teaching painting

Here's an in-class demonstration for my students at Art Center. It's always a labor of love. You have to 'put it on' for the students and give it your all, even if you're not actually excited about the motif. Students learn alot about painting simply seeing someone paint and explaining their thought process, so for the benefit of showing another generation about the art of painting, I go for it with my demos... but usually I find the light and color in those flourescent and spot-lit classrooms very uninspiring and that's where 'putting it on' comes into play. ^_^

This painting is a two color palette: burnt umber and ultramarine blue. A warm color and a cool color and the entire range of greys in between. The idea for the students is to primarily concern themselves with seeing the 'values' of the scene but then begin secondarily to assess the temperature of a particular value, is it warm or is it cool. The result with this two color palette is intended to feel very 'real', almost as if it's in full color but in reality is overall quite neutral. The next week we add yellow ochre and terra rosa and are able to achieve nearly full, realistic color. Those four colors and white are all Franz Hals ever needed!

Here's the painting. It's not bad, given that in the classroom environment it's always like painting a portrait in an emergency room. It needs serious work but the sitting is over so what are you gonna do? On to the next. ^_^

the Commercial Exchange building

I spent the morning retouching a few paintings that needed a little TLC, and then I headed downtown to the parking lot at 8th and Grand to paint the Commercial Exchange building. Sunday is a great day to go downtown because the parking is free! I think the painting is coming along nicely so far, but I want to bring it back next Sunday and work some more on it from life. oil on canvas, 36 by 24

6th and Main

I was back downtown today painting again. I helped out John Kilduff on the cable access version of Let's Paint TV and then we headed into the city to paint some urban landscape on the streets. Here's my take on the corner of 6th and Main. oil on canvas, 36 by 18

Jim's Burgers

John Kilduff and I went urban landscape painting today in Altadena to paint Jim's Burgers. A passerby said that they are tearing the place down. I'm not sure what they're going to put up in it's place, but I doubt it will have a sign as cool as this! Here's the painting and a couple location shots of me and of John's painting. oil on canvas, 36 by 18

life drawing at the Hive

Last night being the 3rd Thursday of the month, we had life drawing at the Hive gallery in downtown Los Angeles. Here are a few that I liked...

little joy

I went to the dvd release party of the movie I worked on with Vena Virago. It was at a bar in Echo Park called Little Joy. I played wall flower and did some crazy doodles in my sketchbook to remember the moment, here's one of the three that turned out the best...

International Dutch Open Street Painting Championship

This August marked the first annual International Dutch Open Street Painting Championship in Valkenburg, Holland. Valkenburg is a beautiful little town in the southern tip of Holland. Tourists love it because it is has a wonderful French influence and is one of the only places in Holland that has rolling hills. So, after years of street painting in Utrecht for cultural events and promotions I was excited to see more of the country and compete in an international competition. The event took place in and around the town center with artists from Holland, Germany, Italy, Belgium, and the U.S. Many of the artists I knew from other events around Europe so it was a wonderful reunion.

I designed a new painting for the competition and was very excited to be able to paint nudes. This is something I am usually not allowed to paint in American events as it is deemed 'inappropriate for all audiences'. So, any chance I get to paint with complete freedom is exciting for me. The only problem was that it rained almost the entire first day of the event forcing most artists to begin their drawings again late afternoon. This is what I had by evening on Saturday. My fiance, Remmie, helped with the background which made up for lost time.

Sunday was beautiful and sunny and everyone did a great job on their paintings. The competition was peoples choice so ballots were handed out and you could vote on your favorite painting. My painting, "Unconscious Rivals", won third prize in the 'Original Painting' category. I was awarded an International Dutch Open Limestone Medal, a Trophy, and a cash prize. All in all it was a great weekend and I was really happy with how the painting turned out. Hopefully I'll be able to make it back next year!

the Colorado Street bridge

I went out with John Kilduff yesterday after Let's Paint TV to paint the Colorado Street bridge . It's such a classic motif that has been painted over and over which makes it a challenge to take over it's 'landmark' status and make a unique piece out of it... also, a lot of times the paintings I see wind up becoming a tedious lesson in perspective that never seems to capture of light and scope of it all. So I really tried to go nuts on this one and as John said "go for the juglar." I had fun with it, another nice horizontal composition. oil on canvas, 18 by 36

7th and Grand

I did this piece on Monday but haven't had time to blog it until now. The corners around 7th and Grand are very picturesque! I'm definately going to check out that part of downtown again soon... When I was doing this piece, a burly guy in a suit with a badge walked up to me and asked if I had a permit to do what I was doing. I was somewhat taken aback and I said "Well I'm not selling anything so I don't think I need a permit, do I?" and then this gentleman said so me, "Oh! I like what you're doing! I want to let you know I'm the owner of this building and that if you have any trouble from the police I want you to ring the bell and ask for me and I'll vouch for you that you have my permission to paint on my property." We chatted for a bit after that and I thanked him and gave him my card. That was exciting and fun! You meet such an interesting and wide array of people when you're painting on the street.

