Oh - my love of walnut oil

As some of you know, I've recently switched to painting without OMS, medium and other chemicals.  What a shock. I *LOVE* it and don't know why I didn't try this sooner. First, I made the switch after assuming that I should stop painting while I'm pregnant and focus on drawing for 8 more months.

I had researched paint toxicity previously, spoken to friends with lead poisoning, breathing problems and cadmium poisoning attributable to their occupation as artists and art teachers. Given that all of the product tubes seem to contain the same warning about not using this product while pregnant, I would say my assumption was based in fact.

Then, my friend Wendy Higgins who lives in Santa Fe and other peers after her shared their stories about needing to create a "safe" or "clean" studio environment for various reasons (Kids, Birds, other pets, doctors input etc.) This all pointed me to the solution I selected for my own needs.

I have low blood pressure and did not want to deny my unborn child.

Here's the M. Graham oil color chart. You can purchase these on-line or at Plaza Art Materials.

Pictured here are examples of Advanced Bargue drawings that my "classical realist" students use for practice and enrichment of their advanced drawing skills. The value of doing these drawings (of which there are about 50-60 in the full set), is that students learn many things simultaneously:

- Blocking in major dark and light areas (light separation)
- 3 value massing (i.e. simplifying forms to 3 values in order to quickly establish a composition and 3 dimensionality)
- Creating effective/meaningful light transitions
- Review of anatomic structure and measurements on the human form
- Understanding classical beauty and composition

if you have ever considered doing a series of Bargue drawings for practice, it is valuable to start with the simplified forms of the basic drawings first. The result is that your later drawings build faster and require less concern about calibrating the different values along the form. But, most importantly, think about the way the greek and roman figures in these original statues are positioned. Copying them can help you learn about classical gesture and composition

If you're wondering: "Should you draw from life or do these Bargue drawings (and cast drawings) first?"

My opinion is: "Both!"

You don't want to get tied up or limited to only one genre of drawing. Instead, practice your series of Bargue drawings when you can't work from life and then work from life every time you find an opportunity. The two experiences will complement each other.


Skyscapes Series

I've recently completed a series of HUGE skyscape paintings for my solo exhibit at Peninsula Gallery in the beachside town of Lewes DE. This gallery is in charming historic town close to Rehoboth and Bethany and specializes in contemporary realists and impressionist landscape art.

This has been a *really* fun, energetic and truly freeing series to complete. To see more of these, please visit my painting blog here.


Endless Art - Galleries at Your Finger Tips

If you're getting a little cabin fever this winter - here is a bit of on-line art fun.

Almost 1000 galleries in the U.S. alone.

This is also one of those great resources you can use when you're traveling to find upcoming art openings nearby. Have fun and let me know what you find!


ART JAM Photos!

Hi Everyone,

Krista Linza took some great art jam photos. Thanks Krista! Anyone else who has photos or stories of things that happened, send them to me.

Here's Domonic LInza strumming on the guitar for Ari while Ray Heart and Don Belt listen. In the background, SaraBurton gets feeback on her experimental art.

Around the corner, the jam is bustling with artists like Charlie Belt and Amanda Jones (below) talking about thier current projects.

Art Jam is for everyone.
People of all ages and experience levels participate in the art jam. This year, we had award winning sculptors and painters enjoying the environment along with teens, and those baby Rembrandts.

We had such a large group of artists with fresh artwork this year that we plan to expand into a larger space next year.

Wow - Artist's Jam - you were GREAT!

We just finished the art jam and I'm settling in for a good night's sleep. Thanks to everyone for bringing all of that great artwork, put-luck food, acoustic music, poetry and amazing conversation.

I was just blown away so see so many fresh new paintings in one place ... and the quality of your work. What a night!


P.S. If anyone took photos, please e-mail them. I forgot to get images again ... but would love to have one or two.

Sweet Dreams.