

Stevensville, MD - 3-day PASTEL/OIL workshop
November 2, 3 & 4, 2016 (Wed/Thurs/Fri) - REVISED DATES
Chesapeake Fine Art Studio 
609 Thompson Creek Rd.
Stevensville, MD 21666
(about 40 minutes from downtown Baltimore)
410-200-8019
$450

Visit my workshop page at www.barbarajaenicke.com for my 2017 schedule.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Beyond the ‘Copyright Infringement’ Question


Winter Whites, oil, 16x20
I knew firsthand when I stood in this spot how intense
the sun glare was, which is what I wanted to capture and
convey in this painting.


After my last blog post about artist copyright infringement (“Staying Out of the Art WorldDoghouse”), I received a lot of questions. Although I didn’t want to try to pose as an authority on the topic, I sort of expected that I’d drum up a lot of questions and discussions.

In the feedback I received, everyone seemed to be in agreement that copying from others’ photos or artwork and putting the copied work in public view without permission from the originating artist/photographer is not a good thing. Most of the questions had to do with artists who often worked from others’ photos with permission, and possibly changed something within the image. The short answer, again, is if you’re entering your painting from that borrowed photo into a competitive show, simply read every word of the rules of the competition--and follow them. Regarding other situations using “permission-granted” photos, such as noncompetitive exhibits or selling that work, in most cases it’s fine legally.

But …

My advice to artists who wish to stretch their skills and develop a professional reputation is that you’ll eventually want your work to be just that … YOUR WORK. Completely and entirely.

In my workshops, I teach a lot about composition, and manipulating your reference photos. For landscape artists who work from photos, the creative process really starts when you’re standing there in the landscape ready to shoot your photos. You begin to visualize the painting possibilities at that moment. (You also react to the landscape on some emotional level … more on that below.) However, after you shoot the photo, remember, YOU'RE the artist ... not your camera. 

Even when taking great care to compose the landscape images in my camera’s viewfinder, I rarely paint from a photo exactly as it comes off my camera. I upload the photos onto my computer, into Photoshop Elements, and I manipulate the heck out of them. I spend a lot of time doing this. I shift the horizon up. I shift it down. I crop it a little. And then a lot. I try both a vertical and horizontal version. Maybe even a square. Occasionally a long vertical or horizontal.

Then after that process, I create a thumbnail sketch, further shifting elements this way and that, tweaking sizes and relative proportions of elements larger or smaller to achieve a nice variety of large and small abstract shapes.

Now possibly those artists who are borrowing photos may also be doing some of this. But I find that most artists who work from photos other than their own are not usually in the habit of pursuing their own completely original compositions. (Leaving out one tree isn’t really creating your own composition.)

Another important aspect of all of this is something I’ve discussed in a recent blog post, which has to do with capturing that elusive sense of place in your landscape. This is difficult to do if you haven’t experienced the landscape firsthand by standing right there yourself when the photo is taken. You won’t know what the light and shadow really looked like and how it will most certainly differ from the visual information the photo will give you. Then there are also those other more subtle nuances that artists like to capture in their paintings … the feel of the wind, intense heat or bitter cold, moisture in the air, blinding sun glare, etc. … all very difficult to convey in a genuine way if you weren’t actually there. This all contributes to the visual message (see “It’s Not About Painting Things”) you’ll want to infuse into your painting, which in turn will affect the composition you develop to best showcase that message. (And of course, painting the landscape on location [see “Location Location Location”] is the most ideal way to capture and record all this, but that’s another discussion, and we’re talking about working from photos here.)

I rarely paint from a photo I took more than a year ago if it’s from a location I don’t visit often. It’s too long ago for me to remember those nuances and emotional reactions. I also find that my better paintings tend to come from my more mediocre photos. I’m not a great photographer, but when I’ve managed to shoot a spectacular photo (by luck), I often fall into the trap of just copying what I see from the photo rather than incorporating more of an emotional reaction and visual message, based on my experience at that location.



The two reference photos above were used for my initial study
(below) and the larger painting (Winter Whites) at the top of
this post. I painted the study and then the larger piece soon after
I stood at this spot so I could remember more accurately the
lighting and shadows, intense glare reflecting off the snow, color
temperature, and other nuances that a photo will never capture.

Hidden Stream, oil, 8x10 (study for Winter Whites.)
After observing the effect I captured in this study,
I wanted to push the shadows slightly lighter to intensify
the glare effect that I remembered from this location.

