Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Closing out Summer

Don't hate me, but I can't wait for summer to be over.

Even though I tend to be the person who's always cold, I still much prefer a colder climate. I love cuddling up in blankets and warm clothes. I hate sweating when I'm not even exercising. And since I live in the land of green here in the southeast, I also love the more varied color palette of the colder seasons. I'm looking forward to delving into more snow scenes in the coming months. I still paint them year round--I normally include at least one snow scene demo in all of my workshops--but I tend to stay somewhat seasonal in my local classes and in much of my studio work, and of course the current season dictates my plein air work.

In this post I thought I'd include the demos from my recent workshop I taught at Dillman's Art Workshops Retreat in Lac du Flambeau, Wisconsin, and also a few other summer paintings.

A note about Dillman's...What a wonderful place to teach (or take!) a workshop! It's a secluded location along a peninsula in northern Wisconsin that provides the perfect atmosphere to immerse yourself in your creative pursuit. Their studio facility is open 24 hours for student use, and accommodations are provided right there within their rustic resort atmosphere...complete with boat rides, yoga classes, campfires, and the beautiful calls of the loons.

I had a fantastic group of artists for this workshop. Besides a productive four days of class, we enjoyed talking art and getting to know each other each evening at dinner. Below are my demos from this workshop:

Winter Walk, pastel, 12x12
Evening's Approach, pastel, 14x11
Summer Shadows, pastel, 11x14

(We also did a day of my minimal stroke exercises, but I'm thinking I may do a separate blog post at some point in the future with various demos of this exercise.)

Following below are a few landscapes from the past few summer months that I thought would be fun to share here to wrap up the summer season!

View Through the Trees, pastel, 8x10
August Afternoon, oil, 8x10
Summer Stillness, oil, 8x10
Down the 'Hooch, oil, 8x10
Georgia Morning Mist, pastel, 11x14
Top 'O The Dune, pastel, 11x14

Out in the Dunes, oil, 8x10

Evening's Shade, pastel, 11x14

Upcoming Workshops:
I'm headed to Springfield, Oregon next month and Charlotte, NC in October. I'm happy to learn that both of these workshops are all filled up. Listed below are workshops scheduled over the next several months which still have openings...

New Braunfels, TX - Oct. 13, 14 & 15 (pastel)
Dahlonega, GA - Nov. 6 & 7 (Composition Boot Camp, oil/pastel)
Austel, GA - Nov. 15 (oil)

Stephensville, MD - Feb. 6, 7 & 8 (pastel)
Bonita Springs, FL - Feb. 25, 26 & 27 (pastel)

Details are on my website at www.barbarajaenicke.com.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

More Greens

We tackled the wall of green again in my classes at my studio this week. The source photos I used for my demos conveyed several vague varieties of green, including the elusive "grey green"...another tricky color to handle.

When the true color just doesn't translate accurately from the camera, I think it's up to the artist rely on his or her own knowledge of values, color temperature, and color intensity. In some cases, you can slightly exaggerate what happens with atmosphere and distance--through small shifts in color temperature, hue or value--and enhance your artistic message in the painting.

Shady Spot, oil, 8x10

When working with a very green landscape, I tend to work in other various colors to balance the greens, often pushing the green hue into a different color family that will still convey the same temperature or vibrancy.

With the large amounts of similar looking foliage, I find it helpful to start by carefully organizing the composition into a few distinct shapes. Below are my initial block-ins for each of the above demos, along with the reference photos used for each:

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Temperature Control

I held a couple of small private classes in oil at my studio this week and focused on color temperature with these students. Coming from a background of many years working primarily in pastel, color mixing in oil has always been a challenge for me. I've found that keeping the goal of capturing the color temperatures within the landscape, rather than trying to mix the exact color you see, often yields better results. Below are my demos from these classes.

Distant Light, oil, 8x10

Kimmons Mountain, oil, 8x10

When working from photos, there can be so much variation on the color represented--whether working from a back lit monitor (iPad or laptop computer), professional print, or a paper print from your home printer--that it's somewhat pointless to struggle with matching those exact colors. Instead, try to achieve the relative temperature contrasts between cools and warms that your source photo conveys.

For example, if you're mixing paint for an area you know is warm compared to what it's next to, mix up your "guess" and test it next to the cool area. Don't worry if it doesn't match the color in the photo, but test a dab of it next to the cool area, stand back, and after first deciding if the value is correct, observe if the two areas convey the same degree of warm/cool contrast that's perceived from the scene captured in the photo. I usually need several tries to capture an accurate value and temperature. (My students will vouch for that!)

In the end, you're better off spending more time fussing with the paint down on your palette and fussing less with it on the painting surface.

 Below are the block ins for each of the two demos...

WORKSHOP NEWS (Several locations just added for 2015!):
Over the next three months I'll be teaching in Wisconsin, Oregon and Texas. I've just updated my 2015 schedule on my website with several additions to now include workshops in Maryland, Florida (Bonita Springs and Jacksonville), Rhode Island, New Mexico, Maine, Minnesota, and New Jersey. Click HERE for details and my full workshop schedule.