Sunday, October 31, 2010

The Sedona Plein Aire Festival Week

So . . . now I need to catch everyone up on our trip to Sedona! This past week has been the Sedona Plein Aire Festival. What a blast! I think I have already mentioned a couple of the days . . . but here is a recap and maybe new information.

Saturday there was a “Main Street Paint Out” from 1:30 to 4:00 p.m. The artists were all strung out along Main Street on both sides and we walked around and watched them creating artwork that would be for sale in front of the Sedona Arts Center from 4:30 – 5:30 pm. This was the first time for the public to purchase Festival Art. That was a real treat – and we were able to really meet and talk to them while they were working. We met some fantastic new up and coming artists: Joshua Been, Bill Cramer, Michael Chesley Johnson (I already knew him), Linda Dellandre, Greg La Rock . . . and many more!

Michael Chesley Johnson

Joshua Been

Sunday, the artists were creating artwork along Oak Creek Canyon and in and around Sedona. We did not see any of them that day. I think because of the “public” hoopla on that first afternoon, they were interested in getting off the beaten path and creating in silence on this first whole day of painting. So, we decided to paint ourselves. But, there was a Festival opening and artists exhibit that evening. The artists were allowed to bring several of their paintings (not created here) and hang for the public to see their work – and purchase if they wished. Wine and a few nibbles were provided. It was fun meeting more of the artists and talking art! We met a wonderful wife of one of the artists – Laurie La Rock – and it seemed to be a friendship forming!

Chavez Ranch Road Bush -- Oil 5" x 7"

Chavez Ranch Road View -- Oil 9" x 12"

On Monday, we attended a demo and lecture by Bill Cramer – which was in oil. I took many photos all during the demonstration. I will probably post only one or two of those photos here. He is an exceptional artist, and seems to be a wonderful teacher as well. He was very giving of information about his plein air set up and his process. We visited Windrush Gallery, some other shops, and then drove up Schnebly Hill and took more photographs. The days were quite cloudy and windy and rather cool.

Bill set up and starting the painting

Finished Painting and his palette

Tuesday, we saw our friend Wanda Crane off to the airport by a shuttle. Then we drove out Dry Creek Road and set up to paint the buttes and a beautiful area of yellow flowers and a dry gulch. I created two pastel paintings – I think my best of the trip so far! We left for lunch back at the house, and then set up to paint the view across the road from our rental home. Later that evening, we were invited to meet one of the festival artists and his wife for dinner – Greg and Laurie La Rock. They are a wonderful couple and we have had loads of fun seeing them all week and getting to know them. A truly talented artist, and extremely interesting and nice couple.

Dry Creek Vista - Pastel 14" x 11"
My favorite so far!

Stay tuned – I’ll post the rest of the week in the next one!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

More from Sedona

We had a beautiful first week here -- short sleeves and knee length jeans! Then the second week hit us with cloudy skies . . . which were dramatic and beautiful . . . but we had to worry about somewhat cooler temperatures, and some rain! We have visited some great little shops and also wonderful galleries! We went to Jerome on one day, and then last week on Friday, we made a day trip to the Grand Canyon! What awesome beauty there!

Here are more of my paintings:

Watercolor underpainting for Chavez Road pastel painting
Pastel of Chavez Road View - 12"x9"

At Crescent Moon Park
Pastel - 12" x 9"

Oil - Late one Evening -- in a hurry!

I have several more, but need to size them for uploading to the blog. I will try to get that done this evening after we return from Jerome and watching the Sedona Plein Air Festival artists work in that wonderful hillside town!

Here are a few shots of the area surrounding Sedona!

Cathedral Rock from the "Landing Pad"
This is 5 minute hike from our house!

The view as we drive to our house!

View from Airport Road Hill --
One of the vortex areas!

Wanda at a view from Schnebly Hill area

This week we are enjoying seeing the Sedona Plein Aire Festival artists, meeting them and watching them work!

Stay tuned for more paintings and scenery!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The First Days in Sedona

So now the story moves on to our arrival in Sedona and the first days of painting here! On our first day, we had a great time – Wanda, Candy, Denise and I. Here is my first painting from the Sedona stay! Again, remember it is untouched after leaving the painting location and has all its faults and also its good stuff! It seems that my plein air ability is a little non-existent at this time. I think the study with Ann Templeton was wonderful, but it has given me too many things to think about. I've now the need to get back to "who is Marsha Savage?" and paint like me!

Near Cathedral Rock at Crescent Moon Park
On the evening of our second day, Virginia (Ginny) Dauth arrived! We now were complete with our original five artist friends for the stay here. But, not everyone is getting to stay the full month. Denise left on Saturday after a week in Sedona -- because she will have been gone from her home in Bellingham, WA for almost a month. She had a previous week or more in California at a Women’s Conference and the week at Ghost Ranch before arriving here. And as I have done, she also drove, which adds about 4 days travel time to each end of her journey.

