Sunday, October 28, 2012

Time for Work after much play

I have to admit, I have been 'playing ' alot these last few months! Touring Jackson Hole, experiencing Montana for the first time, staying at Glacier National Park, exploring Cody, Wyoming, and back at Yellowstone National Park, followed by a week in the Black Hills of SD, in a quaint cabin, while reconnecting with  a dear artist friend...............whew!

Tons of photos and so much new experiences that my head is still spinning; the glorious peaks in Glacier, getting to spend a morning with wild mustangs in SD, close up photos of a bull moose near Jackson....well, so you get to experience it , too, I am posting a few of those photos.

...till next time. Hope you follow along and enjoy the journey.....Ruth Ann

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Show open.....reception Oct. 25

Finally; the large format landscape paintings of the west are hung and on display. Curt Beuthe's Arizona-inspired pottery is a great compliment to them. There sure is a lot of color in that gallery right now! Fall hues of deep orange and glowing golden yellows along with some crisp clean blue skies and water sure feed the soul. For whatever reason, when I see colors like that, my heart goes pitty pat!

"Aspens among the Tetons"   29 x 50" oil on canvas.......$995
I just returned to this very spot with my husband last week. What a difference! This year those aspens have no leaves, the grass is almost non-existant and the Teons are shrouded in smoke from the fires still burning around the Jackson Hole area.
All the more reason I feel blessed to have seen this sight and then captured it on canvas for prosperity!
I would love to see you at the opening on Thursday, October 25, from 5:30 - 7:30......

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Plein Air Magazine article

Getting an opportunity to paint in an incredible place such as Glacier National Park doesn't happen every day, so when the invite to extend our stay in MT so we could, I jumped at the chance. Painting with Wanda Mumm and Terry Smith was a great adventure! It was extremely windy on the mountain and luckily I could tighten my chin strap and had my Soltek easel. It never wavered in the wind!

Check out the blurb on Outdoor in the article written by Steve Doherty....if you aren't signed up for their newsletter, feel free to do that while you are on the is FREE..

We saw so many inspirational landscapes and wildlife that it is hard to settle down and choose one to paint but the grizzlies stand at the top of the list. Especially so as I purchased a bracelet with a bear paw print on and told my fellow artists, " We ARE going to see grizzlies while we are here!".

Not only did we see them once but FOUR times! What a memory!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Sold! Collector from Utah

What an incredible night! I hear this happening to other artists or read about it but to have it become a reality for me has put me on cloud #9!

Another red dot! This one for the 1st place winner in oils in Dubois, earlier days, known as Never Sweat, WY. ( learned that at our steak dinner tonight ).

A couple came into the show and was inquiring about a necklace by another artist; it was bedlam, so I said I knew the artist and would assist them in finding her.  Sale made for that artist......then a fellow artist came to get me, telling me my piece had sold to collectors from Utah and they wanted to meet me.  They are fabulous people that I connected with right away. we talked at length regarding my art and I have been invited to their home in Bear Lake, Utah for in the spring , to stay and soak in the beauty of the Utah landscape ( and paint, of course!)

What fun! I am honored to be living the life of an artist.......

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Tom Lucas momento

Met an artist in the Silver Sage Gallery...........owner/artist Tom Lucas. Not only does he paint items that are Native American, he also makes them. I was privleged to talk to him and hear some wonderful stories and watch him work on a delicate pair of baby moccasins as he beaded the tiny seed beads on the tops. Tomorrow I get to go back and hopefully make a selection of one of the items for my own collection.

We also had the privledge of visiting Greg Beecham's ranch and he ran his horses so we could get some action shots of them stirring up the dust in the corral. The neighboring ranch's horses got excited and decided to run, too!  Photos to come.........

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Mentoring students in Dubois, WY with SKB

Today was our opportunity to make a difference in the life of a child. So popular that we had 47 students take advantage of instruction, one on one, from an artist that was matched up with them according to medium and subject matter.

My student was Cory Neal, a football player and a VERY motivated artist, passionate about applying paint to the canvas with a personal message. His interest today was painting a very distant peak from Wagon Box Ranch that his brother had rappelled down. Gotta love it! He also loved the water wagon so we included part of it in the foreground.

What a great experience it was! I taught him color theory and mixing. He was an excellent and attentive student. Then we were served lunch at the ranch, just to the left of this scene. The smoke had cleared somewhat from the fires still burning so it was enough for atmosphere but you couldn't smell it.

Thanks, Kate, for hosting us...........looking forward to mentoring again!

Monday, September 17, 2012

1st place in oils @ SKB Art Conference 2012

Things have a way of evening out, sometimes. I ruined a nice plein air painting today due to not having a friend stop me soon enough. So I now have a beautifully toned canvas for tomorrow. I was a little bummed after wiping it out but the beauty of the golden-glowing aspens and being surrounded by fabulous people, it didn't last very long.

I was kind to myself and knew that at least I had showed up to do the work and we can't have successes without some failures; checks and balances, you know.

