Art Supplies and Equipment

Hints and Reviews

Keep safe friends

Keep safe up in Valdez area. Carol and I have been keeping up with the news of the avalanche on the Richardson Highway. It really looks scary. Seems this year you guys got the warm weather and we got your cold air and snowy owls.
The nature folks down here are going crazy with the SNOWY OWL INVASION! That is what they are calling it. Owls all over east coast. The are roosting in downtown Baltimore and Washington DC.
On the beaches from Maine to Floridia.
This very Majestic bird is causing quite a fuss. Lol.
Happy New Year!

Categories: alaska, Art Educations, art expedition, Art Supplies and Equipment, Art Workshops, travel | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment

One Step at a Time

This weekend was an oil painting marathon. Six hours in two days. I really enjoy oil, the painting seems to emerge from the painting panel. When the color and shape are right, it looks “real”.

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Carol's moccasin left painted


So this is what happened, Carol and I are still put the “first sitting” on. That is the first layer of color.
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Margaret's right moccasin painted


Using fine bristle brushes, since they don’t come to a point like sable, use a smaller size. I like filberts, has a point and a slightly flat side of tip, making the brush more versital.
Now the hard part, look closely at moccasin(your object may be different). There are cool and warm tones on everything. Warm tones are the tones that are in the Direct light, Cool tones are in Indirect light. Wow! That really made sense.(just kidding) Here’s how I sort it out, top of moc is mostly warm tones.
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Direct light- where the light hits object


the sole/bottom of moc is cool tones(cool tones-reflected light from table, deeper, darker, larger shadows)
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Indirect light- No direct light- shadows and reflected lights


The side of moc are a mix depending where the light come from.
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Depending on where light is coming from


Now back to looking for where the shapes of shadows are and paint on your board. I am laughing, because this little task is the hardest thing to figure out. How to tune your eye, brain and intuition about painting to make this happen. 3 years in and I still very much feel like a novice.
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Carol's moccasin


Now to color!  Then mix the color as close as you can to the mid-range local color. The tan color of the suede moc. Not the highlights or shadow colors. Here’s where it gets tricky. Color mixing is practice and color chemistry.  It is about knowing what happens when you mix paint colors, there is no formula.
Back to suede color, it looks kind of yellowish, so mostly yellow ochre, with a little titanium yellow, add a touch of “red” and burnt sienna.
I work in two spots of paint, warm suede and cool suede piles.
So the warm suede adds the cad red light, burnt umber (to darken) and titanium yellow +touch of titanium white (to lighten)
On the cooler suede I add crimson (this is a super strong color, go lightly), raw umber (to darken) and titanium yellow (to lighten). The add a touch of medium to make it flow nice. Now you can see why it takes six hours and I only have half of one moc done.
Add in the drawing mistakes that were corrected. Most frustration comes back to incorrect drawing, at least I can see it earlier this time.
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Margaret's moccasin


We work very hard this weekend.
Have a Blessed Sunday! Wednesday! One week later! Argh!

Have a blessed week.

Categories: alaska, Art Educations, art expedition, art supplies, Art Supplies and Equipment, Art Techniques, Art Workshops, Food and Restaurants, Oil Painting, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Pliene Air Travel Sketching: A Watercolor Workshop in Annapolis Md. Jean Brinton Jaecks.

Well to say the least, Carol and I have been art busy since last month.
Pliene Air Travel Sketching: A Watercolor Workshop in Annapolis Md.
Our instructor was Jean Brinton Jaecks.
Jean did a great job explaing how the light reflects off things light building and trees. She also explained how light looks when soming through a tree, it makes the tree glow. I enjoyed the workshop very much.

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Day One: We started sketching at St. John’s College. Then everyone did two sketches around campus. Lovely lunch provided at the boathouse on campus.

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Day Two: We hoofed into town (a few blocks) and sketches houses. Carol and I sat together so we have similar subjects. While we were sketching houses the owners came across the street for a peek and a chat.

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Everyone was crazy friendly on this perfect October weekend. The sun/light kept coming and going behind clouds.

Carol painting

So when they say paint the “LIGHT FIRST”, they mean it. I finally figured out what the teachers have been saying. Duh!
After a sketch in town we wandered back to the boat house dock to paint the College Creek. A water painting. Hmmm. I find watercolor very difficult. I am not painting fast or confident enough….practice! Practice!practice! Ugg…it always comes down to hard work…lol.
After a very nice lunch of soup and salad.

