Daniel Keys - Video Painting Demonstration

Sometimes watching video clips of skilled painters helps get my mind warmed up to paint. If you enjoy the same, here's a short clip of Daniel Keys painting for his tutorial followed by a video of his paintings. His work has a Schmid like feel. Enjoy!

And a series of videos showing just the finish of a demo painting below: 


Oil Painting & Drawing Lessons / Classes in Northern Virginia

Study Oil Painting in Northern Virginia 
with Tricia Ratliff 
All ages and experience levels
Locations: Reston / Herndon, Virginia

- Tuesdays 10am-1pm (small group class)
- Mondays 8pm (private lesson spot available)
- Saturdays 9am (private lesson spot available)
- Ask about upcoming 1 day "Drawing with Confidence" workshop in February

Learn to paint using the techniques that bring light and life into your drawings and paintings. Study in a small group environment tailored for each student's individual needs. For more details about oil painting lessons, visit the "study" page of the website above and e-mail the instructor (see contact info on website) with your contact info.  


More Art Jam photos - by Karen Bateman

Thank you to Karen Batemen for taking photos at Art Jam. Enjoy!

Warm up sketches during open drawing session
copyright Karen E. Bateman

20 minute figure sketches from early drawing session
copyright Karen E. Bateman

Ed Hahn teaching artists how to improve the
quality of photos they take of their artwork for juries
copyright Karen E. Bateman

Great quote during afternoon speaker session
with Artists Conference Network
copyright Karen E. Bateman

copyright Karen E. Bateman 
Plein Air Artist and teacher greeting another traveling painter
copyright Karen E. Bateman

Young protege of documentary film producer
taking video footage of art figure model
copyright Karen E. Bateman

An artist and business owner discovering another artist who has
organized new studio spaces in town!
copyright Karen E. Bateman 
Wonderful food provided by
catered by Council for the arts of Herndon and pot luck contributors.
copyright Karen E. Bateman

Photos from Art Jam 2011 by Ed Hahn

Photos from Art Jam - the daytime sessions - taken by photographer Ed Hahn

copyright all rights reserved
Ed Hahn
copyright all rights reserved
Ed Hahn
copyright all rights reserved
Ed Hahn

Panel discussion with gallery owners and curators
copyright all rights reserved
Ed Hahn

Addressing the panel with new questions
copyright all rights reserved
Ed Hahn


Convincing Forgeries

Thanks to Walter Ratliff for forwarding this great article written by Helen Stoilas about a crafty forger. The forger doesn't try to sell his works or even take a tax deduction ... but just seems to want to see them hanging on walls next to the real thing. My favorite part if Matthew Leininger's comment at the end. You have to admit, these forgeries look pretty amazing. One is pictured here but others are with the article if you follow the link below.
The mysterious donor, left, and the Curran copy offered to the Hilliard Museum

Original Article:

