Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Entering Shows

It was a beautiful morning in Ponte Vedra Beach earlier this month as Cindy Pierson called the meeting to order, and thanked Kevin Arthur for arranging the March plein air at Fantasy Farms. Kevin's painting of the golden pheasant was donated to their fundraising auction.

We has 20 in attendance at the meeting. With our own annual juried show upcoming members were interested in hearing our panel speak about entering shows.

Our panel consisted of Lyn Asselta, Rick Petersen, and Richard Lundgren. Some of the highlights of what they told us about preparing for a show:
- No sawtooth hangers on the frames. You need wiring and D-rings.
- Read the prospectus *carefully* and make sure you understand all the requirements - such as neutral mats.
- Note that shipping to remote shows can be very expensive, and you need to pay for shipping both ways. Uline and Air Float both make shipping containers. You need several inches of foam around your painting.
- For shipped paintings static-free acrylic is best.
- You need a good quality photo of your work. Don't try to color-correct as every monitor is different. Shoot outdoors in the shade, around 10 AM, or 2-3 PM.
- Choose several of your own favorite pieces and then ask someone else for an honest opinion,
- Sometimes it's good to take a photo and look at your work in black and white.
- Don't submit pieces based on the judge and what you think the judge will like.
- If you need a "body of work" such as applying to the PSA, make sure you send paintings that look like they were done by the same artist. They don't care how versatile you are. Don't send (for example) a pet portrait, a landscape, an abstract.
- Be careful with frames - not too cheap, not too ornate. Frames should be elegant but simple. Use a wide frame if framing without a mat. lets you upload your image and see how it looks with a specific frame.
- Don't oversell or undersell your work. Pricing should be consistent.
- Challenge yourself. Enter shows you might not have thought about entering. 

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Our recent Nancy Nowak workshop

Once again the FCPS has hosted an excellent workshop with a great instructor. This year our instructor was Nancy Nowak from Atlanta.

Her work is beautifully impressionistic, and she spends a lot of time creating an underpainting.

(photo courtesy of Kathleen Trued)

We had a full classroom of people who signed up for this intensive 3-day workshop. Workshop attendee Kathleen Trued said:
Day 1 and 2 were pastel + alcohol underpainting; day 3 was watercolor underpainting with drips and splashes. The details of the painting were delicately inserted with edge of pastel for suggestion of tree trunks, branches and for foliage.

(photo courtesy of Kathleen Trued) 

Certainly Nancy's demo paintings were wonderful. We were fortunate to have her so relatively nearby, and to be willing to come down and teach for us.

(photo courtesy of Kathleen Trued) 

(photo courtesy of Kathleen Trued) 

Monday, March 13, 2017

A Fantastical Day

Those of us who made it to Fantasy Farms on March 4th had a really marvelous day. The weather was glorious for one thing, a tad cool in the morning, but warming to perfect. We've had lots of great plein air days in the our five years, but Fantasy Farms was definitely distinctive and unique. Thanks to Kevin Arthur for setting this up for us.

 It was definitely the sort of place that required a lot of wandering around to decide what should be painted. There were so many options.

This striking Chinese Golden Pheasant was sure a stand-out among the birds.

The llamas had such appealing faces.

They even had a cute little wallaby.

 Some folks got down to painting or drawing pretty quickly.

Others had to take a while to study the possible subjects.

It was a great place for taking lots of reference photos as well.

But eventually most folks settled down and chose subjects to paint.

And as you can see from some of these paintings from the morning there definitely was a wide range of interest in the choices that were made.

Ponte Vedra - Juried Show

The deadline is coming up for our Juried Show! Have you submitted your entries yet? If you haven't don't be embarrassed. I have not submitted mine yet either, LOL.

However the deadline of March 25 is fast approaching, and the deadline is even sooner if you have chosen to put your images on a CD and mail them rather than emailing the images to Carron.

Note that the blog has a button for payment for the show, and there are also links to the prospectus and the entry form which you should be able to print.

Whether you are mailing your images on a CD or emailing them there are rules to be followed for both naming your files and for sizing your files. Please read the prospectus carefully to make sure you understand what you are supposed to do. If you have questions please let us know. Let's get our entries in so we can have another awesome show.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Fantasy Farms Plein Air

What:     Plein air paint-out
When:    Saturday, March 4, 2017
Time:     9 AM to 1 PM
Where:  Fantasy Farms Animal Preserve, Ponte Vedra Beach, FL 

We have quite an exciting adventure planned  for this coming Saturday. Kevin Arthur has arranged for us to go to Fantasy Farms Animal Preserve in Ponte Vedra. Fantasy Farms is not generally open to the public. We will meet in the back parking lot of Christ the Redeemer Church in on S. Roscoe Blvd. in Ponte Vedra Beach.

When you get to the far back parking lot there is a small pathway that leads off into the secluded and well-hidden animal preserve.

We hope for better weather than we had for the Fountain of Youth! But for those of you who woke up on that raw, chilly morning and decided to roll over and stay in bed you will get one more chance  to paint peacocks, even if fewer of  them than the Fountain of Youth had.

