Friday, December 31, 2010

Out with the Old and In with the New!

It's that time when we bid farewell to the past year and look forward to the future. Looking back on 2010, I must say it was my best year yet! All goals that were set at this time last year have all been met and it is time to turn my thoughts to what I hope to accomplish in 2011.
I would like to share something I heard Leslie Saeta say on Blog Talk Radio yesterday. For those who may not know, she and Dreama Tolle Perry are the authors of the blog, Artists Helping Artists, http://artistshelpingartistsblog.blogspot.com. It's a great blog designed to do just that help their fellow artists! These are two gals with the true Art Spirit!   Do check it out.
The program was on setting goals. Leslie suggested keeping the acronym S.M.A.R.T. in mind and make sure that your goals are:
S-specific
M-measurable
A-attainable
R-realistic
T-timely
It is a wonderful and wise way to set and accomplish your goals. Write them out and review them periodically throughout the year to keep yourself on track. Being able to check them off your list will create even more momentum. 

May 2011 be YOUR best year so far!
Gaye

Sunday, December 26, 2010

What Color to Paint A Studio?

A conversation that comes up quite often between artists is what color to paint our studio. We love light and we love color and so are tempted to express our artistic sides on our studio walls as well. NOT A GOOD IDEA! Ok, so then what IS a good idea? I think my new friend, Judy Crowe, just may have an answer complete with visual aids! Please check out her post dated December 22, where you will see her newly painted studio. In her December 26 post, she shows four paintings; two of which were done when her studio was yellow and two in her newly painted grey-green studio. While all four paintings are very beautiful, you can clearly see the influence of both the mood and the color of the studio in each painting. I leave it to you to decide which you prefer. After all, it is YOUR studio but I'm leaning strongly towards the grey green for my own. 

How about you? What color is your studio? How do you feel it has effected your paintings? Whatever color, I am convinced it affected your mood even before you set your canvas on the easel  as well as the color choices that went into your painting. I'd love to hear your opinion.

Thanks, Judy! Lesson learned!
Gaye 

Friday, December 17, 2010

A Visit to the McNay Art Museum

This is my favorite painting from the current exhibit "Landscapes from the Age of Impressionism", being held at the McNay Art Museum. The artist is Charles Courtney Curran. It is simply lovely!
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Tuesday, December 14, 2010

A Visit to the Blanton


This was my favorite painting in the Turner to Monet: Masterpieces from The Walters Art Museum Exhibit, which is being held in Austin, Texas, at the Blanton Museum of Art. It is a small painting, only about 6"x 8", painted by Mariano Jose Maria Bernardo Fortuny and is entitled An Ecclesiastic. It is a much more vivid and detailed painting than is depicted here. The exhibit runs until January 2, 2011.
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Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

I awoke this morning with devout thanksgiving for my friends, the old and the new -Ralph Waldo Emerson

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Drawing Class Sketch #6

How I wish we had been given more than twenty minutes to sketch this one! I also regret not taking better notes of the different artists we are studying so I could look them up at home. Well, live and learn!

This one was so much fun. I absolutely love portraits of children who look as if they have been taken straight from a Dickens novel.

All of these sketches have been on newsprint, which is not at all archival, and won't last very long. But, the point is to learn and I am having a ball!

8" x 10", charcoal sketch
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Saturday, November 20, 2010

Entering A Deeper Phase

I have found myself entering into a phase of painting less but studying more. I am increasingly interested in studying the figure and in honing my drawing skills. These studies will intensify with the start of the new year. My concentration will be fully devoted to these studies so I don't anticipate being able to do a lot of painting. I have been wanting to do this for a very long time, the opportunity presently itself and the timing is finally right.
I do plan to continue to share my journey with you and, as a result, the posts may be coming a little more often once the classes start. If you are interested in keeping tabs but, not in the day to day of things of my blog, I invite you to sign up for my newsletter via my website, http://gayesekula.com.  My website newsletter goes out far less frequently so have no fear of being bombarded. 
Happy Holidays to All!
Gaye  

Friday, November 19, 2010

Drawing Class Sketch #5

I am very encouraged to be seeing improvement and am having such a great time that I hate to see this class come to an end. I think we have only two sessions remaining. Each session, after a short discussion and demo, we do at least two twenty minute sketches.  

