Sunday, November 12, 2017

Autumn's Deeper Meaning


Pecos, New Mexico

Saturday, September 16, 2017

"Sydnie" was Selected as a Jury Favorite!

"Sydnie", was selected as part of the FAV15% (jury's favorite 15% of the entries) in the August 2017 BoldBrush Painting competition by Fine Art Studio Online (FASO). Thank you, FASO!!!

Click here to read more about "Sydnie". 

Friday, September 15, 2017

Face-Off in Fredericksburg!

You are invited to the RS Hanna Gallery in Historic Fredericksburg, Texas!
Please join us as eight Texas Members of the Portrait Society of America 
                                         "Face-Off" in Fredericksburg, Texas. 



Thursday, August 31, 2017

"Sydnie"

"Sydnie" 11"x 14", Pastel

Sydnie is the daughter of one of the members of our portrait group. This was her first time to sit and she did a marvelous job.
Simplicity is my manta, which a limited palette suits perfectly. 
I used Blue Earth's Portrait Sample pastels and found the only colors I missed were orange and blue. Upon reflection, I am so happy they weren't included or the feel would have been very different. 
I am very pleased with Sydnie... the model and the painting!

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Taos Hollyhocks

"Taos Hollyhocks" 10"x 8", Pastel

You may have noticed that I have been doing a lot of florals recently. I love flowers...in the garden and in a vase on my table, but they have not been something I cared much to paint. My passion is painting people and New Mexican landscapes. 
One of the lecturers at the Art of the Portrait Conference emphasized the importance of painting things you don't necessarily like to paint in order to strengthen your skills. I'm glad I took his advice because this has been a lot of fun. 

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Kachina Lodge

Kachina Lodge, 8"x 10", Pastel
Last October I had the wonderful experience of taking a week-long workshop with the one and only Albert Handell. The workshop was held in and around Taos, New Mexico, my spiritual home away from home. 

Albert suggested that we set up as close as we could to his easel and paint along with him. He expresses his thought process as he paints so, whether one paints along or just listens, there is so much to learn. 

The group stayed at the Kachina Lodge, which was the subject of one of our lessons late one afternoon. I set up as near Albert as I could and tried to follow along. My results were less than stellar but I learned a lot by watching, listening and taking copious notes and photos.

Last week I decided to revisit one of the studies I did in the workshop and try it again. I started a new one of the Kachina Lodge, using the original as a reference and applied the things I learned.  I am happy to say that this one is a great improvement over the initial one and it went a lot better, too. I may end up doing several with somewhat different color schemes. 

NOTE: Things you are told in a workshop often take a little while to gel so be sure you always take notes and pictures, if at all possible. I suggest transcribing your notes when you get home. Seeing the demos, hearing the lectures, taking notes and then transcribing them will go a long way in committing the entire experience to memory. 

Saturday, August 12, 2017

There Are Always Flowers...

"There Are Always Flowers", 8"x 8", Pastel
There are always flowers for those who want to see them. - Henri Matisse
In honor of the eternal optimist who looks for the good in everything.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Studying Degas #2

"Studying Degas #2", 7"x 5", Pastel

Another study of one of Degas' ballerinas. There is so much left to learn from him. He was a master of saying "just enough".  His color choices were wonderful, his compositions were perfect, the application of his medium...everything. He was truly a master!
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Sunday, July 30, 2017

Studying Degas #1

Studying Degas #1, 7"x 5", Pastel

Last fall my husband and I made a special trip to see the "Degas: A New Vision" exhibition at the Museum of Fine Arts Houston. Click here to read more about that wonderful experience. The inspiration of that day has never left me and in recent months, I have decided to concentrate more on pastels. Who better to study than the master himself, Edgar Degas
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Thursday, July 27, 2017

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Western Art Collector!



We all get those emails...the ones that attempt to stroke our egos with misspelled words and incorrect syntax. This was not one of those. It stroked my ego all right but it was well written which made me wonder if this was the real deal.
Well... a box of August issues of Western Art Collector arrived today complete with my feature on page 112!
This has been an amazing year. If it is a dream, please don't wake me.

Friday, July 7, 2017

"Abigail" is on her way to Park City, Utah!