When you can infuse this first-hand personal reaction to the landscape, and become comfortable with manipulating your own images to best feature this personal reaction, then you can call your work YOUR WORK. And this is the type of work that can and should be awarded in competitive shows, and, dare I say, be rewarded financially in sales to the originating hard-working artist who strives for what I’ve described here.

So with this whole grey area of working from borrowed photos with permission, it’s really about your own goals, how far you want to stretch yourself as an artist, and the reputation you wish to develop. If you’re a beginner who’s still learning the basics and aren’t yet ready to put your work out there, working from good photos, even if they’re someone else’s, isn’t a bad way to start. Just keep this and my last blog post in mind when you’re ready to step out there and let the world take notice.


Upcoming Workshops:

Dahlonega, GA - 3-day PASTEL/OIL workshop - FULL WITH WAIT LIST
Sept., 22, 23 & 24, 2016 (Thurs/Fri/Sat)
The Art Loft
Dahlonega, GA
$465

Santa Barbara, CA - 3-day PASTEL/OIL workshop (studio & plein air) - FULL WITH WAIT LIST*
Oct. 11, 12 & 13, 2016 (Tues/Wed/Thurs)
Studio & Plein Air
Santa Barbara, CA
Contact Kris Buck: 805-964-1464, mbuck18@cox.net 
$400
*Possibility of a 2nd workshop added if there are enough people on the wait list.

Stevensville, MD - 3-day PASTEL/OIL workshop
November 2, 3 & 4, 2016 (Wed/Thurs/Fri) - REVISED DATES
Chesapeake Fine Art Studio 
609 Thompson Creek Rd.
Stevensville, MD 21666
(about 40 minutes from downtown Baltimore)
410-200-8019
$450


For full workshop schedule, visit www.barbarajaenicke.com.



Online Critiques
Would you like me to personally critique your oil or pastel painting? Visit www.ProArtCritique.com and click on my name for quick, affordable feedback on your work.

NEW! Critique Group in Bend, OR
In the Bend area? See the workshop page on my website for information on a new monthly critique group that I'll be leading!





Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Staying Out of the Art World Dog House.

A couple of years ago, I wrote up the following information for my local students back in Atlanta, and it has been suggested by several of them to also share it on my blog. This is all in response to the many questions I receive from students on the subject of painting from instructor photos and copying other artists' work. It's taken me awhile to finally decide to post this, because I don't want to become known as the "copyright infringement police" for artists. But since I do receive so many questions and come across so much confusion about all this, I wanted to have my answer posted in a spot where I can direct students or anyone else who poses questions to me on this topic.


Afternoon Glow, pastel, 8x10
A typical landscape demo that I've used in classes/workshops, 
and made the photo available to students.

The following summary is really meant to keep you out of trouble with other artists, instructors and art organizations. These aren't my own personal rules or preferences, but the expectations in the art community as I've come to understand them. I see a lot of misuse simply due to lack of knowing the generally accepted ethics. And after all, I happily see new artists joining workshops all the time who are understandably not in the loop about all this.

Social media has brought about many changes on this topic and caused artists to adapt accordingly. Of course technology and social media will no doubt continue to evolve and cause more changes, but this is my current understanding.

Use of Other Artists' Photos

Most instructors share the use of their reference photos with students because the instructor often has a good supply of photos that will make good subject matter for the type of landscape painting he or she teaches. This also makes it more convenient for students who have limited time to gather their own photos or aren't as experienced taking their own photos. 

However, any photo image that an instructor shares is owned by that instructor...the image is his or her property. The actual copyright laws are supposed to be in favor of the artist who takes the photo, but truthfully, that's such a grey area if one were to claim anything in a court of law. And for most artists, it probably wouldn't even be financially worth pursuing in the event that an image (photo or artwork) was used/copied.

But you might want to be in the know regarding the ethical expectation in the art community. When an instructor provides photos for students as reference for paintings done in class, it's expected that the paintings done from those photos are for learning purposes only. The following is also expected:

- The work painted from those photos should not be entered in public exhibitions. (One possible exception could be student art shows at an art center at which the painting was done under the direction of an instructor at that center). When entering any art show, always read every word of the prospectus. Most juried art shows will clearly state that work painted from photo reference must be from your own photos and not completed in a class/workshop situation or under the direction of any instructor. Regardless of how hard you may work on a painting, if it doesn't meet the requirements of a show, it can and should be disqualified. I know of many instances in which this has happened. It's unsettling for both the disqualified artist and the instructor. And if your particular situation is in a grey area, it's normally best to simply avoid it.

