Friday, September 1, 2017

Artist Spotlight: Darrel Anderson

Darrell Anderson knows a thing or two about painting and drawing. In fact, when it comes to sketching you could say he wrote the book on it! That book, Value Sketching With Markers, helps artists at every level capture the world around them in a simplified and bold manner. As painters, being able to cut through all the clutter in life and organize what we see into meaningful compositions is crucial, and this book teaches strategies to do just that.

In his book, Darrell says, "Drawing is like fishing. The more you do it the more you intuitively know where the good ones are hiding." 

The knowledge Darrell shares in that book was won over years of study. His primary teacher was the well known Ron Lukas, who studied with Sergei Bongart. The Russian influence shines through in his bold brushwork and beautiful, sensitive, color combinations.

It doesn't take long while browsing Darrell's website to figure out that he has the heart of a teacher. His blog features instructions on making your own pochade, getting started in gouache, myriad posts on the painting process and the life of an artist, even a post on how paint dries! It's a treasure trove that is worth exploring!

He's been kind enough to share a few stories and lessons he's learned just for PAWA Blog readers:

"Sometime in or around 1989 a group of us ‘art plebes’ were sitting in a tavern with our teacher and continuing hero (still), Ron Lukas. I was sitting a couple seats from him and was feeling perceptibly frustrated because we all had just finished taking one of his workshops and I didn’t think I had done so well. may have been me....asked the question about how could it be possible to learn to paint if we didn’t have much (or any) innate talent.

Ron’s answer has formed the foundation of my hanging in there despite many many many flops and, also, the basis of all the teaching I’ve done. He said....and this is very easy to remember.... 'Talent and desire are the same thing.'

I left the bar feeling much better and, when the gremlins began appearing again, it was that short sentence that pulled me out. Since I have said ‘I quit’ at least 2,247 times since then, remembering Ron looking at me with a beer in his hand responding to the question without hesitation has been my lifeline. That and desire."

And another: 

"Sometime in the late 80’s a former student of David Leffel moved into our neighborhood. I would bug him for any little bits of what he knew. One day we were in his studio talking about the effects of light and, because he and David were friends, he picked up the phone and called New York to have him let us know what he thought about light and how to think about it.

David summarized light in a way that has kept me engaged with the thought and image for several decades. He was much more eloquent but I’ll give you what I have. He said that light was like a mountain stream. It comes down from the heights in many ways. Sometimes it is forceful and blasts off rocks, vases, flowers and barns with spray and foam flying in every direction, getting everything wet and involved in its tumbling descent. Lots of hard edges, color and movement. Other times it will flatten out into a calm peaceful pool, eddying around things with barely a swirl, edges disappearing, energy dissipated.

On sunny days, like when snow melts at higher elevations and fuels the stream, there is so much intensity, color and force it is hard to sit still with the desire to capture just a little of its energy on canvas. The whole drama can happen on a person’s face a still life or a wide panorama.

On overcast days there is less movement, contrast and the breadth of color becomes more subtle, values less extreme. The conversation is more peaceful, sensitive, thoughtful and the careful color comparisons become fuel for a different interpretation.

It doesn’t matter what you paint, landscape, portrait, or still life, the light still does this. I find it fascinating and, while my talent is still trying hard to catch up with my desire, here I am still painting, swearing, scraping, smiling and trying hard not to feel too guilty because I get to do it."

Now if reading that doesn't make you want to go grab your brushes, I don't know what will. Thank you, Darrel, for sharing with us!

Monday, April 17, 2017

Artist Spotlight: Ned Mueller

If you've attended any PAWA exhibitions you've no doubt marveled at the award winning work of Ned Mueller. He's no stranger to titles like "Best of Show" and "First Place," and that's not just here in the Northwest.

Ned received the Masters Award of Excellence in the 2016 American Impressionist Society Exhibition, and has been chosen as an Oil Painters of America Distinguished Master Guest at the National Exhibition.

Ned is a very accomplished and highly respected artist, having been drawing and painting for over 65 years. He is a graduate of the prestigious Art Center School of Design in Los Angeles where as still a student he also taught drawing classes.

He has participated in many of the major invitational shows in the country, including the "Artist's of America Show","Great American Artist's Show", "Prix de West Show", "Oil Painters of America", "Laguna Plein Air Show", "Pastel Society of America", "The Autry Western Masters Show", "The Northwest Rendezvous Show" and the annual "Plein Air Painters of America Exhibition.

