Holiday Gift offer from the Gunnison Arts Center

Artwork is a gift that transcends “stuff.”  Artwork comes from the heART and spirit of an artist.

My work reflects my fascination and understanding of value and color.  I am fascinated by the relationship between light and shadow on natural forms, particularly horses andFullSizeRender flowers. I believe if you get the values and shapes correct, any beautiful color will look compelling, even a purple horse. I seek fresh, unexpected color mixtures through the spontaneity of wet paint mixing on wet paper. I strive for a sense of mystery and narration in each painting, allowing viewers to discover personal meanings in my work. As a retired art educator, I have taught the gamut of media, styles, and subjects, giving me the strong range I draw upon today when creating my watercolor and mixed media compositions.

This holiday season I am offering a special gift for collectors of my work.  Followers of smaCheri Isgreen Fine Art know that I travel extensively with my sketch materials, capturing my visits in pen, ink, and watercolor.  Based on the favorable response I have received from my travel sketches, I offer 8.5” x 6.5” oak-framed prints from my travels.  I’d like to offer you the opportunity to own one of my travel prints. 

Purchase a framed painting this holiday season from the Gunnison Arts Center or from the gallery pages of this site and receive a complimentary framed travel print.  Prints range from travel in Mexico, Utah Canyonlands, Texas Hill Country, and colorful Colorado.  Visit the Gunnison Arts Center at 102 South Main Street, Gunnison, Colorado 81230, or click on the following link  ONLINE GALLERY.

Please bring the following certificate to the Gunnison Arts Center to purchase a painting and choose a travel print……or shop online by filling out the form from the gallery link:  ONLINE GALLERY

jpg.GAC xmas special

Use the following link to print your certificate:  PRINT CERTIFICATE

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Watercolor Workshops in Gunnison & Montrose Offered for November 2017

Registration for watercolor workshops in Montrose and Gunnison are open. All levels are welcome.  Beginners will be given extra support; experienced painters will be given design challenges to deepen their understanding while practicing a variety of painting techniques.  Workshop participation benefits your community arts centers.

Gunnison: “Make a Splash: Watercolor”  offered through the Gunnison Arts Center, two  hour weekly class, Wednesdays, November 1 – December 13. 6:00 – 8:00 pm. (No class Thanksgiving week.)  Each week we explore new techniques and ideas.  You will have a week to practice each lesson’s content, with new lessons building on previous class material.  Bring your weekly practice projects for extra guidance and critique.  Instruction and materials for each class: $110/student, $93.50/members.  Use the link below to register in Gunnison:

GUNNISON REGISTRATION

Montrose: “Getting Loose” offered through the Montrose Center for the Arts, six hour Saturday workshop, November 11 –  10am – 4pm  Workshop $60; materials list available for those who have their own watercolor supplies, or purchase supplies from instructor: $20.   Follow up support is offered free of charge to registered participants after the workshop.  Use the link below to register in Montrose:

MONTROSE REGISTRATION

Born to Run

Do you love the magic of watercolor?  Are you looking for ways to harness the spontaneity of watercolor paints?  Do you want to create fresh, colorful compositions?  Would looser techniques improve your paintings?  These watercolor classes will teach you to paint with confidence by mastering:

  • a variety of watercolor techniques
  • color theory
  • design principles

Put all that together for lively, punchy, and/or compelling works of art!

Fall classes will cover seasonal subject matter.  You will learn to create lovely subjects for holiday cards.  All levels welcome.  Beginners will be given extra support; experienced painters will be given design challenges to deepen their understanding and ability to convey meaning.  All registered learners can receive online follow-up support free of charge.

 

“A Sense of Place” workshop at Gunnison Arts Center

“A Sense of Place; perspective through urban sketch journals” begins at the GAC Monday, October 30.  Registration is still open  REGISTER HERE

Understanding and using perspective has never been simpler.  During each session, I will present a basic perspective concept, breaking it into simple steps.  Over the course of 4 weeks, we will build our understanding of perspective by adding new steps from previous lessons.  You will have a week between lessons to absorb and practice each concept.  (No class during Thanksgiving Week.)

