Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Who Likes Paintings of Western Scenes?

We just returned from a trip to Albuquerque for the IAPS convention (International Association of Pastel Societies)... driving out from the Atlanta area. And, I took many photos and painted on location in a few places ... so the question is what to do with those paintings and the ones to come in the studio? I am looking for the best way to find potential clients ... especially here in our Eastern states!

The sightseeing part of the trip

This is quite a long post ... I thought many of the photos quite interesting. Our first stop for the night was Little Rock AR ...
Somewhere in Arkansas
Again, Arkansas
driving to Elk City OK ...
On the road .. cloudy!
Flat land and cows!
After the tornado!
thru Texas ...
prairie and small arroyo!
Dropping down toward plains and more prairie
to Santa Rosa NM ...
The Pecos River
The Mission in Puerto de Luna and
Billy the Kid played around here!
On now to Santa Fe NM...
Haywood going up Canyon Road
in Santa Fe for a few galleries!
Meyer Gallery at Canyon Road, and
Kent Lovelace is a favorite of mine!
 and then to Albuquerque ... 
Old Town Albuquerque...
Fantastic place to visit!

We left Albuquerque after the convention, on our way to the Denver CO area, Littleton to be exact ... for me to teach a workshop at the Terry Ludwig Pastels shop.... and drove the High Road to visit Taos NM for a couple of days ...
We kept getting closer to one of the fires
above Santa Fe ... but skirted it!
One valley high up in the high desert!

Just before we started the last part
of the drive down to Taos.
We stayed at a fantastic Bed & Breakfast in Taos and visited the Rio Grande Gorge just out of town...
After a long walk from the bridge,
what a view back toward it!
And another view from the bridge
.... and then the ride through northern NM and southern CO to Littleton. When we left Littleton after the workshop which was very successful (and another blog post), we drove I-70 East through Colorado and Kansas to Kansas City area for the night. Then one more day and night into Arkansas to Jonesboro AR. The next day it was to our home... going from Jonesboro AR, through Memphis TN, Mississippi, Alabama into the Atlanta GA area. Whew ... three days and two nights from Denver CO to Smyrna GA!

Monday, May 6, 2013

Pastels or Oils?

Which type of painting do you prefer? Pastels or Oil?

I paint in both of these mediums ... and sometimes in acrylic. I have experimented with watercolor, but it has a different process than the other three... it is from light to dark, where the other three are dark to light ... for the most part!

Oak in Oil
24" x 18"
The painting shown here on the right is the second painting of this tree ... I did a pastel first from a digitized version of the photo and a black and white thumbnail to determine the light and dark abstract pattern. This version was done from the same resource material without the pastel painting being in the room. I did not want to just copy the first pastel version into an oil version.

Here is the soft pastel version:
"Water Oak"
Pastel 16" x 12"

What is Pastel?

Remember when I talk about "pastel" I am not talking about the colors... I am talking about a "soft pastel" stick of pigment. It is sometimes called "chalk" but it does not have chalk in it. These pastel paintings must be framed behind glass.

There are some galleries that will not carry pastels or watercolors ... because they are behind glass. I do think the attitude is changing in some places, though.

I normally frame my pastel paintings with Museum Glass which has a 98 or 99% UV rating to protect the pastel from fading. Even so, most pastel work will not fade unless you really have left it with very bright sunshine on it for a long time. The main reason I use the Museum Glass is for the non-reflective quality of it. When you walk in a room, you don't even realize there is glass on the painting. It does help! And, I very rarely use mats anymore... all they do is catch pastel dust on them and after a time look rather dingy near the bottom of the framing.

One thing for you to know ... I price my pastel paintings and my oil paintings the same for the same sizes... I believe it does not matter which I paint in... I love them both!

Question for you ...

Do you have a preference? If so, what and why? I would love to hear from artists and from collectors.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Who is Marsha Hamby Savage?

Who do you think I am?

I have been thinking about what is it that I like to paint? Is there a particular subject matter, or colors, or techniques that show up all the time in my paintings? Is it about emotion, or a story, or is it about my decision to keep on learning something new? Where do I see myself going and why? What is it I want to do?
The start of an Idea!
A good friend asked me that last question on the way to the airport after I had spent a week with her. Can you imagine this question early in the morning? This is the tough question ... what is it I want to do?

My Answer:

I want to continue to paint! I want to travel and teach .... which means I need to make enough money to continue to do that. Travel fills up my well of experience and is where I go to capture an idea for painting ... even if it is just a few miles from my home. Painting plein air (in the open air / outdoors from life) is my classroom and where I learn the most. Teaching is one of the things that helps me keep learning more about what I do ... besides the added benefit of seeing students learn and that "light bulb" go off when they finally understand a concept they have been trying to internalize for months or years!

