Friday, October 25, 2013

November Meeting

Date: Saturday, November 3, 2013
Time: 10 AM to 12 noon
Place: The Cultural Center at Ponte Vedra Beach, 
                     50 Executive Way, Ponte Vedra Beach, FL 32082

We hope we have a great turnout for our next meeting at our new "home" in Ponte Vedra Beach. We have taken a group membership there, so will have a couple of our meetings there as well as a show.

It should be an interesting meeting, and you all have a little homework assignment before the meeting. The following is from our president, Lyn, on what we each need to do:
Topic:  Roundtable Disscussion:  
"Who Are You??  Writing your Artist Bio, Resume and Artist Statement"
Whether you are updating or creating a website, searching for a gallery to represent your work, applying to a show or a residency, creating a PR piece, or in need of information for an article or press release, having these three things on hand will make your life as an artist a whole lot easier.  Marketing yourself is complicated, and it starts with knowing how to describe yourself and your art.
Please bring the following:  a notebook or tablet (something to take a lot of notes on and to write on)copies of whatever you currently have in the way of resumes, artist statements and artist bios, or a list of your recent artistic accomplishments
Executive Way is off A1A. If you are coming south on A1A it's on the left, just past Corona Rd. If you are coming north on A1A it's on the right, just past Mier Rd. Once you turn unto Executive stay to the right  and you will see the Cultural Center there on the right side.

Thanks - to and from Michael

(photo by Carron Wedlund, edited by Marie Marfia) 

We all received the following email from Michael:
I want to thank you all for a truly wonderful workshop this week!  I had a great time and enjoyed working with each of you. 
And we can say the same thing in return. The workshop was a wonderful opportunity for all of us to learn, and a great chance to be together with other FCPS members. As a pastel society we have come a long way since we were first formed nearly two years ago.

2014 should bring us even more adventures and shows and workshops. Stay tuned to this space!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Michael Chesley Johnson Workshop - Day Three

Today was the last day of our workshop, and for our final day we had glorious weather - sunny and crisp, low 70s, a nice breeze blowing. We met this morning at Ocean Hammock Park in St. Augustine Beach, a lovely gem located right on the beach. It's a very new park, still under development. So new it doesn't even seem to have a web page, LOL. 

A few people got held up in traffic this morning, and while we waited for them we all gathered in the parking lot, and Michael passed around a couple books that he felt are very valuable for every landscape artist's library:

1)    Carlson's Guide to Landscape Painting, by John F. Carlson
2)    Composition of Outdoor Painting by Edgar Payne

After that we left our painting and drawing stuff in the car to just take a walk along the 1700-foot boardwalk. It led us through the hammock, where the Muhly grass was in glorious bloom.

 From there we passed on and over the dunes, lively with waving sea oats.

And then out to the broad wide expanse of the beach.  After this overview we all had the morning to do our color sketches and drawings, and to take as many photos as we pleased of the varied scenery.

At mid-day again it was time to pack up and head back to the studio. Michael first reviewed our paintings from yesterday's studio, as we had not had time for that before the end of day yesterday. He then reviewed our drawings and sketches from this morning, which was helpful in deciding what to work on in the studio for the afternoon.

After that we all got to work on compositions based on the morning at the park. And then we had our final review of the works we did today. What fun it was to see all the work done by the students in the class. We all had a great time, and it was hard to say goodbye to Michael and head out the door. Maybe we can invite him back again one day.

But in the meantime Michael said we are certainly welcome to come to one of his other workshops in Sedona or Campobello, or wherever they happen to be. 

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Michael Chesley Johnson workshop - Day Two

Today's "plein air to studio" workshop began on the fishing pier at Vilano Beach, guarded by the Bluebird of Happiness.

We gathered first at the pavilion at the beginning of the pier to listen to Michael lecture. He wanted us to choose 2-3 locations of interest and do small color studies of them, concentrating on large blocks of color and no details. But once you found a favorite you should go back and do a more detailed pencil drawing of it.

