Monday, December 21, 2015

Merry and Bright Wishes to You!



Just a quickie post to wish all of my blog readers a very Merry Christmas and Happy Holiday Season! Thank you for reading my posts this past year. I hope you've enjoyed reading them as much as I've enjoyed writing them. I especially appreciate those of you who've left such thoughtful comments. I try to respond to each of them...my apologies if I've missed any.

I hope your New Year is filled with happiness and many successes at the easel!

Many thanks,
Barbara

Monday, December 14, 2015

Compliments of John Pototschnik

I had the honor of being featured in an interview by the wonderful John Pototschnik on his blog. John has an amazing blog that contains interviews with a variety of wonderful artists, as well as interesting observations he's written about historical artists, plus his own incredible paintings. If you're not familiar with his blog, it's a good one to keep up with! (http://www.pototschnik.com/blog/)

In this article, he had me answer some pretty thorough questions. He warned me that he doesn't ask the typical interview questions, and he was right! If you have a moment, I hope you'll enjoy reading it!...

http://www.pototschnik.com/barbara-courtney-jaenicke-interview/

Monday, November 30, 2015

Making Your Mark

Detail from Chattahoochee Snow, oil

Those reading this who have taken a workshop from me know that I make a big deal about each and every mark you make on your painting. Even though I've been teaching this for awhile, I've come to realize even more so that the individual characteristics of your mark making are what eventually elevate you to a higher skill level.

Detail of a limited stroke pastel demo.

Truthfully, until fairly recently, I was never all that impressed when artists (often even my favorites) posted zoomed in detail images of their work...typically oil painting brushwork, but also pastel work.

As I've continued to teach mark-making exercises to students, I find that I realize even more so the importance of allowing our medium of choice to do what it does, and to not always try to overly render it to replicate the subject matter. I find myself telling students, "let paint do what paint DOES."

For example, when you see images used to advertise pastels, you usually see a fresh, clean, "unfussed with" swipe of a pastel that clearly shows the characteristically soft, buttery stroke that a soft pastel makes. It doesn't try to completely cover up the underlying surface, but allows the surface to show through, with the mark and substrate working together as a little piece of artwork. Or you'll see a brushstroke of paint coming from a loaded brush that allows the paint to be thin in some places and thick in others...all in that one stroke that was cleanly applied and left alone. With either medium, it's the imperfections of the paint/pastel application that often enhance the artwork. This is of course more so in impressionist work.

But while we work hard to control our medium of choice, the really hard part is learning what NOT to control so that our medium can be free to show off its unique characteristics to which we as artists are attracted in the first place. Areas of a painting that I first thought I goofed when applying a wayward stroke, if left alone, have often become my favorite part of the painting.

Sometimes purposefully applied marks on a painting are referred to as calligraphy when they have a clean, poetic quality to them. And just like learning good penmanship as a child, it takes years of practice to learn the nuances of applying your own characteristic marks to your work....

- How to hold your brush, pastel, pen, pencil, palette knife etc.
- How much pressure to apply
- How long or short of a mark to make
- Which direction to apply it
- How fast or slow to apply it
- How thinly or thickly to apply the pigment
- Connect the marks or make them individually?

I could go on, but you get the idea.

As I've learned to become more thoughtful to the marks I make on my own work, I've discovered that I can better appreciate seeing those zoomed in detail portions from the work of my favorite artists, and observe how the sensitive application and behavior of the pigment is as much a part of the artwork as is the subject mater and other important artistic elements (value, temperature, chroma, composition, edges). Lately I've been scrutinizing my own mark making even more. And when I look at the work of my favorite artists, I find that, in addition to observing the other artistic elements, I'm especially noticing the mark making.

Shown in this post are detail images from a few of my pastel and oil paintings completed in the past couple of years. These are pieces in which I was satisfied with the variety of marks and handling of the medium. In each of them, I think I was more thoughtful to each mark I placed in the painting, and therefore didn't go back over strokes to "fix" them.


Detail from Winter's Grace, oil

Detail from Daybreak Shadows, pastel

In this continuous quest to push my own painting skills, I'm discovering that perhaps skillful mark making is indeed the most difficult (and often last) skill that an artist can begin to master. And one that usually places one artist a notch above another.