Tonight was the awards ceremony for the art show and much to my surprise and delight, my painting titled "Revealing my inner self" was awarded 1st place in oils! ( by unanimous decision, one judge said)

What an honor! There are so many talented and wonderful artists here that I feel humbled just to be with them for an entire week.

So my motto, "Never give up", proves to be valid once again. Just when we are down on our abilities, validation can come in many forms. So for all my creative friends who are struggling right now with
this same issue, may this spur you on.

Many other wonderful things are in store the rest of the week; art marketing, Photoshop class, more plein air and hopefully some time with artists, Mark Mahaffey and Greg Beechum.

Guy Coombs and Andrew Denman are doing some fabulous pieces and is inspirational to watch.

Stay tuned for news of some other great artists doing instruction and demos here. Thursday, many of them will be doing a quick draw.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Pre- Art Conference

What a wonderful day! Rising early and then getting my luggage delivered was a good start to the day. Wanting to get re-acquainted with Dubois, I went for my favorite walk along the Wind River again.

About halfway through, the winds started howling fiercely and the rain came. All I could do at that point was to fasten the chin strap on my hat and keep walking. Luckily for me, it didn't last very long.

Deciding where to have lunch, as there are several choices. I liked the look of the Cowboy Cafe and it seemed to be pretty busy, a good sign.
I must have made the right choice because not only was the food excellent, just as I was finishing Pam and Les Cable and several others from the art conference showed up. Great reunion!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Smoky Mountains in Wyoming

Heh! I headed west... not south to the Smoky Mtns!   Yet, when we landed, smoky mountains, indeed. We were told there was a fire south of Jackson, near Snow King but it was contained and not crossing over the mountain. It was acrid in the air already, making it tough to take a deep breath.

Things started to clear as we headed to Dubois. Then on the horizon above the Wind River, we could see smoke from another fire.

I am now in Dubois and can see smoke in the east and smoke in the west. On a good note, despite the extreme dryness here, the Aspens are glowing in yellows ranging from gold to bronze.


Great flight on United................until I was left waiting for my luggage ( which never appeared) AGAIN???? ( They did this to me last year due to mis-tagging my luggage.) This year, I double checked it; esp. since the gentleman at the counter emphasized for me to be sure to hang onto that receipt, just in case of lost luggage.

I have my camera and art supplies, minus paints. Not a store in town that has women's undergarments. For some reason, they routed my luggage through Denver...go figure.

Let's hope it arrives by the morning!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Huckleberry picking

Wanda and I after climbing down from the mountainside with our huckleberries! Slim pickins' due to late in the season and being the bear's favorite snack! Since Wanda and Les disappeared to the top of the mountain with the bear spray, I am grateful none showed up.........

Saturday the sun was shining and making for a perfect day on the lake in the boat with fellow artists...including ret. Vice Admiral of the US fleets,  Roger Bacon....

Along the way we were rewarded with a visit from an eagle in the treetop..........

We also crossed the Canadian border; marked with a fence on Lake Koocanusa...
Nothing like finishing off the day with these margaritas.....
Thanks, Les...........Cheers!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Montana views: white snow on the mountaintops

Large expanses of open land.........the way it was made!

 Wanda's green thumb showing here! The patios were covered with planters spilling over with blooms.

 Heavenly views.............deer everywhere!  Sunshine and warm on our level..........watching a storm pass overhead and lay a cover of crystal white snow on the mountaintop!   Montana is truly beautiful!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Color charts and snippet # 2

Today was a good, productive day in the studio. This one is coming along nicely, although it surprised me when I started liking what was happening on the canvas a whole lot better than the pretty darn good photo I had managed to capture of this area. I got one spot that looked really 'sweet' and I knew I needed to avoid it like the plague or I would destroy it. I then chose to forget the photo and just paint what I liked on the canvas.

 A light bulb moment, kind of, as now I better understand those before me that recommended using a photo as a 'jumping off point', not just slave and copy it.

I should be able to complete this one tomorrow.........can you guess what landmark this is?


I also was having trouble with subtle grays
 for one of the very large paintings and it was
 full of little shifts of I opened
up the cupboard door and studied my color charts.
 There it was! I was trying to get the tone/value
 using Burnt Sienna when a much better and
more accurate choice was Transparent Oxide Red!
 I am pretty sure that I will be using
 my color charts more often now.

Have a wonderful evening and remember when that color is elusive, make some mixes and record them for future reference!

Snippet # 2 and using color charts

Snippet # 2 ........the painting is coming along nicely. Should be able to add finishing touches tomorrow. This one is rather small compared to the other two I am working on; it is only 18 x 24".

I worked from my photo but took my color cues from a small oil sketch (9 x 12) that I  started a few weeks ago.  Can you guess where this landmark is?

I was having so much trouble working on another of my very large paintings, so I pulled out my color chart for TOR, as I found the exact color that I wanted to mix on this wonder I couldn't get it....I didn't have Transparent Oxide Red on my palette. Instead, I was trying to get it with Burnt Sienna. What a difference the shift in warmth and transparency made. Especially since I was using Zinc White, rather than Titanium. Guess I need to refer to these charts, instead of them decorating the back of my cupboard doors!