Travel sketching, sometimes called “urban sketching” has become a very popular worldwide movement.  Along with capturing cities, the skills of urban sketching allow you to record the charm of mountain towns, the unique character of remote villages, and the defining themes of historic neighborhoods.  Rather than focusing on the landscape, the travel sketcher records human-built environments.  This course will give you a range of drawing strategies, taking the pain out of perspective, so you can confidently record your experiences.  No art experience necessary.

We begin our course with elevation view sketches, focusing on proportion and detail.  This is the view architects take when drawing a building.elevation chap

Along with presenting strategies for making drawings in elevation view, I will show you how to use watercolor to express textures and architectural details.elevationview

 

Building on elevation view, we will begin to work with two-point perspective, the most common type of approach to drawing buildings.  Part One of two-point perspective is what I call “elevation view plus one.”elevation+1

 

Once you have worked with drawing elevation views with one side in perspective, we will add the second perspective point during week three.

2 pt
Nicaragua (study for watercolor painting)

 

With a week off for Thanksgiving, we return the final week of November to pursue classical one point perspective: (think of Leonardo De Vinci’s The Last Supper.)1 pt

This strategy is useful when the viewpoint is high, such as this sketch from a rooftop bar in Lo de Marcos, Nayarit.1 point LDM

Once you have practiced these concepts and strategies, plan to hit the road and record your travels in a sketchbook.  I guarantee these places will become more memorable that all the snapshots you may also take.  And then try your hand at multi-point perspective drawings!multi.jpeg

Learn From the Masters!

Registration will be open through Friday 10/27/17.  Classes begin 10/30/17- register today or call Western State Colorado University Extended Studies to register: 970-943-2885

Bringing The Masters in Art Alive – Mondays and Wednesday 3-5 PM through Western State Colorado University Extended Studies: Oct 30-Nov 8
Do you love art? Bring it alive through creative discovery. Take a playful, exploratory, multimedia approach to exploring periods, movements, geography, and master artists through making art.  Emphasis is on creative expression and discovery.  Experience using a variety of art materials and technique while you learn about art history.  THIS IS NOT your professors’ art history classes! We take inspiration from master artists and famous artworks, as we create our own masterpieces. Join us for a fast paced course and get your creative juices flowing!  Cheri holds a Masters of Art in Curriculum & Instruction with an emphasis in Art Education.  $65 includes materials and instruction.  LEARN FROM THE MASTERS REGISTRATION

Oct. 30: Learn about the social justice artwork of contemporary artist Jaune Quick-to-See Smith.

Create your own social justice collage on faux animal skin.

Nov. 1: Learn how Post-Impressionist Paul Cézanne sparked the Cubist Art Movement.  Create a pastel still life based on Paul Cézanne’s ideas.

Nov. 6:  Discover how the Neo-Dada artist Jasper Johns bridged the aesthetic gap between Abstract Expressionism and Pop Art.  Create a Dragon Cups diptyche, (a two-part composition) in watercolor based on John’s famous print, “Cups for Picasso.”  Learn how graded watercolor wash can mimic serigraph techniques.

Nov. 8  Learn about the folk art tradition of Memory Vessels.  This form of art can be found world-wide.  Make your own Memory Vessel and explore 3D mixed media construction.

All levels welcome; beginners will be given extra support; experienced artists are given design challenges to deepen their understanding.