Upcoming Workshops:

Cincinnati, OH - 3-day PASTEL/OIL workshop
Jan. 22, 23 & 24, 2016 (Fri/Sat/Sun)
Cincinnati Art Club
1021 Parkside Place (beautiful, historic Eden Park area near downtown Cincinnati)
Cincinnati, OH 45202
$400/member; $425/nonmember

Bridgewater, NJ - 3-day PASTEL/OIL workshop
Feb. 26, 27 & 28, 2016 (Fri/Sat/Sun)
York Art Studio
350 Grove St. #4, Bridgewater, NJ 08807
yorkartstudio@gmail.com
908-392-0998
$400
Payment will be made to Barbara Jaenicke. Contact Barbara directly at barbarajaenicke@msn.com to register.

Mt. Vernon, WA - 3-day PASTEL workshop
March 10, 11 & 12, 2016 (Fri/Sat/Sun) - these dates have shifted slightly from what was previously promoted!
Dakota Art Center
17873 State Route 536
Mount Vernon, WA 98273
$395
888-345-0067 ext. 5


Critique Services
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!

Monday, October 5, 2015

Getting Comfortable with Temperature

Threesome, pastel, 11x14 

I find that many students I teach struggle with color temperature in their paintings. Not surprising to me, since it's something that took me a long time to wrap my head around in my own work. In a recent pastel workshop I taught in Texas, the topic was new information to several fairly new pastel artists, and so we discussed it quite a bit.

One reason for the difficulty in grasping color temperature is due to working from photos. More often than not, photos of the landscape tend to cool down colors and eliminate the warmth of the light. So when we try to replicate the local color too literally from a photo, we end up shifting a sunlit area to a lighter value of the local color rather than a warmer, "light-filled" hue. 


Roadway Shadows, pastel, 14x11

For example, when green foliage is catching direct sunlight, shifting that sunlit area to a lighter green won't capture a sunlit feel. To do this, even though we may (or may not) need to shift the value lighter, we need to shift the temperature to a warmer hue, possibly toward an orange or yellow, or really anything in that direction away from green on the color wheel. And for a more subdued sunlit area, we may need to only shift the temperature but not the value. The local color as well as the intensity of the light will influence the exact color choice of that warmer hue.


Roadway Shadows, detail of trees
Another example is the sky. Often photos will only appear to have a blue sky fade to a lighter blue in the lower portion of the sky. If the artist copies this just as the photo appears, the sky in their painting will appear stark, cold and flat. Adding some same-value warms in that lower portion of the sky, such as pink, peach or ochre, will convey the feel of a light-filled sky. 


Quiet Moment on the Deschutes, pastel, 11x14
 
Other common stumbling blocks on this subject are snow and highlights on trees. On either, if those areas are catching direct sunlight, they must shift to a warm hue (something in the yellow, orange or pink family). 

Evening Shadows Out Back, pastel, 11x14

A regular practice of plein air painting will train the artist's eye to see color temperature accurately in the landscape, and the adjustments to be made when working from photos in the studio.

All of the work shown on this post are a few selected demos from recent workshops from the past three months. Listed below are my upcoming workshops, and another announcement I'm excited to share!...

Afternoon Thaw, pastel, 11x14

Online Critiques! - I'm excited to announce that I'm now part of ProArtCritique, a website through which you can have your artwork critiqued by professional instructors for a nominal fee. Visit www.ProArtCritique.com for details.    


Upcoming Workshops:

San Antonio, TX - 3-day PASTEL/OIL workshop
Oct. 17, 18 & 19, 2015 (Sat/Sun/Mon)
The Coppini Academy of Fine Arts
115 Melrose Place
San Antonio, TX 78212
$400/member; $450/nonmember
210-824-8502

Wethersfield, CT (Hartford area) - 3-day PASTEL/OIL workshop
Nov. 12, 13 & 14, 2015 (Thurs/Fri/Sat)
Wethersfield Academy for the Arts
431 Hartford Ave.
Wethersfield, CT 06109
$390/member; $420/non-member 
860-436-9857

