Monday, January 29, 2018

Member meeting - and upcoming Member Show

What:    Member meeting
When:   February 3, 2018 - 10 AM to 12 noon
Where: Cultural Center at Ponte Vedra Beach

Janelle recently reminded us that the deadline for entering our Spring juried show is February 17, now less than three weeks away. Has everyone been working on entries? Is anyone feeling "stuck" or unsure about their possible entries?

If so our upcoming meeting is the meeting for you! We will be having Donna Grasso as our guest presenter. Donna is a former FCPS member and award winner, a full-time professional artist and teacher, and works in many mediums. She has an excellent eye and will be here to provide critiques.

All members are encouraged to bring 2-3 paintings for Donna to critique. Bring what you feel is your best and strongest work, or bring pieces you may be struggling with. Donna will use this opportunity to point out the strong points and the weak points in a constructive way.

She will focus on the basic elements of art as well as use of pastel, and will point out what works and what doesn't in a piece. Visit her website to see her beautiful work.

Let's take this opportunity to get some help on creating artwork that will make our 2018 show the best one yet.

Debora Stewart - our first 2018 workshop

We held our first workshop of 2018 earlier this month with a fascinating twist from Debora Stewart. For whatever reason we don't generally seem to see much abstract work in our medium, but Debora may have some of us rethinking that.

She certainly had a beautiful box of pastels with great color options, but she also used a great many other mediums in her work - charcoal, clear gesso, liquid acrylics. 

She started off with lots of charcoal strokes and had participants try the same on their own - not trying to create anything objective but just being free and loose.

It was certainly a lot of fun to see what Deborah laid down on her paper. She had fascinating exercises like giving a word like "excitement" or"peace" or "childlike" and then having the students drawing marks that that word embodied to them.

These started with charcoal marks and then colors were added that the words invoked as well.

The first day of the workshop was completely non-objective.

But there was a lot of information about colors, shapes, values, and all things that apply no matter what sort of art you produce.

The second day there were lots of floral displays set up and there was information about abstracting an objective object like a flower, but also about being able to use the same techniques for portraits, landscapes, or anything else. 

This created some beautiful pieces - not only like the one above by Debora, but by the workshop participants as well. All those I spoke to said it was a very freeing and liberating workshop experience.

Hmm, I wonder now how many more abstract pieces we might see at our upcoming juried member show later this year?

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Kingsley Plantation - They Gave a Plein Air and Nobody Came!

It was 35 degrees on Saturday morning at Kingsley Plantation! This was not the first time we had faced weather like this though. Way back in February 2013 it was 35 degrees when we had a plein air at the Jacksonville Arboretum. Yet we still had a great turn-out of artists, even though all in winter coats and even long johns! But the weather report back then promised to warm up and sure enough by late morning it had gotten up into the 60s so we had a great day. But Saturday promised never to get out of the mid-40s. Several people had told me at Tim's the night before that it was far too cold for them to plan to come, so I didn't know what it expect.

But I got up and out early and headed to Kingsley. It did feel quite cold, but the sun was out and shining. I scouted around and found the picnic table at the Ribault Club that the ranger had recommended to me on my previous visit.

There were certainly paintable opportunities but yes it was cold. From the inside out I had on a T-shirt, fleece shirt, PolarTec jacket, and a down vest! And I was still cold until I got on my hat and gloves. I was comfy then but of course it's hard to paint with pastels while wearing gloves. At any rate I settled into the parking lot and waited to see what would happen, but what happened was that nobody came! The plein air was scheduled at 9 AM, so I decided it was okay to leave when no one had showed up by 9:45.

It never did warm up though on Saturday. What a difference a day makes and both Sunday and Monday warmed up nicely to be refreshing plein air days, but Saturday was a winter day. However I'm so glad to have discovered Kingsley. It's a wonderful place. We have to get it back into our plein air rotation sometime soon because everyone will love it. Just not in January again perhaps. :-)

But the trip was hardly a waste. I got some great reference photos. And there were lots of birds! As some folks know I'm an avid birder as well as a painter, so I took some time to check out birds in the area. I didn't paint on Saturday, but here are the birds I saw.

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Tim's Wine Market entries

Well in our last entry we got to see a bit of Tim's Wine Market, and great photos of many of our wonderful FCPS members who either participated in the show, or who came out to the show opening to support our group. It was great seeing everyone last night, and great to see all the artwork. So now for the artwork!

Of course I have many of the usual caveats. All the pictures you are about to see are wonky, tilted, at funny angles...Most of you all know how hard it is to photograph framed pastels because of the glare and reflection of the glass. I tried very hard to avoid glare and reflection, so lots of photos are taken from off sides. The paintings were also hung fairly high to allow for Tim's merchandise below them, so I was shooting up for almost all the photos. I also was not able to get the labels for most of them so can't tell you whose painting is whose for the most part - so you all can have the fun of trying to guess who painted what!

And, despite my best efforts, I apologize to those artists who wound up with flying saucers in the middle of your paintings! There was a lot of reflected light. I tried to go around the room and get pictures of all the art, so again I apologize if I missed your painting. Let me know and I can add it.

And my usual last caveat: Since the photos are so bad you need to make a trip to Tim's Wine Market to see the actual show. It will be up for a month.

Enjoy the show, and buy a bottle of wine while you are there. :-)

Tim's Wine Market

Our non-juried member show opened last night at Tim's Wine Market in St. Augustine Beach. Since it's pretty far from home for me I'd never been there before, but what a great place it was. We were very pleased to be able to have our show there with some 35 of our member paintings.

On first Fridays they hold a wine tasting, and we had our opening. Our paintings encircled the whole room, and while it's clearly a wine store it's also well laid out for the public to stay and browse and enjoy, with plenty of tables and chairs.

Tim's provided fine wines to taste, or to buy for $5 a glass, or of course whole bottles. But our membership came through as usual with lots of great finger foods to enjoy.

 Judging by the camaraderie of the crowd it seems that Tim's gets plenty of of regulars at its wine tasting nights, and they enjoyed getting to sample our goodies too.

There was quite an wonderful turnout, and while food and wine were key there were plenty looking at the artwork as well. And we had quite a great turnout of our own from the FCPS members.

One white and two reds were on hand to sample for the evening, and as the evening came to an end it seemed there had been plenty of folks enjoying their samples.

So huge thanks to Janelle for all her hard work in putting this show on, and thanks to Tish for her help, and thanks to Kathleen for getting all the goodies set up and organized. I don't believe we had any sales last night but the show is up for a month so who knows?