Monday, September 18, 2017

New Sketching Pen

Yesterday I sketched with the Charleston Urban Sketchers and I grabbed a new pen (new to me) to try out.  It's a Pentel Sign pen (no other name or number appears on the pen).  It draws smoothly and I like that it's a shade of gray, not a black.  What I didn't count on (and I discovered by mistake) is that it can be rewetted.  So...I just played with it a bit and I came away liking it.  I think I'll add it to my list of "must takes" (not mistakes!).

This tiny, circular building is on Market St., near Concord (in Charleston, SC)
Does anyone know what it used to be?
(thx to Karen H for telling me it was there!)

EARLY BIRD REGISTRATION IS NOW OPEN FOR SOME OF MY 2018 TRAVEL & ART RETREATS.
FIND THEM ALL ON MY WEBSITE HERE.

READ MY LATEST POST HERE.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Dancing Lamp Posts

Funny how you can walk by a certain something for a few years in a row, and one day when you're not even near there, you feel COMPELLED to research what it's all about...right?


On Murano, Italy (an island 10 minutes from Venice)
I like to think of these 2 as dancing...check out their cute faces!
(Photo by Helen K Beacham)

Turns out, all I had to do was google "twisted lamp posts Murano Italy" and I discovered that these whimsical street lamps were created by Dutch artist, Pieke Bergmans.  I was totally impressed when I found out about all of the collections, museums, and so forth that she's in! http://www.piekebergmans.com/sales/

Apparently she's got more naughty street lamps like these in many other cities! I may have to be her stalker and visit those cities now!  You can see more of Ms. Bergmans' work here:  http://www.piekebergmans.com/category/work/ 


EARLY BIRD REGISTRATION IS NOW OPEN FOR SOME OF MY 2018 TRAVEL & ART RETREATS.
FIND THEM ALL ON MY WEBSITE HERE.

READ MY LATEST POST HERE.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Barbie Expo

Montreal has a Barbie Expo that's free to the public.  There are more than 1000 Barbies, each wearing their own designer dresses.  Here's a sampling of what was on display.  Definitely go if you're in town!  

p.s. in homage to Gustav Klimt !!!








And here's a link to a video I took of the "Runway" that was prominently set up in the exhibit hall.



EARLY BIRD REGISTRATION IS NOW OPEN FOR SOME OF MY 2018 WORKSHOPS.
FIND THEM ALL ON MY WEBSITE HERE.


                                       SEE MY LATEST POST HERE.   







Location:  

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Sunday afternoons

Venice, Italy.

Sunday afternoon brings out the whole family. Just one of the many things I love about this town.


EARLY BIRD REGISTRATION IS NOW OPEN FOR SOME OF MY 2018 WORKSHOPS.
FIND THEM ALL ON MY WEBSITE HERE.


SEE MY LATEST POST HERE.   

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Depicting Bricks in Ink

Today I was asked, by one of my students, how I incorporate line work (ink) into my paintings that have brick in them.  

"When you do brick outlines in permanent marker do you do rows or start in a corner and fan outward? I think I want to attempt that on this picture."  Then she included her painting, along with one of mine that she wanted to emulate the look and feel of.

Her painting, along with her reference photo.

My painting that shows the bricks she'd like to emulate.
So, here's the input I gave her...I'm hoping it helps others of you as well.

1) First of all, be aware of how large to make your bricks. They will not necessarily b
e the size I used. Depends mostly on how close the building is. 


2) I do draw my brick rows in pencil lightly first to get the angles of the lines as they either move away from me or not (perspective).


3) then, again in pencil, I start to draw in some of the bricks nearest my main focal area (not on the outside edges of the building). Maybe around a door or a window.


4) I either then finish by using pencil or, if I feel confident enough, I jump in with ink. (I use a variety of inking options, but on this one, I used a Sharpie Ultrafinepoint marker.  Since this painting was done en plein air, it was easier to travel with.)


5) For interest, some lines are fatter than others and I never use a ruler in order to keep it fresher.


6) I don't always use ink in my paintings.  But I still try to give the bricks some individual character so that it doesn't look mechanical. Here's an example.

No ink used in this painting.

Please feel free to leave your own watercolors with brick work in the comments section.  We can all learn from each other.

EARLY BIRD REGISTRATION IS NOW OPEN FOR SOME OF MY 2018 WORKSHOPS.
FIND THEM ALL ON MY WEBSITE HERE.


SEE MY LATEST POST HERE.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Tippette #34 - Taking research photos

I voraciously snap pics with my phone...who doesn't?  

BUT, when I just took a photo that I know in my heart I'm going to want to paint, I point my phone or camera to the ground and snap another photo.  Why? So that it's real easy to identify the photo's location later when I download all of them.  (I typically come home from Montreal with 1600 photos. They all go into a folder dated with that year and month).

Montreal, in the Little Burgundy neighborhood

Similarly, if I'm sketching en plein air and want to finish it later in my Studio, I make sure to take a closeup of the scene and then point down at the ground. The one other thing I do is take a pic of my sketch to that point.  It sometimes comes in handy if I later want to do a work-in-progress post about it.


"One Way".  Watercolor (varnished & gelled to an archival board)
by Helen K Beacham
ARTWORK AVAILABLE.
Any other helpful tips that you have for taking your own research photos?

My Montreal (Canada) workshop (Aug 9-16) is still open for registration.  
Montreal is my home town.  Let me show Her to you! (details HERE).

SEE MY LATEST POST HERE.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

The Map Room

Those of you that religiously read my blog (thank you!) will know that I've created a HUGE map of Venice that I rely on when I plan new and interesting spots to paint at, eat at or pose in front of!