- The work painted from those photos should not be posted anywhere online (social media, blogs, website, online galleries, etc.). Some students have posted online their work done from an instructor's photo and clearly state as such, including the instructor's name. It's a nice thought to give the instructor a nod online and mention some good feedback on the workshop with a social media or blog post like that. Of course we instructors appreciate nice feedback! But the way the internet and social media work, unfortunately sometimes images get separated from the attributed information, so this can sometimes backfire for both the student and instructor.

- Selling work done from another artist's/instructor's photo is also another grey area. If you get their permission, sure, technically that's fine. But I think the general preference of the art community as a whole is for an instructor to not be put in that situation in which they would feel bad saying "no" so they say reluctantly "yes." My recommendation is to keep those paintings from instructor photos in your studio for learning reference, or maybe to give as a gift to a close friend or family member.

- If you study from more than one instructor, as most artists do, and you would like to continue working from one instructor's photo in a different instructor's class, be sure to tell that instructor that it's another instructor's photo

I've focused here on use of landscape photos for landscape paintings. I haven't addressed working from still life set ups or models for figurative work in classroom/workshop settings under the direction of an instructor. However, both of those situations would have similar guidelines to what's mentioned above. I'm not going to address working from historical photos or other genres that may in some cases make use of copyright-free photos for portions of artwork, since that gets into a whole different area that may have a different set of standards on which I can't claim sufficient knowledge.

Use of Other Artists' Artwork

And of course, all of these guidelines would apply even more so if you were to copy another artist's completed artwork. As a learning exercise, it's not a bad idea to copy another artist's work. Artists have copied the great masters throughout the years as a great way to learn. But when it comes to copying living artists' work, as mentioned above regarding today’s online world, it's best to keep those practice exercises within the walls of your own studio. 

Why this is important for YOU

In general, keep in mind that most professional artists don't want to see copies of their work (or their photos from which they have likely already painted) showing up anywhere online or in the public view. But more importantly for you, when you do put a painting out there that copies or bears clear resemblance to a painting from another artist--especially an artist who may be more recognized for that painting--it reflects poorly on you more so than the originating artist.

I'm pretty sure that any infringement I've ever seen pertaining to my work or photos was never done with any negative intent. This lengthy explanation is only meant to be helpful in order to keep you out of the art world dog house. I expect that other artists and instructors may have a slightly different slant on this--some more lenient; some more strict--but to my knowledge these are the generally considered ethics in the art world these days.


Upcoming Workshops:

Florham Park, NJ - 3-day PASTEL workshop - FULL WITH WAIT LIST
July 22, 23 & 24, 2016
Debarry Studio Ten
Contact Christina at 973-525-2544 or Debarrystudio@gmail.com
$405

Cape Cod, MA - 3-day PASTEL/OIL workshop
Aug. 9, 10 & 11, 2016
Falmouth Artists Guild
Falmouth, MA
508-540-3304
$425/member; $475/non-member

Dahlonega, GA - 3-day PASTEL/OIL workshop - FULL WITH WAIT LIST
Sept., 22, 23 & 24, 2016 (Thurs/Fri/Sat)
The Art Loft
Dahlonega, GA
$465

Santa Barbara, CA - 3-day PASTEL/OIL workshop (studio & plein air) - FULL WITH WAIT LIST*
Oct. 11, 12 & 13, 2016 (Tues/Wed/Thurs)
Studio & Plein Air
Santa Barbara, CA
Contact Kris Buck: 805-964-1464, mbuck18@cox.net 
$400
*Possibility of a 2nd workshop added if there are enough people on the wait list.

Stevensville, MD - 3-day PASTEL/OIL workshop
November 2, 3 & 4, 2016 (Wed/Thurs/Fri) - REVISED DATES
Chesapeake Fine Art Studio 
609 Thompson Creek Rd.
Stevensville, MD 21666
(about 40 minutes from downtown Baltimore)
410-200-8019
$Price TBD


For full workshop schedule, visit www.barbarajaenicke.com.


Online Critiques
Would you like me to personally critique your oil or pastel painting? Visit www.ProArtCritique.com and click on my name for quick, affordable feedback on your work.

NEW! Critique Group in Bend, OR
In the Bend area? See the workshop page on my website for information on a new monthly critique group that I'll be leading!

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Painting the Light

Sunny Little Corner of Sawyer Park, oil, 18x24

I was about to write up my next blog post on something else, but then had a request on Facebook to post my reference photos with my paintings. That gets to be a bit much to post many of them on Facebook, but my blog makes a good place to do that on occasion, and talk about the challenges of working from photos.

