Meet Sazerac, the first horse in my new mixed media equine sculpture series. Sazerac is a jazzy horse, inspired by New Orleans. He’s mellow as a fine whiskey with a touch of fire. Requiring many… More
To get to Puerto Vallarta to catch our flight back to the States, we broke our journey into two days. We took the ETN bus to Guadalajara and spent another night at the Hotel Dali, then took our final bus ride to Puerto Vallarta, again staying at the quaint Hotel Bellmar. We like to stay on the top floor, which is a huge grunt with luggage, but the view is worth the climb. We stay in Viejo Vallarta Centro, so no beach views. Instead one looks out on the busy, colorful street life.
Our flight was scheduled to leave at 4:30, so that gave us time to make one last drawing before leaving Mexico. I took many photos of street life, charmed by the papeles banners, the shiny piñata-like sculpture banners, and other handicrafts Mexicans create to celebrate life. I captured Calle Iturbide, an appropriate ending to my Mexico sketch journal. (Iturbide was another revolutionary independence hero.) The view is looking toward the ocean. The street ends in a plaza on the beach where many artists display their work. I wanted the emphasis of this drawing to be on the banners, so I eliminated the ocean view. I chose to add paint only to the banners to further emphasize the celebratory theme of this ink drawing.
photo collage left to right/ top to bottom: Tlaquepaque street view with shiny miller piñatas, Puerto Vallarta papeles, Ajijíc papeles & street vendor, door knocker San Miguel de Allende, door knocker Pátzcuaro, veterinary clinic Ajijíc, antique bicicletas at the tire shop in San Miguel de Allende, street musicians Pátzcuaro, street view San Miguel Deb Allende.
Thank you for following me. It’s been some time since I have posted. I haven’t fallen off the face of the earth. I spent the end of 2018 with family holidays and prepping for total left knee replacement. I worked out regularly so I would go into my surgery strong and fit, focusing on cardio and core strength; balance and flexibility. On January 9, I had my surgery for an injury that initially occurred 50 years ago, with repeated injuries and surgeries. It was finally time to get my knee fixed. It has been a challenge doing the rehab for a leg whose soft tissues on the outside of the left leg had shortened over the course of those long years. I’m learning how to walk again with balance, deal with the muscle spasms and cramping that come with the hard work of physical therapy. Slowly I am getting my mobility back, as I develop the patience and forbearance of a difficult recovery . Stay with me while I heal and regain use of my leg. When I am well enough, I will be working on new ideas, new techniques, and a new way of expressing myself.
I’ve been exploring a new way to sketch, synthesizing many different approaches and methods using a variety of media in a large 12″x18″ format. I will be demonstrating this new direction at Art Walk Fest, at the Gunnison Arts Center, this Friday, September 7th from 5:00-8:00 PM.
In my never-ending quest to become more and more loose, I am sketching directly with watercolor or pastel, then developing form and structure from the loose shapes I set on paper. In studying the sketches of the Masters, one can see places where the artist is searching for “the line;” the place where the contour line makes the shape correct. Then by adding value, the form can emerge.
For me, these exercises are like a scientist performing experiments, getting results, and acting on the data sets. I will use this experience to begin painting in oils. I want my oils to be loose and direct, not layered and classical, with a build up of glazes.
Join me in Gunnison Friday night. My sketches from this past week will be available for $50 each.
I began the week using white gouache with watercolor, sketching with my brush directly on the watercolor pad. Later, I progressed to sketching with pastel, and adding watercolor or watercolor & gouache washes over the pastel contour lines. In my most recent composition, I have made an underpainting of pastel. I plan to add the watercolor washes on Friday. Come out to see the results of this experiment. For now, I’ve been painting horses. On Friday, I plan to also sketch a few flowers, as time allows.
Beginning Friday during Art Walk and continuing through the month of September, I will offer all my matted bin work at 50% off. These works are
backed with foam core and ready for your frame. This is a great opportunity to become a collector of my artwork. I look forward to seeing you this Friday evening. Besides Art in Action, a full range of Art Walk activities are offered, including a free concert featuring Niceness.
