Live Demo GAC Friday 9/7/18

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.1d1bce26-9f90-4afb-9b2e-cf818b25c9cb

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.

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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.

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Poured Watercolor Demo

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.

fiord1

 

 

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.

 

 

 

 

fiord2

 

 

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.

fiord5For 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.

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“Good Hair Day”  framed 20″x16″  $350  To purchase visit: PURCHASE LINK

Gunnison Arts Center Featured Artist

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.

Gold Dust
Roadside Gold, watercolor with acrylic accents, 10″x19″  $200 Copyright C Isgreen

I will be painting live at the Arts Center during Gunnison’s First Friday August Art Walk.
Break in the Clouds (1) 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:

Where are you from?

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.

What are you most passionate about professionally? Personally?
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“Out of the Shadows” poured watercolor, copyright C Isgreen; Award of Merit Around the Corner Gallery; People’s Choice Montrose Visual Arts Guild Annual Show; private collection

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.

What’s your greatest accomplishment?

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?

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“Conversano Mima” watercolor, copyright C Isgreen

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?

https://cheriisgreenfineart.wordpress.com  I can also be found on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/CheriIsgreenFineArt and on Instagram at Cheri Isgreen Fine Art.  I invite you to follow me!

 

New Dream Horse Series

Dream Horses………………………..

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.

dreamhorse large
Size large: roughly 24″ x 20″  $125              Each piece is created individually, so size varies slightly.  Pictured above: pink horse: hand-dyed, handwoven cotton, handwoven patches of pieced cotton, silk, & novelty fibers in violet range; violet copper wires; fresh water pearls, crystals, handblown glass, & millefiori beads; metallic & cotton fibers in mane & tail.  Violet horse: handwoven cotton, silk, & novelty fibers; violet & aqua copper wire; handblown glass, crystal, natural stone, and rose quartz beads; silk, metallic, rayon, and cotton fibers in mane & tail.

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.

 

dreamhorse medium
Medium size mixed media Dream Horse: approximately 12″ x 16″  $65                                                  hand-dyed, handwoven cotton fabric; copper wires; crystals, handblown glass, millefiori, & glass pony beads; metallic & silk fibers in mane & tail.
dreamhorse small
Small size mixed media Dream Horse: approximately 7″ x 10″  $45                                                  handwoven silk, metallic, cotton fabric; copper wires; vintage tube beads; metallic & silk fibers in mane & tail.

To read more about my Dream Horse inspirations, click Dream Horse Link

Dream Horses at Pop Up Gallery

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

“Carousel”

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“Dream Horse #4, Carousel” copyright Cheri Isgreen 2015

Watercolors Accepted to Colorado Visions

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

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“No Hoof, No Horse” copyright C Isgreen  $500

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.

Orchid’s Glow

Orchid's Glow

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.

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.

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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

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.

 

Show Sampler: Travel

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5″ x 7″ prints, framed in oak, taken from my Mexico sketch journal, pencil & ink.  $25 each

All images copyright Cheri Isgreen 2014

“Three Passions: Horses, Flowers, Travel”exhibition of new work by Cheri Isgreen.  Running through Sept 30, 2016 at the Blue Pig Gallery, Tuesday – Saturday, 10 am – 5:30 pm and Sunday – 10 am – 5:00 pm

101 W. 3rd Street, Palisade, CO 81526

(970) 464-4819