Thursday, May 28, 2009

OPA - Kevin MacPherson Demo

Top billing at the OPA convention this year was the juror of awards, Kevin MacPherson.

This linen on foam core panel - with grid and image - was on the easel when I walked in. Audience members' camera were snapping away and the buzz in the rooom was all about the grid pattern on this panel. Much to our amusement, the first thing Kevin told us was that this was not the painting he was going to do. The drawing was from an abandoned painting, which he'd simply cut down and recylced for this demo.
MacP pulled out all the plein air studies he'd done on a painting trip for inspiration (as he does in his studio) and to remind him of what it was like at this location. The paintings were very loose, between 9x12" and 12 x 16"'s. Some were barely more than broad color notes. He passed the paintings through the audience, a treat to see these up close and personal, and hold them in your hands.

Here is Kevin with the bones of the painting to come, the shapes. He explained that once he had his shapes, interlocking like a puzzle, he next put in the darkest darks. "Then," he said, "it was just a matter of filling in the shapes with color."
Here he is filling in the blanks!
He stressed the importance of keeping the shadow and the light values separated: black in light is lighter than white in shadow." He fills in those blanks working in the shadow areas only and leaving the light areas untouched for now. He worked to build the nuances of color shifts within the shadows, but was not concerned with detail.

Once he was satisfied with the shadow areas, he scraped his palette in prepartion for the light areas.
You can see his plein air reference painting to he left of the demo painting. It is covered with a plastic sleeve and he places dabs of paint he's mixed to test his colors and values before placing them on the painting. Even then, he remixes if the color doesn't seem right for the painting.

He used a limited palette of three colors plus Gamblin's Portland greys in light, medium and dark and Titanium White. He also mixed greys, saying not to use just a grey, but to make it a blue grey, red grey, or yellow grey.

This is the palette at the end of the painting the shadow masses. he used only one brush, and had a box of Kleenex to wiping his brush.

Here's the painting after he "filled in the blanks" of the light massess. He was experimenting in the sky with filling it in with only a grey. He would later go back over that grey with other colors. The clouds at this point are still bare canvas.

Last, is the final painting. Wanda, his wife had the frame all ready to go. And the crowd gave a thunderous applause for a great demo.

You can see that he worked back into that sky with more than one color.
Three hours of fun. He really does give a relaxed and entertaining demo.

Hope you enjoyed this. If you would like me to blog more artists demos, please leave a comment. thanks for visiting.

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And while I was at it . . .

thought I'd post this painting done a couple years back, on a swelteringly hot July day. It was the Gahanna Jazz and Blues Festival. The festival was just gearing up but there were a lot of folks milling around on the sidewalk where I was painting. I simplified the crowd as you can see, and my granddaughter renamed this painting from "Lemonade Stand" to "Slow Business". What a genius she is. 8 x 10" oil on gessoed board.

Friday, May 08, 2009

Jewelry #1

One thing that Cindy, Heidi and I had in common was a love of jewelry. It was fun to meet them in the evening and see what purchases they made at the Native American Market situated in the shade of the Palace of the Governors.

Interesting that they purchased from the same vendor whose wares I was attracted to. The vendors take only cash, and I didn't have enough with me to buy, but looking is always a pleasure. Blanket after blanket offered displays of colorful stones, silver, and what I wanted . . . a silver ring with an orange colored rectangular cut of spiny oyster shell. The band had 6 silver beads, three each on two sides of the "stone". These silver beads represented the six directions. Next time. Or when I get the name of the vender from the ladies.

I was able to purchase a very nice coral necklace, multistrand in a silver setting from Peggy Garcia from Santa Domingo Pueblo. She was setting up her wares in the hotel lobby one morning. I almost lost that necklace to another woman while cashing a check to pay for it, but I used all of my persuasive powers to get it back. Peggy wrapped the necklace and handed it to me saying, "Cherish it, cherish it."

New Friends and Margaritas

One of the joys of travel is meeting people.
I was lucky to meet these delightful California blondes on the shuttle from Albuquerque to Santa Fe. They were going to the OPA exhibition to support their artist friend, Eli, who now lives on the other side of the country. I didn't meet Eli at the exhibition, it was CROWDED, but I did meet her on the plaza on Sunday afternoon, painting.

Cindy and Heidi (me in the middle) were also staying at the Inn of the Governors. Here we are in the Del Charro Bar and Restaurant. It's advertised that Del Charro has the best margarita in Santa Fe ($6.00). They certainly had the best corn chowder, with very reasonable prices and good service.

The Inn of the Governors also has a fabulous hot & cold breakfast buffet included in the price of your room, and it certainly helps make your stay in Santa Fe more economical. I would recommend the hotel to anyone. It's just two short blocks south of the plaza, and the Sandia Shuttle will drop you off and pick you up right at your hotel, or B&B, no matter which hotel you are staying at.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

OPA in Santa Fe - my hotel

I had a great time at the 18th Annual OPA National Exhibition. Once I knew my painting was in the exhibit, I started to plan my trip. My flight to Albuquerque - roundtrip American Airlines for $185 and change. There was a $15.00 fee for a checked bag each way. I was glad I booked a window seat. The irrigation patterns on the desert floor were well worth seeing.

I took the Sandia Shuttle from Albuquerque to Santa Fe. Roundtrip cost is $45, and it's reliable and easy to use. I would certainly recommend it. There is a train that runs between the two cities but it's not as convenient and a lot more expensive.

After booking the plane and the shuttle, I made an extensive online search for a hotel. OPA made their home in the La Fonda hotel. A great hotel, but $179 a night. I was going for 5 nights, so I was looking for something more economical. Martin found Garrett's Desert Inn at $88 a night. The location was good, and the price for location couldn't be beat, but . . . I found too many negative reviews and decided not to stay there.

Instead, I stayed at the Inn of the Governors. My rate was an average of $120 a night. When I got to Santa Fe, my room had been upgraded from a traditional room to a superioir king!!! Above is my comfortable bed with six pillows, and there were 4 more pillows in one of the two armoires in the room.

On one side of the bed was a writing desk and chair, a nice window that opened to the outside for fresh air, and a sitting area with two chairs and a table. At left you see the seating area dn door that went outside to a small balcony with two chairs. The view wasn't great: the parking lot and a little of the pool, but you could get a distant view of a mountain and great skies. Mostly I opened the door for a nice breeze. I wasn't really in the room long enough to sit on the balcony, but I went outside and sometimes watched the clouds in the sky. I was happy.

In addition to the little balcony, was a kiva woodburning fireplace. Very cool. I only thought about burning it once, but in the end, I didn't burn it at all. Still, it was fun to have it there and it looked good too.
In the armoire was a TV at the top and in the bottom a refridgerator with water.
Next to this armoire was another on with an ironing board and iron.
On the other side of the bed was a night table and there were three lamps in the room. The bathroom was very nice with thick towels, and great designs in the tiles, which I forgot to take a photo of. Shower was really nice. I was happy with my room.