This and the drawing from the previous post were done during the same session. I wasn't feeling very well but really didn't want to miss the class. I did not much feel like drawing but was determined to participate, even if nothing good came from it. And I learned a very valuable lesson that day! I learned first hand that it is not necessary to wait for inspiration to hit before I could produce something worthwhile. While these are not perfect sketches, I am greatly encouraged! Especially when I compare them to drawings done just a few short months ago!

I have been doing my best to do something art related every single day. If not painting or drawing, I am reading an art book or watching an art DVD. It is an easy discipline when you are doing what you love.

The journey continues. Thanks for coming along with me!

9"x12", charcoal sketch
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Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Drawing Class Sketch #4

This sketch is from our third session in Charcoal Drawing Class. Again, we were allowed only 20 minutes.  A benefit of being timed is that it helps train the eye to see what is essential in conveying the essence of a subject. With practice, good instruction and really learning to see, we will be able to render a subject more and more accurately. So, speed is really not the objective but rather one of the means to a desired end. For example, an area that speed would be very beneficial is in plein air painting. Since the sun does not stand still, it is essential to work quickly to capture a fleeting moment in time. All exercises in art help in every medium. None of it is wasted time because it all works together.

I think I mentioned in an earlier post that I have never liked to draw. I can no longer make that claim. I am beginning to enjoy charcoal very much and intend to keep at it once this class has ended. I have never been particularly fond of strong color and these subtle tones really appeal to me.

I have a couple more drawings to share from this particular session. Since I also have more to say, I should save it for posting in the next day or two.
This landscape is about 6"x8".

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Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Spotlight

I would like to introduce my very good friend and sgraffito artist, Crystal Nolfo Brown. Crystal is very passionate about her home state of Louisiana, which shows in her sgraffito work. She is a perfect example of what happens when a person is able to translate their passion into art.  

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Drawing Class Sketch #2

This is another twenty minute sketch from drawing class. Our instructor introduced a different technique, which just wasn't working for me. I see how it could/should/would work but I couldn't achieve it. The good news is that I think I know why. So much of art is problem solving. You simply can't fix something if you don't see the problem. The important thing is to make note of your progression. It is so easy to look at someone else's work and feel you will NEVER get there. It is very important to keep in mind that the person you are most in competition with is yourself. Do YOU see improvement in your work? How does today's work compare to that of a year ago, six months ago, last week, yesterday? Sometimes the progression, if you see any at all, is very small. But, it IS there. Every time you try you are getting better. Every attempt teaches you something. There will always be someone you feel is better and that's a good thing. It should be motivation to keep on trying! When I was very young I remember reading "Talent is the desire." I believe that with my whole heart. No one is born knowing how to do anything. We all start from the beginning.
9"x12", charcoal sketch
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Saturday, November 6, 2010

Drawing Class

I recently enrolled in a charcoal drawing class, my first drawing class ever! I have never particularly cared to draw with anything other than a brush. The hard feel of a pencil on paper just left, leaves, me cold. But charcoal is different. It isn't hard like a pencil and it much easier to manipulate. One could even say it almost flows. I think I could settle into doing a lot of charcoal drawings for a while. It may be the transition to pastels that I have been wanting to try forever! But, for now, I am going to enjoy charcoal. This is the first drawing of my six week class. We had only 20 minutes. As you can see, I was just starting to darken the shadow side, beginning with the eye, when the time ran out. I didn't want to try to finish from memory so it is what it is. Nevertheless, I am encouraged.
9"x 12", charcoal sketch
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Friday, November 5, 2010

A Bit of Reflection

About this time last year the winds of change began to blow. For years I had felt a burning desire to focus on my art and to get better and better. So, when these winds began to blow, I was filled with the anticipation of child on Christmas Eve! I didn't know what was going to happen but I knew it would be art-related and I knew it was going to be good!  So, I began  a serious evaluation on what and how I was spending my time,  considered where I wanted to be and made a list of goals that I wanted to accomplish in 2010. In order to begin meeting those goals, I would have to reduce a great number of outside obligations and use that time to devote to the goals that were written on paper but  now felt more like they were written in stone.
The year has now passed and I am so happy to report that I have met every goal and then some! It is time for further reflection and the setting of more goals. The winds of change are still blowing as I look to the future with even more anticipation than before!
In the Art Spirit,
Gaye  

