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.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Anonymous in Venice

It's been nearly impossible to buy "authentic" Venetian treasures online (you could never fully trust the source), but I just read about a NEW WEBSITE that is managed by Andrei Dall'Osto, the son of a Venetian mask shop owner.  Online, they sell not only masks, but Murano glass jewelry!

Carnival in Venice (February 11 - 28, 2017)
It ends with the celebration of Lent.
Carnival (or Carnevale, as it's often used) may come from the Latin translation of "Farewell to Meat". Wikipedia tells us that Carnival started in Venice in 1162. Locals and visitors alike take great delight in dressing up, yet remaining anonymous to enjoy what Venice has to offer!  Indeed, some 3 million visitors come to Venice during Carnival.

If you're headed to Carnival, you might want to check out 8 Tips for visiting Venice's Carnival on a Travel Budget.


And thanks to Venetian Cat Bauer for making me aware of the new Venice mask website!

My Venice workshop is just 2.5 months away.
Only 2 spots left!
Check out my separate excursion packages 
for both Painters and Non-Painters HERE.
And my August Montreal workshop is open for registration as well (details HERE).

SEE MY LATEST POST HERE.

Friday, February 10, 2017

2 of my favorite things

This Saturday, February 11, I will think of 2 things that absolutely make me smile!

1)  Carnevale in Venice (too bad it's held in chilly February or I'd be over there!)

and 

2) Maria Bennett Hock, my fellow artist and WAM (Women. Artists. Mentors.) member.  It's YOUR BIRTHDAY, Maria!!  Celebrate in style!  (Inside joke:  I take my hat off to you, and forgive me for calling you a thing!)


"Summertime"
(My version of Birthday Cake, Maria!!!)
by Helen K Beacham
In a private collection.


My Venice workshop is just 2.5 months away.
Only 2 spots left!
Check out my separate excursion packages 
for both Painters and Non-Painters HERE.
And my August Montreal workshop is open for registration as well (details HERE).

SEE MY LATEST POST HERE.



Thursday, February 2, 2017

How to Paint Florals that Glow

Do you like to paint florals, but wish you could paint them better?  I can highly recommend Jan Kunz's book, "Painting Watercolor Florals That Glow".  Do you have another book to recommend to my readers?  Please leave us your Comments!

One of the pages in Jan Kunz's book entitled
"Painting Watercolor Florals that Glow".

My Venice workshop is just 3 months away.
Only 2 spots left!
Check out my separate excursion packages 
for both Painters and Non-Painters HERE.
And my August Montreal workshop is open for registration as well (details HERE).

SEE MY LATEST POST HERE.


Wednesday, February 1, 2017

A Pointy Tip

I recently treated myself to some new goodies...watercolor brushes and paper, etc. Today's the first time I picked up this new $13 brush, and I had to immediately let you all know "it's a Winner!!!"

Princeton Select Pointed Filbert #8
PRINCETONBRUSH.COM

Look at the point on that brush!  Wow!


And, now for my "Pointy Tip": When you're at the art store and are contemplating various brushes that make your heart go pitter patter, ask the store to provide you with a cup of water and some paper. They WILL give it to you, although sometimes they look at you weirdly first.    ;)
 

Swish the brush around to remove the sizing, and then "paint" with water onto the paper.  Does it continue to hold that point that you fell in love with?  Shake it around a bit. Still hold a point?  Then it's a keeper!  (and remember.....Mop = Flop!)
My Venice workshop is just 3 months away.
Only 2 spots left!
Check out my separate excursion packages 
for both Painters and Non-Painters HERE.
And my August Montreal workshop is open for registration as well (details HERE).

SEE MY LATEST POST HERE.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Varnishing Watercolors

When 2 different people ask me (in one day) how I varnish my watercolors, it seems like a good topic to write about.

WHY VARNISH?

Like many of you, I couldn't fathom NOT using glass.  But because I paint a lot of large pieces, they were expensive to frame.  And because I do a big outdoor festival each summer, my husband ended up having to lug all these heavy pieces (from the studio to the van, then to the tent, and then back home because, yes, they didn't all sell!).  

At some point, I started to realize that some well-known artists were varnishing their work instead. So the research began.

HOW TO VARNISH?

I don't profess to using the best method.  I keep experimenting.  I DO make sure that the entire paper is sandwiched inside a protective coating (front and back).  GOLDEN has good information about using their products. Why not try some of these options for yourself.  I find that, depending on the size of the painting, I might use one process for the smaller sizes versus a different process for big ones.  I usually wait till I have several finished pieces to varnish.  Then I tackle them "assembly line" style because the process is a bit laborious.

CAUTION?

Although I've been happy with this new way of displaying my work, if you enter shows or competitions, be aware that some won't accept varnished work.  Just read the fine print of your favorite shows before you start varnishing.

"Banana Fofana II"
by Helen K Beacham Fine Art
Watercolor on 140# Arches cold pressed paper, Varnished
Image size:  6"h x 12"w
AVAILABLE

My Venice workshop is just 3 months away.
Only 2 spots left!
Check out my separate excursion packages 
for both Painters and Non-Painters HERE.
And my August Montreal workshop is open for registration as well (details HERE).

SEE MY LATEST POST HERE.


Saturday, January 28, 2017

Rainy Day in Venice

Since my 2017 Venice workshop is just around the corner, I thought I'd post my demo of "A Rainy Day in Venice".  I started the sketch in Venice, and brought a photo of the scene back with me, to paint in the Studio.

Because I'm still NOT adept at either taking videos OR at posting them, I'm posting 2 links in the hopes that one works for you.  😏 



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KXlH5VFzluw

And here's the finished piece.  This painting is part of my "Venice Collection" that is headed to Montana (Miles City) where I and my fellow WAM: Women. Artists. Mentors. members will show our paintings at the Waterworks Art Museum from March 12 to April 15, 2017. (My fellow WAM members are Maria Bennett Hock, Debra Keirce, Kim Minichiello, and Carrie Waller.)


 
"Rainy Day in Venice"
by Helen K Beacham Fine Art
Watercolor, varnished.
Image size:  7"h x 5"w.  Framed size:  12"h x 10"w.
AVAILABLE HERE.

My Venice workshop is just 3 months away.
Only 2 spots left!
Check out my separate excursion packages 
for both Painters and Non-Painters HERE.
And my August Montreal workshop is open for registration as well (details HERE).

SEE MY LATEST POST HERE.