Saturday, March 24, 2012

Peninsula Art School Workshop

I'm pretty excited to be offered the opportunity
to teach a 3-day workshop at the Peninsula Art School
in Fish Creek, Wisconsin.
Workshop Dates: June 28 - 29, 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM each day.

More information:Download the Peninsula School of Art's Summer/Fall 2012 Workshop Catalog.
Page 30:

First Promise of Spring

"Beyond Repair"  • 10" x 7-1/4" • Oil
Copyright 2011 Debra Joyce Dawson
Now that gas prices are up, I am searching harder to find new venues that are fairly close to where I live; or, I am hoping that as I drive past my favorite painting places, that I will find something new to say about what I see. Last week, I out to paint this distant view of an old green house that I discovered one morning about two years ago.

On that day in 2010, I was scouting the smaller roads in Harrison Township for something that really grabbed me. I found it! But I didn't feel comfortable parking with half of my car on the roadway in order to avoid one of the deep drainage ditches that run along both sides of most of the roads in this area. I did stop long enough to make a small line sketch of the place with a fine sharpie marker, and just blacking in the darks of the shadows. Each time I'd come across that little drawing, I'd feel the excitement that I felt that day, and I knew that someday I would have to get back out there to paint.

It happened on March 16. And then I got rained out, so I went back out same time on St. Patrick's Day to finish. This is a scanned image and the color and some values aren't totally correct, but it's enough to give you an idea of the painting. I certainly did enjoy painting this.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

And the Winner is . . .

"White Wedding" by Billy Idol - 6" x 12" Oil on Panel
I'm posting the three paintings that you've seen before.
I entered them into a contest to win 8 nights in a 4-star spa resort hotel in Wexford, Ireland. The paintings had to be named with song titles. If I won, I'd go to Ireland and paint in the
2012 Art in the Open Plein Air Competition.

"English Rose" by The Jam - aka 'Hampton Court Rose Garden'
8" x 6" - Oil on 8-ply museum board

"Cliffs of Moher" by Debra Joyce Dawson Oil ~ 6" x 8"
"Cliffs of Moher" 6" x 8", Oil on Canvas
On St. Patrick's Day, I received the news that I HAD won!
I celebrated by going out to paint, followed by two pints of Guinness.
I hadn't had a Guinness in quite a while.
It has lots of calories and it's very hard to get a good Guinness.
But I took the risk, and it seemed proper to do it.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Painting My Friends

Me painting at Paul Emory's farm October 2011.
I scanned two paintings that I did last October during a yearly party at Paul Emory's farm in Zanesville, OH. I'm not sure how many years this paintout/chance to buy a painting/chance to eat fabulous food party has been going on, but it seems to grow a little bigger each year. Not only is the party for artists, it's for collectors, animals and kids as well - and I always see lots of my family of artists and friends at this party!

My first painting of the day was a 'landscape with goat'. I titled the painting "Ruby's Goat". The goat didn't belong to Ruby. It was brought in as fodder for paintings. But Ruby liked it, and she wasn't happy when Dad tied it to the very tree to use as a model, the very same tree that I'd painted the year before - entitled "Ruby's Tree". I haven't bothered to take a photo of that painting because I wasn't totally happy with the painting which seemed to be all tan-ish.

After working on "Ruby's Goat" for a an hour or so, artist Sharon Visintine and her husband, John, stopped by my easel to say hello. John was all decked out for fall, and wearing his wonderful Scottish cap topped with red pom-pom.

Red in sunlight, it gets me everytime!

So, I asked John if he'd pose for me.
To my delight, he said, "yes."

My husband, Martin on the left, my model on the right, and my painting on my easel in the front.

"John" 6" x 6" Oil on Archival Canvas Panel by Utrecht
Copyright 2011 Debra Joyce Dawson
Here is the result of the sitting. I massed the shadows and darks first, and was really glad that I did, since the light came and went on John's face due to the clouds above. I had such a good time painting this wonderful man of Scottish decent. I searched for masses and colors, and feel it would have been a stronger painting if the light had stayed steady, but the shear joy of painting had a hold on me, and we won't talk about the red wine.

"Frank" 6" x 6" Oil on Archival Canvas Panel by Utrecht
Copyright 2011 Debra Joyce Dawson
I just couldn't get enough of painting now that I had models. Frank Dean was there at the right time, and I asked him if he'd pose. And he said, "yes." What a delight to be able to paint Frank's celtic ruddy-red complexion, his red hair, and creamy-colored beard!