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Still Life-Roses

This was one of my favorite set ups in a workshop recently given by Carlene Reeves. The roses were fresh from her garden. The pink ones are Belinda's Dream, which last a long time and have a lovely fragrance. The green vase and pink roses looked so beautiful together that I couldn't resist painting them. The white rose was a nice addition and added a charm to the arrangement.
9"x12", original, oil on board
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Saturday, October 30, 2010

Figurative Study

Another study done with a modern day Zorn palette. The last one was done with perylene black, which leans toward green. This one was with the traditional ivory black, which leans more toward blue. I am still trying to decide which is best. It is too soon to make a decision since this is only the second painting I have done with a version of the Zorn palette. It is so wonderful to see the range that can be achieved with only three colors, cadmium red, yellow ochre and ivory black, plus white. I have always been drawn more to tonalism than vibrant colors so I may stick with this palette for quite a while to come. The journey continues!
9"x12", original oil study, linen
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Thursday, October 28, 2010

Portrait Study

This is the latest from our portrait study group. It was done with cadmium red, yellow ochre, perylene black and white. It is a modern version of one of the palettes used by Anders Zorn. I was pleased to find that perylene black makes a much nicer green than ivory black. You may be able to see the green in her eyes. I probably never would have known had I not forgotten my black and had to borrow some. Thanks Patricia!!! I have much yet to learn about painting portraits but am enjoying the process. It is very nice having your company on the journey!
9"x12", a study, oil on linen
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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Floral Still Life

One of the paintings done in a recent workshop with Carlene Reeves. I took several photos of this set up and plan to revisit it soon.
6"x8", original, oil on linen
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Sunday, October 3, 2010

ARToberfest!

I am thrilled to report that my painting "Liz's Poppies" was accepted into ARToberfest, an annual juried exhibition, at The Art Gallery in New Braunfels, Texas. Not only was it accepted, I have been told that it won an award! I won't know which award until it is announced at the Gala Opening Reception, Friday, October 8. The reception begins at 5pm and the awards will be announced at 6:30pm. I would be honored if you could attend but, if you cannot make it, please do try to see the show. It is on exhibit now and will run through November 10.
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Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Liz's Poppies

This spring was one of the most beautiful springs ever. After years of severe drought, the rains finally came last fall. As a result, all of central and south Texas was in full bloom and we actually had a spring that lasted more than a week!
One of the beautiful spots was the garden of friend and fellow artist, Liz Maness. This painting is of her gorgeous red poppies. I wish I could say it was plein air but it is actually from one of the many photos I took that day. I didn't want to miss a thing! Afterwards, we all settled in to paint. You may remember an earlier post, Summer's Coming, which I painted on her deck that day.
This painting practically painted itself, as those that an artist feels most passionate about often do. I ordered a special frame for it that arrived yesterday. Thank you Randy Higbee! It's perfect!
9"x12", original, oil on board SOLD
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Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Portrait Study #2

I am continuing to work on portraits. It is a challenge but I am having fun and learning a lot.
6"x6", original, oil on board SOLD
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Little by Little

I have finally gotten around to launching a website. I am still struggling with my artist statement but am making progress... little by little. How can one capture all of the emotion and express them in but a few sentences? That may seem a redundant question but, if any of you have any suggestions, I am all ears. Meanwhile, I would love for you to drop by Gaye Sekula. I welcome your comments.
Gaye
"Work while you have the light. You are responsible for the talent that has been entrusted to you." Henri-Frédéric Amiel

Thursday, August 19, 2010

A Question for My Artist Friends

At what age did you start painting and when did you feel you were able to call yourself an artist?

I very much love your emails but could I ask a favor? It would mean a lot to me if you would post your reply/comments on my blog. I would really appreciate it! Thanks! Gaye


Friday, July 16, 2010

Demos by Henry Yan

Here are three beautiful demos done by Henry Yan in his recent Figurative Oil Workshop at the Coppini. Not only is he a true master, he is one of the nicest people you could ever want to meet. Thank you, Henry, for a wonderful workshop!!!

