Nature Creates Art

I just completed a new work, inspired by the flight of starlings.  For years I have watched in awe as a flock of birds take flight to dramatically form a series of changing patterns in the sky.  In perfect synchronicity, the flock swoops, changes direction, and the pattern seamlessly morphs into a new shape.  The shapes are liquid in the sky, as they blend from one organic shape to the next.  Inspired, I wondered how to capture this on paper with paint?

This spring, I took a 1/2 sheet of watercolor paper and poured a sky that blended from blue to golden as it touched the desert horizon.  Big sky in Nevada.  By pouring paint in a series of glazes,  underlying layers are preserved while developing a depth of color and enhanced luminosity.  This beautiful background needed a center of focus- the birds I have been forever dreaming about!

How to start?  How to capture the dynamic fluidity of this aviary phenomenon?  Each night I dreamed how I would approach the painting.  Each morning I awoke and found I couldn’t attempt it.  I didn’t know how to begin; I couldn’t feel “the flow. ”  Finally I settled on my pigments- Windor blue shade, alizarin crimson permanent, and burnt sienna. I  made a small practice painting.

flight study.jpg
“Flight Before the Storm”

Encouraged with the results of that bird study and before I could “chicken out,” I jumped into the large painting.  I knew the painting would either end as an unmitigated disaster, or it would become a delightful surprise.  Each time I reloaded the brush, I added a different pigment to my palette mixture from my base colors to influence the tone.  The dynamic shape of the flock subtly changed in hue as it grew on my paper.   I continued to add defined bird shapes to the edges and loose bird groupings in the center, striving for a strong abstract shape and interesting movement throughout the painting.  The painting succeeds in capturing the dynamic movement of a flock of birds in the dance of flight.

Flight Behavior.jpg

Nature inspires wildlife to create beautiful creations of their own.  Enjoy this video showing a pufferfish creating a beautiful mandala to attract a mate.  Pufferfish 

More:

Left to right, clockwise:  Millipede, exhibiting its main defense mechanism, curling into a spectacular spiral, which protects its legs inside its body.  A celestial spiral, the Aurora Borealis, in the skies above Churchill, Manitoba, Canada.  Finally, a collection of diatoms, microscopic algae.  These images were found on National Geographic.  Enjoy more here: National Geographic link

The Ah Haa School of the Arts in Telluride is still accepting registrations for my watercolor class.  To register, click the following link: Cheri Isgreen Watercolor Workshop

“Poured Watercolor” Workshop in beautiful Telluride Colorado

FullSizeRender

The wildflowers are blooming, the mountains shine, and rainbows appear in the evening light.  Summertime in Telluride!  It’s time for a weekend mountain getaway.  Relax in beautiful Telluride while exploring some new watercolor techniques.  I will teach “Poured Watercolor” through the Ah Haa School of the Arts, Friday – Sunday, July 28 – 30, 2017. 

Break in the Clouds (1)

Forgo the brush and experiment with the process of pouring watercolor to produce paintings with unique results. Learn the pigment rules, color theory, and pouring techniques to give your watercolor paintings glowing results.  By pouring paint in a series of glazes,  underlying layers are preserved while developing a depth of color and enhancing luminosity.  Experience how this technique fosters a wide range of spontaneous colors while maintaining the harmony of a limited palette. Poured watercolor lends itself to a variety of subject matter.  All levels of painters are welcome, including first-time watercolorists.

To register, visit the Ah Haa School of the Arts registration page: POURED WATERCOLOR REGISTRATION

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.

%22sky lights%22
“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

Workshop Offerings 2017

I am pleased to work with the Western Colorado Center for the Arts, Telluride’s Ah Haa School of the Art, Montrose  Center for the Arts, and Gunnison Arts Center to offer a variety of workshops in watercolor, sketch journaling and mixed media.  I am currently scheduled to offer four watercolor classes and three sketch classes this spring, plus an intermediate/advanced watercolor class this summer in Telluride.  As the schedule develops, I will continue to update the WORKSHOP SCHEDULE.  These offerings are in the works and will be scheduled later in 2017: off-loom weaving to create whimsical broaches, art history through hands-on creative art making, special effects to enhance water-based painting, journal making.

fullsizerender

Please use this link to access descriptions, schedules, and registration to classes:  WORKSHOP SCHEDULE

2017 Schedule of Events

Both workshops and exhibitions are beginning to fill my 2017 calendar.  This Friday kicks off the year with the Gunnison Arts Center Staff and Instructor Show.    Art Walk  5-8 pm  102 S Main, Gunnison, CO  970.641.4029

The GAC’s talented staff and instructors come together to create an exhibition of their artistic side, displayed in the Upper Gallery for the month of January. These amazing local artists and educators bring life to the Gunnison Arts Center through their commitment to their community and students.

Click for more EXHIBITION LISTINGS  Check back often as my exhibition calendar fills for 2017.

The “Getting Loose” workshops were so popular in 2016, I have scheduled several for 2017 in Montrose, Gunnison, and possibly Palisade.  Also on tap for 2017 will be a continuation of my “Sketch Journal” series, held the second Saturday at Backstreet Bagels and possibly summers in Gunnison.  The Ah Haa School for the Arts has scheduled my “Poured Watercolor” workshop for July 28-30.  Get away to beautiful Telluride, Colorado and play with paint.

