Study Oil Painting - Seth Haverkamp's class, a review by Tricia Ratliff

This fall, I participated in Seth Haverkamp's figure drawing group on Wednesday nights and got a *lot* out of it. I was amazed by how much we accomplished rendering the figure in large shapes using only cadmium orange, raw umber and white on grey canvas. See the images below - examples of 10 minute and 15 minute to 2 hour paintings.

So, I highly recommend trying out his new classes this coming January. Sign up to study with Seth while his classes are still small and you can get plenty of individual attention.

Details of Seth Haverkamp's January classes:

Painting the Figure, Starting Big - at Arlington Arts Alliance
Location: St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, Arlington Va. Monday nights 6:30-9:30 beginning January 10th. To register, Call 703.894.0539 or 703.533.0957 or email academy@arl ingtonartistsall iance.org. Class #SH11151  - $230 for 8 weeks

Color: The Figure and Beyond - at Adam Lister Gallery 
(click on link http://www.adamlistergallery.com/adult-art-courses.html ) Wednesday nights 6:30-9:30 beginning January 19th - March 9th. $230 at Adam Lister Gallery in Fairfax City. To register, Call 703.894.0539 or 703.533.0957 or email academy@arl ingtonartistsall iance.org. Class #SH11151  - $230 for 8 weeks

Seth will also begin offering studio classes in February!

portrait by Tricia Ratliff (www.TriciaRatliff.com)
15 minute gesture
by Tricia Ratliff

Students will learn how to simplify the drawing process into the essentials of dark and light shapes, emphasizing drawing the shapes of the human body using paint. Rather than painting the minutiae of bones and muscles, students will learn to see the body in large shapes of dark and light. Using a limited palette, students will paint the body according to its general shapes of light and shadow. Those shapes will be broken down into still smaller shapes, until the figure is painted, having never focused on anatomy, but rather the lights and darks ascribed by the body. This class is a prerequisite to the follow-up course, featuring painting shapes in color.

Instructor: Seth Haverkamp
Email: seth.haverkamp@gmail.com

Portrait sketch of Seth Haverkamp
by Tricia Ratliff

One evening, while waiting for our model, Seth (being a good sport) agreed to sit for us for 30-45 minutes. This is the oil sketch I made of Seth using his 3 color blocking approach.  It's fun, easy and the results are satisfying in a short period of time. Thanks Seth!


Painting with Seth Haverkamp

I recently learned that Seth Hanverkamp has opened a new class at Adam Lister gallery in Fairfax Virginia.  Seth is a great painter and in an effort to support him, some friends and I signed up to paint with him on Wednesday nights 6:00-9:00pm. His influences include Nelson Shanks, Steve Early and Rob Liberace - which you'll see in his work and class photos below.

I highly encourage artists to take advantage of this opportunity to study with seth, practice your fast gestures, loosen up, learn Seth's unique approach (which at first blush seems like the approach taught at Incamminati but is actually quite different) and have fun painting in a huge, well ventilated space.

Please say "Hi from Tricia" when you get there.

Seth painting a short demo

Seth's Demo
The 5-10 minute Oil Sketch


Get Ready for the Artist's Trading Card Swap at Art Jam

If you're registered for Art Jam - *Congratulations!* 
If not, click on the link above. 

With Art Jam only 4 weeks away, now is a good time to start getting ready. Art Jam is most fun if you bring your portfolio or latest work (poetry, paintings, drawings, film, music to share on your ipod, photos, notebook, visual journal etc.) or work in progress. Feel free to bring your laptop! If you're not an artist, bring your business card, flyers and information about anything you enjoy related to the arts. We all love to hear about the latest workshop, class, residency, gig, event, technology, product etc. that you found interesting so bring plenty of information. 

In addition to sharing inspiration, business advice, discoveries, flyers about interesting events etc. participants also buy, sell and swap artwork with each other. It's just great fun! 

This year at Art Jam, Plaza Art Materials is hosting the first Artist Trading Card event in DC!! 
Join the Movement! CREATE - SWAP - COLLECT. Anyone can participate in this light hearted "swap" of artwork. Simply create some artwork on 2.5"x3.5" cards, paper or canvas. (Strathmore cards cut to the correct size are available at Plaza Art Materials - see more at this link http://www.strathmoreartist.com/cards-atc.html )  Then, trade your artwork/cards with others and start collecting mini pieces artwork (which might be a painting, a sketch, a drawing, a collage, a stamp project etc.) of artists you appreciate. It's fun. The idea is to see how many you can find that you like and swap. You can even trade up using cards you've collected from other artists!