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Jean Brinton Jaecks critiqued our days work. Her critiques were spott on. I was able to see where I did nicely and where improvement was needed. (No, I did not rip up and start over, how tempting is that)
Few hints: bring paper in different sizes, no larger than 9×12 inches. Larger paper means longer time. Practice drawing BEFORE you go! Practice trees, buildings. Bring camera, charged phone, gloves for cold mornings and money for coffee. A little snack would have helped. Our lifesavers were are art carts.

They carry art “STUFF” and have an attached seat. For the old and weary it was a welcome spot.
The class write up:
Watercolor sketching is an optimum way to see and experience travel and understand the world around us.
This workshop will focus on the study of atmosphere in the landscape, architectural details and expressing light in its ever changing moods. Artists will explore and sketch on the St. John’s campus, College Creek, and the historic houses and gardens in Annapolis surrounding the campus. Travel sketching can be very portable, and choosing the correct materials is essential. Lunch will be provided by St. John’s College, and a critique will complete each day. Participants should dress for the outdoors.

Categories: Art Educations, art expedition, art supplies, Art Supplies and Equipment, Art Techniques, Art Workshops, Food and Restaurants, Oil Painting, travel, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Alaska oil painting

Carol has a different Alaskan  still life setup.

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Carol's basket and mocs

Carol’s will have a glow coming from behind basket area, very classic look.

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Carol's first color sitting

Now for the oil painters out there. Our colors are mostly Robert Doak Colors. Some Windsor Newton.
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This is our standard palette plus blues. The amber blob near the thumb hole is Maroger Medium it makes the colors more transparent and keeps the flexibility and intensity of color. Ohhhh so nice! Our painting are smooth in texture.

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Robert Doak Colors


NOTE:::: Right to left
Titanium White, titanium yellow, cadium yellow light, cadium yellow medium, cadium yellow dark, yellow ochre, burnt sienna,burnt umber, raw umber, black, pyrol crimson( does not fade, so they say), Cadium red light, cerulean blue, ultramarine blue.

Categories: alaska, Art Educations, art expedition, art supplies, Art Supplies and Equipment, Art Techniques, Art Workshops, Oil Painting, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Happy Fall and watercolor classes

This week has been cloudy, misty and downright wet. It has rained for three days straight.

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St Stephen's church in morning fog

The morning fog is thick. We have had the most wonderful sunsets, when it clears.
With all the rain, Carol and I have been busy watercoloring. We are working on the Val Webb watercolor lettering.

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Negative Space lettering by Margaret


First try… next is the letter bubbles.
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Margaret's


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Carol's


These bubbles are so much harder than they look. I am almost finished mine.
Carol finished her’s and is now on to the next couple lessons.
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Carol's lettering with floral border


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Carol's blue bird with banner


I think these two paintings by Carol are just beautiful.
The Val Webb class is wonderful, the videos are clear and concise. Very easy to follow along with Val. Only negative is that it seems like she shuts off access to videos after 3 months or so. I am not sure I can finish the class in time.
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Pear from Weds. Night Classes

On Wednesday night, I am taking a watercolor basics at the Perry Hall high school thru the county adult ed. Wow! What luck a friend Nancy Van Meter is teaching the class and is doing a great. I am learning so much. Watercolor is so tricky.

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Mini pumkin by Margaret


I am almost finished. I am working toward trying to get in 6+ hours of art work per week. Right now I am running about 4. The more time working the better I will become….thats the theory at least….lol. ( I don’t count painting and varnishing floors as art time 😦 I am finishing up my sons room floor)
I am looking forward to more painting.

Categories: Art Educations, art expedition, art supplies, Art Supplies and Equipment, Art Techniques, Art Workshops, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments

Alaskan Still Life Oil Painting

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Margaret's set up ,in shadow box

What a whirlwind this summer and fall. Carol and I are settleing back into monthly oil painting lessons. Our lessons are 3 hours Friday and Saturday evenings.

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Toning the panel with burnt umber

We are moving along on our painting.
Our still life is Fur cuffed Alaskan moccasins, alaskan birch bark berry basket and wild blueberries for a natural touch.

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Carol's first sketch

Carol and I loved the texture of the suede and the fur.  The subtle shades and craftsmanship of the birch bark basket is lovely to see and touch. We wanted to paint these qualities into a painting.

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My first sketch.