Do you strive for luminous color in your watercolor paintings? Knowing pigment properties and following simple pigment rules go a long way in achieving colors that sing. Pouring paints, instead of using a brush, further ensures that each layer remains undisturbed, allowing a build up of color with a depth that positively glows!
I am offering a Poured Watercolor workshop September 22-24, 2018 in Telluride. We will combine studio time masking, pouring, and painting with field work capturing the natural beauty of the Colorado high country.
Learn how color properties can enhance your paintings, including pigment characteristics, color theory, and pouring techniques. This workshop will give you strategies for improving your paintings by focusing on composition, value, edges, and of course, color!
Tuition is $200, which includes four days of instruction, thorough coverage of watercolor pouring techniques and color theory, guidance and coaching for all levels of painters, art principles, supportive critiques, and a 12 page illustrated reference book.
This workshop is strictly limited to 6 participants. Register today: WORKSHOP REGISTRATION LINK to ensure your spot. Make new friends, discover your muse in a relaxing setting, create art in beautiful surroundings, grow as an artist by learning new techniques, stretch, laugh, explore, support, participate, flourish, sparkle, dream, ……….
This workshop is appropriate for all skill levels. With a small class size and an intimate setting, beginners will receive the support to rapidly improve, and advanced artists will receive challenges to take their painting to the next level.
POURED WATERCOLOR WORKSHOP
SEPTEMBER 22, 23, 24, 2018
Upon registration, you will receive a materials list, the instructional booklet, and several links for more information about poured watercolors. Come paint with us… relax…create…explore…grow…make new friends…laugh…play…discover…invent…enjoy…
Inexpensive lodging can be found on Air B&B, Telluride, Colorado. I can help you connect with a roommate for the workshop.
For the month of August, I am the featured artist at the Gunnison Arts Center. I decided to do a painting demonstration for the First Friday Art Walk. Working on three subjects: a chile market in Dolores Hidalgo, Mexico; a series of flamenco dancers; and a Norwegian Fiord horse, I need to decide which piece will be the subject of my demo. I choose the Fiord horse, because Gunnison hashas a strong horse culture and tradition. Additionally, I am well known for my equine paintings, so this gives my audience an insight into how I work. Studying the ink value drawing, I decide the painting’s design lends itself to the poured watercolor method. This will be a crowd pleasing technique! When the paper is wet and the paint is flowing, exciting mixtures and effects occur.
The Norwegian Fiord has a distinctive black and white mane and tail, along with a dorsal stripe running from the end of the mane to the beginning of the tail. The goal of my study is to spotlight the Fiord’s unusual and distinctive markings.
After mounting my watercolor paper on a sturdy board, I transfer my drawing to the paper and mask the areas that will remain white. When the mask is thoroughly dry, I pour the first layer using light values of permanent rose, raw sienna, and manganese blue. These pigments will be my primaries for this painting- (red, yellow, and blue). Using my drawing study, (above), as my value map, I mask the areas I want to remain light. I use both a mask pen for small areas and a mask brush for larger areas.
When the second mask is dry, the painting is ready for the medium value pour. This I will do in Gunnison at the Arts Center during the First Friday Art Walk. The colors are bright and dramatic, eliciting ooo’s and aaaah’s from the audience.
For the final dark layer, I choose to apply color loosely with a large mop brush. I mix colors wet-into-wet directly on the paper in selected areas where the Fiord’s distinctive black stripes appear.
I’m not concerned with a realistic reproduction of the horse’s markings. A camera can do that job. My objective is to celebrate the unique and instantly identifiable beauty of the Norwegian Fiord. For this purpose, I am using bright colors in darker values than previous layers. At this point, I must wait for the paint to dry thoroughly before I can remove the mask. Because it is getting late at the Arts Center, I plan to do the next steps at home.
Above Right, I begin removing all the mask layers. This is my favorite part of the process. I feel like I am unwrapping a gift as the image begins to emerge beneath the mask. With the mask removed, the hard work of pulling all the elements together to refine and resolve the painting begins. I spend as much time studying the painting as I do applying paint.