Then, a friend of Ginny’s (Chriss with two “ss’s) arrived on Saturday for a stay of one week with us. We painted and we did some sightseeing. We went to Jerome, and also to the Grand Canyon on two of our days.

Here are a few more of my paintings from the first two weeks of our stay. Some okay, some will be scraped off, some will be saved as resource material for paintings done in the studio. Maybe I will have a few that can make it to a frame for showing or selling.

Abstracted Rocks at Cathedral Rock
Oil, 12"x9"

View from Schnebly Hill - Oil, 5"x7"

Looking Up at Schnebly Hill
Oil, 11"x14"

Here is a watercolor underpainting for a small piece I did across the road from the home we are renting on Chavez Ranch Road. And the next image is the finished pastel. It is a 7" x 5" pastel on Ampersand Pastelbord.

Of course, I reserve the right to correct an item in the painting or add a highlight or accent spot!

The finish of the pastel on Chavez Ranch Road

Monday, October 25, 2010

Canyon de Chelly Day

When we visited Canyon de Chelly, we hired a guide. We loaded ourselves in the Jeep – and started off. The first part of the drive you are driving over a very sandy area – guess what? We bottomed out and the Jeep had to be towed out. The guide made the driver of the “REAL” Jeep give us that one which was way cool! We were open in the back and Wanda and I were able to stand up through it to take pictures. It was a rough ride and we did receive some bruises from the jostling around – but they were well worth it.

We paid for four hours, but when we stopped to paint, we decided to add another hour so we could drive down Canyon de Chelly to Window Rock (I think that is what it is called). Our guide told us we needed to drive in Canyon del Muerto because of the light and the distance between the cliffs. I was a little disappointed that we were not in the "actual" Canyon de Chelly part of the canyon. But, after the painting session, we did drive back to the junction of both canyons and go quickly down to Window Rock. Here are some photos in Canyon del Muerto and Canyon de Chelly.

I am not totally happy with the painting I did – but here is the oil painting. It will be a good resource only -- and not frame worthy! Just my own personal piece to remind me of a wonderful day in Canyon de Chelly.

We were painting in the shadow and I was quite cold. The cliff on the right that is so bright orange was really that colorful – reflected light on it. It is really the only thing that bothers me about the painting application. But . . . I set up to paint, started the block in, and then realized I had situated my panel in the landscape position! Not good. The walls were so tall, it really needed a “portrait” position so I could make those cliffs very tall. Oh Well, live and learn. And I did not want to start over – we only had a limited amount of time – on the clock for the tour guide! It will be good reference material to have along with the many photographs I took! That is what I normally use my plein air paintings for – not to frame, but for reference a “memory.”

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Paintings In Shows

Evening Cypress - Pastel, 12"x9"
 Some wonderful news has come my way! I received an e-mail notifying me of a painting accepted into the International Association of Pastel Societies (IAPS) Web Show. There was a panel of three jurors: Lorenzo Chavez, Margaret Evans, and Bill Hosner. I was also told there had been over 850 images for them to choose from -- and only 72 paintings were chosen. So . . . it is a great honor to have been chosen to be in the on-line show. The IAPS organization is a fantastic one and helps so many of our local or regional pastel societies with ideas, material, and a wonderful convention once every two years.

The painting is pastel, of course, and it is named "Evening Cypress." I painted in the studio from a photo I took at Lake Seminole at the Florida / Georgia border. The light was magnificent as it was going down that evening. Everything was tinged with the most fantastic oranges and pinks.

. . . And, my husband just sent me an e-mail a couple of days ago -- since I am still in Sedona AZ on a trip. He said they called from the Pastel Society of North Florida to notify me a painting I had accepted into their show had won an "Exceptional Merit Award!" The painting is "St. George Windswept" and it is a painting from the Florida island of St. George.

St. George Windswept - Pastel, 9"x12"
 This painting -- I think is a 9x12 but could be 11x14. I have not looked back at my information to be sure -- but I don't think I even have this one on my web site to look at. My inventory book is back home and I am in Sedona! I have a friend that has already spoken to buy this painting if it does not sell at the show in Florida.

Good things are happening! And, I will be in the January/February issue of the Pastel Journal in an article about regional painters! So, be sure to pick up a copy and read it. There will be two of my paintings of "creeks" in the article.

Okay, now I need to finish the next post about my trip I am on right now. Later!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

More From Ann Templeton and Ghost Ranch Workshop

We had such a wonderful time at Ann Templeton’s workshop at Ghost Ranch in New Mexico. Here are a few more of my paintings from the workshop. Now, be sure to remember I am posting them with no editing to the paintings. These are exactly as I did them in the workshop --- the bad ones, the okay ones, and even one or two that I really like.

