Saturday, October 30, 2010

NWS 90th Anniversary Luncheon and Exhibition

This has been such a wonderful day!!  My husband and I attended the NWS Awards Luncheon and Opening Exhibition.  I didn't even enter, let alone get accepted, but I was taking the advice of Judi Betts.  At our workshop, Mrs. Betts said that she attended the national shows for years before getting accepted.  It's a means of viewing excellent art and seeing the juror's eye. It's a great opportunity to get advice from seasoned professionals.  Rick Warren (Purpose Driven Life) has introduced a new series called "Decade of Destiny" where he encourages outlining a goal process for the next 10 years of our lives.  Without a hopeful plan of action, it's easy for goals to go by the wayside as the years disappear.  So I've made some long-term aspirations for myself, both  personally and with art.  Attending the exhibition was a little bit of vision-casting and an amazing event.

When we first walked in to the luncheon, I could not believe my eyes!  My Wetcanvas/Facebook friend, Marvin Chew, had flown in from Singapore as one of the artists juried into the 90th NWS Exhibition.  I have such an admiration for this accountant-by-day watercolorist who is brilliant at perspective and more!  He does some of his work plein air on a little low stool that makes my back hurt just describing it.  It was such a joy to get to meet him in person. Check out Marvin's watercolors at :
He has a new book out, as well, that is shown on the website.
We sat with Marvin at lunch, and he introduced me to another artist at the table, Keiko Tanabe.  My mouth dropped, because I realized that I had just read the most lovely article in the December 2010 Watercolor Artist about Keiko. It highlighted a beautiful blog post  she'd written about the importance of Cherry Blossoms emerging in Japan. ( Keiko has been juried into the 12th Biennial Salon de l'Aquarelle de Belgique, was a finalist in the Southwest Art's 21 over 31 Emerging Artist's competition, and was awarded the Merwin Altfeld Memorial Award and Signature Status at today's NWS Exhibition.  She is so NICE!  Her son served as Mr. Van Winkle's helper in distributing Richeson door prizes to lucky winners. Keiko has studied with Alvaro Castagnet, who is an obvious influence in her work.  One of his magnificent watercolors was also part of the paintings juried into the show.

Other outstanding artists at our table were both from California, too.  Nancy Near's "Sunlit Andrew"(right and below) took my breath away when I saw it at the gallery.  Khris and I were both surprised it didn't nab one of the awards.
Sally Tippman's "Body Language" was a super figurative work!  I misapplied the term gestural to it -thinking that term meant full of movement in the figures, but I intended it as a compliment.  Her figures came to life on the paper. View her work at

At one point, I nearly accosted Jack Richeson for a photo. He was also a super nice guy.  Among the other honored guests, including several past NWS presidents, I was rather star-struck with John Salminen and Mike Bailey. 

At the exhibition, we got to see  paintings from Castagnet, Paul Jackson, Frank Francese, Judy Morris, Todd Levetzow,  Fealing Lin, Kathleen Maling, Kim Seng Ong, Sandi D'Alessandro, Donna Zagotta...the list goes on and on.  One of my favorites in the show was the amazing work of Myrna Wacknov.  Talk about a creative individual - WOW!

If you have the opportunity don't miss out on the exhibition in San Pedro, CA!

Palm Springs Rocks

Clever title - ehhh?  I don't know if this one is actually finished, but I am the point where every little change made is regretted - so it's time to stop.  I am not fond of those background droopy things. I came close to tearing the paper when trying to remove some of them, so they'll have to hang around. (Pardon the pun!)  This was done in a class on how to paint rocks - which I truly enjoyed.  Now, to sign up for a rippling water class and a wall of palm fronds class...sigh.  Even though it was a "learning painting", I think my Mom will enjoy it for Christmas. (Mums the word!) This was started in class from a reference photo provided for us by Geri Medway.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

If you get a chance to take classes from Geri Medway, TAKE CLASSES FROM GERI MEDWAY!

For the last five weeks, I've had the pleasure of weekly watercolor classes from Geri Medway, and they have been wonderfully challenging.  The class has loaded me with techniques to practice on for a long time! As I've mentioned in an earlier blog post, Geri is an NWS signature member and long-time Festival of the Arts exhibitor. Her paintings are some of my favorites ever - filled with saturated color and artistic realism.  Her range of subject matter is amazing. Most impressive to me are her incredibly complex scenes of congregated koi or tumbled grasses along pebble-filled creekbeds.  Her approach consists of glowing underpaintings, built-up glazes, painting shapes, and value contrast, but beyond her years of experience perfecting those strategies, she shared with us a treasure chest of color knowledge that will hopefully, as implemented, keep many of my paintings out of the trash heap.

My favorite class was - ROCKS.  How can someone make a painting of boulders so fascinating and luminous as Geri?  This class followed a study on sedimentary colors where she gave us her favorite granulating combinations.   As I watched her apply one particular mixture onto the paper, my mind wondered, "That looks like Sepia. Why not just use Sepia and save the trouble?"  As it dried, the question was answered as well as the glaringly obvious reasons she's NWS and I'm not - she knows what she's doing!! Her "mud" mixture separated into a glowingly warm mixture of siennas and blues with touches of green and brown. In fact, we spent a whole afternoon mixing "mud" with her combinations that seperated into lovely arrays of colors that could never have been manually painted. I must also admit that my mother has encouraged me to do these color studies for years.  Geri took the photo above of my start to the rock painting.
It might take awhile to get this finished since I'm in GA right now visiting my new grandbaby, Sophie!!