Saturday, March 29, 2014

Author L.F. Patten Holds Book Signing Event

The LAC Art Center was filled with eager friends and fans of L.F. (Laurey) Patten Thursday evening for a reading and book signing.  Laurey read Chapter 1 of her recently published book The Sinistral Talent while the audience sipped wine and snacked on strawberries and chocolate.
Author L. F. (Laurey) Patten
Laurey discussed the journey of getting her first book published (a ten-plus year period) as well as her writing process, giving credit to critiques for guidance to a completed book.

The Sinistral Talent is a heroic fantasy adventure set in a world where the "spoil" handed ("spell" handed) are outcast.  With plenty of action and excitement, it carries the reader through a tale of two unlikely heroes who reluctantly join forces for the greater good.  The initial reviews rate Patten's first novel a must read!
Friends & Fans of L. F. Patten listen to her read Chapter 1
Laurey has other books in the hopper that continue this story.  We are thrilled for Laurey's success and eager to read her next episode.

In addition to authoring fiction, Laurey teaches pottery and precious metals jewelry making at the Washington Heights Arts Center in Lakewood.  Laurey is a member of the Co-op Gallery at the LAC Art Center where her work can be seen.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Alan Basting's Creative Writing Workshop

Write a poem in one sentence with simple syntax and a minimum of rhetorical flourish.  Add a parenthetical phrase and an independent clause utilizing semi-colons or em-dashes.  Keep the poem going: employ comma splices to extend your narrative, description or rhythm.  Trust the sentence.  These were the instructions for yesterday’s discussion at Alan Basting’s Creative Writing Workshop held at the LAC Community Center and Gallery.  Marvin, Ken, Kathleen, Anita, Barb and Jean enjoyed a morning taking turns listening to each others’ efforts at poetry, commenting and discussing the content and mechanics.

Ken was the first to read his poem about wind chimes and their “murderous cacophony”.  Apparently he or someone he knows has an aversion to their “dingle dangle” sounds!  Jean read her poem about finding her muse and Marvin read his about growing old.  Everyone had positive and constructive comments for each other.  Marvin commented that “poems are a response to an experience – if done honestly—it’s a good poem.”  Alan, a retired university professor of writing headed up the discussions,  pointing out technical details such as how shorter lines in a poem demand attention, build tension and add surprises.  Unpredictability is fun for a reader.  Longer lines of poetry can be more melodic.  His newest book of poetry, Nothing Very Sudden Happens Here, was available for purchase at the workshop.  Two more sessions remain, free of charge, but rsvps are appreciated.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Notan, simple as black and white.

Have you heard of Notan?
Teaching an introductory drawing class required me to reeducate myself in the basic design elements of artistic expression.  As a watercolorist, line and mark making may not take on much importance, but composition is always part of the planning stages of a successful watercolor painting.  First using a thumbnail sketch to plan value, movement and provide a center of focus, I then have a guideline to use for the final painting.  These thumbnail sketches are valuable tools for artists of all 2D mediums.
I came across a mention of Notan in looking for exercises in simplifying composition.  The Japanese term, Notan, is defined as dark-light harmony, according to Mitchell Albala, in his painting and composition workshop at  Any artwork described as having a strong or beautiful composition has as its foundation, a strong and balanced Notan.  The Notan reveals the underlying structure of a composition, the essential spirit, taking a value study to its most simplistic form, a strict black and white, dark-light arrangement. If a composition has a soul, then the Notan is the doorway to that soul.  Learning about the Notan teaches us to be better composers, to  make better choices in the preliminary stages of a work to bring greater order and power to those works.
It’s always interesting to come across a new idea in the art world, or at least new to me!  Even though  value studies are a common and necessary step in composition planning, defining the Notan takes it one step further.  Any help in creating a stronger painting is a step in the right direction.  More information about Notan can be found on Albala’s website, or at other sites about Notan.  Learn something new – it’s as simple as black and white.