Thursday, December 31, 2015

Happy New Year!

Some of my artist friends and I have a custom of choosing a single word to summarize our goals for the new year, rather than creating a list of resolutions.  My word for this year is BALANCE. Last year was out of balance, due to my father's hospice and passing, as well as other challenges.  To restore and maintain balance, I need consistent PEP:  Prayer, Exercise, and Painting! Everything else flows out of these when I succeed in making these the priority.

What's your word for the year?

Friday, July 17, 2015

Another Art Student Winner, ACC Community Education Art Show

Congratulations to another one of my students, Rumi Engineer, also a winner in the Arapahoe Community College Community Education Art Show in May.  Rumi won 3rd place in the Painting Division with his lovely blue plate still life shown here.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Student Winner

Congratulations to my student, Brenda Bottini for winning the Second Place Award for Painting in the ACC Community Education Art Show in May.  Brenda writes:

"I enjoy Valorie's class and have taken it six times. Each session I feel more confident and have more fun. She is very helpful and we know to be patient with ourselves as it is a progression of learning and takes time. Well worth the investment to cultivate artistic skills and friends."

Note:  Many students attend my 6-week classes several times.  This allows them to continue from where they left off before, without repeating exercises already completed.  

Monday, April 20, 2015

Outdoor Oil Painting Workshop Dates

Outdoor one-day workshop dates are finalized!  
Dates are:
Saturday, May 16 
Saturday, May 30 
Find all the details on the "Oil Painting Workshops" tab at the top of this page. Students always have a great time in these comfortable classes and learn a lot.  Join us!

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Student Question: Old Paints and Other Art Supplies

Below is a question that came in today about art supplies for the upcoming class.  For other supplies, check the Supply List tab at the top of the page.
I am signed up for the class starting this week.  I went shopping for supplies,  but I have a couple of questions:

On the oil paints,  I bought the level 1 Windsor newton oil paint,  but I was concerned that I bought the wrong paint, as this paint can be mixed with water.  I can return the paints if I have the incorrect type.  Also, I have some paints that are very old (at least 20 years), can I use these or should I toss them and start over?

I went to Hobby Lobby, Michaels and Joann and could not find “Gamsol Mineral Spirits.  Do you have any suggestion on where I can buy this product?

Also (three question) do we need the Red acetate and color wheel for the first class?
Thanks, “J”

Answer:  Dear “J”
Winsor Newton makes several types of oil paint.  The water mixable oils mix differently than regular oil paint, so it's better to avoid them unless you specifically prefer the water mixable kind.  Regular Winsor Newton oil paints are a professional grade – they are the best of the WN Line, but also the most expensive.

Winton oils (also made by Winsor Newton) are a medium grade, priced more economically, and are better than the cheap student grade paints.  Winton is a good choice to begin with, then you can upgrade one color at a time as you run out.

Your old paints may be fine - they are made to last many years.  Just squeeze the tubes a bit to see if they are still soft.  If they have hardened and dried out, you can’t use them.  If they are just hard under the cap but soft below that, you can remove the cap, dig out the hardened paint with a small screwdriver and use the rest.  Sometimes very old tubes will leak;  throw these away as they aren't worth the mess!  If in doubt, just start fresh.

You can find the Gamsol at Guiry's, as well as the red acetate.  Get the smallest container you can find of the Gamsol.  You will need your red acetate for the first class, but not the color wheel.

I hope this helps!  It can be daunting if you've never painted before.  Feel free to write again if you have other questions.  I look forward to seeing you in class!

Monday, March 23, 2015

Outdoor Painting Workshops

Plans are underway for two outdoor workshops this spring.  Check the "Oil Painting Workshops" tab at the top of this page for details, and let me know which dates work best for you.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Painting Class Demonstration

The Advanced Oil Painting Community Education class at ACC had a great time during our last session.  The assignment was to mix a warm and cool version of each and every color in the painting, while still maintaining all the correct values.  This gives the painting more life and vibrancy. 

My classroom demonstration, a 9 x 12 study, is shown here.  Look closely at the warm and cool color notes everywhere.  Click on the picture to enlarge.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

How to Varnish a Painting

Many of you have asked about varnishing your paintings.  Check out the short video from Gamblin on my Facebook Page.
You can also use spray varnishes.  To prevent yellowing over time, avoid varnishes with copal or damar. Look for varnishes that specifically say "non yellowing."   Follow instructions carefully to avoid dripping or droplets of varnish on your painting.  Let me know if you have any questions or experiences to share.