He shows in some of the Finest Galleries in the country, has won numerous awards and is included in many private fine art collections. He is a Signature member of the Oil Painters of America, Plein Air Painters of America. California Art Club, Northwest Pastel Society, Puget Sound Group of Northwest Artists, Northwest Rendezvous Group, and the American Society of Marine Artists. 

Ned is the only Artist in the Northwest that has been designated as "Master Artist" status with both the Oil Painters of America and the American Impressionist Society. He continues to challenge himself to grow artistically. 

Ned is asked to jury Regional and National Art Shows and he loves to teach and share his many years of knowledge and experience by teaching classes and workshops, regionally, nationally and internationally.

If you're interested in studying with Ned, he's teaching workshops everywhere from Seattle to Sedona to North Carolina! There are simply too many opportunities to list, but you can find them all on his website here.

If you'd like to learn from Ned from home he offers lessons through the Tucson Art Academy. One covers painting expressive portraits in oil and the other painting harbor scenes, a subject that Ned has certainly mastered.

Monday, April 10, 2017

RoozenGaarde Recap, Upcoming Paintouts & A Deadline

Photo by Karen Bakke
Click here to see the Skagit Valley Herald article about this paint out!

Despite overcast skies a group of PAWA and Salish Sea Painters met up to paint the RoozenGaarde tulip fields on April 8. If the pictures shared on Facebook are any indication, spirits were high even in the grey light.

Photo by Sharon Curran

Photo by Sharon Curran
Photo by Sharon Curran
If you would like to paint with us this spring check out the upcoming paintout at the Seattle Arboretum. It's a 230 acre home to plants found nowhere else in the area and is not to be missed! Click here to learn more about the event.

**Don't Forget**

The deadline for PAWA's Miniature Show at the Scott Milo in Anacortes is Thursday the 20th, NEXT WEEK! Don't forget to get your application in with your best works 11x14 and smaller! Apply Here

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Where will you paint?

Where are you painting this month? Plein Air Washington has a fantastic opportunity to paint with friends new and old at the Winter Paint in and Supply Swap!

Sign up to attend through Eventbrite!

If you've been feeling cooped up and could use some good company while you get warmed up for a year full of paint outs, you should definitely attend. There will be a potluck (so bring a dish to share!) lots of still life setups and TWO professional (clothed) models!

Plus! We all have unused art supplies lying around. Maybe it's a tripod that didn't fit your setup, or a color you just don't use in your palette anymore. Bring them along for the Supply Swap and trade it for something you've been dying to try! You can buy, trade, or give away any art related materials you have.

We hope you'll join us, either way we'd love to hear your comments about where you plan on painting in February!

Monday, January 30, 2017

A National Park Salute Closing Reception

Janice Wall - Big River Afternoon - 18x24 - People's Choice
The 7th of January brought to a close PAWA's annual exhibition of member work. With winter storms threatening to make roads hazardous attendance wasn't as high as for the opening, but it made for a more cozy and personal event. We all gathered around to hear our fearless leader Karen Bakke announce the winner of the People's Choice Award. And the winner is...

Janice Wall! For "Big River Afternoon," a moody and mystical piece.

If you weren't able to make it, here are a few photos and videos from the evening.

I hope everyone is excited for the next plein air season to start, bring on the valleys and vineyards!

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

A National Park Salute

Paradise Valley, Yellowstone National Park
Iryna Milton
If you need any convincing that our National Parks were indeed America's Best Idea, you may want to start planning a trip to Tacoma now. The Plein Air Washington Annual Show, themed A National Park Salute to celebrate the NPS Centennial, showcases the diverse beauty of our public lands along with the incredible talent in our little corner of the country.

Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park- PLEIN AIR
Joanne Shellan
While the award ceremony has come and gone, the show is still on display at the American Art Company in Tacoma. If you have a favorite painting you want recognized be sure to visit during the Closing Celebration on January 7th, 2017, from 3pm-5pm! You will be able to cast a vote for the People's Choice Award and congratulate the winner! It will be a fantastic opportunity to meet with your fellow art lovers.
Grand View, Grand Teton NP
Paula Ensign
 Jane Wallis has edited a beautiful compilation of the work included in the show, along with all the entries our members submitted. Each artist has written about their experience painting in National Parks, making the book an inspirational collection.