Goshen, NJ (Cape May area) - 3-day PASTEL workshop -FULL WITH WAIT LIST
Nov. 20, 21 & 22 (Fri/Sat/Sun) & evening demo on Thurs., Nov. 19, 2015
Guest instructor at Stan Sperlak's Goshen School of Art
Crow Creek Farm, Goshen, NJ
609-465-5161

Cincinnati, OH - 3-day PASTEL/OIL workshop
Jan. 22, 23 & 24, 2016 (Fri/Sat/Sun)
Cincinnati Art Club
1021 Parkside Place (beautiful, historic Eden Park area near downtown Cincinnati)
Cincinnati, OH 45202
$400/member; $425/nonmember

Bridgewater, NJ - 3-day PASTEL/OIL workshop
Feb. 26, 27 & 28, 2016 (Fri/Sat/Sun)
York Art Studio
350 Grove St. #4, Bridgewater, NJ 08807
yorkartstudio@gmail.com
908-392-0998
$400
Students can register starting Fall 2015. Payments will be made directly to Barbara Jaenicke via PayPal. More info to come.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Breaking in the new studio.


I’ve been pretty busy this past month getting settled into my new home with my family and getting my new studio set up. My studio is now in a bonus room in our home just off the upstairs landing at the top of the stairs. We’ve downsized, so my studio is now much smaller than my old one, but it’s still a great space that inspires me, so I thought I’d tell you a bit about it.

Just before move-in day.

The walls. I wanted a neutral gray for a wall color so that any light reflection off the walls wouldn’t affect how I see my paintings. It took two tries--my first choice appeared too blue once I saw it up on the walls--but I ended up with Sherwin Williams 7016 “Mindful Gray,” and I’m real happy with it. It’s not too cool; not too warm.


Blinds are now on all the windows since this photo was taken.

The lighting. My two windows in the main part of the studio are south facing…not the ideal north facing direction. But I have blinds on the windows which seem to diffuse the light nicely, and a large fluorescent overhead light along with two standing lamps with warmer GE Reveal bulbs.(You can see the overhead light in the "empty" studio photo above.) I’m no expert at lighting, so I won’t even attempt to get technical and try to sound like I know what I’m talking about. But after reading up on the techy info I could understand, I chose Phillips T8 Daylight fluorescent bulbs from Home Depot for my overhead light, which are a cool light similar to north light. I have four of them in the fixture. So far, I’m real pleased with the lighting in my studio, and it even seems to cooperate well to photograph my work right from my easel. Plus, in the past, I’ve always used a small overhead lamp above my easel, but I’ve found that I don’t need to use them in this studio. 

Pastel on the left. Oil on the right. Cushy mats in front of each!

At my easels. I decided to place cushy mats in front of each of my easels. Haven't used these before...not sure why. These are actually just kitchen mats I bought at Target, not the more expensive “anti-fatigue” mats, but they feel great to stand on all day. I have an additional mat under my pastel easel to help cushion wayward pastels that get away from me and to protect the flooring from too much dust collecting on it. My laptop (for my photo reference) gets placed on the cabinet (actually an old microwave stand) to the left of my oil easel or on top of the small white storage containers next to my pastel easel...both surfaces are roughly eye level for me.. although I do need to find something to raise it another inch or two on the pastel side.



Storage. Although my main studio area is small, I have another tiny separate room that extends off of the studio. The builders of this house actually meant for it to be a walk-in storage room. It has a low ceiling and a smaller than normal doorway. But at just barely 5’2,” I can fit inside just fine. In this room I have a framing table with storage beneath, a drawing table for sketching thumbnails, and another long table for trimming boards, preparing panels, varnishing paintings, packaging work to ship, etc.


Framing, sketching, and other odds and ends.
The all important sink. The one item that our new house did not have, that I do need to have at least near my studio, is a utility sink to wash brushes. We were fortunately able to have a small one installed in our laundry room, which is also upstairs just down the hall from my studio. Convenient enough.

Shelves. Still missing from my studio is shelf space to prop up paintings in progress … these are on the to-do list! I do, however, have some shelves in the hallway outside my studio where I can place completed paintings waiting to head out the door to shows or galleries. (And they dress up that wall!)