What do I want to paint? Anything that has to do with how light affects the landscape. That said, I also enjoy occasionally painting flowers, still life, and people.
The Underpainting
Here is my favorite subject matter ... trees! I don't think anyone will be surprised by that comment. I do mostly enjoy painting the landscape with no hint of "man" or "manmade" objects. Another favorite is the landscape with a stream and rocks, or a pathway or road (I know, manmade!), where there is a bend or curve, and some suspense as to what is around the bend... where you wonder about what can't you see. I want the viewer to participate in the painting ... to put themselves in the scene, or know they have been there, or want to go there!

This painting is a 16" x 12" pastel on Ampersand Pastelbord... which is my favorite surface to do a pastel painting on.

In progress with pastel added
I have finished the painting, and have now started a 36" x 24" oil painting of the same scene to see how it translates to the oil medium and what I do differently using the oils and a brush versus a stick of pastel in my hand.

Finished ... "Water Oak"

This particular thought process has made me think more about what I want to teach also! Most students tell me they want to learn ... of course ... but the main thing that drew them to my class is my use of color. I love exploring different colors to help with the use of "local color". So ... I will be including in my classes and workshops how you will choose color to fit your own emotional responses and personal choices and likes. 

My personal colors ... green (of course) and turquoise with the addition of purples, reds and oranges... any variation of these colors also! Can you see they are relatively opposites on the color wheel? Makes for some very interesting combinations! 

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Color and Trees Can Be Fun If You Let Them

I am relatively known for my use of color and for my paintings of trees. ... quite often people will contact me and tell me they enjoy seeing my website, my Facebook posting, or my blog because they enjoy the trees and also how much they enjoy my use of color.

So, when I felt in a little slump a few months ago, my answer for that was to just paint paintings of trees, or with many trees in them... and experiement somewhat with my colors.

Oh, What to Do?

I was really frustrated, and decided I needed to do something to make it more fun. I pulled out some plein air pieces and a couple of studio paintings that I had put aside until I could figure out whether to completely brush them off and start over, or brush parts off and try to salvage something from the original idea.

Here are a couple of things I have done. Now remember, I am showing you some, in my opinion, failed tree paintings and then what I am doing to it or with it. And, I might not be finished with some in the second incarnation! And so far, I am working on pastels in this correction mode! I do have one large oil painting I might do another post about.

Here is the first one ... think about what you like or don't like, and how would you correct this one. Really study ... it takes some time to analyze.

Callaway Gardens
Plein Air 16"x20" Pastel
Here is the start of what
is a renewal hopefully.

So, even though I have changed quite a bit about this plein air painting ... making it a studio painting ... there is more work to do. I have made a few subtle changes from the second image above. The next image shows it as it stands today waiting for a final assessment. Any changes are a little difficult to see here, but ... maybe you can.

So, color to me is a little more emotional than what I see in reality. I want to create a mood, a story, a viewer participation in my work. On my Facebook page I posted a bit about not using gray or brown ... I purposely look at any color that can be classified either brown or gray and think to myself, which color does it lean toward ... like gray ... can be blue-gray, pink-gray, green-gray, etc. The same can be said of brown ... which to me is a warm dark orange muted color. That doesn't mean it is always! It might have green ... as in muted olive green mixed with the red/orange to create the "muddy" brown color!

Do you see these nuances of brown or gray in my painting? Do you see what many might consider unreal colors? Does the color I have chosen lend itself to a more emotional intepretation of the scene?

I would love to hear from you ... Enjoy the process I am using to learn more about color and hopefully make this into a frameable painting!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Wouldn't You Like To Learn Something Better?

White Pine Light
Pastel 14" x 11"
I will be making a change in my Open Studio Sessions here at my home studio. I think we need a better plan for what we will work on each day that is planned.

I have been in a little slump with my own work and trying to figure out how to raise the level of what I love to paint ... trees and the landscape around them. So, my first week of Open Session Days will be about trees... both Tuesday and Wednesday. This way, if you are only a "Tuesday" person, or a "Wednesday" person, you still have the opportunity to work on trees!
Cool Sumac
Oil 11" x 14"

I will be looking at plein air paintings I have done, photographs I have taken, sketches I have done on location, or thumbnails for previous paintings. These should give me some ideas for planning a new painting .... and I will be more thoughtful, slower to put brush or pastel stick to the board. I will paint with a purpose, know what I want to do, and proceed from there. If you plan to attend, you need to bring photos you have taken of trees, plein air pieces, or I will also have photos. And, if you have a piece you are working on that is about trees, you can bring that.
Parks Vista
Oil Plein Air 12" x 9"

The first week the dates will be

Tues. & Wed., Jan. 8 & 9 

.... you should be ready to jump in and paint by then!

