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Mexico Travel Journal Winter 2017 p26

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.

Time to Register “A Sense of Place” Sketch Journal Class in Montrose

I will be teaching part II of the sketch journal series, “A Sense of Place.”  Learn how perspective works, how to simplify perspective principles, and how to use this understanding to capture a sense of place in your drawings.  We will meet at the Montrose Plaza downtown under the covered pavilion on Tuesday, July 11, 4-6 PM.  The image above is a winding street in San Miguel DeAllende, Mex.  It simplifies a very complex street scene with multiple vanishing points.  You do not need to be concerned with the complexities of winding streets, hills, vanishing points, etc.  to capture a sense of  the place you are drawing.  Use this link to register:         sketch workshop registration

Please bring a sketch book, pencil, eraser, and fine line ink pen.

If you wish to add color, bring a small portable watercolor set.  For those without a professional pleine air travel kit, make a paint kit with the following items:

TRAVEL KIT

  • box of Prang watercolors found in the school supply section.  Do not buy Crayola washable watercolors; the paint has no color saturation.  They also come in a plastic box which breaks over time.  The Prang set comes in a metal box with a palette for mixing in the lid.  This can be refilled with your choice of tube watercolors as the original set is used.
  • watercolor brushes- at the minimum get a very thin round brush to complement the bigger brush that comes with the Prang set.  A 1″ flat brush is also handy to have.
  • a small container for holding water- go to a camping store and purchase a collapsible drinking cup.  They are plastic and come in bright colors.  They also come with a lid.
  • sponge- cut the sponge into small pieces that will fit inside your collapsible water cup.
  • old wash cloth- cut this in half- wrap your paint brushes inside the 1 of the washcloth pieces.
  • large ziplock baggie or zippered pencil case; small ziplock baggie; paper towel- use the paper towel to blot your paint set when you are ready to put it away.  Zip it into the small baggie.  Put the whole paint kit into the large baggie: sketchbook, pen, pencil, eraser, watercolor materials.

Painting Experimentation

Researchers say that teaching deepens the teacher’s understanding, so she is learning along with her students.  As I have been preparing for numerous classes and workshops this summer, I paint examples that I can use in my workshops.  As I paint, I reflect on what I’m doing, the decisions I am making, and the results of those decisions.  These reflections go into my lesson plans.  Often these reflections lead to experimental paintings.

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“Cowboy Up,” explores lost and found edges despite using masks (hard edges) to preserve the layers in the pour.  This was achieved from two approaches.

  • in the initial masking by softening the edges through “scratchy dry brush” edge treatment
  • after the mask was removed, I softened the edges while adding neutralized wash to the wet areas

“Cowboy Up” was painted for my poured watercolor class to be held at the Ah Haa School of the Arts in Telluride, Colorado July 28 & 29, the last weekend in July.  Register through Ah Haa at this following link:  Poured Watercolor Registration

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“A Splash of Poppies”

“Upsy Daisy” (feature image) and “A Splash of Poppies” show a myriad of techniques to employ to create loose watercolor paintings, including outlining, dripping, splashing, and wet-into-wet alla prima painting.  The next “Getting Loose” class is set for September 30th as a benefit for the Montrose Center for the Arts.  Register for this very playful, relaxing workshop with this link: Poured Watercolor Registration

This summer, I am teaching every Wednesday at the Gunnison Arts Center through the program, Wednesdays at Western State University.  You can register for the Gunnison classes at the following link:  Wednesday at Western Registration Cheri Isgreen  or by calling the university at (970)943-2885.

Sketch Journals– Wednesdays, 3:00 – 5:00 pm.
June 14, June 28, July 12, July 26, August 9.place1

Back by popular demand! Explore ways to combine text with image using creative expression, visual design principles, and art techniques. All levels welcome; beginners
will be given extra support, and advanced students will receive design challenges. 5 sessions, classes need not be taken sequentially. Instructor: Cheri Isgreen. $35.

Bringing The Art Masters Alive – Wednesdays, 3:00 – 5:00 pm.
June 21, July 5, July 19, August 2.

cezanneDo you love art? Bring it alive through creative discovery. Take a multimedia approach to exploring periods, movements, geography, and master artists through making art. No prerequisite; each session is a stand-alone class with new content each week Emphasis is on creative expression and discovery. We will not be copying masterworks.  All levels welcome; beginners will be given extra support; experienced artists are given design challenges to deepen their understanding. 5 sessions, classes need not be taken sequentially. Instructor: Cheri Isgreen. $35.