My "overflow" space outside my studio.
Much of the extra space in my old studio was used for teaching my local classes. I’m taking a break from teaching ongoing local classes and currently focusing on teaching workshops and producing more gallery work. My blog previously focused on topics I taught in those classes at my studio, so I guess the focus of my blog may need to evolve a bit. I hope to still post regularly and continue to discuss painting topics that I hope will be of interest to all of my blog readers.


Blog Radio Interview
I was honored to be featured live on Artists Helping Artists Blog Radio on August 13. You can listen to the archived version here: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/artistshelpingartists/2015/08/13/a-conversation-with-artist-barbara-jaenicke




Upcoming Workshops:

Oregon City, OR - 3-day PASTEL/OIL workshop
Aug. 28, 29 & 30, 2015 (Fri/Sat/Sun); Meet & Greet on the evening of Thurs., Aug. 27
Carrie Moore Studios
21036 S. Leland Rd.
Oregon, City, OR 97045
$400.
Contact Carrie Moore, 503-866-5507, carriemoorestudios5@gmail.com 

San Antonio, TX - 3-day PASTEL workshop
Oct. 17, 18 & 19, 2015 (Sat/Sun/Mon)
The Coppini Academy of Fine Arts
115 Melrose Place
San Antonio, TX 78212
$400/member; $450/nonmember
210-824-8502

Wethersfield, CT (Hartford area) - 3-day PASTEL/OIL workshop
Nov. 12, 13 & 14, 2015 (Thurs/Fri/Sat)
Wethersfield Academy for the Arts
431 Hartford Avenue
Wethersfield, CT 06109
$390/member; $420 nonmember
860-436-9857

See my website at www.barbarajaenicke.com for full 2015 & 2016 schedule.





Tuesday, July 14, 2015

My Outdoor Studio


Ponderosa Pine All Dressed for Dinner, oil, 8x10

It's been close to two months since my family and I got in the car, left Atlanta, GA, and drove across the country to live in Bend, OR. We arrived here on May 26, put our stuff in storage, and have lived in five different places here while we looked for a house and awaited our closing on the house we purchased. We finally move in this Monday!

We love it here, and it's been a fun adventure this past couple of months. But I've been without a studio this whole time. So...what a great excuse to paint more outside! Which is what I've done. It's been a great way to get to know my new landscape...the colors, textures, shapes, atmosphere, light, etc., and also keep me in "painting shape."

Since it's summer, there's of course a good bit of green around, but not like Georgia green (which I've always called "screamin' green"). The greens here are more subdued. Since this area is a high desert region, it's a nice mix of greenery along with more arid desert vegetation. So I'm still trying to wrap my head around how to interpret the color palette here in my own way.

Even when my studio is set up, I plan to continue heading out for frequent field studies. Repetition has always been the key for me with pushing my painting skills, so I'm hoping to paint multiple times in similar locations to continue to really understand how I want to interpret this area in my work.

The painting above was a quick study I did in the backyard of one of the rental homes we stayed in for a brief time. It was early evening, and I could hear neighbors all around me preparing their dinners, some grilling out, while yummy aromas wafted over to my easel.

The studies below were also done on location around Bend over the past few weeks:


View From Mountain High Loop, oil, 10x8

Mt. Bachelor From Skyliners Road, oil, 8x10



Ponderosa Morning Dance, oil, 8x10


Hidden Road Behind 15th Street, oil, 11x14


During this transition time, I've also headed out of town a couple of times to teach workshops. The most recent one in Maine. Since I came back from Maine with a nice big supply of photos, I was eager to paint some of them. Most are from inland areas, where I spent most of the time. I did get to the coast for a short time, but haven't been brave enough to tackle those scenes yet. I've been torn between painting my field studies here in Bend and painting some of the beautiful scenes from Maine while they were still fresh in my memory. Where there's a will, there's a way...

My family and I have been staying with my in-laws here in Bend. (They just moved here as well and moved into their new house a few weeks ago.) They have a nice big garage...and to my surprise, has excellent lighting! With the garage door open, and setting up my plein air gear and my iPad under a fluorescent light, it has served pretty well for a make-shift studio. I painted both of these 12x16 oils in the garage...


Fading Farmhouse, Freeport, Maine, oil, 12x16


Big Sky Over Highland Road, Freeport, Maine, oil, 12x16

But I'm sure ready to be in my new studio!