Day Two - Third Painting, Oil
At the Casitas

Day Three - Chama River, Oil

Day Three - Chama River, Oil

 The Chama River day of painting, I produced three paintings, but I am only showing you two of them. The first one is kind of light and would not show up very well in the blog. It is a similar scene to the one above, but a little "tighter" in the style that is more of what I would have done before the Templeton workshop. Again, the Chama River is something that Georgia O'Keefe painted in many ways -- of course, very abstract most of the time.

Day Four - Painting No. One, Pastel
At Log Cabin on Ghost Ranch

These two paintings are from day four, and at the "Log Cabin" which is on the road as you are driving into Ghost Ranch. I decided to do pastel paintings on this day. I was far away from Ann and when I finished the first one, I trapsed over to the cabin where she was in the shade to get her review of it. She looked up at me and smiled and said "This is beautiful. I would not change a thing."

I also found out at that moment, Irby Brown had just stopped by and spoken to Ann. He was not introduced to anyone since he and a friend were in a hurry. I was devastated because he is one of my all-time favorite painters. We had just looked at his work in Santa Fe at a gallery, and if I had the money, I would have come out of that gallery with one of his paintings! Oh well, Ann said she would try to introduce me to him sometime in the future. Sounded good to me.
Day Four - Painting No. Two, Pastel
At Log Cabin on Ghost Ranch


Day Five - Last Day, Painting No. One, Oil
The next painting was done on the last day and at a place they call "High Ropes". This is a suspended playground area of ropes you can climb, swing from one to another, etc. The view was beautiful in any direction we looked. By the time we set up, it was getting later in the morning, and I was not able to finish this one before we were called to lunch. We had a critique session after lunch. By then another class had invaded the "High Ropes" and we could not return there. So, unfinished it stays.

I painted two 5"x7" paintings from the front of our room in the "Tumbleweed" group of rooms. The intent was to stay simple, and I think I did manage to do so somewhat.

Day Five - Oil, 5"x7"
Last Day, Painting No. Two

Day Five - Oil, 7"x5"
Last Day, Painting No. Three
Ann was so good with all the students. She seemed to recognize exactly what each student needed. She was very complementary to me, which put me on the “hot seat” with the other students. Her words were on the first evening when we met, “Marsha is a wonderful and talented artist.” Okay, now, how was she going to help me be even a better artist? Her most encouraging words were something similar to, “learn to simplify, it is easy! When you finally can do that it will feel easy.” So, I am still struggling a little with the simplification. And . . . this is also what I tell my students! So, how am I not able to do it myself? Any ideas?

Here are a few digital photos from Ghost Ranch. Hope you enjoy the view of what we were seeing while staying there.

One of our views at Ghost Ranch

Ann Templeton and her first demo

View of some of the buildings
of Ghost Ranch

Can you believe this view?

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The Trip Beginning to Ghost Ranch

We are in Sedona, having a very good time! I have told several and I have posted that I would be doing a little 5”x7” painting each day and posting it here on the blog. It has been difficult to do that. We get up and start talking about art, breakfast gets going, dressing and discussion about whether we will paint, visit galleries, buy groceries, etc.  Here is a shot on our drive to the home we rented! Absolutely beautiful!

The first day here we were so tired, so Wanda Crane, Denise Champion and I decided we would use that day as a rest day and gathering day – groceries and stuff for the house. We also had to visit the rental agency for a couple more keys. Candy Day would arrive that afternoon about 3:30 and we would pick her up in town. But, before going to town, we took a wonderful walk, just up from our house. We followed one of the trails that takes you to a fantastic view of Cathedral Rock – I think it might be called the “Landing Pad” but I am not positive. It is quite a massive rock, mostly flat on top and overlooks Crescent Moon Park. Candy arrived, and by then we were telling her about our adventures at Ghost Ranch and Canyon de Chelly.

I started looking for the cable hook-up and finally found it upstairs in the loft, but it is in one of the artist’s bedroom! But there was no cord to hook to the laptop. We were told to just buy one and they would reimburse me. By then it was too late to get going. And, we have to take turns plugging in and being on the internet.

View from our room at Ghost Ranch!

Canyon de Chelly

I have been uploading my photographs – many, many photographs – from the camera and that takes some time. No telling how many photos of our places visited I will end up with. And, I have just started talking photographs of the paintings I did at the Ann Templeton workshop, the day we painted at Canyon de Chelly, and now one day of painting here in Sedona.

I will show you a few of the workshop paintings – now remember when an artist takes a workshop, we do some of our worst work. If you don’t, then you are not stepping outside your comfort zone and trying new ideas. Ann’s idea is (as many good teachers) to simplify the landscape into larger masses and then start refining. I have usually done this, but when in this new landscape – red rocks, cliffs, sage, chamisa (and not sure if I spelled this correctly either) and such – it becomes a little more difficult. I wanted to put many of the new things I was seeing into my paintings. I made them quite busy and many times I was tricked into thinking the darks were so much darker than reality. There were many new things to ponder while trying to battle the sun, the dryness, and the winds. So, I will post the first few in the order they were done.