Light Play on Saddle Rock - Scotts Bluff National Monument
Laura Gable
Judge Jim McVicker had quite the job judging this show, there was no shortage of deserving work!

Best of Show: Ned Mueller
"St. Mary River, Glacier National Park"

1st Place: Melanie Thompson
"Clarno Dawn"

2nd Place: Jim Lamb
"Morning Shadows Over the White River"

3rd Place: Jan Jewell
"White Mountain From Tioga Pass"

Best Plein Air: Ned Mueller
"Study from Glacier National Park"

Honorable Mention: Jan Jewell
"White Mountain at Yosemite from Tioga Pass"

Honorable Mention: Yong Hong Zhong
"Broken Arch Study"

Gamblin Sponsor Award for Best Use of Color: Robin Weiss
"Forest Light, Olympic National Park"
Rosemary & Co Sponsor Award for Best Use of Light: Lou Hurlbut
"Grand Staircase, Escalante National Monument"
If you're interested in seeing the show, stop by the American Art Company at 1126 Broadway Plaza, Tacoma. They're open from 10:00am-5:30pm Tuesday – Friday, and 10:00am-5:00pm on Saturdays.

If you can't make it to the show, or want a little preview before stopping in you can see it on the American Art Company website.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

2016 National Parks Salute Juror: Jim McVicker

As plein air painters many of us feel a special connection to nature. That's why this year we're joining the National Park Service in celebrating their centennial anniversary with our exhibition, A National Park Salute. Many of our groups favorite painting spots fall within NPS boundaries, and over the year I've seen some amazing paintings come from our members who were inspired by these special areas.

When it comes to judging a show composed of beautiful paintings from some of America's most beautiful areas, a discerning eye is key. That's why we are excited to have Jim McVicker as our juror of awards. He judges many shows every year, when he's not participating in (and often winning) them! You may recognize his work from the self portrait that was featured on Plein Air Magazine's cover in 2015.

McVicker has also been awarded a Gold Medal for Best Painting in the California Art Club's 104th Gold Medal Exhibition, and won Best of Show in the 2014 Laguna Beach Plein Air Invitational.

In 2008 a documentary was made about him and his work, it is certainly worth a watch!

Here's what McVicker says about himself, his story, and his process:

"I made my first on location, plein air, painting in 1973. My influences then were the French Impressionist, mostly Monet, Pissarro and Sisley. At the time I was working full time and attending art classes at Chaffey Community College in Southern California. I was born and raised in Ontario California, about 35 miles east of Los Angeles. By the summer of 1975 I decided to become a full time painter. I quit my job, left school and moved to Santa Cruz in Northern Ca. I always loved the northern part of the state and wanted to get away from everything I knew up to that point and start a fresh life as a painter. I think I had about $5,000 dollars in my bank account. In my mind, enough money to make a start at really exploring and trying to learn how to paint. My work at the time was very rough but I had no doubt that I would grow and survive."

"After a couple of years I move further north to Humboldt County and have remained here, with a couple of adventures elsewhere, since 1977. Humboldt is where my education as a painter really started. There were several painters in the area whom I met through a life drawing group. Three of them, Curtis Otto, James Moore and George Van Hook became close friends as well as the three painters I learned so much from for the next few years. We painted daily together and George and I shared a studio for a couple of years. Working so closely with artists beyond ones own level was such a great way to learn to see."

"In 1984 I met my wife, Terry. She was working as a graphic at the time we met but by the time we were married in 1988 she began painting as a fine artist full time. Terry has been another major infulence in my development as an artist. To have a partner and companion on a daily bases that sees in ways I don't, and paints her view of life, opened my work and continues to do so. We also both believe in painting from life, outdoors and in the studio. We both paint a lot of still life and figure painting when not working outdoors."

"I paint small and large on location. I've painted as large as 54x84 outdoors, but normally work 9x12 to 30x40. I may work one to fifteen or twenty sittings outdoors. I have no set rules but work until I feel I've completed the painting. Sometimes years later I will re-work a painting in the studio when I feel it is not quite working. It is funny how time can often change how we perceive our work. I always look at as much art as I can, historical and contemporary. I learn from all of it. I will always keep painting and trying to grow as a painter. I think that will never end."