I will be structuring my Open Studio Sessions on Tuesday and Wednesday for January and February. I hope one of these days each week can work for you! Remember the time is from 10:00 until 4:00 or any portion of that time. Cost is $25 per day. Here are the remaining dates:

McCarthy Dogwoods Turning
Oil Plein Air 11" x 14"

Tuesday and Wednesday, Jan. 15 & 16
Tuesday and Wednesday, Jan. 22 & 23
Tuesday and Wednesday, Jan. 29 & 30
Tuesday and Wednesday, Feb. 5 & 6
Tuesday and Wednesday, Feb. 12 & 13

Cypress Evening
Pastel 12" x 9"
Come join me and explore trees and all the beautiful negative spaces created by this magnificent part of our landscape! 
Roadside Beauty
Oil 24" x 18"

Send me an e-mail if you need more information:
 marshasavageart@yahoo.com .

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Events For Fall 2012

Why don't you join me for some of these events

... much fun will be had, and I would love to visit with some of you I have not seen in some time.

I have been busy painting and creating ... and planning! Here is a list of what is coming up:
  • (1) Sept. 14-16, 2012 (Fri.-Sun.) -- Fall Plein Air Festival, Blue Ridge GA in conjunction with the International Plein Air Painters' World Wide Paint Out. Here is thea link to the Blue Ridge Mountains Arts Association page for the festival: http://www.blueridgearts.net/Pages/PleinAireFestivals.aspx;
Rocks & Roses
Pastel Plein Air
The Plein Air Festival is always a great time. We schedule this event to participate in the World Wide Paint Out ... where there are artists all over the world that have registered to paint this particular weekend. The organization is the International Plein Air Painters (IPAP) and a link to their web site is: http://ipap.homestead.com/. This is a great organization, so be sure to have a look at different pages on their site.

I have four artists coming from Florida and one of my friends from Darien, GA! I know there will be many of our local artists participating and painting around the town of Blue Ridge and the surrounding Toccoa River area. On Sunday afternoon, there will be a showing of work done in The Art Center ... and some ribbons/awards will be given to artists that wish to participate in the "competition" part of the event.

Not every artist needs to feel pressure to participate in the competition ... it is more about being outdoors and painting from life. And ... getting to know other artists! So, if you have ever wanted to try plein air painting, this is the time. Several of us have said we will gladly take inexperienced artists under our "wing" and give them the benefit of what we have learned. Won't you come join in the fun ... you just never know what you might accomplish.
  • (2) Sept. 22, 2012 (Sat.) --  One Day Plein Air Workshop, Rome GA, sponsored by the Rome Art Coterie. Here is the information they have put out about the workshop ... and it is coming close to being full;
Oil Plein Air
"The Rome Art Coterie presents A Fall Plein-Air Workshop with Artist Marsha Savage on Saturday, September 22 at Oak Hill in Rome, GA. The cost of the full-day workshop is $60 ($50 for Coterie members). Class size is limited to twelve. Currently there are four spaces available. The workshop begins at 10:00 AM; bring your lunch.


Marsha is a winner of multiple awards and is represented in several galleries. Each year she conducts workshops between her travels in the U.S. and Europe to paint her favorite subject, the landscape, in oils, acrylics and pastels. Participants in the workshops can work in any of these media.

During the workshop, Marsha will do a demo and will come to each participant’s easel for one-to-one interaction. Contact Randy Eidson for registration at 706-295-2296 or re87@att.net ."
  • (3) Sept. 29, 2012 - Jan. 4, 2013 -- Resident Artist, Blue Ridge Mountains Arts Association, Blue Ridge GA (BRMAA);
I will be the featured "Resident Artist" at the Arts Association in Blue Ridge. I will hang somewhere around 25 pieces of artwork in one of their front room galleries for the span of three months (the fourth quarter of 2012).

If Barns Could Talk
There are several other shows that will be going on during this time: (1) Sept. 8 - Oct. 14 -- 2012 National Juried Nature and Fine Art Photography Exhibit (Sept. 8 Reception); (2) Sept. 8 - Oct. 14 -- Pear Street Painters: "Evolation," seven artists from Rome GA; (3) Oct. 13 & 14 -- the Fall Arts In The Park Festival (always fun and great diversity of artists); ... and (4) Oct. 20 - Nov. 9 -- SAAG National Juried Show (Oct. 20 Reception), fantastic art from all over the country. I have three paintings that were accepted into this show!