Upcoming Workshops:

For those of you here in Oregon, I'm excited to be teaching a Pastel & Oil studio workshop in Oregon City (Portland area):

Oregon City, OR - 3-day PASTEL/OIL workshop
Aug. 28, 29 & 30, 2015 (Fri/Sat/Sun); Meet & Greet on the evening of Thurs., Aug. 27
Carrie Moore Studios
21036 S. Leland Rd.
Oregon, City, OR 97045
$400.
Contact Carrie Moore, 503-866-5507, carriemoorestudios5@gmail.com 

Additional upcoming workshops:

San Antonio, TX - 3-day PASTEL workshop
Oct. 17, 18 & 19, 2015 (Sat/Sun/Mon)
The Coppini Academy of Fine Arts
115 Melrose Place
San Antonio, TX 78212
$400/member; $450/nonmember
210-824-8502

Wethersfield, CT (Hartford area) - 3-day PASTEL/OIL workshop
Nov. 12, 13 & 14, 2015 (Thurs/Fri/Sat)
Wethersfield Academy for the Arts
431 Hartford Avenue
Wethersfield, CT 06109
$390/member; $420 nonmember
860-436-9857

See my website at www.barbarajaenicke.com for full 2015 & 2016 schedule.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Openings in Upcoming Minnesota Pastel Workshop

Three O'clock Shadow Dance
(painted from a location in Princeton, MN)

Due to some cancellations, a couple of spots have just opened up in my upcoming 3-day pastel workshop in the Minneapolis, Minnesota area.

Cost: $350
Dates: July 31, Aug. 1 & 2, 2015
Contact: MaryAnn Cleary at spiritrivermary@gmail.com or 763-552-8650, or Cynthia Kath at cynthiakath@CKATHDRAW.com or 651-297-8558

You can also contact me at barbarajaenicke@msn.com for general questions about the workshop.

Many of my paintings have come from Minnesota over the years. My demos will include some of my favorite Minnesota landscape scenes!


Marsh Reflections
(painted from a location in Princeton, MN)

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Preparation Goes A Long Way

Revisiting Wyanett Creek, pastel, 12x16

I just recently returned from the IAPS convention in Albuquerque, NM. This is an amazing and inspiring week of events specifically relating to the pastel medium and is held every other year. IAPS (International Association of Pastel Societies) is an "umbrella" organization that comprises pastel societies worldwide, so attendees come from around the globe. For any serious pastel artist who desires a huge dose of inspiration, this convention is a must!

At this year's convention, I had the incredible honor of serving as an instructor and demonstrator. The timing of my move to Oregon made it a bit tricky to prepare for this, but it all seemed to work out pretty well, despite the logistical challenges of having all my materials where I needed them at the same time the entire contents of my home and studio were being moved across the county. Oddly, I think this was the first time I didn't forget anything!

Unless you have superpowers, any artist (instructor or student) has experienced that awful feeling when realizing you've forgotten some crucial item needed for a workshop. Because I tend to be a wee bit on the scattered side, I've learned to keep lists and schedules, which helped me tremendously during my move.

Since I often see students go through the pain of forgetfulness after they've arrived at day one of a workshop, I thought I'd share some suggestions on preparing to take a workshop, and getting the most out of your time/money investment:

 - Two or three weeks prior to the workshop: Read carefully through the supply list and order/purchase the supplies you don't already have. Even if you can usually pick up many of the supplies at a local art supply store, allow for extra time to order items if they're out of stock at the store. If you want to learn a particular instructor's methods, as much as your budget will allow, you'll want to use the same materials as that instructor uses. If your budget is very tight, and you're able to contact the instructor for questions, ask the instructor which supplies are most important and which ones can be substituted.

- A week or two prior to the workshop: If reference photos are required, read through the workshop description and take your time selecting photos that will be most in line with what subject matter that the instructor typically paints. If your current supply of photos may not be sufficient, and you live near subject matter that would be relevant, you may want to build in some time to go shoot some appropriate photos.

- A week prior to the workshop: If you need to mount/trim/prepare panels or do any other preliminary preparation to your materials, it's best to not have to rush through that the night before.