Click here for more WORKSHOP INFORMATION

HAPPY HOLIDAYS

It’s been a busy December between art shows and workshops.  I have been focusing on holiday and winter themes while creating artwork and developing demos for my workshops.   Most recently we created holiday cards from small watercolors.  For those of you who have been following my blog and Facebook, here is the teaser I posted for the workshop, along with the completed painting, and a second painting with a slightly different composition, grouping a single ornament next to two ornaments

fullsizerender

Other painting themes for winter and the holidays included birds:

trees:

and poinsettias:

WISHING YOU AND YOURS A VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS & A PEACEFUL HEALTHY NEW YEAR

(all paintings pictured here are available for $125 or less.  Use the form to purchase:

Workshop Update

Have you registered for “Getting Loose” watercolor workshops?  Workshops are offered in Montrose and Gunnison.

  • Oct. 22  10 AM – 3 PM (with working brown bag lunch)  Gunnison Arts Center  Workshop #1- Harvest themes; benefit for Gunnison Arts Center
  • Nov. 5  2-6 PM  Montrose: Cedar Creek Clubhouse #1- Harvest themes; benefit for Montrose Center for the Arts
  • Nov. 13 10 AM – 3 PM (with working brown bag lunch)  Gunnison Arts Center  Workshop #1- Holiday themes; benefit for Gunnison Arts Center
  • Dec. 10  2-6 PM  Montrose: Cedar Creek Clubhouse #1- Holiday themes; benefit for Montrose Center for the Arts
fullsizerender-2
format #1- long & skinny

Students in the Harvest Workshop will learn a variety of techniques to successfully create colorful, expressive watercolor compositions including:

  • masking for dramatic lighting
  • wet-into-wet with pure pigment to model glowing natural forms with spontaneous color mixtures
  • negative painting
  • complementary and analogous splatter
  • calligraphic brushwork
  • drip wash

Students will learn when to employ these techniques for maximum effect and how to avoid common pitfalls .

fullsizerender-4
standard photo format

Students will  complete 2 paintings working in different formats.  Students will learn compositional considerations for working both horizontally and vertically, as well as designing a long, skinny format and a standard “photo” rectangle.

click this link to register

Happy painting

 

 

 

“Getting Loose: watercolor workshop offered in Montrose & Gunnison

 

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 gardens, flowers & color? Cheri Isgreen will offer ideas, suggestions, techniques, and support to create lively watercolor compositions during each 4 hour class.  Pick and choose the classes that fit your interests and calendar:  $70/class

REGISTER HERE   (click the link)

HARVEST SERIES:

October 22, 2016  10AM-3PM  Workshop in Gunnison at the Gunnison Arts Center; a portion of the proceeds for this workshop will benefit the GAC.  12:00 – 1:00 brown bag lunch & critique

November 5, 2016  2-6 PM   Workshop in Montrose at the Cedar Creek Clubhouse; a portion of the proceeds for this workshop will benefit the Montrose Center for the Arts.

HOLIDAY SERIES:

 November 13, 2016  10AM-3PM  Workshop in Gunnison at the Gunnison Arts Center; a portion of the proceeds for this workshop will benefit the GAC.  12:00 – 1:00 brown bag lunch & critique

December 3, 2016  2-6 PM   Workshop in Montrose at the Cedar Creek Clubhouse; a portion of the proceeds for this workshop will benefit the the Montrose Center for the Arts.

 

Second Saturday Workshop

SKETCH JOURNALING  $25%22Mexican Hats%22

Backstreet Bagels- on the patio

Aug. 13, 2016

1-3 PM

Here’s a heads up for the next workshop-

focus- color, line, shape- FLOWERS
we will explore techniques to get loose with our watercolors and expression.
Please register with this link

Poured Watercolor Workshop offered Sept 12 – 13th

In conjunction with “High Point: the horses, wildlife, and landscape of Colorado” showing at the Commonwheel Artist Coop August 21st- September 13th, 2015, I will present a Poured Watercolor workshop.   The workshop will take place September 12th & 13th, 2015 at the Manitou Art Center, 513 Manitou Ave., Manitou Springs, CO 80829.    Hours for the workshop are 10 am – 4 pm each day.

“Buckhorn Glow” copyright Cheri Isgreen, 2015

Knowing pigment properties and following simple pigment rules go a long way in achieving colors that glow. Pouring paints, instead of using a brush, further ensures that each layer remains undisturbed, allowing a build-up of color that provides depth to paintings. The workshop will  cover strategies for strengthening your compositions, pigment rules, and pouring techniques. Strategies include focusing on value, edges, and of course, color! Each participant will complete 1-2 watercolor pieces. Cost for the workshop is $85 for MAC and Commonwheel Artists Co-op members/ $105 for non-members.  Each participant will receive a 12-page reference workbook.  For more information and to register, please visit:  commonwheel.com/isgreen.html

final pour dry; removing mask
final pour dry; removing mask
“Frolic in the Moonlight” copyright C Isgreen 2015