But there are other birds as well contained in cages. Some are quite vocal though, and one of them said "hello" to me with such a human voice that I actually replied to it before I realized it was a bird and not a person. Several others not only said hello but gave me wolf whistles - a first time in 40 years!

 There are other animals besides birds too, like these llamas.

 Also goats, and donkeys. Plenty of animals to choose from if you choose to paint one. It's also a car museum!

If it should prove to be a very warm day there is plenty of shade there, so everyone should be comfortable. Let;s have a great turnout this month.

Here's what they said in First Coast Magazine...
About 120 animals live at Fantasy Farms, a 2-acre animal sanctuary tucked away off Roscoe Boulevard in Ponte Vedra Beach. It is an exotic place, home to many creatures from around the world, including lemurs, macaws, roosters, peacocks, wallabies, a Genet (small animal that resembles a wild cat) and a Capuchin monkey. For years it was a privately owned secret, open only to invited guests. The mission is education, regarding the care of animals and birds, President Frank Barker says. Most are rescues, formerly pets of people who couldn’t adequately care for them. 
But it’s not just an animal sanctuary, with creatures housed in pens, cages and wandering the grounds, as the peacocks do. It is also a car museum, featuring one-of-a-kind automobiles, including a Rolls Royce once owned by fried chicken magnate Colonel Sanders, actor Don Johnson’s Porsche from Miami Vice and a 1954 Foxtrot MG. Fantasy Farms founder Louie Williams, a successful interior designer, travels the country looking for unique artifacts for his clients, and collects cars that capture his fancy, operations manager Ramon Jimenez says. With the animals and cars surrounded by lush vegetation, it’s a magical oasis for visitors.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Fountain of Youth on the raw side

 What a difference a day or two makes. The forecast for Saturday was sunny and 70 when I posted the previous blog entry, but the forecast deteriorated more and more as the week wore on, so that by Saturday morning the  forecast was for cloudy, windy, and mid-50s! I'm sure the weather contributed to our low turnout of FCPS participants.

Nonetheless there were some of us who turned up, and enjoyed getting to see the grounds, and all the peacocks strutting around. Some of us were here with the FCPS in 2012, but there has been a lot of new construction since then.

 In the end there were a total of six of us who showed up to paint on the grounds.

We were asked to set up as much as possible along the perimeters of the park, along the edges of the marshes, so as not to disturb the other folks visiting the park.  Though, with the weather, the crowds were pretty small anyway.

Still, we always enjoy seeing one another. The chill did seep in though as we sat, and in the end we broke about 11:15 and all joined one another for lunch at the small restaurant on the grounds. It felt good to get something warm to eat.

But it was also fun to stroll around the grounds and get photos, though the lighting was not the best.

There was a 16th Century reenactment going on for the weekend also, and most of the folks had certain specialties which they were very happy to talk about. A couple of us stayed behind after lunch and went through the reenactors' village. Because the crowds were so light we got a lot of personal attention and information. We especially enjoyed talking to artist Mark Menendez about 16th century painting techniques. Mark is not only an artist and art teacher, but also a descendant of Pedro de Menendez who founded St. Augustine right on this very spot in 1565 - a connection to history. And another connection: Mark hired a Spanish genealogist to trace his connection to Pablo de Menendez, and the genealogist he hired is also a pastelist, and founding member and President of the Association of Spanish Pastel Painters. :-)

NOTE: If you missed Saturday we are, right now, expecting to do another plein air day in March. Stay tuned for details.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

plein air - Fountain of Youth

What:   First 2017 Plein Air
When:  Saturday, February 4, 9 AM to 1 PM
Where: Fountain of Youth, St. Augustine, FL 

The weather looks perfect for Saturday, sunny and a high of 70. What a day for plein air. We hope everyone can just us at the Fountain of Youth in St. Augustine. It's located on the Matanzas River and offers salt marshes.

As well as exotic peacocks (both normal colored and albino white) strolling the grounds.

And folks in period costumes. See what Lyn Asselta said below  for all the details for what looks like being an excellent day:
Details:When you arrive, please pull in toward the left and back area of the parking lot. It's even better if you carpool with another FCPS member so we aren't taking up all their spaces. We can park in the bus area, just past the cafe, since there will be no school buses there that day. 
Gather up in the parking lot and Cindy will be there to check everyone in at the ticket area.  There is no charge for you to be on the grounds for the morning.
Please note that there will be a 16th century encampment going on while you are there.  The Fountain of Youth Park has requested that we paint on the OPPOSITE side of the park so as not to disturb the re-enactors.   
The rep from Fountain of Youth will let you all know where to paint. Please be courteous and remember that the park is open on Saturday and there will be lots of people coming through who have paid to be in the park.  
Since FOY is not charging us admission, please consider patronizing their cafe and buying lunch after you're finished painting.  You may bring a lunch, but please don't use the picnic tables on the grounds ~ these are for their patrons.