Bringing The Masters in Art Alive

A new workshop by popular instructor, Cheri Isgreen

Wednesdays at Western Series at the Gunnison Arts Center

3:00 – 5:00 pm.
June 21, July 5, July 19, August 2

Featured artists: (clockwise) Juane Quick to See Smith, Georges Braque, Paul Cézanne, Gulaab Gang folk art, Jasper Johns

Do you love art? Do you want to learn more about artists, composition, art techniques?Bring art alive through creative discovery. Take a multimedia approach to exploring periods, movements, geography, and master artists through making art. No prerequisite; each session is a stand-alone class with new content each week.   Each week we will take a different artist as inspiration.  Emphasis is on creative expression and discovery; we will not copy masterworks.  Instead you will create your own “masterpieces” based on inspiration and techniques of  the “artist of the week.”  All levels welcome; beginners will be given extra support; experienced artists are given design challenges to deepen their understanding. 5 sessions, classes need not be taken sequentially. College credit available.  $35 includes all materials. Call the Gunnison Arts Center for details. Registration www.western.edu/academics/extended-s or by calling (970) 943-2885.
Pre-registration is required.

“A Sense of Place”

We met today at Centennial Plaza, Montrose, Colorado for the first session in improving on site architectural sketching. Beginning with pencil, we practiced getting correct proportions in an elevation view of City Hall. After recording big shapes, we added smaller shapes, and finished with architectural details and foundation plantings.  Using a fine tip waterproof marker, we refined shapes.  Then students were introduced to techniques for adding watercolor to enhance their sketches.

place

Students learned new skills and gained confidence in their drawings.  Said one participant, “I wish I had known this when I went to Durango last month.”  We will continue these ideas next month, again focusing on elevation view and proportions.  Drawing is a learned skill.   With instruction, support, practice, tips, and techniques, you will learn to capture a sense of place in your sketch book.

Join us for the next “A Sense of Place” sketch journal workshop.  There is always review of concepts and techniques, so don’t be intimidated if you miss a class.  You can catch up in no time!  Sign up using this link: WORKSHOP REGISTRATION

We meet monthly on the second Tuesday or Saturday of each month :

  • July 11- Centennial Plaza  4:30-6:30 Tuesday
  • August 12- Backstreet Bagels  2:30-4:30  Saturday
  • September 9- Backstreet Bagels  2:30-4:30  Saturday
  • October 14- Backstreet Bagels  2:30-4:30  Saturday
  • November 14- Centennial Plaza  4:30-6:30 Tuesday
  • December 9- Backstreet Bagels  2:30-4:30  Saturday

NEW 2017 SKETCH JOURNAL WORKSHOPS

I am offering two approaches to sketch journaling this summer.  In Montrose we will focus on capturing a sense of place through the study of onsite perspective.  In Gunnison we will express our thoughts, ideas, and feelings through visual journaling.

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Goliad, Texas, February 2016, Part I: elevation view and proportion 

The Montrose Class is designed for those

who want to use journals to record their travels, but have found perspective difficult.  If you have struggled with perspective, I will present an easy system to convey accuracy in your drawings with perspective.  Drawing is a skill, and it can be learned.  Drawing is not just for “natural artists.”  If you love to travel and want to make your trips more meaningful, join us at Centennial Plaza at Tuesday, June 13 from 4:30-6:30  PM.  Bring  a small sketch book, pencils, eraser, straight edge or drafting  square, fine line black pen, small watercolor kit with a brush, (like Prang student watercolors), small cup for cleaning the brush, and a sponge.  REGISTER HERE    $25  We meet either the second Tuesday (4:30-6:30) at Centennial Plaza or Saturday (2:30-4:30) at Backstreet Bagels each month.  Dates: TUESDAY- June 13; July 11; November 14;  SATURDAY- August 12; September 9; October 14; December 9

The Gunnison Class is designed for those

who have kept journals or want to start keeping a journal with more pizzazz than simply writing about the day.  We will use a variety of visual strategies to bring your journals alive with drawings, color, pattern, and text.  Classes are held at the Gunnison Arts Center through a partnership with Western State Colorado University.  Optional university credit is available for these classes.  Classes begin Wednesday June 14, 2017 and run every other Wednesday through August 9th.  To register, contact Gunnison Center for the Arts 970-641-4029 or use this link: GAC EDUCATION

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“Why sometimes I’ve imagined as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”  Alice  Sketch Journals with Cheri Isgreen, Wednesdays at Western through the Gunnison Arts Center

 

 

 

 

Watercolor Workshop June 10th, 2017

Benefit for the Montrose Center for the Arts

Looking for a way to loosen up your art? Are you interested in learning some new watercolor techniques? Have you wondered if you could be successful painting in watercolor? Do you love color? This class will offer ideas and techniques to create lively watercolor compositions.