And here is part of the 'critique while she's painting group'. Reading left to right, artist Rick Akers, Dave Terry's wife, Frank Dean, artist Edie Dean, and artist Dave Terry. Paul Emory is missing from the photo. Dave and Paul were having a field day watching me and making comments on each and every stroke of the paintings. WOW! What a way to paint. They were positive, animated, asking questions, and seemed to really enjoy watching me paint these guys.

When it was done, I just wanted another model.

By the way, I just couldn't get photos of these paintings without glare, so they sat on my counter top since last October. Then one day, I decided to try and scan them. These scanned images have no glare and turned out better than I expected!

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Just wanted to share

Photo from the 2011 Door County Plein Air Festival.
Frank Gardner and yours truly, at the Gala Opening.

While looking through several blogs this morning, I found a post from the blog of Frank Gardner. I discovered his work several years ago, and he just keeps growing! What I like about his work is that he paints with his heart, and with a great command of his medium. In person, he didn't disappoint: he was friendly, kind and had his ego in check. I was excited to have the opportunity to meet him last year in Door County. I was also happy that he won the Artists' Choice Award.

He didn't take the pretty route to painting. He stayed true to who he was, and painted what was interesting to him. For instance, during a painting event for collectors to meet artists, most artists were painting water lilies or flowers. Not Frank. He chose to paint an iron dog sculpture, and it was marvelous to see that he also hung that painting on the wall. In the photo above, you can just see that framed work, just above the barn painting with the Artists' Choice ribbon next to it.

 Here's a photo of a photo of Frank painting that dog.
So why talk about Frank? Because his work inspires me. And this morning, I found his December 30, 2011 blog post which talks about artists that inspire him. It's an enjoyable read and the accompanying photos of paintings are wonderful. When you have time, check it out, and enjoy.

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Well, here it is,

It's certainly been a super Tuesday for me!

I had an early morning date with the treadmill; then off to the grocery to get some healthy food for dinner; next, cooked some soup and prepared for a shrimp stir-fry. I received two emails from my best friends and favorite artists, Edie Dean and Ray Hassard. Yes, yes, and yes!

Cantina Tudernum Grechetto di Todi, Umbria, Italy label  And I discovered a 1/2 bottle of Italian wine in my refrigerator from my August trip to Umbria, with yet another wonderful friend and artist, Susie Astleford.

THE WINE: by Cantina TUDERNUM, "Grechetto di Todi" DOC 2010. You may well remember my "wine posts from Italy" - the first "I".

Todi, in Umbria, was our first stop, and I discovered some great Italian wine at the local pizzeria!
You may recall, it's where they cut the pizza with scissors.
And where we saw the wonderful Raffaello exhibition.

 However, as much as I loved my trip to Italy, it's certainly been INDIA, the second "I",  that has consumed my thoughts of late. India. It gets into your blood, and insidiously has crept its way back into my conscious thoughts for several weeks now. Like an internal clock, it seems to happen every year at the same time.

Sherpa Martin carrying my easel and folio of canvases.
He's also wearing my backpack.

The stars and planets aligned last night, as Martin,
(my Sherpa husband - the man my artist friends all want)
flipped through Netflix on TV and found "Outsourced".

The story of an American account exec, who is sent to India to educate
his own replacement, in a call center in India.

This film, for me, was like "going home", as much of it is shot in Banganga Tank,
a favorite haunt of Hassard's and mine.
Taken in 2009, here is the small section of the tank that I focused on painting,
which also appears in Outsourced.
 This independent film was nominated for 17 awards, and won five.
I believe it's because this is definitely a good slice of authentic India,
mixed with romance and comedy.

It featured wonderful scenes of 'the tank',

the famous laundry,

and the labyrinth backstreets of Banganga Tank
on which we have walked, albeit, a little uncomfortably,

for fear of invading the private lives of those who have little, in economic terms.

Click here for a link to a trailer, with a sampling of the music in this movie which is truly wonderful. Just perusing the website for this film made makes me want to see it again.

Thursday, March 01, 2012

"Making Your Own Mark"

I'm very happy to be included in an article written by Cherie Haas for the April 2012 issue of The Artist's Magazine.

The article focuses on the artists' favorite tools. Of course I chose my beloved Lowe-Cornell J-2 palette knife.

Along with a blurb of text from me concerning my tool and how it works for me, one of my paintings was also published: 'Salisbury from Old Sarum', 4" x 8", oil, and painting on my 2010 trip to England with my husband, daughter, and granddaughter.