Pinup girl artist trading cards by Tricia Ratliff

"Pay it Forward" Networking Party:
When you arrive at the Jam, you'll find rolls of masking tape and markers. Write something you need or something you offer on your tape. For example "I offer to model for artists" or "I want to learn how to do encaustic" or "I need someone to read my latest poem" or "I'm looking for a good figure model with dark hair". Then, have a friend tape this to your back. Walk around, talk behind each other's backs and make introductions between people who might be able to help each other. 


Fine Art Photography Competition & Exhibit March 2011

Hello All,

My friend Ed Hahn forwarded this to me. It's a *new* competition for photographers.

Call for Entry:  ArtSpace Herndon 2011 Fine Art Photography Competition
Entry deadline:  5 February 2011, 5pm

ArtSpace Herndon invites photographers from DC, Maryland, Virginia, and West Virginia to participate in the 2011 ArtSpace Herndon Fine Art Photography Competition. 

The competition is open to fine art photographers aged 18 or older working in any medium (digital or analog, color or monochrome), and using any printing technique - we care about well-done art more than the specific medium, technique or format. Fine Art Photography of any subject is welcome; there is no required theme for entries.

The juror for the 2011 Fine Art Photography Competition is Erin Antognoli. 

Finalists for the Competition will make up the March 2011 Exhibition at ArtSpace Herndon.  Finalists will be notified on 12 February 2011 via email.

1st Place:  $300
2nd Place: $200
3rd Place:  $100

For more information or to enter the competition, follow this link:

ArtSpace Herndon is a community art gallery created and supported by art lovers in the greater Herndon area.  ArtSpace Herndon is a gathering place to celebrate the arts, showcasing artwork and events by local, regionally, and nationally known artists and performers.  ArtSpace Herndon features a 1,700 sq foot art gallery and two classrooms for all types of art classes and small group sessions with artists.  It’s a showcase for private receptions, business gatherings and opportunities for visitors and residents to experience and participate in the arts.  The gallery features works and events for artists and performers and is located in the heart of Historic Downtown Herndon, Virginia.



New Portrait Drawing

This week, I've been working on finishing portrait drawings for clients who need them before Christmas. Here is the wedding portrait of a newly married couple. This one is obviously from a photo taken at the ceremony.

Working from photos creates some unique challenges. For example, the only directional light in this beautiful, professional photo is on the side. If I had used charcoal or graphite, their faces would be mostly dark and in shadow. So, this image lent itself better to terra cotta and white on hand toned paper ot keep a warm look in the shadows. I exaggerated the reflected lights - and the image looks a lot softer and clearer in person than it will in the photos I take of it.


Baby Shoes and Blocks (Painting)

Due to the recent facebook exchange about this painting of my husband's baby shoes and blocks, I thought I'd post it here on my blog ... it will show up on facebook shortly.

For those who asked where you can see these, here are links to the galleries where my artwork is physically hanging:

Applegate gallery in Vienna VA http://www.applegateframing.com/FeaturedArtists.htm

Broadway Gallery in Alexandria VA

Public Domain Images

There are a number of on-going conversations, educational efforts and even debates in the art world about hot topics such as freedom of speech/expression, what is art, how do you define a portrait, copyright, royalties (or giving proper credit), appropriate content for different audiences, the acceptability  of working from photos, what makes something a hand made original (much debated among digital artists and graphic media artists) and many more!

Recently, while speaking to a friend who is a curator, we ended up talking about a number of these topics simultaneously because they impacted an exhibit at her venue.

During our discussion, she brought up the fact that many high school students are encouraged to go out and find inspiring photos to use for their practice work. She pointed out that some of these young people are going on to college and entering their work into public shows and competitions without any support finding public domain images. While I always encourage students to work from life, I can certainly understand the challenges young people face. Particularly when they don't have the luxury of a studio or sometimes even a quiet space to work in their homes.

The curator asked if I could do a post to help these students and any other interested artists find appropriate public domain images.

I hope the following link is useful to those of you who are teachers as well as students looking for resources.


And of course, just for fun, I'm including this lovely public domain image for your enjoyment.


Alexandria VA: Tricia Ratliff's artwork at Broadway Gallery

I'm so pleased to share that as of last weekend, my artwork hanging at Broadway Gallery in Alexandria Virginia is also on their website. Please take a peek at the oil paintings and call the gallery if you are interested in anything you see there.


If you have the opportunity to visit in person, say hello for me!

MAP link:
5641 General Washington Dr