This was my reference photo for the above painting, “Sunny Little Corner of Sawyer Park” (oil, 18x24) and the studies below…




Not really a great photo. Pretty dull, actually. But it had enough of a light and shadow pattern for me to work with, and enough elements to create a composition with a good variety of large and small shapes.

I was recently teaching a workshop during which the students painted at this same location one morning. I didn’t paint there on that particular day, although I wish I did because as I was working with students, I noticed that the light was spectacular. I’ve painted there a couple of times previously over the past year and had several photos of the location. This photo was actually taken last year at about the same time of year, and when I looked back at it, I became aware that the camera missed capturing the amazing light that I knew would have been about the same on the day I took this photo as the recent workshop day.

I happened to use this photo to demonstrate a quick block in for a pastel painting (below) before we headed out to our first painting location. Since we would be painting there the following day, I thought it would make a good subject for a quick studio demo. Later in the workshop, after the students painted at this location, I quickly finished it up.

Sunny Little Corner of the Deschutes, pastel, 9x12

Soon after the workshop, remembering the light I saw that day, I noticed that I could push the warms of the sunlit area a bit more, and painted a small oil study while it was still fresh in my mind.

Sunny Little Corner of Sawyer Park (study), oil, 8x10

The photo reference I used was purely for the basic shapes of the rocks and foliage, textures, and an approximation of the light and shadow patterns. However, I wanted to paint the LIGHT, not merely the “things” in the reference photo. The rocks, trees, bushes, grass and water were simply the vehicles for showcasing this light. Color--and more specifically color temperature--couldn’t be referenced from the photo. It’s the temperature of the light and shadows that I did my best to pull from my memory of my time there at that location.



Upcoming Workshops:

Florham Park, NJ - 3-day PASTEL workshop (FULL with wait list)
July 22, 23 & 24, 2016
Debarry Studio Ten
Contact Christina at 973-525-2544 or Debarrystudio@gmail.com
$405

Cape Cod, MA - 3-day PASTEL/OIL workshop
Aug. 9, 10 & 11, 2016
Falmouth Artists Guild
Falmouth, MA
www.falmouthart.org
508-540-3304
$425/member; $475/non-member

Dahlonega, GA - 3-day PASTEL/OIL workshop
Sept., 22, 23 & 24, 2016 (Thurs/Fri/Sat)
The Art Loft
Dahlonega, GA
www.artloft.net
$465


For full workshop schedule, visit www.barbarajaenicke.com.


Online Critiques
Would you like me to personally critique your oil or pastel painting? Visit www.ProArtCritique.com and click on my name for quick, affordable feedback on your work.

NEW! Critique Group in Bend, OR
In the Bend area? See the workshop page on my website for information on a new monthly critique group that I'll be leading!

Friday, June 10, 2016

That's a Wrap! Instructional Painting Videos Coming Soon!


I’m a little late posting my monthly blog, but with good reason! I’m excited to announce that I’ve just completed filming a series of instructional painting lessons … 4 in oil and 4 in pastel. They'll be available as digital downloads, with the option of also being purchased as a DVD.





As we were wrapping up the filming, we also shot this brief video so I could describe this series in person:




Production should be completed later this summer.  If you’d like to receive notification of when they’re available, click here to go to a page that will prompt you to enter your email address. (Don’t worry, you’re not signing up for junk mail, just this notification.) 



The completed painting demos from the videos are shown below. You’ll notice I’ve painted the same image in oil and in pastel, which I thought would be helpful for those who work in both media and would be interested in viewing both courses. Each medium covers 4 topics: Color Temperature, Composition, Edges & Editing, and Color Harmony. (The demos below are shown in this order.)


 


I'm asked frequently if I have any videos available, so I'm excited to soon finally be able to say that I do! A special thank you to Adam Houston, owner of Bridge Creative (http://bridgecreative.com) in Atlanta, GA, for putting this all together, and Eric Parnell (http://www.thenwcollective.com) of Bend, OR, our videographer.