Learn a great deal about color theory, all on your own, by mixing and recording those mixes!!!!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Sneak peek...

Working on all new work for a show and not being able to share it is tough! Therefore, I have chosen to photograph snippets of my paintings to give you a sneak peek of a portion of the painting.

 I am keeping a journal as I do this, as I have never painted this many paintings of this size. Considering the challenge I did in January of the daily tiny paintings and then to jump to this. Almost overwhelming, but it was my choice. What was I thinking?  I have stretched a number of my own and made a few panels. The smallest is 18 x 24". Well, life is short and it has been a great motivator.

They say any successful artist has miles of canvas behind them; as much canvas as I have used this month will only get me about a quarter of a mile.....sigh!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Painting frenzy

I guess you could say I am in a painting frenzy. A real challenge I have gotten myself into this time! Getting all new paintings going  for a semi-solo show in October. To top it off, they are much larger than I do on a regular basis and after doing the 30 paintings in 30 days that were mostly 5 x 7", these 18 x 24 up to 29 x 50" seem like monsters!

I need to wait for the show to reveal any of them, so I am sharing a recent western smaller painting.

So far on the easels I have, Cathedral Rock, The West Rim, Chapel of the Holy Cross and Yellowstone Falls.

 The title of the show is "EAST MEETS WEST". I will probably add some animals to a few; like the quail that I saw so many times in Cave Creek, AZ; or the buffalo of Jackson Hole ; the moose in Dubois or the antelope in Pinedale.

I have never had more than 1 painting going at a time, so this is a real change for me. It seems to be working, as I can do a little on one and then move on before I overwork anything. I also have almost always painted 'alla prima' and very tight and detailed. Plein air painting has loosened me up and I approach it very differently now. I have been laying in the foundations with using Liquin as a medium; so far, so good. I also have allowed myself to use any tube colors I choose, experimenting with a few I rarely use.

I am planning on making my own simple framing from 1 x 2" poplar or pine and staining it a rich mahogany, I think. My miter saw doesn't cut very accurate angles so I may need to use an old fashioned wood miter box and hand saw. I will test one this week.

I did manage to make my display stands and get them stained. I will post a photo of them later in the week.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Lake Michigan Shoreline

Climbed the 126 ft dune, then walked the beach with Sedona for an hour or so, until the sun went down. Incredible color in the dunes / grasses and then the sky put on a show!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

climbing area now closed for preservation...

Indiana Dunes State Park.....billowy clouds, filled with moisture, letting loose every few hours between bouts of glorious sunshine slashing across the sky and Lake Michigan............feeling the sands swallow your feet as you make the climb to 126 ft.......then gaze in wonder at the sight you behold as you crest the top!

the climb...

the view along Kemil Beach
Sedona and surfers...

Monday, June 11, 2012

"Studio Light"....45 minute plein air painting.

Kyle Martin was a real joy to have teach the workshop. He was full of knowledge and could paint and talk about it without skipping a beat!!! He was SO willing to share and really cared that the students got it........I managed to get a 45 minute painting...needs some work yet on the right, but I ran out of time and shade!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Kyle Martin Plein Air workshop

As the organizer, I didn't get a whole lot of painting done, as I wanted to make sure the students needs were met first and of course, food was also a priority. (The pack turns wild if you don't feed them.)

Kyle did a demo after having students paint some value paintings to kick off the morning. Just what we needed to shake out those cob webs, along with a cup of coffee, after our pre-workshop gathering/reunion celebration the evening before.

Stay tuned.....More to come.....

Monday, June 4, 2012

Lots of wonderful things happening, now if I can just juggle them all. My studio helper...she already knows how to hold a pose!

It can be difficult choosing which opportunities to take and which ones to pass up...what if??? Chosing the one that brings the most joy is usually a good one. Then there is the financial aspect. Life is but a journey, hoping to make it an enjoyable one....maybe I will meet with you along the way!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Refresher Course question

A fellow artist emailed this question to me;

"I noticed class is full but thought about learning to paint again (hadn't since few years out of high school) . I am 36 now and was remembering how I felt after completing an oil painting....estatic! Can you give me a suggestion how I can get started again like a refresher course mabe. Thank you.Robin "
Dear Robin............Yes.............just do the work. Show up in your painting area and just paint. Paint anything that evokes a response of emotion from you. Then if you get stuck, search youtube for a video to help you out. Continue...when you get stuck in a rut, figure a way to go take a workshop from someone whose work you admire and feel that you would like to paint in a similar manner. Ask all the questions you can and practice painting the answers. Miles of canvas behind you is the suggestion I hear from every master I admire................must be good advice!

 All the best to you...........Ruth Ann

Nancy Guzik sharing with me on how she approaches a painting............thanks, Nancy!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Happy accidents!

Happy accidents!

 It was not my first reaction when my friend accidentally broke my turquoise teapot, but when I commented about picking up the pieces, it dawned on me that it would make a good title for a painting. Plus, when we realized her bag had broken and that was the cause of the crash, I wanted her to feel better. Afterall, it was just a teapot!   Thanks, Barb!