Tuesday, December 23, 2008

A Four-Day Class!

Sharon Segal writes:

I took a 4-day watercolor class from Eric Wiegardt in December '08 at the Oregon Society of Artists in Portland. The class was enjoyable, and very intense at the same time. Eric's style of teaching is one-concept-a-day. First he demonstrates the idea all morning. He talks while he works. Then after lunch, we have the afternoon to try to integrate the ideas with a painting of our own.

A few interesting ideas that I took away from the class are:

- When you lose your lights in watercolor, your painting has ended (and not in a desirable way!)

- Value (degree of light or dark) is so important, more important than color. Before we begin our painting, Eric urged us to create a complete value study of what we are going to paint. You plan for
your picture to have at least 3 - 5 values; not colors, but lights and darks.

- Design wins over reality!

- Have an "I'm having fun" attitude. Don't make the painting too precious.

I have heard many of the ideas that Eric had presented from other artists, but he presented them in a very concrete way.

I highly recommend his workshop.

Sharon Segal

Sunday, December 21, 2008

The Gift

Leslie Elder writes:

I had started to feel a bit constricted by watercolor, like a horse wanting to bust out of the stall and gallop around a bit. I thought I might go back to my old friend, acrylic paint. I'd used acrylics a lot in the past. Looking around for my old tubes of acrylic, I couldn't find them anywhere. They probably dried out and I must have thrown them away, I thought.

Then I fantasized about trying oils, something I'd never done, except once when I was a child. But then the economy took a dive, and I figured I shouldn't go out and invest a lot of money at Art Media on a new paints. After all, I still had a pretty good supply of watercolor.

Then one day, while looking still further for those darned acrylic paints, I found a stash of my grandmother's 40+ year old oil paints in an old box. I squeezed the tubes gently and knew that they were still good! I had carted that box through all of our moves, but had never seriously examined it because I don't paint with oils. Now, I realized this might be the answer.

I started looking at the paints and realized that I had a treasure of oil paint, enought to last me for some time! I felt my grandmother's presence as I looked over the gift she had left me, silently sending her my love and gratitude and knowing that she was thrilled to be able to share the paint with me at last. She had loved art, and had always encouraged me in my artistic endeavors. What a blessing! I signed up for a studio oil painting portrait class (with models) at Multnomah Art Center. Who knows what will come of this wonderful gift?

Friday, December 19, 2008

Quilt Inspirations!

Laurie writes:

In November I was in Philadelphia visiting my grandchildren and noticed in the Jewish paper that there was a reception at the Museum of Art for the Gee's Bend Quilts. So I went on a guided tour of these magnificent quilts. The designs are intriguing. The early quilts, used as insulation lining the bare-bones cabins that the slaves lived in, were designs of roof tops and brick layers. Over decades and generations, the women branched out and the design forms became more free-form. See some examples at the following website:


The influence of these quilts will affect some future projects I am planning. Adaptations would be exquisite on my fabric vases, since my first series was mostly about "flowers."

In October I took a class on sewing curves and adding them into a quilt form. The class included construction of a small wall hanging. These techniques will take my sewing in a new direction, incorporating the sewing of curves on a flat surface. The new skills will open a wildly exciting avenue of possibilities.

I have ideas of adding Hebrew words and phrases into my fabric vase construction. I'm working on a fleece quilt for my grandson, and a wall hanging for our condo lobby. I also want to experiment more with the quilt designs that make another layer on top of the fabrics that are sewn together.

Laura Joy Designs

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Hot Glass on a Cold Day

Eddy Shuldman writes:
Schools are closed today so I got to stay home and take care of some chores. Sorting through a file drawer of old papers kept my attention just so long.....TIME to play with glass.

I finished up the letters for a Challah plate commission and headed out to the shed where I keep the kilns.

The temperature out back was 25 degrees. You won't believe this, but that's too cold start the kiln! Too funny!

Although the kiln will top out at 1450 degrees F in about 5 hours, I actually had to bring out a small space heater to preheat the controller so I could fire up the kiln!

The snow continues to fall and I have a choice....clean out another drawer or play with more glass ....hmmmmmmmmmmm...........

Oh... and here's the view looking out from my shed.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The Next Step

Rosana Berdichevsky writes:

In the last few weeks, I have been thinking that the time has come to take the plunge.

I have decided to make the effort and take care of all the details to apply to be juried for the bigger art shows. I will apply to the Lake Oswego Art Festival and for the Salem Art Festival. I know that they are huge and I also know that this is a challenge, but sometimes being scared and waiting for something to happen, it doesn't help us to really move forward. And I do want to move forward, whether I get accepted by the jury or not. I've got to try... if not, I will never know, right?

Wish me luck!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

The Hunt

Sabina writes:

I'm pretty much wedded to using Arches l40 lb cold pressed paper, made in France, for my watercolors. There's something fundamental in my nature that says, "when you find something of quality, stick with it".

That said, I'm always on the hunt for stretching my boundaries and exploring. In the case of my watercolors, this hunt usually takes me in search of new and interesting papers. Often I'm disappointed with the way the new paper receives the color and the way it behaves under my corrections.

But I still search, enjoying the actual hunt as much as the "find", when it appears. The other day, at Goodwill of all places, I found two bound books of handmade paper..... rough and replete with textural variations, beautiful uneven edges, works of art in and of themselves. I can't wait to try them!


People often ask "does it snow in Portland?"

Yes, it does.

Today, for instance.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Art Everywhere

Gershon's cousin came to visit last week. After recently losing her husband of 60 years, she is determined to live her remaining years to the fullest. She is a painter, and sees everything around her in terms of "art." It was great fun to share in her enjoyment of Portland and Multnomah Falls, and it was amazing to watch her navigating her new-found discovery: the internet.

Lucille is not an art-snob. She takes it all in, and loves it all. Anything visually interesting or colorful is valid. With excitement, she showed me things she has found on the internet. Some were things I've seen; some were not. But it was fascinating to observe someone who is on one hand an old timer with great experience in art, and on the other hand a complete newcomer to the Global Village, seeing it with child-like wonder.

Just for fun, here are some of the links we looked at. Drop your guard, and open your eyes...







Friday, December 5, 2008

Hannukah Gift Fair

Some of our artists will be selling their work at Hadassah's annual Holiday Gift Fair this Sunday. Please come by, say hello, and maybe buy some nice Hannukah gifts!

Sunday, December 7, 2008
9 am - 4 pm
at Congregation Neveh Shalom
2900 Peaceful Lane
Portland, Oregon 97239