Winter's Warms and Cools, pastel, 9x12

Winter's Warms and Cools (oil), 9x12

Everything Has Its Place (pastel), 9x12

Everything Has Its Place (oil), 9x12

A Brief Impression (pastel), 9x12

A Brief Impression (oil), 9x12

Winter's Harmony (pastel), 9x12

Winter's Harmony (oil), 9x12


Upcoming Workshops:

Lac du Flambeau, WI (northern Wisconsin) - 4-day PASTEL/OIL workshop
(studio & some plein air)
June 27, 28, 29 & 30, 2016 (Mon-Thurs)
Dillman's Creative Arts Foundation
3305 Sand Lake Lodge Lane
Lac du Flambeau, WI 54538
This will mainly be a studio workshop, but will also include some plein air time. Dillman's is a resort facility where you can enjoy gorgeous (paintable!) scenery right outside your door, boat rides on the lake and other outdoor recreation right there where the workshop takes place. The studios stay open after workshop hours for artists wanting additional painting time. Workshop fee also includes a welcome dinner the evening of your arrival. Affordable accommodations in the resort are available through Dillman's. This is a great option if you're looking to completely immerse yourself in a painting workshop!
$550
Call 715-588-3143 for more information or register online at www.dillmans.com.

Florham Park, NJ - 3-day PASTEL workshop
July 22, 23 & 24, 2016
Debarry Studio Ten
Contact Christina at 973-525-2544 or Debarrystudio@gmail.com
$405

Cape Cod, MA - 3-day PASTEL/OIL workshop
Aug. 9, 10 & 11, 2016
Falmouth Artists Guild
Falmouth, MA
www.falmouthart.org
508-540-3304
$425/member; $475/non-member

Dahlonega, GA - 3-day PASTEL/OIL workshop
Sept., 22, 23 & 24, 2016 (Thurs/Fri/Sat)
The Art Loft
Dahlonega, GA
www.artloft.net
$465


For full workshop schedule, visit www.barbarajaenicke.com.

Online Critiques
Would you like me to personally critique your oil or pastel painting? Visit www.ProArtCritique.com and click on my name for quick, affordable feedback on your work.

NEW! Critique Group in Bend, OR
In the Bend area? See the workshop page on my website for information on a new monthly critique group that I'll be leading!


Monday, April 18, 2016

It's not about painting "things."


When artists first learn the basics of painting, the challenge is to capture an accurate image. We learn about values, the color wheel, and other skills necessary to make our painting look like a believable replication of our subject. In other words, we paint things. And that's fine for the beginner. We all need to start with those fundamental skills. 

Many artists stop there.

Those who push themselves further begin to search for something special about their subject ... a distinct visual message ... and build their painting around that special idea. When I look back at what I consider my stronger work, I notice that I had a very clear visual idea and built the painting around it. All other elements within the composition were included only in support of that idea.

When I fall into the trap of simply copying my subject without determining what's special about it, that's when the work falls flat. It doesn't strike any emotional chord with the viewer. 

Once I zero in on what's special about the landscape, I can manipulate my painting in the following ways to help me communicate my visual message:
* Carefully edit details to avoid over-defining areas not important to my message.
* Give additional emphasis to a particular contrast (value, color, or color temperature) in a special area.
* Exaggerate hard and soft edges in the more important/less important areas.
* Vary the size relationships and placement of elements within the composition.

Below I've described my visual message for a few of my paintings:


Winter's Silent Crescendo, oil, 20x16

Winter's Silent Crescendo -- 
Visual Message:Intense back-lit glare against strong shadows. 
I knew that getting the accuracy of the warms and cools would be important to communicate this special lighting situation, so I took my time with this one, carefully discerning each slight shift in color temperature relationships. To keep the visual message clear, I had to capture only the necessary visual information to identify those warm and cool shapes, with careful control of edges,


Springtime's Arrival, oil, 8x10

Springtime's Arrival -- 
Visual Message: Fleeting light and shadow on the sunlit bush and fallen trees. 
All other elements are merely implied and placed within the composition only in support of the elements that are most communicating the fleeting light effects. If more detail was rendered in the background trees, the visual message would be weakened.



Mountain View from the Meadow, oil, 11x14


Mountain View from the Meadow -- 
Visual Message: Distant mountains that appear spectacular and majestic, even though they only appear in a small space in the composition.
With mountain scenes, if you don't want your horizon smack in the middle, you have to emphasize either the foreground (using a high horizon) or the mountains themselves or mountains and sky (using a low horizon). With this composition, I wanted the distant mountains to appear spectacular and majestic and beckon the viewer's eye, but I wanted to set up my composition so that they appeared in the distance, with a large shape given to the foreground, using a high horizon. Keeping the mountains almost "ghosted" behind the field and trees, very close in value to the sky, and with very little detail, actually gives them a grander presence than if all of my shapes were more equal in size and with more detail rendered in the mountains.The value  and edge contrast between the trees on the left in front of the mountains also emphasizes that area of visual interest.