Materials List for Watercolor Workshops

In response to the request to post a materials list for my workshops, here it is:

MATERIALS & SUPPLIES FOR WATERCOLOR WORKSHOP:

  • pencils, erasers, & sketchbook (or white printer paper for sketching ideas and doing practice studies)
  • 1/2 sheet of watercolor paper- 140# cold press cut to measure 15” x 22” (I recommend Arches brand because it has superior sizing which allows water and paint to flow on the surface without the paper fibers swelling)
  • metal yardstick (for tearing paper into smaller sizes. I will be discussing how different formats change the focus of a composition.)
  • tube watercolors in basic triad- (At the very minimum, you will need a red, a yellow, & a blue. Transparent colors will yield better results than opaque colors for this workshop. I would suggest at least 6 colors, a cool and a warm of each primary. Colors I use: Permanent Rose- cool red; Windsor Red- warm red; Cobalt Blue- almost pure blue, leans cool, good for skies; Windsor Blue Green Shade- warmish blue, mixes well with yellow for pure greens; Hansa Yellow- almost pure yellow, mixes well for oranges and greens; Raw Sienna- transparent earth yellow, somewhat neutralized, warmish. I also like to have Burnt Sienna on my palette.)
  • palette (for holding pigments and mixing paint;you could use a ceramic or plastic white plate from the dollar store.)
  • variety of paintbrushes (At the very minimum, you will need a small round brush for details; 1/2” flat brush for drawing, blocking, lifting, and dry-brush techniques; & large round brush for washes- at least #10 size. I use these 6 brushes: round brushes- #2, #6, #12; flat brushes- 1/2”, 1” 2” size chart: link for watercolor brush size chart You can find inexpensive watercolor brush sets at JoAnn’s craft stores.)
  • water containers (at least two- one for washing brushes, and one for pure water which you will use for washes and color mixing. Minimum size for the washing container is 2 quarts; anything smaller gets too polluted too quickly, & you will be constantly stopping to change water. Good size for the pure water container is at least 1 pint.)
  • spray bottle for water (handy, but not critical. I like to spritz my palette to keep the pigments fresh. You can also get effects with a spray bottle, so feel free to explore this option.)
  • sponges (at least two- I can’t paint without 3. I also like to have a few rags close at hand made from old towels about 6” x 8”. Some people like to use paper towels, but I find the clutter of used paper towels too messy, as well as not environmentally sustainable.)
  • backing board and mounting materials (I use plywood pieces that have been varnished. For smaller compositions, I don’t bother to stretch and staple my paper. Instead, I use masking tape to mount dry watercolor paper to the board. Other options- MDF or other composition board from Home Depot, a thick grade of foam core, or in a pinch- very heavy cardboard.
  • Besides staples and masking tape, you can also mount paper to your board with spring clips.)
  • easel (or you can paint flat on a table.)
  •  liquid mask (At the very minimum, get liquid mask and a small round cheap brush. I prefer to use a mask pen for most of my work. Daniel Smith is my preference because it come with 5 nibs, and they are easiest to clean. http://www.dickblick.com/products/daniel-smith- masking-fluid/ I also use Grafix masking fluid for for applying mask with a brush and to refill the Daniel Smith pen. http://www.dickblick.com/products/grafix-incredible-white- mask-liquid-frisket/ Also look for a rubber cement pickup for removing mask, available through Blick.)
  • masking tools- you need dedicated tools that you will use only for masking, (including a separate water container, rags, and a cheap, small brush. Never mix your masking tools with your painting tools. For applying mask with a brush, you will also need liquid soap. Lately I have been using a small bar of hotel soap, which I reapply often to keep my application brush free of mask.)

Registration for “Getting Loose” Watercolor Workshop Open

This Saturday, September 29, 2017 from 10 AM – 4PM

a watercolor workshop will be held to benefit The Montrose Center for the Arts to raise funds for the Center to acquire a building for visual, performance, and educational events.

Getting Loose

is a series of watercolor workshops with a focus on playful, colorful compositions for the beginner, as well as the advanced painter.  Extra support assists beginners, and compositional challenges stimulate the advanced painter.  Each workshop explores new techniques, skills, and design concepts.  Pop Culture

This session we will concentrate on these design principles:FullSizeRender (1)

  • balance
  • harmony
  • movement
  • pattern/rhythm

while we play with the following watercolor techniques:

  • wet into wet color mixing
  • dry brush
  • negative painting
  • value control
  • graded wash
  • creating texture
  • line control
  • stamping
  • mixing “black” from primary color pigments

Registration is still open:  Call the Montrose Community Foundation to reserve your slot today:  970-596-5555

 

Anatomy of a Portrait

“Redheads Have More Fun”  portrait of Willy

I have been working on a commissioned portrait of a beautiful 8 year old chestnut warmblood gelding.  Commissions require extra care, because we all have unique perspectives based on our experiences.  I wanted my vision to capture the horse’s sweet generous nature and the owner’s expectations.