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Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Studying Portriats

I am very interested in learning how to do portraits. Not just figurative work but in capturing a person's likeness. This is step one toward that goal. Right now, I am just happy that she looks like a human! This is mostly painted with transparent oxide red with just a splash of color thrown in just because. I will be doing quite a few monochrome paintings as I get my footing.
So, be nice. "A thousand mile journey begins with a single step"!
9x12, original, oil study
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Monday, June 21, 2010

Texas Paint Slingers

Here we are, the newly formed group, the Texas Paint Slingers! Today we painted at the Heron's Nest Herb Farm. Some very nice paintings were created today. None of which were mine! Oh, well! Tomorrow IS another day.
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Thursday, June 17, 2010

Sentinel

I apologize if you got this post earlier. I am having some problems with blogger. So, Take Two!
This is another painting from the Wimberely Lavender Farm. It is almost the same view as my previous post so I obviously find it a favorite perspective!
8"x10", original, oil on board
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Monday, June 14, 2010

Study: Wimberley Lavender Farm

The owners of the Wimberley Lavender Farm, http://www.wimberleylavender.com, graciously allowed eleven of us to descend on them, paint brushes and palettes in hand! What a wonderful day! It was overcast and unseasonable cool, allowing us to paint much longer than we could have otherwise. The sun came out a little after noon and, by then, I had lost my momentum. I did come home with several hundred photos so there will be many more paintings where this one came from!
6x8, original (study), oil on board
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Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Cippoline Onions

I found these cute little flat onions at Central Market. They are almost too cute to eat!
5x7, original, oil on board SOLD
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Monday, June 7, 2010

These Three

While doing yard work the other morning, I noticed that our apple tree was full of darling little apples. These three caught my eye and seemingly begged to be painted. So, here they are.... worm holes omitted!
5x7, original, oil on board SOLD
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The Green Apple

I really enjoyed painting this one. I've had the copper coffee pot for quite some time and finally found a combination that I felt would work. I suppose an artist always sees more that could be done but we must learn when to stop. That is the case here. It is already tighter than I would like and working on it any further would make it even more so. Having said that, here is The Green Apple.
11x14, original oil, linen on board
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Sunday, May 23, 2010

WIP: Ballerina

I am not quite sure this is finished which can only mean it isn't. I'm going to look at it for a few more days and decide what, if anything, I will change. I may just call it done and move on, though I don't think so. It's so close to what I am after that I would hate to move on just yet. This is Emily, the big sister of The Littlest Ballerina. You can probably tell that from the similar pose, outfits and background.
6x8, original, oil on board


Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The Little Ballerina

Inspired by the latest DVD series by Peggi Kroll Roberts and precious little Hannah Warnken, here is The Little Ballerina.
6x8, original oil on board

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Words of Wisdom and Encouragement

"It is well to remember that, as one artist said: "No one is on the road to success until he feels at times that he is entirely beaten." The emotional make-up of the artist naturally causes depressed spirits as well as exhilaration. Both go with the profession. Therefore, the student should realize this fact and consider discouragement as the normal thing and withstand it philosophically. He should know that the pendulum will swing to the other extreme when new confidence, better feeling and finer composition will result."-From Composition of Outdoor Painting by Edgar Payne
I can personally attest to the truth of the above quote. Take heart and remember the words in red when your pendulum seems be swing in the "wrong" direction. You will come out of it a much better artist each and every time you go through this experience. Gaye

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Tuesday, Friends and Art

Here are the lovely ladies I painted with yesterday, less one. From l-r, the lovely Liz Maness, www.lizmaness.com, who was the hostess with the mostest, Kathy Perales, www.kathyperales.com, current president of the New Braunfels Art League, www.newbraunfelsartleague.com, and Jean Crow, www.jeancrow.blogspot.com, current Artist of the Year with NBAL. Pat Haberman, http://pathaberman.com, managed to get away before I could gather everyone for a photo.
Liz had a wonderful meal already prepared with the most delicious pimento cheese and the best pumpernickel bread ever, along with some delicious Swiss chard from her very own garden. It was a great day!!!
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