Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Paintings At Georgia State Capitol

David Ralston, Leishea Johnson (staff) and me with my painting "Dawn of A New Day"

"Area Art Fills David Ralston's Capitol Office" is the headline in The News Observer dated Friday, June 25, 2010, which is a newspaper of Blue Ridge, Georgia. David Ralston is the new Speaker of the House and decided he wanted artwork from North Georgia. He commented "I never want to forget my roots. These people have been good to me, and I want to be reminded of this daily."

His interior decorator, Marcie Culpepper, contacted me during the winter and said they had looked at my work in High Country Art & Antique Gallery in Blue Ridge, and then went to my website and were interested in several paintings for his suite of offices. Unluckily, two of the three were already sold. One of the sold paintings was named "Golden Opportunity" and she told me how much David Ralston loved that scene and also the name since he felt his new position was a golden opportunity! She asked if I had something similar or would I suggest work that was from the North Georgia area. I had just finished a new 4'x3' oil painting and told her to look at it online. I had posted a photo of it on my blog -- but not on my web site since I had not officially finished it and named it. She loved it and couldn't wait to see it in person. We set up a time for her to visit the studio to see paintings. I will tell you, they always look better in real life!

When she walked in and saw the painting, she turned to me and said "This will be perfect. When can I pick up the paintings?" She did choose another replacement one that was from Ellijay, GA and liked the framing on it. The only one that was not sold from her initial list was a plein air piece from downtown Blue Ridge. I did have that painting, but the frame needed to be changed since she wanted to hang the two smaller paintings together. I also needed to sign the large one and spray a preliminary light varnish on it. Two days later I had them ready for delivery! And, the name for the large one . . . "Dawn of a New Day." Here is a photo of the painting:

The article shows several photos of three or four of the artists and their piece of art hanging in the suite of offices for the Speaker of the House at the State Capitol. There is a photo of me, David Ralston, one of the staff and the painting where you can get a good sense of the painting. Also, the last paragraph in the article is great! . . .

. . . "One of Ralston's favorite pieces of art in his office is entitled, "Dawn of a New Day," an oil on board by Marsha Hamby Savage that portrays the mountains of Blue Ridge. 'It's a new day in the House of Representatives,' he said."

I couldn't be more pleased! The reception they had for us once the decorating of the office was done was wonderful also. I have a couple of photos from the reception here for you also. The top one before my writing is essentially the same photo shown in the newspaper article.

This last photo is the reception room of his suite -- the top painting is the plein air pastel of the train and station in downtown Blue Ridge done during the World Wide Paint Out last September, and the other painting is an oil from outside Ellijay, GA.

Many people enter the Speaker of the House suite of offices! They will all have the opportunity to see artwork from our North Georgia mountain area. It was quite an honor to be chosen!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Blue Ridge Mountains Arts Association Auction

This past Saturday, the Blue Ridge Mountains Arts Association (BRMAA) held their annual auction to benefit the association. It has been my pleasure to participate for many years and give back to this wonderful Art Center. I paint from beginning to end, then frame a painting and it is auctioned off live toward the end of the evening.

Talk about pressure! But, I totally enjoy it and talking to everyone as they come by to see how the painting is progressing. I painted on an Ampersand Pastelbord that was 18" x 24". This is a sanded surface, and I put a watercolor underpainting on the board before I left home. Knowing this was a rather large piece to complete in the span of about 1 1/2 to 2 hours -- I thought it should be done. This way I did have the gist of the scene down, and I did not have to wait for the surface to dry to begin the actual pastel painting.

Here are photos of scenes that I combined elements to create the painting! The first image is the creek snaking through the pasture, and some of the background for inspiration.

The next image is for the mountains -- hopefully I have arranged these in the "blog" and it took them correctly. But, you can see the tree and pasture, and then the mountains in the distance. This scene is from Mrs. Parks property where I paint plein air quite frequently!

Here is the little creek snaking its way through the pasture and the lonely tree I have based my foreground tree upon.
The next photo shows a chicken house -- but I have not included it into the painting. I just wanted more information for the creek and the foreground grasses. And . . . the last photo in this group is for the grasses with the flowers and the creek information.
So, you can see I had my work cut out for me. I did a thumbnail at home to work out some of the elements, but I did not follow it religiously. Maybe a mistake, maybe not. So the next shot should be a view of the courtroom where the Art Center is located. You can see my underpainting, and all the appropriate stuff for me to paint with the pastels. You can even see three paintings that I brought along for reference and to show attendees what some of my work looks like.

And here is the finished product on the easel -- with Jack Morton and Jill Becker in the background. They were the emcees (did I spell that correctly?) for the evening. I think this is their third or fourth year to do the Art Auction. And, below this text is the painting itself. Remember, I only had a limited amount of time to produce the piece, get it into the frame and back out to the floor for the "live" part of the auction.

Title is "Around Blue Ridge" because many of the photos were taken around Blue Ridge, but you cannot find this actual scene if you are riding around.

Successfully finished and auctioned off to a wonderful patron of the Art Center!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Southeastern Pastel Society International Show

I promised to post a picture of the painting that was accepted into this prestigious show. I did show you the two that were not. Here is the pastel titled "Morning Mist" and it is on Ampersand Pastelbord, and the size is 18" x 24".

Best news is . . . drum roll please . . . I did win an "Exceptional Merit Award" for the piece. The judge and juror of awards was Duane Wakeham. He is a highly sought after juror and workshop instructor. But, the bad news is that our workshop associated with this show is to be his last workshop. He is signing off on teaching workshops in the future.

I also was able to take his last ever workshop. This was a special treat. He is a wonderful person and instructor. His premise for workshops has been "The thinking part of painting". It really is what I need at this time in my career. I know how to use the materials, but now I need to raise my art to the next level. Thinking and planning more before starting the painting will result in a better chance of creating what I have in my mind. Here are a few shots I took during the workshop of his demonstration and some of the students in the class. Hope you enjoy the photos.

Here is a photo from a projected image of his notebook where he was planning the structure of the painting. He brought the tree in, put it in the distance, middle of the page, left or right also. This was a shot of many he showed from a power point presentation of his planning process. This is not the plan for the demo that I will show a few shots of. The next photos are shots of his start, during the middle, and then the shot of the finish. Though he did tell us that it is not really a finished piece . . . it is a study for a larger painting and he might work on this "study" even more when he goes home.

Hope you can tell the room was quite crowded and we had to contain our supplies to 1/2 of the table. Everyone worked hard for the three days of the workshop. You can see my first day's attempt on the easel right there in front. The study for this one was on the easel behind what you can see here. It just peaks out at the top. Duane is helping another student just to the right of my painting. Karen Margulis and Nancy Belknap are the two students to the left of my painting . . . and they are previous students of mine. There were a total of 20 students in the workshop.

So much fun . . . and I got to transport Duane every day to and from the workshop venue and we had loads of time to talk about all aspects of the art world and painting. That was worth the price of the workshop! Duane Wakeham is a wonderful part of the art world in all ways -- a nice person, a thoughtful person, a wonderfully giving artist, and one of the most knowledgeable artists I know. So, until next post . . . keep on painting!