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.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

7th Annual Fine Art Invitational - Bohicket Marina



Free and Open to the Public!
Find us under the tent behind Red's Ice House




www.helenKbeacham.com
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 open for registration (details HERE).

SEE MY LATEST POST HERE.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

18 days till Venice!

18 days till lift off!  We'll paint some favorite canals, and I'll show you some new spots!

Hotel Bauer on the Grand Canal
Photo by Helen K Beacham Fine Art 2016

Sign up to receive my blog posts automatically so that you can come on this trip vicariously with us!
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 open for registration (details HERE).

SEE MY LATEST POST HERE.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Packing for Venice

Do you get the stink eye from your pets when you pack to leave town?

Drawing courtesy of my talented sister, who says she can't draw.

My Venice workshop is around the corner!  Getting sooo excited!

Venice looks like a fish, right?!  The head is hanging off the left side.
The lagoon islands of Giudecca, Murano and Burano are printed as separate maps. We're going there too!

This is how I plan my daily Venice agenda...all year long I plug new and better things to do and see and paint, into my Venice map (in Google Maps).  Then I print it all out (pasting together sections) and divide up the "goodies" into manageable days.  Does anyone know of a way to print the whole map without going through this exercise?  If so, I'm all ears!!!

My husband and my cats will miss me....!  (And typically I start to really miss them about 2 days before it's time to come back home!) I wish I could pack them all into my suitcase.  I'm looking forward to posting photos from there! Meanwhile, here's one from a previous workshop.

Cistern in Venice
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 open for registration (details HERE).

SEE MY LATEST POST HERE.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Tippette #33: Reversed out signature

I'm trying to get in the habit of thinking about which side I want to sign my name on, BEFORE I start to paint.  If it's going to be in a light spot, no problem...I can use pencil.  If it's going to be in a midtone area, sometimes I need to use a Sharpie ultrafine point.  But what do you do if it's in a really dark area?


On my last painting, when I thought I was done, I signed in pencil.  Then (naturally!) I wanted to add more color to the area, so I quickly signed with masking fluid (using my handy dandy thinnest twig as my signing utensil). When it was dry, I painted a couple more layers of watercolor over the area. The resulting signature was better than if I had left just the pencil.  Not perfect...next time I'm going to be a bit more careful with the application of the masking fluid.  

"Tucked Behind III", varnished watercolor on 300# Arches
by Helen K Beacham Fine Art
Image size: (11"h x 9.5"w) Framed size: (14"h x 12.5"w)
AVAILABLE.
Carrie Waller will do a workshop for us in the Charleston area (July 28-29). Details HERE...come to Charleston!
My Montreal workshop (Aug 9-16) is open for registration (details HERE).

SEE MY LATEST POST HERE.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Tippette #32: Paint in the Dark (sometimes)

We're always told to paint with good, natural lighting in our Studio.  Sometimes, though, I paint in the dark.

Work in progress. Watercolor on 300# Arches.
At times, I reach that stage in my painting where I feel it's got to be PUSHED into a higher level. Needs more oomph.

Observing, and painting, in the dark.
I wait till it's dark out, and turn on only secondary lighting.  Nothing overhead.   (My phone camera shows my room to be brighter than it actually was.)  I add my next layer of color in this low light setting.  The low light level really helps me see where I need more darks, compared to my reference photo.
Note #1: You may also, of course, use a red acetate value finder, but then you have to hold it up to your eye.
Note #2: I only paint in the dark when I believe it to be my LAST layer of color. I don't find myself doing it in the middle of a painting.

"Backlit III" (Image size:  6"h x 6"w)
by Helen K Beacham
Watercolor on 300# Arches
This is the result, shot with my phone camera the next day, in the light of day. I'm happy with it. Maybe give this technique a try and do let me know if it works for you!

Carrie Waller will do a workshop for us in the Charleston area (July 28-29). Details HERE...come to Charleston!
My Montreal workshop (Aug 9-16) is open for registration (details HERE).

SEE MY LATEST POST HERE.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Tippette #31: Mix up your Color Scheme

I recently added this Robax palette to my supplies and I'm loving it.  You add your paint to these little removable wells (they call them Liners).  

I used a Sharpie to write the brand and color name onto each (I tipped some over for you to see).  

I used to always use the same 20 colors because I'm comfortable mixing them to create new colors.  But at some point, I tired of the predictability of them. 

Robax allows me to pull out strange and new colors for each new painting, so that I stay engaged and excited about what's on my easel (table?)!

Robax palette
NOTE that there's a lid that goes on top of the whole palette.
Available from www.Robax.com

So, the way I handle this palette is to pull out the colors I'm going to try for today's painting, and I separate them into families on paper plates.  I write the name of the family onto the plate (Red, Blue, Green). Sometimes I pick up the wells and it makes it quicker and easier to drop them back on the right plate if I've written the color family on there.  I use the plates as big mixing areas.

THE ROBAX PALETTE is not inexpensive. You buy the liners separately from the lidded palette (total cost for this 85 well palette setup is currently around $98, but you can buy less than the 85 well size, for less money).  My artist friend, Carrie Waller, uses BEAD CONTAINERS to accomplish the same thing.  Do any of you have unique setups that you want to tell  us about? 

p.s. Did any of you notice the title of this post?  Remember the 30 Tippettes I shared with you in April of 2013? I figured I'd keep adding to them! Let me know you want more!

Carrie Waller will do a workshop in the Charleston area this July (details HERE).
My Montreal workshop (Aug 9-16) is open for registration (details HERE).

SEE MY LATEST POST HERE.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

HouseParty

GOOGLE HANGOUTS might still be the best way to visually communicate with a group of people online. 

Many of you know I'm part of A GROUP OF 5 ARTISTS who meet online monthly.  We talk about various art topics that we deem important to us.

Last month, I heard about a new app called HOUSEPARTY.  I saw that it was available to both Android and iOS devices.  (As an aside, I'm the only Android user in the bunch!)

So, we decided to hold last month's meeting via HouseParty.  Fail! 

First of all, you have to use it on a Smartphone...no laptop or tablet. We couldn't always hear each other, and if I remember correctly, we'd periodically take turns "freezing" on screen. Repeatedly.

So, we're back to Google Hangouts. Do you have a better solution we should be thinking about?

In hindsight, I remember having thought "hmmm...how could a name like HouseParty be anything other than a disaster?"  😊

"Venetian Glass II" by Helen K Beacham Fine Art
Watercolor with Pen & Ink
Image size:  9" x 9"
Available HERE.
My Montreal workshop (Aug 9-16) is open for registration (details HERE).

SEE MY LATEST POST HERE.