- A day or two prior to the workshop: Read through the workshop description and supply list one more time to be sure you have everything. Pack it all up as compactly as you can, since space is usually tight in a workshop.

- The night before: Look up the instructor's work and any information on the instructor's methods. This will get you acclimated to what may be covered and also help you come up with some good questions to ask during the workshop, and will make your time spent there much more productive.

Even as someone who makes a living teaching workshops, I still recommend taking fewer workshops, but building in plenty of prep time before a workshop, and LOTS of practice time immediately after a workshop in order to digest and absorb what was learned so that your investment in the workshop is well spent.

Had I not let the scatter-brained side of me take over during my moving turmoil, things could've gone bad real fast for me during my teaching/demo days at the IAPS convention.

"Revisiting Wyanett Creek" (above) was my 3-hour Color Harmony in the Landscape demonstration, and "Delicate Illumination" (below) was my Poetry in the Trees workshop demo. (Both are unfortunately low quality photos shot from my phone.)


Delicate Illumination, pastel, 14x11

Both groups were filled with wonderful, passionate artists, many of whom were very high-level painters, which made the experience exciting, and a little scary.

From my Color Harmony in the Landscape demo*:





*A big thank you to my wonderful friend, Nancy Nowak, for taking these photos, and for letting me stay at her house and use her studio for some much needed practice time just before heading to Albuquerque!

In the meantime, my family and I are in the process of buying a house here in Bend, OR. At the moment we feel like we're on a perpetual vacation with lots of work involved. By the time we get into our new house, we will have stayed in four different temporary places here in the Bend area, with all of our stuff in storage, and living out of suitcases, bags and boxes. But it's still a fun adventure. Yesterday we hiked to the top of Pilot Butte, which is located roughly in the center of Bend and overlooks every direction as far as the eye can see. 


View from atop Pilot Butte in Bend, OR.


Upcoming Workshops:


JUST ADDED: 
Oregon City, OR - 3-day PASTEL/OIL workshop
Aug. 28, 29 & 30, 2015
$400.
Contact Carrie Moore at carriemoorestudios5@gmail.com 
(More details will soon be posted on my website)

Minneapolis, MN - 3-day PASTEL workshop - A COUPLE OF SPOTS JUST OPENED UP!
July 31, Aug. 1 & 2, 2015 (Fri/Sat/Sun)
Lake Country Pastel Society
$350
Contact MaryAnn Cleary, 763-552-8650, spiritrivermary@gmail.com or Cynthia Kath, 651-297-8558, cynthiakath@CKATHDRAW.com

San Antonio, TX - 3-day PASTEL workshop
Oct. 17, 18 & 19, 2015 (Sat/Sun/Mon)
The Coppini Academy of Fine Arts
115 Melrose Place
San Antonio, TX 78212
$400/member; $450/nonmember
210-824-8502

Wethersfield, CT (Hartford area) - 3-day PASTEL/OIL workshop
Nov. 12, 13 & 14, 2015 (Thurs/Fri/Sat)
Wethersfield Academy for the Arts
431 Hartford Avenue
Wethersfield, CT 06109
$390/member; $420 nonmember
860-436-9857

Shown here are upcoming workshops that still have openings. See my website at www.barbarajaenicke.com for full 2015 & 2016 schedule.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Developing a Better Color Sense.



How do you improve your sense of color in the landscape? Well, if you're painting on location, seeing your subject firsthand while standing right there in the landscape is the best way. But if you also work from photos, a great exercise to try occasionally is to eliminate color altogether from your reference photo.


Looking Beyond, oil, 8x10

Black and white reference photo for Looking Beyond.

Every once in awhile we work from a black and white photo in my classes at my studio. The idea is to reference the values in the photo, and use light and shadow for your warms and cools, and chroma (saturated color vs. greyed color) for distance. Basing your use of color on those indications, it liberates you from agonizing over matching your photo's colors exactly...something that drives us all crazy, causing pastel artists to figure they need even more pastels from which to choose, and oil artists to spend crazy amounts of time trying to mix an elusive perfect color.


Creekside Respite, oil, 8x10

Black and white reference photo for Creekside Respite.

