Thursday, March 29, 2018

And we're off!


Jane at work - Photo by Rose Berg
Ditte brought a pop of color to the landscape
 Photo by Rose Berg
Yes, that's right, it's spring and we're kicking off plein air season! Thanks to Rose Berg for all the photos. Kathryn Townsend led out first paintout of the year at the Nisqually National Wildlife Area, and she shared some photos and a few words about the day. Here she is:

"Thank you to all who came out to the Billy Frank Jr. Nisqually National Wildlife Area for the first paint-out of 2018! At least 15 people came. It was cold, but partly sunny with no rain or snow. The cumulonimbus were brilliant white on the horizon over Puget Sound while the fast moving stratus clouds overhead created windows of turquoise sky.

The Nisqually, as always, is the convergence of land and sky and water, of marsh, trees, tides, ducks, Bald Eagles, Great Blue Heron, geese and many people with binoculars and and small children. I was surprised that the parking lot was full at 9 am, so popular is the Nisqually Reach, which is designated a shoreline of statewide significance. When we consider that the Nisqually River, coming from the top of the Nisqually Glacier on Mt. Rainier at 14,350 feet, runs only 80 miles to empty into Puget Sound at sea level, we understand something of the mystery of the Pacific Northwest.

Kathryn and Mary enjoying artist company
 Photo by Rose Berg

Obadinah capturing the atmosphere
 Photo by Rose Berg
The best part of a Plein Air Washington paint-out is the camaraderie of like-minded people--those of us obsessed with actually seeing what is in front of our eyes and attempting to create a pattern of these lights and darks and colors on a piece of canvas or a bit of board, as curious as that may be to passers-by.

Terry painting the wetland
Photo by Rose Berg
Gwyn enjoying the scenery
Photo by Rose Berg

Who else is compelled to look at a winter tree or a stream reflecting sky or an old barn for two hours, seeing every nuance of color and shadow and distance. The children, especially, are fascinated with our paintings and when I ask, "do you like to paint," each one nods her head with big eyes. It makes me smile for the future.”
























Wednesday, December 13, 2017

"Valleys to Vineyards"

Anna Lancaster enjoys the show
Once again Plein Air Washington Artists and the American Art Company teamed up to put on an amazing show! The American Art Company is a beautiful venue and the paintings seemed to glow on the walls. While there was no shortage of paintings of row after row of vineyards, the creativity in the compositions our members came up with were astounding.

Siren Song Winery by Valentina Voronkova
Chelan Fire Haze by Kathryn Townsend




Valentina Voronkova painted a charming winery interior with vineyard rows in the background, a scene not unfamiliar to Pacific Northwest wine lovers. Kathryn Townsend used a vineyard as a lead to pull the viewer into the Chelan Valley, but the real star is the hazy atmosphere from this summer's fire season.

The Abundant Valley by Christine Troyer 
Glacier National Park by Yong Hong Zong


The Valley scenes in the show also featured a range of compositions and ideas. Yong Hong Zong's studio piece, Glacier National Park, captured an expansive valley vista with bold and seemingly effortless brushwork. Christine Troyer gives us a more intimate valley scene, with a flowing stream and a hint of mountains off in the distance; the pastel strokes exude grace and  serenity.

These are only a few of the great works in the show, this is not one to miss! Here's a look at the winners:

Jane Wallis introduces the judge!
The reception was well attended by PAWA artists, and judge Tim Deibler gave a thoughtful talk on each piece to which he gave an award.

Tim Deibler explains his thought process

PAWA painters listen carefully
 
Best in Show: Jan Wall, "Valley Homestead"


First Place: Jane Wallis, "View From Chelan"

Second Place: Jim Lamb, "Westfork October - Bitterroot Valley"

Honorable Mention: Robin Weiss, "Hedges Vineyard"

Honorable Mention: Donna Trent, "Sonoma Vineyards, Sonoma, CA"

Best Plein Air: Jan Jewell, "Tonquin Valley"
Best Use of Light & Color: Patricia Clayton, "Sunrise on the Sandbank, Wenatchee River Valley"

Congratulations to all the winners! If you're looking for an inspirational book, you may consider purchasing the exhibition book here! Not only does it have all the paintings in the show, but it also includes each entry, accepted or not, and a bio about the artists who entered, along with pictures from our 2017 paintouts. Get yours today!

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. Someone....it 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!