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“Sky Lights” 10″ x 19″ $200

Beginners will be given extra support; experienced painters will be given compositional challenges.  All adult learners are welcome.  Supply list available, or purchase directly from instructor $20.

JUNE 10  10AM-4PM    fullsizerender

also Sept 30 & Nov 11

125 Merchant Drive, Montrose

workshop fee $60

workshop registration

 

Classes are not concurrent; there are no prerequisites to register. Each session will focus on different painting techniques for exploration and playful improvisations to enliven your watercolor paintings.

 

Garden

Passionate Pursuits Opens this Friday, June 2, 2017

You are invited to an art reception featuring my watercolor paintings celebrating horses, gardens, and travel.  The reception begins at 5:30 PM.  I will give a gallery talk about my inspirations, techniques, and processes beginning at 6:00 PM.  Along with my watercolor paintings, I am offering a wide selection of prints, notecards, and tiny paintings.  Live music and refreshments are planned.  This event is part of the Gunnison Colorado First Friday Artwork, with many venues in downtown Gunnison participating with art, spirits, music, and food.  For more information, please call Anne at 970-641-6111.

“Passionate Pursuits”  runs through the end of June.  Gallery hours are Monday-Friday 9:00 AM-5:30 PM and Saturdays 9:00 AM-4:00 PM.

 

New Work 2017 “Break in the Clouds”

After seeing my “After School” painting, a good friend sent me a photo she took while traveling in Nicaragua, which she said reminded her of my narrative painting.  (see March 31 post- After School)  I thought the photo would be a perfect subject for a poured watercolor approach.  I will be teaching this technique in Telluride, CO this summer.  If you are intrigued by this method, you can register with this link- poured watercolor workshop

As with many of my paintings, the first step is a study in ink or pencil.  Lately I have been using ink.  These studies are important to determine values for the many pours, along with defining edges and movement in the painting.

1 break

After transferring the drawing to 140 pound Arches watercolor paper, I begin masking and pouring the multiple layers of color and value.  Now that Adobe Photoshop is so popular, many more people understand the process of poured watercolor.  One must think in layers from light to dark.  Details can be painting early and masked, or the area can be defined after all the masks have been removed and the layers integrate into a composition.  I do both depending on the colors needed and the type of detail I will be adding.  Street scenes have far more fussy details than the landscape and horse compositions I have been pouring, so I’ve been improvising the best ways to define details.  If the details have complimentary color in the adjacent background, it works best to paint and mask the details before pouring to keep the colors pure.

After the final pour is dry, the mask can be removed.  This is the time to clean up edges, define shapes, and resolve the composition.  Sometimes this step is like unwrapping a present; the painting revealed under all the drips, masks, layers, and pours is glowing and almost done.  Other times, removing the mask presents a conundrum; how do I pull all the elements together?  This painting presented a conundrum.  I studied this step of the painting for several days before adding the final touches.

4 break

After much study, I cleaned up the painting and started to add dabs of paint in ways that would unify the artwork.  This took a few days, some brainstorming, some problem solving, and outside eyes to discuss where things needed to go.  I was pleased with the solution.  This painting evolved organically, and the original painting I saw in my mind’s eye was not the final result you see here.  As artists, we must be flexible and listen to what the painting is telling us.

Break in the Clouds (1)

New Works 2017

I have two shows coming up this spring/summer.  My solo show opens in June at the Gunnison Gallery.  I will also be showing in June with Debbie Watkins, fiber artist and Lynn Vogle, fiber/metal artist at Backstreet in Montrose.  New works for these shows will feature my flower/garden paintings, watercolor works developed from my sketches and photos from Mexico this past winter, and of course more horse paintings.

This series of photos shows my process; how I create from initial studies/ ink drawing to final watercolor painting.

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Ink drawing from sketch book

 

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Underpainting, blocking in shapes, directional lines, values
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finished painting; to purchase visit this link:  purchase form

Sketch Journaling at Backstreet 2017

Sketch classes will resume at Backstreet Bagel on the Second Saturday, beginning May 13th, 2017.  Classes are held 2-4 PM in the courtyard weather permitting.  After an inspiring trip this winter to Mexico, more emphasis will be placed on travel journals.

Please use this link to preregister.  WORKSHOP REGISTRATION     Classes are $25, due at the beginning of class.  Bring your sketch materials:

  • sketchbook
  • pencils/erasers
  • fine line ink pens
  • small watercolor & brush sets
  • colored pencils
  • any water-soluble paint sticks or pencils