Depending on how close to the local color you'd like to stay with the painting, you may want to have a general idea of the local color that exists in the particular landscape. For simply an exercise, it's not as important. 

Learning to think through color in this way will help you out not only when you can't seem to match your photo's colors, but especially when working from a bad reference photo that gives your incorrect color information, which is the case more often than many artists think.

The above demos are from two oil classes from last week.

Last week's classes may be the last of the classes I teach in my studio here in Roswell, GA. We have a buyer for our home and are planning to make our move out to Bend, Oregon on May 23. A little sooner than planned, but that's sometimes how it goes with selling a home. Of course anything can change with selling a home, but that's the plan as it now stands. We'll need to find a temporary rental when we arrive out there, but we hope to find a home soon thereafter. I'm not sure how large of a studio I'll have once we're settled. Chances are it'll probably be smaller than the one I currently have, so I don't know how much I'll teach from my studio. But I'll keep you all posted!

A big THANK YOU to all of my students who've attended classes at my studio! You've been awesome! 



My studio in my Roswell, GA home...soon to be packed up.


Upcoming Workshops:

My workshops for the rest of 2015 are full except for the following one in San Antonio, TX in October, and one in the Hartford, CT area that has just been added to my schedule...


San Antonio, TX - 3-day PASTEL workshop
Oct. 17, 18 & 19, 2015 (Sat/Sun/Mon)
The Coppini Academy of Fine Arts
115 Melrose Place
San Antonio, TX 78212
$400/member; $450/nonmember
210-824-8502

Wethersfield, CT (Hartford area) - 3-day PASTEL/OIL workshop
Nov. 12, 13 & 14, 2015 (Thurs/Fri/Sat)
Wethersfield Academy for the Arts
431 Hartford Avenue
Wethersfield, CT 06109
$390/member; $420 nonmember
860-436-9857

See my website at www.barbarajaenicke.com for full 2015 schedule and my 2016 workshop schedule.
















Friday, March 27, 2015

The Setting Sun

Midwestern Sunset, pastel, 8x10

I don't paint many sunsets. Where I live here in Georgia, we're surrounded by lots of trees. Not necessarily a bad thing. But for that reason, it's not easy to find a nice wide open view of the sky (unless you're in a large parking lot, which doesn't stir up a heck of a lot of inspiration for me).

It's also difficult to capture a good reference photo of a sunset. Colors are off. Values are wrong. It never really captures the true drama of a beautiful sunset.

But with that said, I still wanted to tackle the subject matter with my classes at my studio this month. Sunsets make a great study of color temperature in the sky...intense, dramatic warms playing up against vibrant cools.

Above is my pastel demo from my March 11th class, and below is my oil demo from my March 12th class.

A Quiet Ending, oil, 8x10

I also taught one more oil class today, and shown below is my unfinished demo from that class. The unfinished piece is probably a little more than half way done. I focus more on getting values and color temperatures, and just basic shapes, in place before I start fine tuning the accuracy of the subject matter.


Unfinished demo.

Since I wanted each of these paintings to be more about the sky than what's going on below the sky, my goal was to simply block in the shapes on the ground as large connected masses early on, and wait until the final stages to add only a small amount of necessary detail. Even on the unfinished demo, in which I cropped in closer than with the others, and included some foreground snow (I wanted to include that just for another example of a color temperature shift), I still wanted the emphasis to be in the sky. If I were to finish this demo, I would fine tune the color temperature in the sky (I think the warms need to be a little more saturated), and include just a bit of minor detail in the structures. I would also look at areas of contrast...my students know I call them "eye catchers"...just a few places where I would purposefully place a light against a dark, or one contrasting color against another, or a sharp edge in front of a simplified mass, etc. Too much is overkill; just here and there will move your eye around the painting.

This last demo will remain unfinished. (My apologies to my Friday students who attended today.) My family and I are in the throngs of getting our house ready to sell and prepare for our big move out west to Oregon. Lots of meetings with realtors this week! And so my painting schedule will be getting interrupted occasionally over the next few months, and I'll just need to be selective with what gets done and what doesn't.

