Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Marking our Nineteenth Year with Our Annual Luncheon

We had planned to explore markers as the modern incarnation of "Ink" to culminate our "Year of Drawing" when I read about an article in The Boston Globe about Artist Laura Meilman and her Project T Scapes. I contacted Laura and she agreed to join us on Monday, June 17th, and demonstrate her technique. She already has fifty or so T stations rendered in markers in her personal style and we were excited to see how she would tackle our own train station. We were not disappointed.
View of the train tracks from the Beverly Farms Station.

Beverly Farms Station ©Laura Meilman 2013
To read about Laura's experiences at The Garage School go to Laura's Tumblr Post. For our part we were charmed by this exquisitely trained Artist, by her poise, and by her teaching skills. 
Colored Markers, like their grandfather India and Chinese Inks, are a difficult but expressive medium. We will keep sketch books this summer using the medium with weekly reports,  so we can become more skilled drawing with them.
Laura demonstrates her technique.

Various kinds of markers we used.
As is our nineteen year tradition we ended the day by having lunch al fresco. It is also a tradition that we have a beautiful day. This year, however, we broke with tradition and everyone brought a part of the meal. We started with Gazpacho and bread, then on to Caesar Salad, Deviled Eggs,  Cape Cod Chicken Salad, Asian Salad, Fruit skewers, Lemonade and Iced tea. For dessert we had Lemon Ice Box Pie, Citrus Olive Oil Cake with Whipped Cream, Chocolate mini tarts, and strawberries.
Even the Peonies remained in bloom for our event!
Artist Joan Benotti generously donated the embellished Nautical Chart
she did when she demonstrated for our class for a prize drawing.  
Terese Melden examines the embellished Nautical Chart that was won by Ann Pulver .
To see more pictures from the day, view the Photo Album.

Summer School begins July 8th when we will take the next step by painting on paper in any medium the Artist desires, using a specific process aimed at quickly capturing the composition. We will focus on the transparency and opacity of the various mediums, learning how to tweek them for our own devices.

Last, there are a few items in the Lost and Found. If you see anything that looks familiar, stop by and pick it up! 


Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Rocks, Markers, Paper

Class began with work done by several students, a small sampling of which is presented here owing to the Instructor's lapse until the end of class. Mary Vetere, Linda Harvey, and Chris Dougherty had well received work on the Homework Wall. Fortunately, JoAnne Fossa left behind her work of rocks now completed.

In this rendition JoAnne used a range of color on grey toned paper
highlighting the exceptional
blues and violets in Jill Levine's rocks, lent to us for the classes.

In this rendition JoAnne used a monochromatic palette
of black and white on brown toned paper
calling attention to the form of the rocks.

Katie Bull was able to send a copy of her work 
before the Blog Went to press.

Katie Bull Tackled the Work from last week
 using a strong range of color to render the green vegetation on Bailey Tract
 on Sanibel Island, Florida.

Green Line, ©2013 Laura Meilman

Artist Laura Meilman  has agreed to join us on June 17th for our last class and Annual Luncheon. She will  share her techniques for drawing with colored markers, drawing 
plein air at our iconic Train Station here in Beverly Farms. She has embarked on Project T Scapes, an artistic record of all 121 T stops on the MBTA line recently featured in a Boston Globe Article.
Garden in Malaga, Spain ©2013 Susan Connolly

In anticipation of Ms. Meilman's visit we looked at the sketchbooks of Susan Connolly, (1952-2012) sister of Garage School Artist Mary Ellen Leekley

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

How Green Is My Green

The homework wall was ablaze with bouquets of Lilacs but the Instructor was so dazzled she forgot to take a photo of the work of Linda, JoAnne, Katie, and Mary. They can be seen over the shoulders of   the artists hard at work later in the class.
Mary Vetere is beginning to sketch her most favorite flowers, peonies, brought to class
 by Beth Shipley from her garden.
The peonies as they appeared. More peonies later in the Blog.
From The Pastelist's Year
 We examined the work of two Artists who work in Pastel: Wolf Kahn and Elizabeth Mowry. The similarities and differences, advantages and disadvantages, between pastels and colored pencils was investigated both in the work of the two artists and books each of them have written on the medium: Wolf Kahn Pastels and The Pastelist's Year. Even though the pencil box we are using - Prismacolor 24 Premier Colored Pencils has 4 green pencils, we looked at the work of the artists with an eye to examining the rich ways they depicted "greens" and how convincing they were. (Remember to click on the images to enlarge them)
From Wolf Kahn Pastels

We proceeded to apply the lessons learned from the above named artists with this photograph entitled
House Seen From Bailey Tract
The Demonstration is on Bristol Vellum using Indigo for the drawing, then applying color a la Mr. Kahn. The Palm fronds are Indigo applied to the yellows of the sky. More to come next week.

Time for a tea Break before tackling the project: JoAnne, Cathy (who brought the snack) Katie, Beth Pam Morss, Ann, Mary, Beth, and Pam Price. Welcome company on a rainy morning.