First Morning Painting in Ann's Workshop
 This painting is an oil and I think it is 16"x20" -- early morning and the light was just beginning to come over the top of the butte.

The painting below is one I did on the first day also, but after lunch and looking out the other direction, but my easel was in the same spot. The mountain in the distance is the one Georgia O'Keefe painted many times -- "Pedernal."

Oil Painting number 2 - afternoon light at Ghost Ranch

Day Two - First Painting in the morning - Oil, 11"x14"

Day Two, Afternoon Painting - Oil, 9"x12"

These two paintings are the second day and were just up a canyon at what they called the "Casitas" and I loved the arroyo. Ann Templeton loved that I wanted to paint this, and said "You have given me a new inspiration to want to paint the arroyo." I thought the comment was exceptionally nice.

Okay, until next post! I'll try to get on in the mornings, since it seems we have discussions here at evening time and then we are tired and retire to bed early. Later!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

The Trip West 2010 Beginning

Hello from Santa Fe! . . . we are about four days into our trip out West! Yahoo!!! And, I am sorry I have not posted anything, but I have not painted yet. It has been three days of driving, looking for accomodations, eating dinner and then resting for the next day of driving.

Wanda Crane is my partner in this first part of the adventure (and for the most of the rest of it)! After the four days of travel, we will hook up for the first week with Denise Champion from Bellingham, Washington. When we do arrive at our final destination of Sedona, AZ, Candy Day and Ginny Dauth will fly in to join us for a month of painting in Sedona! The Sedona Plein Air Festival will happen while we are there, so we will enjoy watching some of the best artists in the country paint the local scenery in and around Sedona. 

Our first stop along the way was for a night in Little Rock, Arkansas. We had decided to make what we thought would be the longest drive that first day. Each of the other days, the plan was to have about a 5 ½ hour drive so we could stop anywhere we pleased along the way.

Little Rock, Arkansas -- River Market Area

We did stop along I-40 at Checotah, OK on the second day of driving because we saw billboards on the side of the highway advertising it as the home of Carrie Underwood and then one about an antique mall. So, being lunch time-ish, we decided to take a break. It was a cute little western country town and we enjoyed shopping at a couple of little antique stores, eating a hamburger and fries at a diner and talking to the locals about Carrie! Wanda and I both love her music and songs, so it was a treat. I did take a picture of the downtown, though it is not really a good shot, but will post it here.

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma - River Walk

We drove on to Oklahoma City and spent the night. We walked along their river walk and had a snack at one of the local eateries before calling it a night for the drive the next morning to Tucumcari, NM. Well . . . as we were approaching the town, we decided it was only another 2 ½ hours to Santa Fe, which was our next stop. My plan had been the 5 ½ hour drive to Tucumcari and spend the night with a short drive the next morning to Santa Fe. That would give us most of the day to visit Santa Fe – Wanda has never been there! We stopped, had lunch in Tucumcari and then drove on and arrived Friday night in Santa Fe and hooked up with one of my best friends and our fellow artist, Denise.

We walked around Santa Fe, looking in gallery windows, cute little shops, and then had a very nice dinner and called it a night. On Saturday morning the plan is to go to the Palace of the Governors to see if there is any Indian jewelry or trinket we wish to purchase from one of our Native Americans! I have done this twice before on trips and am always very pleased with my purchase. They have to be a “native” to be able to sell here under the awning of the Palace. They have a lottery for the spots under the awning and you won’t always find the same people there.

Palace of the Governors
After that we will go into several galleries to fill up our minds with some fabulous paintings and then on to an Indian swap meet. Denise will travel on to Ghost Ranch this afternoon, while Wanda and I will have one more night and morning here in Santa Fe before we continue our trip up to Ghost Ranch. So, Wanda and I decided to visit the Georgia O'Keefe Museum! Here I am in front of the banner at the Museum.

Georgia O'Keefe Banner and Me

We will be there for the next week taking a workshop from Ann Templeton – a plein air workshop – and we will not have internet access. Ghost Ranch is where Georgia O’Keefe painted quite often – a very stark landscape – so we shall see what Marsha Savage can come away with in this very different landscape. I will have to post those paintings the following week because of no internet access while there.

When we leave Ghost Ranch, we will travel to Canyon de Chelly for two nights and the opportunity to take a guided trip into the Canyon to paint. This is an Indian reservation and an must see for any artist! Hopefully the morning we leave the weather will permit us to paint from the rim of the Canyon also. Then on to Sedona for the next month!

So, with no internet at Ghost Ranch, the posts will not come again until about Monday or Tuesday of the following week.