NEW YORK. Museums and universities across the US are being targeted by a suspected art forger who has tried to donate works, complete with auction house records, that the museums now believe to be fakes. In September, a man posing as a Jesuit priest, visited the Hilliard University Art Museum in Lafayette, Louisiana, and tried to donate a work that the museum says was a skillful forgery.
Research into his previous donations at other museums has uncovered a history of what appear to be fraudulent gifts going back 20 years.
Last month, Mark Tullos, the director of the Hilliard museum, emailed colleagues about fake donations. The email was circulated on the Museum Security Network and the American Association of Museums Registrar’s Committee listservs. According to Tullos, a man dressed as a Jesuit priest came to the museum wanting “to donate a painting in honour of his late mother. [He had] an elaborate story about his Philadelphia family—their patronage to museums. He brought an American impressionist painting he purported to be by Charles Courtney Curran with what appeared to be proof of provenance.”
Tullos said the man, calling himself Father Arthur Scott, first wrote to him on what appeared to be church letterhead. On Tullos’ invitation, Father Scott paid a visit. “He got out of a red Cadillac dressed like a priest, with the collar and pin,” said Tullos. The museum accepted the painting, issued a receipt, and Father Scott “blessed us in the parking lot” and left, said Tullos.
The director asked museum registrar Joyce Penn to examine the painting. “She said, ‘This doesn’t look right,’ so she went down to the art prep area and took out her blacklight.” The painting glowed suspiciously, so Penn used a microscope to take a closer look and discovered the tell-tale dot matrix pattern of a reproduction, which had been painted over and signed. Tullos admits that the forgery was good enough to fool him. “At first glance, you really could not tell. The hero of this story is our registrar,” he said.
The discovery reminded Penn of a previous incident. She pulled out a file and found a photo of a man who had called himself Mark Landis, who Tullos recognised as Father Scott. This man had also tried to donate a work to the Louisiana State University (LSU) Museum of Art in 2009. As Tullos started to contact museums, more and more cases came to light. His searches led him to Matthew Leininger, who first came across “Landis” in 2007 while working as a registrar at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art and has compiled a dossier of his attempted donations.
Leininger says he became suspicious after the man donated a Louis Valtat watercolour to the museum, which became part of the collection. “He brought five more works to the museum, and we were getting ready to take the new pieces to the museum’s management.” These included a Paul Signac watercolour, a Stanislas Lépine oil on panel, a Marie Laurencin self-portrait, a French academic nude drawing and an Honoré Daumier sketch. As Leininger’s team researched the works, they came across a curiously similar Signac that had been donated to the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) Museum of Art in Georgia around the same time. A press release sent out by the museum announcing the gift also boasted of receiving works by “Milton Avery and Marie Laurencin, as well as a French academy drawing in red chalk,” all donated “by Mark Landis in honour of his father, the late Lt Cmdr Arthur Landis Jr.”
Leininger also used a blacklight to examine the Lepin. “Everywhere where there wasn’t paint it was glowing white,” he said, explaining that anything that wasn’t original oil paint should effloresce under the light, and he remembers the paint smelling “fresh”. Under microscope, pixels denoting a digital reproduction could be seen. He then discovered that the original Signac watercolour was in the collection of the Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg. The Oklahoma museum rejected the works, including the Valtat, which was “deemed a forgery” and was deaccessioned.
Leininger believes that all the works he came across “look like they were done by the same hand. Of course each will have a slight variation.” The paints used in the watercolours also all appear to be from the same palette, says Leininger.

So far, Leininger has found over 30 US museums that have been approached by a man going by the name “Mark Landis”, or by apparently the same man using the name “Steven Gardiner” (the names used seem unlikely to be his real name). The list also includes institutions such as the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC, the St Louis University Museum of Art, the Michael C. Carlos Museum in Atlanta, the San Francisco Art Institute, the American Folk Art Museum in New York, and the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art. The earliest donation he found is a Laurencin watercolour, Portrait of a Young Girl, 1935, given to the New Orleans Museum of Art in 1987, but later deemed a forgery. Many of the museums have recently become suspicious of these donations, because no tax deduction forms were asked for—sometimes Landis/Gardiner explained this, saying that he was on disability with heart problems.
Leininger, who is now at the Cincinnati Art Museum (which has not been approached with suspicious donations), says he notified local police, the FBI and the IRS, but as he hasn’t actually committed fraud, “I don’t know what you could get him on. All I can do is let people know.”
Meanwhile, the Hilliard University Art Museum in Louisiana, plans to include the “Curran” in an exhibition exploring authenticity and forgery, entitled “Say It Isn’t Faux!”, set to open in January 2011. But Leininger has more ambitious hopes: “My dream would be to get all these works from all the different museums, host an exhibition in his name and invite him as the guest of honour. Then he’d really have heart problems.”


Art Jam 2011 - That was fun!

Thank you everyone for participating in Art Jam 2011. Thank you to our sponsors: Council for the Arts of Herndon, ArtSpace Herndon and Plaza for making our public art jam possible this year. Thanks also to all of the supporters, speakers and volunteers. I loved working with every one of you.

We all had a great time this year and there was so much learning to soak up. I was blown away by so many outstanding works of art - both from the drawing session and the evening "pay it forward networking party" when you brought your latest framed artwork into the gallery. It seemed like everyone loved the panel and speaker series this year. I know I learned a lot.

For those who asked how to start an Artist's Conference Network group in our area, here's the website. They are very open to hearing from you if you call and e-mail the organizers directly. One of the experienced ACN leaders will be in the area during the week of April 11th. You might call and see if they are willing to visit us in Virginia around that time.  http://www.artistconference.net/ 

Finally, anyone with photos at Art Jam - please DO SHARE. Go to my website www.TriciaRatliff.com and mail them to me. I'll post them here on the blog too. Walter Ratliff will be working on a youtube video through Agile Arts Productions. He said he might be able to incorporate a photo or two.


Ready to Buy, Sell, Swap Artwork at ART JAM 2011

I've been super busy working with the volunteers who are making Art Jam 2011 happen this year. With so many exciting activities, I still love to buy/sell/swap artwork with friends.