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

"Little Muse"

"Little Muse", 12"x 9", Pastel
I have painted this in oil, acrylic and now pastels. I am very pleased with how it came out. 

Friday, June 30, 2017

June Newsletter




"The Team", was awarded the honor of Outstanding Acrylic in the April Bold Brush Competition. The judge for the April competition was Fongwei Liu.
Click on his name to see his beautiful works.
The Team


"Pensive" was juried into the Discovery 2017 Show at the Milan Gallery in Fort Worth, Texas. The show runs through July 9. If you are in the area, please come by! 
Pensive

The past several months have been very busy and very exciting. Along with teaching and maintaining my own art studio, I have the great honor of serving as the Portrait Society of America's Texas Ambassador.

We had a great turnout in Dallas where Texas members participated in a Face-Off. There three more planned for 2017, one is Houston, one in Alpine and one in Bastrop.

I am currently working on a big event for Texas members, which will be announced in the next few months. If you would like more information about the Portrait Society of America, please contact me at sekulastudio@gmail.com.

UPCOMING CLASSES:

The next class sessions begin August 7, 2017.

Beginner to IntermediateMonday9:00am to Noon. Cost: A six-week class is $153, plus studio fee.

Portrait and Figurative, Intermediate to AdvancedMonday1:00 pm to 4pm Cost: A six-week class is $153, plus model and studio fees.
All classes are limited to 10 students
For more information please send an email to sekulastudio@gmail.com

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Thursday, June 15, 2017

The Post Exhibit Blues

"Alexandra on the Volga" After Fechin
I had heard about artists experiencing the post exhibit blues but, since I was aware of the possibility,  I was sure it wouldn't happen to me. Well, being aware wasn't of much help. The only comfort was in knowing it was common, I wasn't alone and that it would pass...if I kept working.

I spent almost a year working on 50 Cowboys~50 Paintings.  For more information about this project click here.  I was very focused and disciplined, finishing one portrait before moving to the next. They are all monochromatic, burnt sienna and white,  and while I was working on them, I didn't allow myself to paint anything else for fear of losing my focus.

A year of complete and total focus...and now what? Will I ever feel that passionate about a project again? If I spend too much time worrying about all of that I won't get much done. The advice from those who had previous experience was to get in the studio and do something....anything....just get back in the studio!

I was excited to work on color again and love painting portraits so I determined to paint a self-portrait every day, using acrylic and not allowing myself to be overly concerned with the outcome. Note: painting self-portraits when you're down in the dumps should be approached with caution.

Abandoning self-portraits, at least for now, I painted others in oil, acrylic, and pastel then switched it up and painted landscapes and florals.

It feels like I am getting my footing again...YAY...I think I will go back to studying my favorite old, and not so old, masters. The first of which I present to you today..."Alexandra on the Volga" by Nicolai Fechin. Mine is a pastel version of his oil.




Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Informed Collector Feature by FASO

Informed Collector Recommends:

Gaye Sekula


Acrylic 7 x 8 1/2
The Team by Gaye Sekula was awarded Outstanding Acrylic in the April 2017 BoldBrush Painting Competition.

http://faso.com/fineartviews/121159/gaye-sekula

Follow this artist on FASO and get alerts in your email inbox when new artworks are posted
http://connect.faso.com/GayeSekula


Many thanks to Fine Art Studio Online (FASO)!

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Saturday, June 10, 2017

"Peonies", Pastel

"Peonies", 4.5" x 8.5", Pastel
The first time I ever laid eyes on peonies was in Poland. It's a pity they don't grow in South Texas.  Thankfully, we can get them at Central Market or Whole Foods. 

“There are always flowers for those who want to see them.” -Henri Matisse


Thursday, June 8, 2017

"Texas Summer", Pastel

"Texas Summer, 8.5" x 4.5", Pastel 
SOLD
I primarily work in oils but also love other media.  Last week was for pastels, experimenting with a new paper and a subject that I rarely paint...flowers. 


