Friday, March 5, 2010
Saturday, February 27, 2010
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
I have also benefited from his learning style. For example, recently my family came to a decision to share the job of cooking. It is a task I have completed for over 24 years myself and I am burning out. I’m stuck in a rut of cooking the same old things and have lost the desire to experiment. Now with both of my daughters taking one night a week each and Paul taking a night or two, I am left carrying much less of the load. And Paul has approached this task with his usual tenacity. He is always looking for new recipes to try and is working hard to improve his skills. He reads and studies and watches the cooking channel and my children and I are thoroughly enjoying the fruits of his labor. Also, his excitement for the art of cooking has had another positive effect on me. It’s become contagious and I’ve started to feel excited again about experimenting in the kitchen!
The greatest benefit from Paul’s learning style is the beautiful artwork he has completed. Over the many years he has been painting, Paul has strived to master many different styles and types of artwork. Each time he worked on something new he painted it repeatedly on many different surfaces and in many different ways. For example, when he wanted to learn how to paint roses, he painted all different kinds, styles and techniques for six to eight months. As a result, we now have many beautiful paintings of roses in our house and studio. Even more obvious in our home is his journey to learn Zhostova. He painted this style for several months and now our kitchen boasts a beautiful wall of Zhostova plates and trays as you can see in the picture. When people enter our kitchen for the first time, they are awe struck by the beautiful wall of art they see. I have never tired of this beautiful wall and will enjoy this benefit of his learning style for many years to come.
Monday, September 28, 2009
It's been a little while since either Paul or I have posted. (It's absolutely amazing how fast time flies without one realizing it.) But now that it is fall and school is back in session, we hope to get back to posting more often. It seems that now that our lives are more scheduled, we are able to fit in more structured activities (go figure).
Anyhow, I have to tell you how exciting the middle of September was for me. My friends all came back to play!! Our art studio reopened for its fall classes and I was so excited to have everyone come back to paint with me. When each person walked through the door, I realized how much I had missed each of them and how great it was to see them again. Classes flew each evening as we got caught up on each other's summer activities and there was much laughter and carrying on. Many students had new grandchildren to report, some had just left the work force for retirement and many had great vacations they were sharing (even an Alaskan cruise!) It was so fun. And at the end, I realized how much these people had come to mean to me. Yes, Paul and I do operate a business and as business people we have to keep the bottom line in mind at all times, but above all we are people who love the company of these fellow artists and we are so fortunate to call them our friends.
Happy painting everyone,
Thursday, July 23, 2009
This next piece is one of my favorite paintings. I love the composition and the warm background.
Finally, this painting was a real challenge and was a true study of Premier Coup techniques. I especially like painting the bird. Good times!
It is really thrilling to see my first piece and my most recent pieces and to be able to chart my own journey as an artist. However, I have to honestly say that I am as proud of my little watering can as I am of my Premier Coup paintings. They all represent my journey and each piece holds a story and it's own special memories. My sincerest hope is that all of you have had the same kind of wonderful journey that I have had. Once again...I am so blessed.
Thursday, July 2, 2009
We are so blessed to be surrounded by scads of very special students and friends. When we decided to open the shop I was not expecting to create the intense relationships that we have. Frankly it was something that I never thought about. However, that has been, by far, the very best thing about our shop. I am a bit proud that our little shop in the mountains has become a mecca for so many people that find relationships and fulfillment through the arts. It is our dream to create a community of artists where everyone contributes to everyone else. The shop and the friendships have been life-changing.
Every now and then, a student will distinguish themselves in some way. Perhaps one student is incredibly creative, another is very neat, another may be quite flexible and have a great attitude. You get the picture. I have one student, Nadine Rodgers, that has been painting with me from the very beginning. She was in the first beginner class and from the first day that our shop opened she has been a part of our lives.