Carol had a great idea and ordered faux blueberries to paint. As we finish the painting we will place real berries in to bring out the more “real” qualities of the blueberries.
This weekend we started adding our color first sitting. This layer has a color changes by value, light to dark.
The details are few, the challenge is to get the color value and intensity to match.

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Carol's first sitting, beautiful

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Margaret's first sitting

Whew! Now to wait until next month!

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Categories: alaska, Art Educations, art expedition, art supplies, Art Supplies and Equipment, Art Techniques, Art Workshops, Book Reviews, Botanical Drawing, Food and Restaurants, Oil Painting, travel, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Hanging Around McCarthy

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Small garden im front of house

Over the next several days, our little art band, ate lunch and dinner at the Wrangell Mountain Center.
We listened to great art lectures and ideas from Kristen Link. Kristen is very knowledgeable on botanical and scientific drawing and the science part of the naturalist field sketching.

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River bed near McCarthy


Most days we waited until after lunch to go on location.
“Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays
these couriers from the swift completion of their
appointed rounds.” the US Postal saying comes to mind with our outdoor sketching class.
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Looking at fallen cottonwoods


The first afternoon was down by the river bed. Fallen cottonwood trees and feathery Dryas flower lined the rocky dry riverbed. It was mostly misty then turned to light rain. After a little while any a few short sketches.
My watercolor sketches were a mess. We went back to the warmth of the hardware store for a bit of food and to finish our sketches.
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On location in Kennicott


Next day, we set off by bus to Kennicott with baged lunches and a few plastic ponchos. The light rain gave way to a steady cold rain. I was painting under my poncho. Rita had a great idea, she assured us the lady who runs the pizza bus in kennicott would love to have us use her tent. She also sells coffee and hot chocolate.
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Carol sketching


Did not have to ask Carol and I twice. The three of us packed quick and hiked down the hill to hot drinks, yummy calzone and dry sketching place.
Later we rode a very full bus of tour guides getting off duty, back to mccarthy. They said they we going to open mike night at Golden Saloon. Sounds fun.
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The Golden Saloon


After dinner, our books dried out enough to work on them. More talk and friendship.
Yes, we went to Golden Saloon. Great fun listening to Michele sing some of her original songs.
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The Golden Saloon McCarthy


Next day! More rain even harder. In the afternoon we set out to make a sketch map of someplace in McCarthy. I did a little path near the hardware store.
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A little path


Later that night afterdinner we had a final art show. Rita brought her summer works of art. Beautiful painting of the moraines and mountains. Mount Blackburn and Fireweed painted in brilliant shades of pinks, blues and violets. Stunning, they are painted in the Cape Cod Style of art that uses colors to give painting depth and light. Afterwards, the sun finally broke through, Rita and her Husband drove Carol and I back up to Kennicott to photograph the mountains and the mines in sunlight.
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Kennicott


Wow! We watched the sun set over Kennicott and walked to the top of the hill to Silk Stocking Row. Manager housing for the old mines. Many of the homes are fixed up very nice.we walked back to cars and headed back to McCarthy. The four of us went to Golden Saloon for some snacks and drinks. What nice new friends. We said our goodbyes and off to bed.

Categories: alaska, Art Educations, art expedition, art supplies, Art Supplies and Equipment, Art Workshops, Botanical Drawing, Food and Restaurants, travel, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments

Wrangell Mountain Center

Carol and I showed up at 6 pm with bells on for our Natural History Field Sketching and Journaling workshop. We are hard to miss, two mid-age females who are very motivated to learn art…..

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Wood burning stove


Everyone at WMC was wonderful. Mary made a delicious soup and salad for dinner, we sat in the sales floor of the old hardware store. Long tables with plywood tops and benches all around for seating. It was chilly so Cobi’s dad kept the room warm with the wood stove. Ahhhh, warm dry heat, with the smell of wood stove. Sure beats the chilly heat pump at home.
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Main room at Hardware Store


We later went in to the other room for the evenings lecture and sketching class. Yes, I really love this part. I like traveling, but I love doing, making and thinking art.
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Skulls to sketch


Kristen Link taught our week long class. Kristen is well organized and really knows her stuff. Carol and I were introduced to our “classmates”, Rita, Cobi, Sam and Michelle. Just like at everyclass I have ever been, with great hesitation… we all introduced ourselves. Very interesting, we all like art.
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Feather to sketch


Kristen then went over the syllabus and displayed her sketchbooks. Impressive! A little sketching inside the room. And off to bed….