This year, I'm bringing something a little different. Although most of my oil paintings are at galleries, I do have some drawings from my sketch books, watercolor studies, a couple of artist trading cards and other small works on paper that I can bring.

In hopes of inspiring you to go through you own sketch books and studios to find fun little items, I'm posting a photo of my swapping book and some images of the little works inside.

Remember ... the buy/sell/swap spirit is not limited to artwork, you can trade and commission services and other useful things. For example, I often trade 3 evenings of open studio model time for a 6"x6" oil sketch painting of the sitter (or an 8x10 portrait drawing). I've traded everything from private lessons to oil paintings and artist vacation accommodations.

Have an easel, drawing board or maybe a materials box you never use? Do you feel like it's not in "sales" condition but would be valuable to another artist? Bring it! Maybe you can swap that old easel for a friend's nice painting. Maybe you'll trade that well loved drawing board for a discount to get into someone's oil painting class. Just tape a sign on it saying it's available for buy/sell/swap.

Pair of Pears
watercolor by Tricia Ratliff
My sell/swap book
ready for Art Jam
View of DC from park by national gallery by Tricia Ratliff

Pinup girls from Dr. Sketchy's event at the Soundry
by Tricia Ratliff (2.5"x3.5" and 3" x 5")

Fall Leaves
watercolor by Tricia Ratliff
view from a dormer in our playroom
by Tricia Ratliff


Update: Fresh New Paintings at Broadway Gallery

Hello Friends,
Here's an update on the painting in the previous post. It has been getting great feedback so I took it along with other fresh new paintings to Broadway Gallery in Alexandria Virginia. Of course, they were so new that I totally forgot to take pictures of the other paintings. You will see them for the first time on the Broadway Gallery website (here). 

The website hasn't been updated *yet* with the new paintings ... it takes a week or two. But, you'll know it's been updated when you see the painting below and one with crisp green apples appear. 

I hope you'll visit them in person and say hi for me.


Visit my work at OvationTV.com

Hi Everyone. Some of my artwork and profile were recently updated on the Ovation TV website.  Follow this link to see images of my artwork!  http://ovationtv.com/search?q=tricia+ratliff

The Artwork should appear on the right side of the screen if you view it right away.

just off the easel (Oil Painting:Old Tales of Travel to Asia)

Old Tales from Travel to Asia

Old Tales of Travel to Asia
Oil on linen
Framed: $1500
Available at Broadway Gallery in Alexandria Virginia

It has been a fun week in the studio. Here is one of the paintings I've been working on.  I've enjoyed watching two my private study students create their own vignette paintings and drawings from this setup. The advanced students learn in this "paint along" approach where we paint different subjects side by side for multiple hours. Occasionally, some will work from my personal setup (like this) and that's always fun because we can talk about the many options available to achieve different results.

This painting was created primarily with a limited palette. First, I started with a "drawing" using ochre then added ultramarine and transparent red oxide and eventually white. Later, I added thalo and a couple of cads to my palette to finish it during the second sitting.

The idea behind the painting: I love this 105 year old map book and imagined siblings discovering it hidden in these old tea boxes full of things in an attic. A grandparent joins them and starts setting things out randomly while sharing stories of travel across asia and the random little nick knacks that one picks up or keeps along the way. In real life, the objects people group together in storage boxes rarely make sense to others. But to the traveler, they all obviously belong together. So, I added the shell and purple glass tooth powder bottle imagining these were things that left port with the traveller and eventually become reminders of personal adventures. The flowers communicate the idea that in the telling of the story, this piece of personal history is now alive and refreshed. 


How to Survive and Prosper as an Artist - by Caroll Michels

Happy New Year!

If you're coming into the new year looking for a kick in the pants for your art careers - this post is for you. First and foremost: learn, grow, experiment, explore and express. But, I know that's not what emerging artists are looking for when asking "How do I get my career going?" So, here's something that might help.

The book above is quite useful for new artists, students and even established artists looking for new insight about their careers.

My husband and I had a hearty laugh together when he pointed out that in an entire book about prospering as an artist, the chapter "Generating Income" is only 16 pages near the Appendices.

That alone says a lot about life as an artist. Most (if not all) of our focus tends to be on continuously developing our work- rightly so.

For artists who are newly navigating the many details of a fine art career, this book is chock full of business insights, ideas, useful sources, and opinions. You can't help but dog ear pages and make a "to-do" list while reading it. It covers everything from submitting to exhibit venues and contests to hiring an art manager and promoting your work on-line. Even if you don't follow through on everything you wish you were doing to get your work out there, if the book prompts you to do one thing better, than it's probably worth your time to read it.