I took extra care with the pencil study, being careful with Willy’s anatomy, his stunning drop-dead-gorgeous-good-looks and conformation, as well as his sunny personality.  I took extra time drawing his face, as the face and especially the eyes are the window to the spirit.

willy 1
pencil study

When the pencil study was complete, I did a value map.  I would recommend this step to anyone who wants to ensure success with a studied composition.  This process is not suitable for alla prima quick painting, but it works out many of the compositional problems that could crop up in a larger studio work.  My process is to find 3 values- dark, medium, and light.  I combine close values from the pencil study into larger connected shapes.  When I get to the painting stage, I keep the values accurate, and add a variety of color within the value shapes.  This variety of color enlivens the painting’s surface and the subject of the painting.  I also like to create lost-and-found edges at this point.  Where the sunlight touches the edge of the horse’s body, I have allowed the shapes to merge with the background- (horse’s left front leg and hoof.)

willy #2
Value map

The next step is the underpainting.  The underpainting sets the tone/temperature for the completed work, as this glaze will glow from within.  I have a warm golden wash in a variety of tones and tints- (hansa yellow, gamboge, raw sienna, burnt sienna).  I masked the areas of white- blaze and socks, and left those white areas in shadow blank- no underpainting.  For this portrait, I want a warm painting with distinct blue shadows on the horse’s socks and nose, so I saved those shapes for later painting.

willy #3.JPG
underpainting

After the underpainting was dry, I painted the background.  I wanted a very soft, light background that wouldn’t compete with the horse.  I used both blues for contrast and yellows for harmony.  When the background was dry, I built up shapes, added color, and worked from light to dark, using my value map.  As the body was taking shape, I switched to a smaller brush to complete the face.  The face slowed the process down, as stated before, an artist must capture the soul here.  When the horse was complete, I added energy in the foreground with lively brushstroke and splattered color.  I wanted to convey the energy of a joyful gallop and the impression of a flowery meadow.

willy

This work will be previewed at my Open House Sept 29, 2017 5-7 PM at Backstreet Street Bagels & Gallery.    To purchase a painting or commission a work, use this link:     purchase painting

INTRODUCING THE BACKSTREET GALS — AN EVERYTHING BAGEL, WITH ART!

an article from Navigator Editor, Janine Rusnak

An award-winning, colorful square quilt hides twenty gems; a collection of four watercolor dream horses takes you to exotic places; a delicate, yet heavy handwoven copper piece boasts the title “Asian Study #6.”

 

These spectacular art pieces are now on display at Backstreet Bagel Company in Montrose and capture true, local talent in mixed
visual arts.

With a grand reception Friday, September 29, the Backstreet Gals exhibition features three local artists.  Each artist comes to this exhibition with a background in fiber art.  Though the artists create in diverse media, this common influence of fiber art is referenced in the collected works on display: including strong underlying composition and design, the ability to bring harmony to bright color schemes, and the use of geometry within a pictorial subject.

All That Glitters

Prior to her weaving career, Lynn Vogel made doll cloth- es as a child. She discover- ed the world of hand weav- ing in her early 20’s.  “The hand weaving process was natural for me.  It was like a puzzle— intricate, complex, beautiful —one that would take me a complete,” Vogel said.  She received a large, handmade loom as a birthday gift one year which  led to her and her sister making and selling clothing for several years in small boutiques and galleries throughout Denver.  A decade later, she found herself sitting on the library floor in the art section and became drawn to a new medium—copper. She said someone once told her it couldn’t be woven on a loom. She proved them wrong, and for the last 20 years has been weaving copper as her primary medium. The end result? Beautiful, one-of-a-kind works of art consisting of embossed copper and semi-precious stones. Vogel will have one of her looms present at the open house with the intention of offering a brief, yet in- formative, demonstration of how she creates her masterpieces.