Michael himself chose the Bluebird of Happiness as his first color study,which he began as a demo for the class.

There were lots of fishermen on the pier going back and forth, occasionally glancing at what we were doing. But it was not only the human fishers who had their eyes on the pier!

But while the bluebird remained happy, nature itself did not. By mid-morning the heavens once again unleashed their powers with heavy rains - causing most of us to run for cover under the big pavilion, where we were able to finish up what we were working on before breaking again at mid-day to head back to the Art Studio for lunch and the afternoon session.

At the studio Michael took his two color studies from the morning and showed us how he enjoyed creating a single-piece "diptych" - so that instead of having two actual images, he combined two, each of which could stand alone, but with something in the center of the painting to join the two.

And we all worked in the studio on trying to rework the images from the morning into different configurations, and when we found something that pleased us to try to work it up into a small finished piece for the day.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Michael Chesley Johnson workshop - Day One

Hurray, the day so many of us have been waiting for has finally arrived, the first day of our workshop with Michael Chesley Johnson.  Our meeting place was the old Spanish mission Nombre de Dios.  This St. Augustine mission has lovely grounds, and is a great place for the first morning of our "plein air to studio". Our format is to spend mornings doing thumbnails, value studies, and color studies. Then after a break for lunch to finish up in the studio.

However the morning didn't start auspiciously. We were greeted with heavy rains on our arrival at the mission. Luckily there was a small covered gazebo that was just large enough to accommodate our group.

A little rain blew in from the sides, but for the most part we remained dry, and got to hear an interesting lecture from Michael, and to watch him start a demo as well.

He chose as his subject the little chapel on the grounds as well as one of the statues in the foreground. It was a great demo on seeing how you often have to change things as you work in plein air, as he started out with a gray, misty painting, and then as he worked the sun came out!

And as he worked we also had wonderful background music - the voices of children singing in the chapel.

Once the sun came out we were free to roam around and find spots to set up for our studies, so that we would have something to work with back in the studio

At midday we broke to all drive over to The Art Studio, a lovely facility right on the beach! 

 We had a wonderful lunch there - many thanks to Lyn and Patty for providing that. And we had a great space to work with tables set up for everyone.

We had several hours to work, with Michael giving advice, and then a group "show and tell" at the end of the afternoon. 

Although he spent most of his time with the students Michael also continued to do a little work on his study from the morning. 

And following class many of us had a chance to talk more with Michael and his wife back at Lyn's house, who had graciously invited everyone to dinner. 

After such a great day I think everyone is looking forward to day two, and hopefully a little more sunshine.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Our Chowenwaw plein air day.

The First Coast Pastel Society has certainly been blessed with the weather on the days we have scheduled out plein air paint-outs. Yesterday was no exception. It was a fine October day, with crisp clear air and sunshine. I arrived early but still found some of our members there ahead of me, down checking out the water and the view.

But soon others began to arrive also. Eventually there were ten of us who came for some fellowship and camaraderie with our fellow pastel artists.

Many of us chose set-ups along the banks of Black Creek.

There certainly was plenty of room along the water's edge to spread out and find the viewpoint that most interested you.

Finding shady spots was a good choice too, as even though the fall weather is becoming glorious we are still in Florida, and the sun does get warmer as the morning wears on.

Others chose spots back among the many tall trees that help keep most of the park cool and shady.

Some spots even offered trees and cool shade, and hints of the river beyond as well.

People willing to be more adventurous were able to find a beautiful clear pond as you headed off towards the woods, or perhaps even taking the boardwalk trail down to the tree houses!

At noontime we all stopped after a full morning of painting, and most of us got together for lunch and chat - we all especially wanted to hear about Theri's trip to France to take a workshop with Richard McKinley! Pastel heaven.

Next up will be our November 2nd meeting at the Ponte Vedra Cultural Center. Please stay tuned to this space for more details.