I have been chosen as the featured artist for the month of August at the Gunnison Arts Center. During the month of August all framed paintings of mine are offered at 10% off- both at the Arts Center and through the website. use this link to receive 10% off during the month of August, (simply mention this blog post.) This is a good time to purchase that special painting you have been admiring, or commission a special work.
I will be painting live at the Arts Center during Gunnison’s First Friday August Art Walk.
I will be pleased to visit with you, answer questions, and share what I am working on. As Gunnison locals know, I am a frequent instructor at the Center, along with exhibiting my watercolors and mixed media work through the Shop at the GAC and GAC exhibitions, including the recent Colorado Watercolor Society juried “A Splash of Colorado,” and the GAC January staff/instructor show, where I showed my travel sketches and paintings. I spent the winter in the Central Highlands of Mexico, painting the beautiful Baroque cities of Guanajuato, Dolores Hidalgo, Querétaro, and San Luis Potosí, and the charming village of Ajijí, Jalisco.
The following is an interview with Erin Jacobs, manager of the GAC Featured Artist Series:
I grew up in Lake County, Ill., (which is horse heaven- similar to Ireland.) I have lived in Western Colorado for the past 45 years, (which is a different kind of heaven.)
What is your medium of choice?
watercolor often, but mixed media with ceramic, metal, fiber, & glass comes a close second
What inspires your work?
I am fascinated by the relationship between light and shadow on natural forms. Compositions for watercolor paintings develop as I respond to the interplay of light and dark shapes. As I paint, I seek fresh, unexpected color mixtures through poured techniques and spontaneous wet-into-wet brushwork. I strive for a sense of mystery and narrative in each painting. My three passions are horses, flowers, and travel, which often inform the subject matter of my compositions.
When did you get involved in the art world?
I have always been an artist. My earliest memory of making art was when I was perhaps 4 years old. My twin sister and I scratched our self portraits into the headboards of our twin beds with the plug of the bedside lamp.
What are you currently working on? Flamenco dancers- this series explores light on the human form. I was so inspired by the performance I attended while in Mexico this winter.
Professionally: I am most passionate about striving for excellence and originality in every piece I create. With so much digital media available, I want each of my pieces to be an original work of art directly from my own hand from the highest standards of excellence.
Personally: I am most passionate about kindness and integrity in dealing with others, relating to our environment, training my horse, and making decisions.
Raising a caring and thoughtful daughter and maintaining a close relationship with her.
Where could one find you on a Saturday afternoon?
On the back of my horse; I ride dressage which is a lifelong journey toward excellence and lightness.
What circumstances do you find yourself producing new work?
I am forever getting creative brainstorms, so creating new work is an on-going process.
Do you offer custom commissions?
Yes, I enjoy getting to know my client and working with the client to create a special piece of artwork. In the case of horses, I often visit the farm to meet the horse. Then I take several photos, develop detailed drawings, and discuss how my vision will become a painting. The painting at left was commissioned by White Horse Vale Lipizzans, Goldendale, WA.
What is your website address?
Two paintings have been selected for exhibit in Ouray at the 58th Annual Alpine Artist
Holiday: “Orchid’s Glow” (pictured at right) and “Hillside Guanajuato” (featured above in preview). The 58th annual Alpine Artists Holiday is a national juried exhibition, held every summer in the Ouray Community Center, 340 6th Ave, Ouray, CO.
JULY 25 7:00 PM
The show runs July 26-August 5, 2018. Hours vary so visit the website: SHOW HOURS
“Orchid’s Glow” explores the glorious array of color occurring when light shines through the petals of an orchid. Executed in a loose manner, flower forms are highlighted in a semi-abstract composition of light and shadow.
“Hillside Guanajuato” was painted on a recent trip to Mexico, in the capital city of Guanajuato, Guanajuato. It depicts the charming jumble of sherbet homes that appear to almost tumble down each hillside.
Each painting is offered for sale during the show $350. If you are unable to attend the show, visit the link to purchase online. PURCHASE PAINTINGS
the confluence of my dreams, experiences, and passions arise to my stream of consciousness from time to time. Showing my Dream Horse watercolor paintings at the Equine Art in the Park, Denver and the Montrose Center for the Arts Pop-Up Show have brought new energy to this creative direction.