One Stitch At A Time

Debbie Watkins has been designing her own quilts since 2014 after joining a small group of local quilters. Their encouragement and feedback helped her to achieve her goals of creating unique quilt designs as well as incorporating unfamiliar techniques and non-traditional media in each quilted piece.

Watkins began quilting in 1980 and since she moved to Montrose she has been a member of two of the Montrose quilt guilds and is also heavily involved with the annual Black Canyon Quilt Show.  Labels displayed with her work indicate what prize those pieces have won, including this year’s first place winner in the Mixed Media category at the Black Canyon Quilt Show titled, “Dragon Fly By.” This is a vertical piece that came to fruition by way of another piece Watkins ended up not liking.  “Mistakes are creative opportunities!” Watkins exclaimed.

In this show, Watkins’ quilts combine crystals, fabric paints and dyes, photos, painted and heat-stressed Tyvek, as well as buttons, beads, organza and more, all resulting in dynamic, one- of-a-kind pieces.  Also displayed at the Backstreet Gals exhibition are an assortment of “quilted” greeting cards, handmade by Watkins, and a 79” x 92” quilt.

Living In A Colorful World

Artist and painter Cheri Isgreen is fascinated by the relationship between light and shadow on natural forms.  “If you get the values and shapes correct, any beautiful color will look compelling, even a purple horse,” she said.  NobleIsgreen seeks fresh, unexpected color mixtures through the spontaneity of wet paint mixing on the paper. She strives for a sense of mystery and narration in each painting. As a former art educator, she taught the gamut of media, styles, and subjects, giving her the strong range she draws upon today when creating her watercolor compositions. Currently Isgreen’s work reflects her passion for horses, flowers, and travel, with each piece conveying personal meaning.

Isgreen maintains an active studio schedule, winning awards in juried exhibitions, showing in four Colo- rado galleries, accepting commissions through her galleries and website, and teaching art workshops through regional art centers and Western State Colorado University. Isgreen’s work has been showcased in museums, galleries, and publications both in the United States and abroad.

Isgreen’s colorful, contemporary watercolor paintings complement Vogel’s Bouquetcopper compositions and Watson’s art quilts. And with Isgreen’s elements of mystery and narrative, viewers will discover personal meaning in each painting for themselves.

All three artists will be available for questions and discussion at the public open house. Special exhibition pieces will be on display only during Friday’s open house. These women will transform the entire restaurant into a colorful gallery that embraces different media in a comfortable space.

The works displayed in Backstreet Gals is modern but not abstract. “It fits in all décor styles,” Vogel said.  There will be over 30 pieces displayed and are all for purchase.

Backstreet Bagel Company is owned by Scott and Debbie Cassidy. They offer an array of breakfast and lunch items as well as gourmet coffee drinks. Backstreet Bagel is located at 127 North Townsend Avenue in Montrose.

The public is invited to the Backstreet Gals Open House Friday, September 29, from 5-7 p.m. There will be music, complimentary wine, and gourmet appetizers available.

Open House 9/29/17

If you look on my Exhibition tab, you will see that it has been a busy summer.  Along with painting for the shows and commissioned work, I am quite busy designing courses for Montrose and Gunnison.  The Workshop Tab will be updated soon to announce the many course offerings.  I have also been asked to offer a tab for purchase of card sets and prints from my sketch books.  Stay tuned for that.

Because of all the new endeavors, I have not had time to keep the website as current as I would like.  Today I was asked to write a newsletter article for the Montrose Visual Arts Guild.  As I was putting the finishing touches on it, I realized this would make a good blog post.  The article gives a background of my beginnings in the art world and features my latest projects.  Hope many of the local readers can come to my Open House.