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Main Street McCarthy

Carol and I rode the Kennicott Lodge bus with our luggage down to McCarthy. It is overcast and cool with bouts of rain.

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Ma Johnson's Hotel


In front of Ma Johnson’s hotel we unload our baggage. Up on the porch we place our baggage. Out comes Neil the owner to help us. Carol, Neil and I wheel in our luggage. On week three, this luggage thing gets tiresome. Leaving the artcarts on the porch. Neil shows us to our room. How sweet, two twin beds with lovely quilts. Pretty folded towels with handmade soap tucked in and a bag of candy with a little poem next to our sink. The potty and shower is close by… big Yeah!  I plop on the bed for a couple minutes of heaven. Carol was looking for electric plug. No, luck….if you want to charge anything…phone, computer, ipad, camera and such you need to take it to the parlor. Electronic are lined up neatly on a few small tables against the wall.
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Ma Johnson's Hotel Parlor


ELECTRONIC WITHDRAW!!! To begin with I was a bit edgey about this, leaving my lifeline unattended. But after awhile you just don’t worry about it. Nobody was touching your stuff and visa versa. The phones and internet just don’t work right anyway. So after a day or so the withdraw subsides.

Not to forget the artcarts, the girl at the desk pointed me in the right direction, told me the Wrangell Mountain Center was in the hardware store and I couldn’t miss it. So off I went with the artcarts. Down the road and into a brandnew building that had hardware stuff in it. Well as it turns out, that was the grocery store. I bought some bottled icetea and a candy bar, I was famished. Back outside with two art carts and bag of food. Down farther a two story very large building with giant letters HARDWARE written on it.

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Harware Store McCarthy ak


How stupid can I be. I took the artcarts in and met Kristen, Cobi and Mary from the wrangell mountain center. Later in the evening our class started.
When I got back to Hotel, Carol was ready for our “tour around town”, one street. McCarthy proved to be more than met the eye.
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Mcountain Arts Gallery McCarthy Ak

We stoppd at the Mountain Arts gallery that showcased many local
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Then we stopped by the McCarthy-Kennicott Historical Museum. Great history and artifacts.
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Categories: alaska, Art Educations, art expedition, art supplies, Art Supplies and Equipment, Art Workshops, Food and Restaurants, travel, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Supplies, Goodies and Girwood

Wednesday,August 7, ..2013
After a yummy breakfast of oatmeal, canadian bacon, hash browns, scrambled eggs and hot fresh waffles. (This is every weekday morning) hey joe: wink wink…you can make mom breakfast like this everyday….
We headed over to the Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson airforce/army base to shop for supplies. Most of the supplies we needed are items that are crazy or illegal on airplanes. Pocket knife, lighter, bear spray (I was wise enough to ask clerk how to use it..you spray the bear, not yourself. it is industrail pepper spray…a lady at the store uses it to scares dogs & men..do not mess with that girl…whoa!) , laundry detergent, hat and assorted goodies for family and friends..sorry you will have to wait until we come home…patience my dears. Below are some of the decor in the px.

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Hunting Trophies


I sent supplies for the Icon workshop from Maryland…they never arrived, ten days and counting.
Well PLAN 2 goes into effect: New supplies. We stopped byBlaine’s Art for the supplies. Wow! This is the most amazing fine art store. The staff bent over backwards to help. Carol and I were pretty crazed over how to find the supplies and cut them. Well the young man at Blair’s listened to the pickle I was in and cut the mat board to the correct size and lent me a papercutter to cut the rest of the supplies. We also picked up a couple of Tombo markers for our sketching class in 2 weeks.
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Blaines Art


After Blaines, we drove to Girwood.
It took us forever to drive to Girwood, we kept stopping to take pictures.
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Mud Flats

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Carol and I thought it would be fun to ride the Tram up Alyeska Resort mountain and have dinner at the Seven Glaciers Restaurant. No luck, sold out. We drove back to the hotel. We stopped in the town of Girwood and picked up a cup of coffee and biscotta. Yummy, good fresh made coffee, the hippie like atmosphere made me smile.The weather is low 63’s and drizzle.

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The Grind in Girwood

Later in the afternoon we came back to theResidence Inn for an evening meal of BBQ Shrimp rice and vegetables.fd

Categories: alaska, art expedition, art supplies, Art Supplies and Equipment, Botanical Drawing, travel, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

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