Thursday, December 13, 2012

Art Talk: Oil Painting

Even though I stick primarily with watercolors, yesterday’s Art Talk about oil painting, materials, techniques and framing proved quite interesting.  Barb Tobiska led a lively discussion among the seven of us attending.  Proficiency ranged from beginner to advanced, but we all learned something new. 

In talking about paint brands, Barb wowed us with some unbelievably high prices for certain colors in a Dick Blick catalog.  But don’t let that scare you off as everyone had their own affordable preferred manufacturers, from Grumbacher, Winsor and Newton, to the water based oil paint made by Holbein that Cindy Ahrenkiel uses.  One thing Barb Tobiska stressed is to know your own colors.  Many beginners buy so many different colors, but don’t know what they have when it comes time to paint.  I know I’m guilty of those spontaneous purchases of beautiful new hues offered by Daniel Smith, Cheap Joe’s or other online catalogs.  Barb held up color charts she’d made of all her paints, arranged by color and temperature (cool to warm).  That way, when you’re needing a certain hue for your current painting project, it’s easy to refer to your charts.

So many mediums are now available to mix with oil paints.  Glazes, binders, gels, waxes and varnishes can make colors more transparent, give an even sheen to a finished work and protect your masterpiece.  When these additives are mixed in, it is prudent to employ a heavier substrate.  Canvases vary substantially, in texture, in weight and in quality of stretching (if pre-stretched).  Be sure to check for unwanted pockets in the corners, or if a canvas is stretched too loosely.  Pre-mounted canvas on masonite is another option.

When it comes to framing an oil painting, what is acceptable?  Is it necessary to use a frame? The general consensus was that unframed canvases are acceptable as long as the edges are painted and no staples or nails show.  Deep stretchers are preferable and look more professional than thin stretchers.  At one time, ornate gold frames with linen liners were the norm – not so much any more.  Metal, wood or composite can all look nice, although composite frames tend to chip easily and don’t always hold screw eyes firmly.  Dust covers on the back really aren’t required for oil paintings and tend to easily rip during transport.  If the choice is made to frame an oil painting, it must be done properly, as a poor framing job (damaged frames, chipped glass, improper hanging hardware) can be reason for rejection by a juror.

There’s always something interesting and educational going on at the Lakewood Arts Council Community Center and Gallery.  Check the website  to see what’s coming up next!

Friday, December 7, 2012

A Great Holiday Party for LAC!

With holiday music playing in the background, the mood was set for a festive gathering of LAC members and friends.  Over 50 people attended the event (even with that Bronco's game!) and our place was filled with lively conversation and laughter.  A large pot of chili added a yummy smell as people filled their cups for a tasty treat - it's always a delicious concoction as several volunteers make their special recipes for tasting.  Everything is combined in a big batch for a unique and wonderful blend.  Add in an assortment of wine and desserts and you've got a sure recipe for a happy party.

If you didn't make the party (and WHY didn't you?), we still have two weeks of shopping fun at our art center.  Lots of lovely things to choose from - perhaps that special hard to find item you've been looking for?

 A very happy holiday to all of you!  Mark your calendars for Saturday, January 19th for our annual member's breakfast - we have planned one long party for 2013 as we celebrate our 25th Anniversary!
Submitted by Kathy Berls.  Photos by Charlie Casper.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Holiday Ornament Workshop

 A cheerful group of about 12 people attended the holiday ornament making workshop on December 4th.

 Instructors Ann Quinn and Lynnette Kupferer showed how to create three very different ornaments - all of which were easy to assemble and beautiful as a finished product.  For one ornament, the group was shown how to string beads on a star shaped wire structure - crafters selected various colored beads to create a design that sparkled in the light.  Another simple project involved painting and decorating a tiny wood birdhouse. One of the most complex and unusual ornament creations was directed by Lynnette.  Artists selected a clear plastic ball ornament.  Acrylic craft paint was dripped in the top opening and then the fun began.  By shaking and turning the ball, the paint ran down the inside and flowed together to create an intricate pattern of colors.
Even our youngest participant, age 3, enjoyed the morning. With his mother's help, and encouragement by the group, he created the bead ornament first - his little fingers fitting the beads onto the wire base.  Next came the birdhouse with paint getting on both the house and his "paint" shirt.  In between were several trips to the food table to enjoy the tasty treats.

  It was a fun morning and a lovely way to complete our craft making series of workshops for this year.  Several of the attendees were new to the LAC Art Center who found us due to the listing in the Denver Post.  We enjoyed welcoming them and watching as new friendships were formed. 
Submitted by Kathy Berls