Anne Pulver suggested that in the future we might consider applying the techniques of Georgia O'Keefe. So here is a Peony challenge! For anyone who wants to try.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

A Taste For Modernism

On Friday, May 17th ten of us traveled to the Portland Museum of Art in Portland, Maine to see the exhibit  The William S. Paley Collection: A Taste For Modernism

Pierre-Auguste Renoir Strawberries
Before looking at the homework or making art, we discussed the exhibit at length. The take-aways included the joy of feeling as if we were in William Paley's home viewing the art, even to the color (white) of the walls; the surprise of seeing paintings and works we were familiar with owing to their being masterpieces and the artists, famous; and the drafting skill that undergirded all of the works. A preview of the William S. Paley Collection tells how he collected with a few descriptions and photographs of some of the works.

Next we looked at the homework. Two works from Grisaille II, and two works by the same artist in wax pencils and watercolor pencils.
JoAnne Fossa Amsterdam

Mary Vetere Snow

Chris Dougherty Lillies

Cathy Ebling brought Lilacs and we all worked hard at pushing the medium of watercolor to paint what we were observing. 

The HOMEWORK for the two week hiatus (no school on Memorial Day) is to portray the Lilacs in a way that they deserve: strongly!

Class resumes on June 3rd

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Mothers' Day Bouquets

The Homework Challenge

Last week we tackled Grisaille II: techniques to draw and paint monochromatic grey works with a color bias. We used photographs that were made to look like paintings from a calendar called "The Impressionist Camera". Hugely challenging, so work is being continued on the project.

 Three works - one complete and two in progress were presented for appraisal.
September: (Hugo Henneberg) Hill 1899) by Katie Bull.
Note how she capitalized on the rough side of MiTientes white pastel paper. 
May: (Bernard Eilers) Amsterdam 1901)  WIP by JoAnne Fossa.
Using only three pencils on blue toned MiTientes paper,
her challenge is to edit out the mid ground details
June: (Leonard Misonne) Children 1908) WIP by Linda Harvey.
Note Linda's preparatory work on the right side. She is using toned gray
 MiTientes paper.
This week there were several bouquets to choose from: Tulips from Xuan's garden, Lilacs from Cathy's garden, and the WBUR Mother's Day Bouquet from Cricket.


The demonstration was the use of water soluble colored pencils on canvas as an end in itself or to use as an under drawing for an oil, acrylic, or pastel painting. We used as inspirations, portraits of bouquets painted by Édouard Manet (1832-1883) at the end of his all too brief life:Édouard_Manet

Starting with a neutral gold pencil, the shape of the lilac bouquet was loosely sketched in; corrections made or  lines erased with a moistened paper towel. The drawing was gradually built up, adding color and opening it up with a brush. Three brands of pencils were discussed: the above shown Crayola, Derwent, and the Instructor's favorite: Albrecht Dürer by Faber-Castell. 

You could have heard a pin drop!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Grisaille II

Artists Choice: Week three: Grisaille II

Mary Vetere
Linda Harvey
Last Week we turned to our neighbor Stefaan and Nancy's Magnolia tree for inspiration. The homework wall this week sported three Colored Pencil renditions and a finished stone painting.
This week, we turned our attention to other ways to use Grisaille:
grisaille |griˈzī-ˈzāl|
a method of painting in gray monochrome
So say our good friends at the New Oxford American Dictionary
So we turned to the Nocturne Paintings of James McNeil Whistler(1824-1903) where the technique of Grisaille was ratcheted up a notch to include many color biases. 

Applying Whistler's oil painting techniques to Colored Pencil was a challenge, especially so as we had no grey in our pencil case. Starting with the black and white pencils then adding a color bias of blue, green, brown, or red, say......renditions from Impressionist photographs began to emerge.
Ann Pulver 
Katie Bull

Then, in the early evening, the fog horn announced the arrival of a soft fog. The "why" of learning Grisaille.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Artists' Choice: Real Magnolias

The homework wall sported drawings on toned paper in various stages of completion.
Katie examines the photos for color.

 The critique focused on values both in the rendering of the stones themselves and the shadows they cast.

As Dr. Farthing from the Ruskin School at Oxford pointed out, color is the most complicated element in the range of art we call drawing. Toned paper had to be evaluated as both color and value.

As several of our number went to the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston for Art in Bloom we delayed Grisaille II until next week and their return, and availed ourselves of blooms from our neighbor Stefaan's magnificent Magnolia Tree. 

The drawing
The blossoms
Pam elects to draw in graphite and then to paint in watercolor.
Whether students used graphite or colored pencil it was clear that skill and freedom were very much in evidence

The completed painting.

Therese chose colored pencil. Note the palette choices.

Mary alternated colored pencil and graphite

Despite the freedom and skill of observational drawing we took photos and interpreted them in black and white for further study.
Mary's blossoms in front of her drawing.
Pam's Colored Pencil rendition of a single bloom.
Chris opts for drawing a still life of magnolia, andromeda, and quince bouquet.