I'm not entirely sure if I like the horizontal composition but it was fun to switch it up and try something different... In the lower right of the painting is a special portrait commission of Oliver, another fellow I met on the street who really wanted to be painted into the piece! He crossed the street and posed for me for a minute and I threw him in. He was very pleased when he saw the results! oil on canvas, 22 by 28

7th and Hope

It was another beautiful day in Los Angeles and I took advantage of the sunny afternoon to paint this piece downtown, the corner of 7th St. and Hope. As the summer comes to an end and the days get shorter and shorter, it gives me the desire to hit the streets and paint as many pictures as I can before fall and winter set in and we start to get (hopefully!) more clouds and rain. oil on canvas, 36 by 18. work in progress

8th Street nocture

Last night was Art Walk downtown and I was invited to do some live painting at a lounge downtown called Tranquility Base. I had fun doing another night scene, it certainly uses a different side of the color palette than painting sunshine! Here's how it turned out: 8th and Grand, oil on canvas, 24 by 12

8th and grand

I started this painting today on top of a goofball abstract painting I barely even remember painting at the Hive opening last Saturday; I took out a canvas and my paints and started mixing colors I saw and painting them randomly on the cavas, Grace's dress, the color of the wall, skin tones, everything... the idea was to just throw some paint around and cover a canvas with something, then paint something more coherent on top of that willy-nilly underpainting. The mindless color becomes something to work against when you're putting some order on top of it. Here's the piece so far, slop-tastic! I'm going to take it back on location tomorrow for artwalk... oil on canvas, 30 by 24

You Are Worth the Time!

A beautiful new video by Jan Phillips.

New Fortune Teller Tutorial!

I wrote an easy to follow free step-by-step tutorial for this Fortune Teller Coffee table game that I designed for Alpha Stamps. Just spin the arrow to select your number and open the corresponding drawer to read your secret fortune. This would make a great Halloween project!

You can find the tutorial and products here on Alpha Stamps Blog (click on the highlighted words in the tutorial for more photos). Please feel free to use this design as much as you wish but I would love a small mention as it is an original design.
Thanks a bunch! XO

The last of the Bookmarks

Here are the last few bookmarks I have received. I am going to start the process of swapping these out and hopefully by Friday they will all be on their way to their new homes. So for those of you in the US you should start seeing them in your mail boxes early next week. :)

These bookmarks are from artist Jane Bumar in Florida.

These bookmarks are from artist Carol Taylor in Wales, UK.

These bookmarks are from artist Linda Vincent in England.

This was a super fun and very meaningful swap for me and I want to thank everyone for that.


8th and Hill

I took an unsuccessful painting of the Griffith Observatory and slapped a new painting on it. I like doing that! The surface is nice and rough and that makes it fun to paint over. I scraped the big chunks off, flipped it upside down, and then painted real thick on top! Maybe someday they'll x-ray the piece and find the other painting beneath it! What's nice about it is that when you have a failed canvas, it's just taking up room but when you paint over it, now it's a piece you like! oil on canvas, 36 by 24

Bookmark beauty continued!

More lovelies came in!

This bookmark is from artist Viki Worley in Kentucky.

These bookmarks are from artist Laura Norris in Maryland.

This batch of bookmarks are from artist Christy Sobolewski in Florida.

I am going to wait a few more days and then swap the bookmarks out. If you have mailed yours and haven't seen it pictured here on my blog then I have not received it yet. If haven't contacted me yet, please send me a courtesy email so I know who's are still in the mail system. sarah@caspiana.com
Thanks a bunch!

an arcade on Broadway

If you've ever been to downtown LA, you have to see Broadway. It's not Rodeo Drive, but it is a beautiful street in it's own way... bright signs, neat old buildings, music blaring from differernt stores, lots of people. It's rough around the edges, but fun to paint! I went out with John "Lets Paint TV" Kilduff yesterday after his show and we both painted urban landscape on Broadway. This was a different, flatter perspective instead of a distant vista down the street, but I liked all the colors and signs. That made it work for me! oil on canvas, 30 by 24

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