Saturday, June 3, 2017

Renoir Changed My Life

Pierre Auguste Renoir

Many of you probably don’t know that I used to be a potter. I was having a great time working on my pottery wheel, mixing my own glazes, creating my own designs... I was probably having too much fun because one day my thumb started jumping out of joint…even when I was asleep! 

I can only chalk it up to mega-repetitive injury. Yeah, I’m kind of obsessive-compulsive.  

Many trips to doctors, countless injections and it still wasn’t getting better. Talk about depression! I felt my life was over and it hadn’t even begun. What was I going to do with all this creativity that needed to be expressed?

This is where Pierre Auguste Renoir comes in. I had always loved Renoir’s work. I found it beautiful, comforting, soft and romantic. I must have picked up a book or read an article, maybe it was a post on the internet, where doesn’t matter. What did matter was it changed my life!

Renoir suffered from rheumatoid arthritis and was quite crippled in his later years. It was hard for him to sit to paint and impossible to hold a brush. 

But his creativity had to be expressed.... so he hired someone to tie a brush in his hand. Reading this flung open a door I thought had been locked and the key thrown into the abyss. I told you I was really depressed. 

I began oil painting the summer of my 12th year and continued all through high school. But life happens, focus changes, I got married, had a daughter and painting took a back seat. 

When I read of Renoir’s courage and determination, I was reminded of my love of painting...I could hold brush without excessive stress on my thumb and, if I need be, I could also have a brush tied in MY hand! 

I owe my artistic progression to many people but most of all to Pierre Auguste Renoir

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Award for Outstanding Acrylic!

I am so honored to announce that my painting, "The Team", was awarded  
Outstanding Acrylic
and
was selected as part of the FAV15% (jury's favorite 15% of the entries) in the 
  

"The Team", 7"x 8 1/2", Acrylic

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Portrait Society of America Conference, Atlanta 2017

The Art of the Portrait Conference in Atlanta is now in the history books. I returned with copious notes and hundreds of photos, some of which I will share over several posts. Meanwhile, you can almost feel like you were there by visiting Underpaintings Magazine, a website belonging to Matthew Innis. There you will find the Competition Winners, paintings from the Face-Off and the artists in action. 

Below is the painting that took the highest honor, the Draper Grand Prize, by artist extraordinaire, David Jon Kassan

A truly masterful work!

David Jon Kassan 
Draper Grand Prize
"Love and Resilience, Portrait of Louise and Lazar Farkas, Survivors of the Shoah," 46x42", oil on panel

Friday, March 17, 2017

Pastel Landscapes, Water (2 of 2)

This is my favorite of the paintings done in Marla Baggetta's workshop. It's very similar to an oil I painted several years ago. I considered painting a series way back then but never got around to it. Maybe I will do it in pastel. The task will be finding the reference photo...I only have a bazillion to go through! I thought about taking another photo but it looks very different now. 

My Favorite, 8"x 6", pastel on paper

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Pastel Landscapes, Water (1 of 2)

Day Three of Marla Baggetta's workshop was dedicated to Water. I painted two that day and will save what I consider to be the best for last. This one is approximately 5"x 5" and was painted from a very dark thumbnail photo. That means I had to invent the light and the colors. It doesn't have a title yet but every time I look at it "Lyrical" comes to mind....but lyrical what? Maybe "Lyrical" is good enough. 

"Lyrical", 5"x 5", pastel on paper

Monday, March 13, 2017

Pastel Skies

Day Two of Marla Baggetta's workshop was dedicated to Skies. I felt the reference photo had too much going on for one painting so I painted each half separately. By the way, one of Marla tips for painting more loosely is to print out small thumbnails of your photos. Doing so eliminates a lot of the superfluous details. It's a great tip! Both of the following are approximately 7"x 5". 



Saturday, March 11, 2017

Itty Bitty Pastels

I recently took a pastel workshop with one of my favorite pastel artists, Marla Baggetta. I have been following Marla and her work for quite a while and was finally able to meet her. She is a wonderful teacher, very passionate, dedicated and fun! Check out her website, click on every link, and be prepared to be inspired!

Day One was dedicated to Trees. The following are the first two pastels I did in the workshop.  They are itty bitty...about 3" wide,  and a great way to try different pastels, pastel papers and have a plain ole good time!