Blog entry by Robert Christy, studio #18
I create many different kinds of art, from serious paintings to playful wooden crank toys, but the kind of painting I enjoy most is plein air – painting in the great out of doors. I like it because it gives me a great excuse to be in beautiful places, and observe them closely. It’s amazing what wildlife, plants and insects (Poison Ivy? Watch your feet for ants!), and subtle changes in weather and mood you can experience if you’re just quiet and there and looking.
I used to be a fly fisherman and that involved some of the same elements. In fact, plein air painting is a lot like fishing!
You never know what you’re going to come home with when you head out for the day. Maybe a lunker, maybe you get skunked. And it doesn’t take a lot of fancy equipment. Mostly you just have to pick your spot and concentrate on making it work for you.
I do have few special tools I like to have handy when I paint outdoors – besides the bug spray. You need to work fast – the sun is always moving and the shadows change and the day will end. So, I use a portable easel that sets up quickly (some people prefer the “French easel” but those don’t work well with large canvases – they blow over). Also, I like to get my drafting done quickly. I put a grid on my canvas, and then use a matted, gridded clear plastic to hold up to the scene I chose. Then, with the scene framed, you transfer the main shapes to the grid on the canvas (using pencil or – pick your color – black, blue, yellow, red; doesn’t matter because you will cover it up along with the grid lines). I also keep a straight edge handy for straight lines if I’m painting buildings (just hold it near the canvas and run the brush along its side). One other very useful tool if you paint with acrylics is a spray bottle filled with water. You can wash your brushes on the spot, and if the paint is drying too fast, you just spray down the entire painting. I’ve painted in the desert a lot and on a hot day there, the paint almost dries on the brush as you try to get it to the canvas. Sprayed my own head to cool off once or twice, too.
Speaking of the painter’s comfort, I usually wear boots (especially in the desert – lots of bitey and pokey things there) and a long-sleeved white shirt for sun protection. A large-brimmed straw hat is nice too, but it makes you look like everyone’s image of Van Gogh which is a bit of a kick-me sign. Someone is sure to stop and offer you advice about what is missing/needed/not right in the painting!
I haven’t mentioned yet how I choose my scenes, or compose a painting. But that’s the easy part. Once you’ve found a place worth painting, subjects worth painting will be all over. When I first moved to Northfield a few years ago, I looked around for a few weeks, both in town and in the countryside, for places to paint. I quickly settled on the Riverwalk area, because there was something worth painting in every direction. The were trees for shade so I didn’t have to paint in the sun. I was out of the way of traffic (country roads in Minnesota can be dusty and hazardous). There were old buildings and rocky textures and water and people. Everything a painter might want in a scene.
One last thing about outdoor painting. Just like fishing, it can be more fun if you go out with friends. You can get instant feedback, see how they approach a subject, and steal their ideas. Maybe there’s a little playful competition? And it gives you a little extra stick-to-it when the bugs or the wind or silence just make you want to give up and go home. Hang in there and now that you’re here just start a painting – you never know what you might catch.
Joseph Feaster, Roman5Studios (@ The Upper East Side) studio stop # 15, 213 Central Ave. Faribault MN 55021 www.roman5studios.squarespace.com
Joseph has taught art class workshops for Goodwill’s Youthbuild Program in years passed. In these classes, students learn and grow together by creating our own projects to complete. Project topics have included drawing and painting collaborations, photography courses, and mural work. In addition, we would talk about the importance and splendid diversity of artistic options whilst walking through nature.
Other projects (volunteer based) are large public murals in Sioux City, Iowa.
Typically, when creating a painting, Joseph looks at the overall image in layers. Depending on the depth, composition, time-frame, etc, a painting may have as few as 2 layers or as many as 20. In the examples provided, this particular painting has over 25 layers. When building up a painting, he always starts with the intended background and slowly add layers until the final details are placed at the end (top layers.) With this approach, he has discovered an interesting way to create unique color palettes directly on the canvas as he paints. The tricky part, is knowing when to stop adding paint!!!
Joseph always is networking and connecting with local patrons and potential customers to share his artistic skills. He recently has joined a local BNI chapter: Better Business Builders to meet with other entrepreneurs in the Faribault community. Currently, Joseph is applying for a grant to fund a public art project for downtown Faribault. This activity is part of Perception-Artists on Main Street, a partnership between Faribault Main Street, Minnesota Main Street and Springboard for the Arts with support from the Bush Foundation. He hopes to have his project approved for the Faribault public to enjoy this summer!