One of my future goals as a plein air painter is to paint more sunsets (or at least landscapes with the sun setting) on location. It's an exhilarating feeling to stand outside in the landscape and paint a quickly setting sun...one I'd like to experience more often. I'm hopeful that my upcoming move to Bend, Oregon will provide some good opportunity for that!


Some recent workshop demos.

I've enjoyed working with some incredible groups of artists over the past few months in various places. Below are some of my demos from these workshops:

From Chesapeake Fine Art Studio in Stevensville, MD in February:

"Hillside Haven" pastel, 11x14

"Sunlight Among the Clouds" pastel, 11x14

From Art Center Bonita Springs in Bonita Springs, FL in February:

"Dune Shadows" pastel, 11x14

"View From Black Butte Ranch" pastel, 11x14

From the Art Loft in Dahlonega, GA earlier this month: 

"Black Butte Shadows" oil, 11x14

"Dancing in Sunlight" oil, 14x11

Upcoming Workshops:

My workshops for the rest of 2015 are full except for the following one in San Antonio, TX in October, and one in the Hartford, CT area that has just been added to my schedule...

San Antonio, TX - 3-day PASTEL workshop
Oct. 17, 18 & 19, 2015 (Sat/Sun/Mon)
The Coppini Academy of Fine Arts
115 Melrose Place
San Antonio, TX 78212
$400/member; $450/nonmember
www.thecoppini.org
210-824-8502

Wethersfield, CT (Hartford area) - 3-day PASTEL/OIL workshop
Nov. 12, 13 & 14, 2015 (Thurs/Fri/Sat)
Wethersfield Academy for the Arts
431 Hartford Avenue
Wethersfield, CT 06109
(fee TBD)
www.wethersfieldarts.org
860-436-9857
info@wethersfieldarts.org













Saturday, February 21, 2015

Rocks and Ocean

For my February classes at my studio, I decided it was time to try some subject matter that I don't paint as often. In this case....seascapes with rocks and waves! During a recent visit to the Oregon coast last month, I was able to gather some reference photos.


Rocks and Ocean Study 1, pastel, 8x10
Wednesday's demo

Any artist is at a disadvantage when painting a subject matter that he or she doesn't often see. Since, for the past 23 years, I've lived at least 5 hours from the coast, without many visits there, and when I have, it's always been the east coast. I did grow up a little closer to the east coast (about an hour from the Jersey shore), but I wasn't painting as often at that time. When I shot my reference photos last month, that was the very first time I saw the Oregon coast.


Rocks and Ocean Study 2, oil, 8x10
Thursday's demo

Artists who paint the scenery they "live with"--and also paint it often on location--will almost always paint that subject matter better than artists who rarely see it in person. With that in mind, I looked through some excellent examples of artists (too many to mention) who live near and often paint this subject matter, and took note of some of the color palettes used, since I knew my photos wouldn't be entirely truthful.  

Rocks and Ocean Study 3, oil, 8x10
Friday's demo

I otherwise approached things the same way I do any painting...looking for the big abstract shapes and striving for a well designed composition, and then with my best "guesses" based on the information I had, carefully capturing the correct values and color temperatures.


Initial block in for Friday's demo.
(Photo unfortunately has some glare on the right.)

Since much of these studies had to do with the contrast between the warm of the sand and the cool blue sky reflections, I set up most of the warm part of this contrast in the block-in. (One of the oil versions is shown above, but I did it similarly in my pastel underpainting.)


An early stage of Thursday's demo, shortly after the block-in.

As with painting snow, I find I often need to exaggerate the intensity of the warm/cool contrast, especially pushing the warm highlights catching direct sunlight. In all three demos, I found that I had to go back in and add more yellow to those areas that appeared to be the whitest whites of the sea foam, otherwise they didn't convey the sense of light I was trying to capture.

These were a lot of fun to paint! Maybe I'll get even more adventurous and paint a larger version.


Upcoming Workshops:

The next several workshops I have coming up are already full, but last I checked, I do have one spot remaining in my 2-day oil/pastel workshop in Dahlonega, GA. Specifics below:

OIL/PASTEL Workshop - Dahlonega, GA - 2-day 
March 19 & 20, 2015 (Thurs/Fri)
The Art Loft
Dahlonega, GA
www.artloft.net 
$285
To register, visit www.artloft.net.