Wide Open View, pastel, 12x16

Wide Open View --
Visual Message: Distance ... and of course, as the title states, a wide open view.
An accurate value contrast from the thin trees high atop the edge of the cliff to the far distant mountain was key. More sharply defined edges in the trees and rocky cliff also helped to place many more miles between that area and the distant view.



Windmill on the Hill, pastel, 18x18

Windmill on the Hill --
Visual Message: The bright evening glare at the top of the hill.
I don't often title a piece after the smallest element in the painting. But similar to what I did with "Mountain View from the Meadow," I wanted to pull the viewer into the painting through the high-contrast zig zag of the large foreground shadow area into the bright evening glare, emphasizing the warm/cool contrast of the shadow and sunlit areas. The glare is also emphasized by the mostly low contrast of the structures at the top of the hill, and especially with how the windmill is almost visually washed out.


COMING SOON: AN INSTRUCTIONAL ONLINE COURSE!! 
This is my first announcement of this! I have plans to begin filming next month for an instructional online course (which may also be available as a DVD) tentatively available by August. I've received many requests for this, so I hope this will be of value to those of you who are unable to attend my workshops, or those who have attended but would like additional instruction that you can absorb at your own pace in your own studio. More info to come on this, but if you're interested to know when it will be available, you can click here to sign up to be notified.


Upcoming Workshops:

Lewisburg, West VA - 3-day PASTEL workshop - FULL
April 25, 26 & 27, 2016 (Mon/Tues/Wed)
Carnegie Hall West VirginiaKellar Art Studio105 Church St.Lewisburg, WV, 24901
$295/member; $400/non-member
Contact Jeanne Brenneman, 304-645-3050


Springfield, OR - 3-day PASTEL/OIL workshop
May 3, 4 & 5, 2016 (Tues/Wed/Thurs)
Emerald Art Center500 Main StreetSpringfield, OR 97477
$420/member; $445/non-memberCall 541-736-8595; www.emeraldartcenter.org

Bend, OR - 1-day PASTEL PLEIN AIR workshop - FULL
June 4, 2016 (Sat)
Plein Air Painters of Oregon (PAPO)
Location: Shevlin Park. Back-up studio location will be provided in case of inclement weather.
$65/member; $70 non-member
Registration will open up to non-members after March 15.
Contact Nancy Misek, 541-388-1567, nancym2010@bendbroadband.com


Bend, OR - 3-day PASTEL/OIL workshop (studio & plein air)
June 6, 7 & 8, 2016 (Mon/Tues/Wed)
NOTE: This workshop is separate from the 1-day PAPO workshop on June 4.
"The Well Edited Landscape, Inside and Out"
Cascade Fine Art Workshops
Exact venue in Bend TBD. Plein air location will be near studio venue.
$410 before May 6 ($460 after May 6)
Contact Susan Manley at info@CascadeFineArtWorkshops.com or 541-408-5524

Lac du Flambeau, WI (northern Wisconsin) - 4-day PASTEL/OIL workshop
(studio & some plein air)
June 27, 28, 29 & 30, 2016 (Mon-Thurs)
Dillman's Creative Arts Foundation
3305 Sand Lake Lodge Lane
Lac du Flambeau, WI 54538
This will mainly be a studio workshop, but will also include some plein air time. Dillman's is a resort facility where you can enjoy gorgeous (paintable!) scenery right outside your door, boat rides on the lake and other outdoor recreation right there where the workshop takes place. The studios stay open after workshop hours for artists wanting additional painting time. Workshop fee also includes a welcome dinner the evening of your arrival. Affordable accommodations in the resort are available through Dillman's. This is a great option if you're looking to completely immerse yourself in a painting workshop!
$550
Call 715-588-3143 for more information or register online at www.dillmans.com.

Florham Park, NJ - 3-day PASTEL workshop
July 22, 23 & 24, 2016
Debarry Studio Ten
Contact Christina at 973-525-2544 or Debarrystudio@gmail.com
$405

For full workshop schedule, visit www.barbarajaenicke.com.

Online Critiques
Would you like me to personally critique your oil or pastel painting? Visit www.ProArtCritique.com and click on my name for quick, affordable feedback on your work.

NEW! Critique Group in Bend, OR
In the Bend area? See the workshop page on my website for information on a new monthly critique group that I'll be leading!