I've now created a map of Montreal which serves the same purpose.  My sketching workshop begins August 9 and we will be ready!!! (For my past Montreal students, you MIGHT want to come back!  It's Montreal's 375th Anniversary and the town is dressed to the nines!!!  I've lined up so many new spots for us to sketch this year!)

Montreal map which I created using Google Maps.  Very tedious but  it does the job! 
Messy close up of my Montreal map.
Below you can see my Venice map....I've decided to decorate the map with some of my paintings!  See for yourself...I think it works and it makes me smile!

Venice map I created, along with some of my Venice paintings.
Anyway, all this leads me to my original reason for writing today.  My husband walked into this room, which is one of 3 rooms in my home Studio.  He looks around, and declares "This should be called The Map Room."  

And so it shall!  
(I have 2 more walls...what to fill them with, hmmmm...????)

Carrie Waller will do a rare workshop for us in the Charleston area 
(July 28-29). Details HERE...come to Charleston!
My Montreal (Canada) workshop (Aug 9-16) is still open for registration.  Montreal is my home town.  Let me show Her to you! (details HERE).

SEE MY LATEST POST HERE.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

The Skinny

      This is the
     
      on trips you should join me on!


Montreal, Canada -  Sketch the Different Flavors of Montreal
(August 9-16, 2017) - $1500 US.  Read more...










Barcelona, Spain -  
Strictly Sightseeing!!!
(September 1-6, 2018) - $950 US  Details here...













The South of France
- Painting Retreat in the Dordogne Region
(September 7-13, 2018) - 2000 Euros  More Info here...










Venice, Italy -
Painting Retreat in the "City of Light & Water"
(September 14-22, 2018) - $2500 US  Piu qui....more here!












So, I've given you choices!  Come on just one, or combine
2 in 2018 for back-to-back bliss!  Early Bird rates apply in some cases, so be sure and click on the links above.

Ciao!



Sunday, May 14, 2017

Golden Tower in Venice

Every "odd" year, Venice holds a big old art party.  2017's Biennale (May 13 - Nov 26) began officially 2 days after our crew left Venice. However, some art installations begin a few days before that, so we got to see 3 going up.  One of them is this one below:

Golden Tower in Campo San Vio

The 65 ft tower is the work of James Lee Byars, who was born in Michigan in 1932 and died in Egypt in 1979.  I have yet to find out how this piece made its way to Venice this year, so long after the creator's death, but I imagine a foundation was involved.

When my painter's group sat at the foot of this tower to sketch the palazzos on the Grand Canal, the tower was encased in scaffolding since it had just been constructed.  The following week, when I and my non-painting group floated down a side canal in a gondola, we witnessed the piece, fully exposed! It is gilded in gold as a nod to the golden gilding that Venice has been noted for throughout the ages. Just breathtaking!

__________________

Carrie Waller will do a workshop for us in the Charleston area (July 28-29). Details HERE...come to Charleston!
My Montreal (Canada) workshop (Aug 9-16) is still open for registration.  Montreal is my home town.  Let me she Her to you! (details HERE).

SEE MY LATEST POST HERE.


Friday, May 12, 2017

Venice Photos

Once again, Venice did not disappoint!  I just returned from my trip and had a tough time choosing which photos to share with you. But here's my attempt!

The "grand" Grand Canal

Celebration for the feast of St. Mark's in Piazza San Marco...music, parades, and plenty of flag wavers.

Florian's....oldest cafe in Piazza San Marco.  The first cafe to allow men AND women!

Sketching on the island of Burano...a colorful fishing village in the Venetian lagoon.

Reflections of happy students in Mary Jo's glasses!

Venetian glass sparkles for us!

No summary of Venice would be complete without a nod to all of the efforts of the Venetians to make their surroundings as beautiful as possible.

Cicchetti...Venetian tapas.  We found some of our favorites on the island of Giudecca.

A hidden treasure garden!

Lunch  with my students, with a view of Venice and Santa Maria della Salute.

Splendor in the simple things.

A quiet spot on a side canal.

The Fondaco dei Tedeschi recently opened its doors in an ancient post office.  The public is now able to take an elevator to the roof terrace for the most spectacular, up close views of the East and West banks of the Grand Canal.

The fishing village of Burano.

Open air markets abound.

I need to paint this one!!!

On our gondola ride!

I got up early one morning, and what did I see??  The fog had rolled in!

The view from the bridge near our apartment was surreal!

Too many splendid, impressive churches to mention, but this statue of Mary is in the church on the island of Murano.  Every time I visit that church, I must photograph her, smiling down on me.

Books, books everywhere in this ancient book store near Santa Maria Formosa.  I always leave with a book for my evening's reading (and if you go, remember to give the kitty cat a pat on the head if he shows himself.  I think it brings good luck.)

I took my Non-Painters group (during the 2nd half of my overall trip) to The Lido this year!  Think of the Venice film festival and sightings of celebrities (we didn't see either but the beach, with the Adriatic Sea, was there to greet us).

My Non-Painters loved Murano's Osteria Al Duomo...we had trouble choosing from the extensive menu!

Cin cin!!!




Don't forget to stop and smell the roses from time to time!
And do it in Venice!!
Let me know what YOU think of Venice!  Do I have kindred spirits out there?!


Carrie Waller will do a workshop for us in the Charleston area (July 28-29). Details HERE...come to Charleston!
My Montreal (Canada) workshop (Aug 9-16) is still open for registration.  Montreal is my home town.  Let me she Her to you! (details HERE).

SEE MY LATEST POST HERE.