I am sure I have left out several other nice shows, so be sure to check out their web site and calendar for all the events taking place. Link: http://www.blueridgearts.net/Pages/default.aspx

Sumac in Pink
Pastel - Workshop Demo
Our 2nd Annual Open Studio Tour will be held Saturday, Nov. 3, 2012, from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. This is two hours added to what we did last year ... one hour earlier and one hour later. No tickets are required, but 5% of sales will be donated to charity. As a group we discussed several deserving charities, and decided we would donate to our local animal shelters. Each artist will research the shelters in their area and choose. We will post the shelter name at each location ... and if possible we will post the list on the blog.

We have 26 artists participating at about 12 locations ... and more may be added before the date. There is a page on the blog for the "Artists of Northwest Atlanta" that has a small description for each artist and a link to their web sites or blogs. The blog is still being updated with the listing of the addresses. So check it just before the event for all the latest information and locations.

Now... I will create another post about some of the "other" stuff I am doing (even creating another blog for some art that is not painting!) ... this has become quite a long post. But, I had not posted in a couple of months and the fall is a busy time of the year ... so wanted to let you know some events coming up I hope you will come see!

Stay in touch with me ... and I want to hear what is going on with you.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Fun at the Blue Ridge Mountains Arts Association Spring Plein Air Festival

Downtown Blue Ridge

Recently I participated in the Spring Plein Air Festival in Blue Ridge GA which is part of the Blue Ridge Mountains Arts Association (BRMAA). We had sixteen artists participate in the event and we painted on April 12, 13 & 15, Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

It has taken me a few weeks to get this post for the blog done ... Spring is such a busy time of year for artists that participate in plein air festivals. So .... Here are a few shots of locations I painted in, in progress shots of paintings, and also three of the finished pieces.

I spent most of the morning at The Art Center checking in the artists and stamping their paper, panels and canvas. That is always fun... meeting the artists and giving out information about where they can paint and giving out different maps of the Blue Ridge area. Here is a shot of downtown Blue Ridge... which I painted in oil and was not very happy with. This was not one of the paintings I framed and submitted.

On Saturday, several of us decided to paint out Aska Road at Stanley Creek Road... the actual place is Falls Creek Falls. Here are several shots from that morning! The beginning of my pastel painting and the next shot in progress.

Beginning Underpainting
for the Pastel at the waterfall
In progress with some pastel
over the underpainting.
 Also here a few shots of my artist friends that painted along with me: Camille (Candy) Day, Virginia Dauth, Keith Burgess, Helen (Cissie) Jones... and my daughter, Ashley Mize was along also hiking and taking photos.

Several of the artists
along with me at the Fall Creek Falls
Saturday afternoon, we relocated to Mrs. Parks property to paint from an awesome view atop a nice hill. Her property has barns, silo, gravel road, rolling pasture and trees, and views of the Blue Ridge Mountains! The artists along changed also: Joanna Karpay, Karen Margulis, Jayne Bachman, and from the morning, Keith Burgess and Virginia Dauth. It is a wonderful place to paint and I try to paint something from her property... and visit with Ruby Parks ... every Plein Air Festival in Blue Ridge GA.
Oil Painting
"Red Top"
Here is my painting... a 12" x 16" oil painting in the frame... I can't believe I forgot to take a photo of the painting before taking it in for the show. What was I thinking... probably about what needed to be done in such a short amount of time. I know you'll forgive me, right?

Sunday morning several of us headed to a home with gardens in the mountains... belonging to Marsha Murphy. It was a real treat to see what she has planned for her property, and how far she has come. Each year she has different flowers along with the perennials, bushes and trees that are the mainstay of her garden. "Murphy" as she likes to be called is well known for her metal sculptures. I could not resist painting one of her dragonfly pieces that was located in the shadows of her front yard... among the trees. Here is a photo of the painting and a couple of her property.
14" x 11" Oil Painting
"Shadow Messenger"

On Sunday, we could submit up to three pieces we created during the event for a show at The Art Center. Sarah Verner, Executive Director of BRMAA judged the entries and awards were given to four artists.
14" x 11" Pastel
"Cool Rocks"
at Fall Creek Falls

These three paintings are on display at "The Art Center" in the Historic Courthouse in downtown Blue Ridge GA ... Blue Ridge Mountains Arts Association!


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