Cheri Isgreen works in watercolor, mixed media, and pastel.  Throughout her life, Cheri has created art.  Her first installation, at age three, was a self portrait with her twin sister scratched into the headboard of her bed.  For many years, Cheri worked as a master weaver with work featured in collections and publications in the US and abroad.  As an art teacher for 25 years, she taught the gamut of media, styles, and subjects.  She served as an Art Fellow with US Dept of Ed and consulted with Colorad Dept Ed, universities, and private companies.  Retiring from public education in 2010, Cheri began painting professionally.  She draws inspiration from her passions: horses, gardens, and travels.  She and her husband look forward to spending two months as visiting artists capturing the beautiful Baroque city of Guanajuato, Mexico this winter.

“I am fascinated by the relationship between light and shadow on natural forms.  Compositions for paintings develop as I respond to the interplay of light and dark shapes.  I seek fresh, unexpected color with spontaneous wet brushwork.  I strive for a sense of mystery and narrative in each painting.”

FullSizeRender

Cheri shows widely in galleries and exhibitions.  Recent awards include First Place, “Scent” Western Colorado Watercolor Society, (Sept 2017) .  Colorado Watercolor Society, (August 2017) Second Place “Orchid’s Glow” & Honorable Mention “No Hoof No Horse.”  

 

Collaborating with Scott Cassidy, they transformed Backstreet Bagels into an accessible gallery where Cheri regularly rotates new work.  On September 29, 2017 Backstreet will host an Open House for Cheri, Lynn Vogel, and Debbie Watkins.  Each artist comes from a background of fiber.  Their current work in painting, woven & embossed copper, and art quilts complements as a unified showing of creative exploration.  Please plan to attend 5-7 PM, 9/29/17, Backstreet Bagels & Gallery, 127 N Townsend Ave, Montrose.

Flight Behavior
“Flight Behavior” I have always been fascinated by the pattern of birds in flight, called murmuration. I pondered for years how to capture this phenomenon. Techniques: background poured watercolor. Birds & foreground: fast loose saturated brushwork with the color changing at every dip of the brush- no black pigment used.

 

First Friday Gunnison Arts Center

The Colorado Watercolor Society first show on the Western Slope opens at the Gunnison Center for the Arts Friday, Aug 4, 2017.  I will show three works; two florals, “Orchids,” “Cosmos,” and an equine themed work, “No Hoof, No Horse.”  The two florals celebrate the glory of light on natural forms.  “Orchids” is backlit, providing for a dramatic composition, while “Cosmos” shows reflected light of flowers in full sun.  “No Hoof, No Horse” explores lost and found edges and the fading of form through the phenomenon of smoke.

both paintings image 7.5″ x 22″  (frame size 13.5″ x 28″)  copyright C Isgreen          $350 each

FullSizeRender
award winning painting:  “No Hoof, No Horse” copyright C Isgreen                                                     22″ x 15″  (frame size 28″ x 21″) $500

In the upstairs gallery, the Arts Center is showing its annual fundraising exhibition, “Tiny Treasures.”  I have submitted two watercolor paintings of birds inspired by Japanese scrolls.  These “tiny treasures” were painted in a diamond format to give them a dynamic composition.  Both watercolor on paper and oil/acrylic on canvas will be offered.

from  GAC website:                 IMG_0357

Upper Gallery: Tiny Treasures “Fortune Cookie Quotes”
Celebrate the little things in life! For the third year in a row, the GAC’s fundraiser, Tiny Treasures, really is proof that good things DO come in small packages. Featuring a plethora of tiny treasures on canvas, all created by local artists. Treasures will be on sale at affordable prices all month where 100% of the profit goes to the GAC. A theme has been added this year; artists will pick a fortune cookie quote to use for inspiration. Enjoy tiny appetizers, a live tiny gallery concert with tiny instruments and more at the First Friday ArtWalk & Music!

New works at GAC:

In keeping with this month of tiny treasures, I am offering framed prints from my travels ($25) and small framed floral watercolors, all affordably price below $200.  I also completed an aspen series, where I fractured the light.  (see featured image preview above) These charming small works will complement the small niches in your home.