Nadine is hard to describe. She is a person that has lived on the same street practically her entire life, but her view of the world is rather large and she has a wide tolerance for others. She is also a person that loves simple things, a good book, family, her home etc...but she is a very intelligent and observant person. She is also a person that is very loyal and loving to the people in her life but has a quick wit and a very funny sense of humor.
I could go on and on about her but I have come to realize that there is one thing that I value about her above all others. Nadine thinks "out of the box". She has her own sense of style and her own tastes and her own eye and I support her decisions. She will often make small changes to the pieces that we are working on but will still retain the basic look of the piece. I applaud her independence and encourage her to continue. The wonderful thing is that she doesn't do it all the time but on occasion she will change the background color of a piece, or the color scheme etc etc.
During the prep for our last Palekh seminar Nadine told me that she didn't want to paint it on the surface that we recommended. Our policy is that seminar pieces must be painted on a piece purchased through the shop so she looked through our inventory and found a lovely scalloped edge plate. We talked about how she could adapt the surface to this pattern. She did a wonderful job with it and added a lovely scroll border to the outside of the plate. In addition Nadine studies some of the pictures that I handed out that talked about the history of the style and saw another painting of Father Frost with some pretty interesting hair. Nadine decided to change the beard and the hair and her piece is truly stunning. She is such an artist. It comes out of her mouth, her brain and her brush and I am so grateful to be her teacher.
I am posting a closeup of her painting. Isn't this truly a great accomplishment. Congratulations Nadine!
Sunday, June 28, 2009
Okay, the alliteration is a bit goofy but I put it in anyway! Our summer schedule has been crazy. We have been working lots of long hours to prepare our lessons for the new Heritage Education Program, continuing to teach our weekly classes and preparing for our seminars. Our studio is really hopping with activity and we are so thrilled with the artistic energy that we are creating.
This weekend we had the first of our three summer seminars. Our seminars are not long, extended seminars that span several days....our market could not absorb that. Our seminars include a three hour Friday night painting session and an 8 hour session on Saturday. The day and a half seminar is perfect for our students and our market. It provides a concentrated period of study but allows our students to have limited time away from work and family.
Our current weekend seminar was based on the Palekh painting style that I studied with David Jansen in May. I took the class from David because I wanted to learn the techniques that are associated with Palekh painting. While I was sitting in the class I realized that this painting style would translate beautifully to one of our condensed weekend seminars. It was really perfect because the style was new, the techniques were not too difficult and the finished painting would be beautiful. I decided that I would not do the lesson on the small Santa surface that David used so I resized the design and taught it on a sled that our woodman had already made for our studio. The upside of the resizing was that some of the tiny details were bigger! When we painted the Palekh at David's seminar we used a magnifying glass for the small details. Our resizing avoided that need.
Anyhow, the seminar was such a wonderful experience. We had 13 students in the seminar which was a nice size for our studio. I had a goal of completely finishing the painting during the seminar so that meant that I had to be a drill sergeant! No slackers allowed! I told the students to strap in for the ride and for the next two days we worked very hard. The students rose to the challenge and they all have a gorgeous piece of Russian Folk art to display in their home. Following is some pictures from the seminar. I am so proud of all of the students and truly had a wonderful time. Also...a special thank you to David for designing such a wonderful piece.
Nancy is building the snow in layers. Her final painting is gorgeous.
Nadine is adding a wonderful border to her painting. She decided to do the painting on a round plate with a scalloped edge. Her painting turned out great. I hope to post about it after it is varnished. Nadine always thinks outside of the box.
Cathy and Betty multi task as they complete an intermediate step on the painting. Cathy loved this painting and was excited to learn the style. We will often sit as students in each other's seminars. I have to tell you that she was a very good student but she gave the teacher a very bad time! HAHA.Here I am doing the "teacher thing" as I help Nancy refine her Father Frost face.
This is a picture of some of the class...unfortunately a few students had to leave early and missed the class photo. You can tell by their smiling faces that they were fulfilled by the seminar. I am so proud of everyone. Thank you students!