Joseph says, “I am a pretty normal dude! I live several blocks from my studio on Central Avenue in Faribault. I have three cats, two dogs, and four fish tanks. My yard is almost completely gardened with a variety of flowers and vegetables. I currently work full time in Faribault and “squeeze in” my art on my days off. I hope that will wonderful programs such as this one, I will have more exposure in our community. My dream is to produce my art full time and satisfy my passion for creativity. In short, I can’t do this without you!”
Joseph will be available during the allotted times for Art Tour. Visitors are welcome to take photos, ask questions, and participate if they wish! He is open to sharing ideas and techniques if need be.
Joseph has a wide variety of artwork ranging from illustrations, graphic design, acrylic painting, oil painting, digital illustration, film photography, digital photography, ceramic sculpture, and beadwork. Although he makes many things, his main focus in his artistic career is digital photography and acrylic painting.
Three Studio ArTour artists from Faribault participated in the Paradise Center for the Arts spring Raku firing at Lockerby Sheet Metal in Faribault. Dianne Lockerby (studio #10), Tami Resler (studio #11), and Julie Fakler (studio #10) all fired their one of a kind Raku pieces this past Saturday May 19th. All three artists will be selling their Raku pieces at this year’s Studio ArTour!
Raku pottery is fired at a relatively low temperature and then moved while hot to a closed container with combustible materials (such as paper or sawdust) that ignite and cause a reaction creating colors and patterns in the pottery’s surface.
In the above photo, the duck figure on the left is a Tami Resler Raku pottery piece. The fish on the right is a Dianne Lockerby Raku pottery piece.
Julie Fakler’s portrait of Fern, Raku pottery.
All three artists are looking forward to the Paradise Center for the Arts next Raku firing November 3, 2018.
Artour Artist Rebecca Tolle’s work is now on view at the Paradise Center for the Arts 321 Central Avenue N, Faribault MN 55021. Tolle’s exhibition of new work will be up until June 2, 2018. Paradise galleries are open Tues. – Sat. noon to 5pm. open late on Thursdays until 8pm.
Rebecca will also be teaching a class at the Paradise. COLD WAX & OIL CLASS Thursdays, May 24, 31, June 7 6:30 – 8:30 pm. $75 member/$85 Non-Member. Supply Fee: $5.00. Learn how to use cold wax to buildup layers of texture, color and transparency by adding and subtracting with tools that scrape, roll, impress and dig into the wax to reveal previous layers, and dimension of depth. Click here for a complete supply list
To get registered for Rebecca’s class call 507-332-7372 ext. 1 or 4
Who’s going to be behind those doors this year?
In 2018, the Studio ARTour will feature 19 Studios and 38 Artists – check out the line up:
The registration form is on line, please use the following LINK
Studio Artour Artist Rebecca Tolle will be teaching Beginning Oil Painting at the Paradise Center for the Arts in Faribault. To get registered call 507-332-7372 ext. 1 or 4. http://www.paradisecenterforthearts.org/classes/#visual-arts-classes
Beginning Oil Painting with artist Rebecca Tolle Tuesdays, Jan. 16, 23, 30, Feb. 6 2:00 – 4:00pm. Member $56/Non-Member $72. Supply fee $15. Have you ever thought you would like to explore painting in oils, but have little or no experience? In this 4-week course is a chance to try out this medium in a supportive, learning and fun environment. No experience needed. Just bring your enthusiasm. Ages 21 and over. Supplies provided: a palette to mix paint on, oil paint, brushes, canvas panels and terpenoid. We will begin the first painting together and paint along. If you have any of your own brushes, terpenoid (which is odorless), a palette (I use freezer paper for my palette), palette knives (plastic is ok for beginning) for mixing paint, and any other of your own supplies, please feel free to bring them. Please wear old clothes you can get paint on (I wear an old shirt/apron), roll of paper towels or rags, and (2) empty wide mouth jars for putting clean and dirty terpenoid in. Other Information: If you are unable to make (1) of the classes, I can discuss a make-up class at a later date for you. For all of us, there is always something that can come up un-expectantly and there is the need to be flexible.
This weekend Studio Artour artist Sue Peoples received an award of excellence at the art in the Garden at the MN Landscape Arboretum. Congratulations Sue!
Studio Artour Artists Judy Saye-Willis and Tom Willis are featured on Off 90
Some of our studio tour artists are on display!!! Judy Saye-Willis, Tom Willis and Fred Somers have work up at Minnesota State Arts Board. Greater Minnesota Artist Showcase, In their St. Paul offices. Work goes up April 28 for the St Paul Art Crawl and is up through August! Don’t miss a chance to check this out!
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