In their new incarnation, the Dream Horses are mixed media, not quite bas-relief, but definitely semi-sculptural.
I start with my handwoven fabric, shaping with colorful wire, sewing, and pressing. Legs are created with rare and precious beads. Manes and tails are formed with natural fibers, novelty yarns, and sizing. The horses are then finished with more wire and beads.
The mixed media Dream Horses come in three sizes: large (above); medium & small (see below.) Fill out the information on the purchase link to receive photographs and details of available sizes, materials, and colors. Custom horses can be created with your horse’s hair and/or your sentimental jewels, fabrics, etc.
To order please visit purchase link. All details will be handled securely through email.
To read more about my Dream Horse inspirations, click Dream Horse Link
Montrose Center for the Arts and Weehawken Creative Arts present a “POP-UP GALLERY” May 19 – May 31, 2018 at the Montrose Field House, corner of Rio Grande and Colorado Ave. Join me for the Opening Reception, May 19 from 2-4 pm. Light snacks and refreshments provided, and sales will be open! Commission proceeds benefit the Center.
I am showing three of my Dream Horses, “Carousel,” “Spanish Walk,” and “Walk Like An Egyptian.”
Unlike my equine portraits and pastoral compositions, Dream Horses arise from a deeper, mysterious place- the confluence of my experiences, emotions, and energy. Dream Horses are part nocturnal dreams and part dream goals; part whimsey, part wistfulness, and part triumph. The process of mastery and harmony with the horse is a long dedicated journey traveled by luminaries Xenophon, de la Guérinière, Podhajsky, and mere mortals, such as myself. Dreams Horses are elusive, unpredictable, free spirits. During the artistic process, I release control to the emergence of the horse, which evolves from old world cultures, shared traditions, modern design, and playful exploration, synthesized with my experiences, (the sensation of fluid power, connection, and engagement upon his back) and profound feelings of awe and gratitude for everything the horse gives. Dream Horses represent idealized beauty, power, grace, generosity, and wisdom.
“Spanish Walk” & “Walk Like An Egyptian”
watercolor 20″ x 16″ framed; $350 each; to order visit purchase link
Paintings selected by juror, Sheri Farabaugh for 21th Annual Colorado Visions Exhibition of Art
May 1-31, 2018
Opening Reception May 10, 5:30-7:30
Westminster City Hall; 4800 W. 92nd Ave; Westminster, CO
Below is a short background to the paintings, “No Hoof; No Horse” and “Orchid’s Glow.”
No Hoof; No Horse
tells the story of skill and craft behind the farrier’s art of hot shoeing. A farrier carefully trims each hoof, then shapes each horseshoe to ensure comfort, balance, and performance. Skilled work by talented farriers enhance the movement of sport horses, provide therapy for rehab horses, and prolong soundness for pleasure horses. The painting captures the drama when a hot shoe is placed on a horse’s hoof to test for fit. This painting spotlights the incredible trust horses place in their human partners.
is a study in light. Light reveals color and form. The backlit forms of the orchids give the illusion of a glow from within each flower. This semi-abstract composition puts the emphasis on design first and subject matter second. Deep rich color give the painting harmony. Strong movement and contrast provide interest.
It looks like this summer will be busy with numerous exhibitions and shows. First on tap is the Colorado Watercolor Society 2018 juried exhibition. This year the show was juried by Robbie Laird, NWS. Robbie is currently the president of the National Watercolor Society.
My entry, “Break in the Clouds, Nicaragua,” was accepted for exhibition. This painting is available for purchase through this link.
Colorado Watercolor Society
2018 STATE WATERCOLOR EXHIBITION
May 12 to June 27, 2018
Library 21c, Pikes Peak Library District, 1175 Chapel Hills Drive, Colorado Springs, CO 80920
Opening & Reception May 12, 2PM-5PM
Juror: Robbie Laird
“Break in the Clouds, Nicaragua” watercolor by Cheri Isgreen; framed size 20″ x 16″ $350
To learn more about this painting, visit this link