I just published my third class on Skillshare.com. The class is called Understanding Value and the project is to paint a box. This is the first lesson I teach my students and I think it will be helpful for artists of all levels.
Use this link to my class to sign up and get 3 free months of Skillshare. I’ll receive a referral fee if you use my class link. There are literally thousands of classes offered in Design, Business, Technology, Photography , Film, Writing, Crafts and Culinary with excellent teachers. I couldn’t recommend more. I’m still using my membership you sharpen my Photoshop skills.
Check out the introduction to my class and see what you think.
Value is the lightness or darkness of a color. When you set up a box with direct lighting you will see 3 distinct values. I’ll show you how to mix these values and paint a box that looks like it’s going to pop right off the page. If you apply this lesson to your painting whether you’re just starting out or a seasoned artist you will see a huge improvement in your work. My abstract paintings use the understanding of value to create space and the illusion that something is coming towards you.
Alexander McQueen was an extremely talented, bright star of the fashion world that left this earth too soon. His work was art with a capital A and will never go out of style. He committed suicide in 2010, he was 40 years old.
I’m going to share some of my favorites from his body of work but first…
You may be surprised to know that in a former life I was a fashion designer. If you know me you know I dress in jeans and sweatshirts more often than not stained with paint and fabric dye. I majored in Fashion Design at Moore College of Art in the eighties. When I graduated I wasn’t ready to run out and get a job so I stayed in school for a 5th year study where I painted and did my first soft sculpture. Ultimately I took a job as a fashion design assistant. I quickly moved up to head designer and ended up totally burnt out by the end of 3 years. I dabbled in freelance print design but I didn’t see it going anywhere and eventually left the fashion industry altogether to pursue painting and acting. Acting was a great way to get out all my pent up emotions. I loved that it was okay for my character to yell, scream and cry. Anyway, I can relate to how the industry can eat a creative soul alive.
Alexander McQueen inspires me because he was a rebel. Initially trained as a tailor was accepted to Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design. He received a master’s degree in Fashion Design in 1992. He was immediately in the press when his entire graduate collection was bought by the fashion stylist Isabella Blow. They became close friends and she supported him throughout his career. In 1996 he was hired to take over Givenchy but the house was so conservative that he didn’t have the freedom he wanted and needed to do his best work. From the beginning his shows under his own label were like performance art or happenings. His work evolved and yes some of it is absolutely outrageous, but it stands the test of time because of its powerful narratives and incredible innovations. I love his nature inspired work and his beautiful silhouettes.
Spring /Summer 1999 his show ended with a model wearing a dress that was spray painted by 2 robots. You can watch it here.
No.13 spring-summer 2004 interl-h264 576p 6500kbps from Metropolitan Museum of Art on Vimeo.
I found the artist LuAnn Ostergaard on Pinterest. Here is an excerpt from her website “My creative spirit is awakened by the beauty I see in naturally occurring patterns and textures. I find beauty in imperfection and often see it in scarred and weathered surfaces.”
Everyone who knows me knows I love a good rusty object. She starts with an image of rusty surfaces that she then alters digitally. She prints the finished images with archival pigments on hot press fine art paper. The prints are mounted on boxed panels and sealed with clear acrylic gel medium.
I love the colors and textures. They look like paintings but the fact that they start as found objects makes them feel real and natural. They look like landscapes which I also love.
Check out her Pinterest board here to see lots more of her work.
I just updated my inventory of accessories in my online store. Here is a sampling below, all the details are on my store page. I also have new pieces at the Alternatives Gift Shop at the Delaware Contemporary, including many with feathers. It’s a great place to shop for one of a kind, handmade gifts for everyone on your list.
My painting pendants are reversible so you get 2 original paintings under glass. It’s like 2 gifts for the price of one. They each come with a coordinating 16 inch leather cord necklace.
Here we have a holiday theme with black, red and a little gold spray paint.
This is the reverse side.
Silver spray paint and paint marker on one side.
Reverse side has peach and hot pink against a wine background.
This one is real snakeskin, it’s not reversible so you can see through it.
Here are some purples and blues with a misty white spray paint pattern on one side.
and on the reverse side, greens and yellows.
Both of these rust dyed silk, cuff bracelets are listed in my online store. Along with some other bright colored cuff bracelets.
Place your order before 12:00 pm and it will ship the same day. See more listings and order directly from my store. Click on categories at the top of the first store page to see all the options in that category. Happy Holidays!
I finally published my second Skillshare class, Painting Landscapes on Skillshare.com. You can join Skillshare.com for $0.99 for 3 months and check it out in it’s entirety here. Above is the introduction that I shared on my Youtube channel.
I worked really hard to take the mystery out of painting landscapes. Value is the most important thing to understand when painting successful landscapes. Value is the lightness or darkness of a color. Some teachers don’t explain this they just tell you the sky is blue and the trees are green.
I start with how to choose a subject to paint. This is the photograph I use.
I go over the supplies needed.
layout on your painting surface, mixing colors
It’s easy when you break it down.
Here’s my finished painting.
I’d love for you to check it out so I’m sharing the link again here where you can sign up for 3 months of Skillshare for $0.99. After you join you can take as many classes as you like. I used Skillshare to learn Photoshop and I can’t tell you how much that’s changed my life. It’s always exciting to add a new skill to your toolbox.
My husband and I had a great one week visit to Thessaloniki, Greece where our daughter Delaney is spending her first semester of college. We split our time between the city and outlying towns. Thessaloniki is the second largest city of Greece situated on the Thermaic Gulf of the Aegean Sea (we found a last minute deal at Hostelbay.com/ferries and decided to pull the trigger spontaneously). November is off season which proved to be the perfect time to see the sights without the summer crowds. I found our hotel on https://hoteljules.com/ and the hotel was right on the water which meant watching beautiful sunsets every night.
The hotel was also walking distance to many restaurants and markets. The first day we had a food walking tour. We were able to taste the local foods and learn about the area while walking through Aristotle Square and the open air markets.
A fun alleyway with sculptures overhead and lots of bird cages.
I snapped a photo of this old guy in the antique row. I just thought he was adorable. I didn’t inquire but I guess he would have sold me anything I wanted out of the room behind him. The graffiti was compliments of the Greek youth and was everywhere. I know, I’ve been known to say I like graffiti but I’ve kind of changed my mind. When I say it was everywhere there was no part of the city spared and it was not pretty.
We took a train to Meteora to see the monasteries built on top of the rocky hills. It was spectacular and well worth the long train ride there. We stayed overnight which meant we had a sunset tour the first night and a morning tour the next day. Both were beautiful.
On our last day there we hired a guide to take us hiking on Mt Olympus. Delaney joined us even though she was a wee bit tired from her all night escapades in the clubs that stay open until 7 am. The mountain was beautiful, the air was so fresh. The hike was challenging because you were either going straight up or straight down.
The mountain wasn’t really purple like my cell phone shots made it look. It was light gray actually. It was crazy beautiful though.
We ate lunch on a plateau and talked to our guide about the Syrian refugee crisis. It was so interesting to hear stories from someone who has actually encountered and housed refugees. She told us the family she housed had spent the winter on the Turkey border living in tents. She said they are just like us. Normal people trying to keep their families together and find a safe place to live.