Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Wrapping up my two-day workshop...

Sunday afternoon, near the end of the workshop

Just wanted to share a few pictures and a little bit about my workshop at Guy Magallanes' Studio this past weekend. I had nine students -- three from southern California (Bakersfield and Altadena) and six local artists -- including Guy and his partner in Art2Art, Joyce Faulknor. I had a great time teaching the workshop and, from the feedback I got, I think everyone attending had a fun time too!!  

My thanks to Guy for hosting my return to the workshop scene -- couldn't have asked for a better host or more congenial workspace. I greatly appreciated his support and encouragement!! Guy has also posted more pictures of the weekend with two blog entries, here and here.

Guy posts the finished paintings for review

I enjoy working at a level of detail that sometimes gives even me the heebie-jeebies, so I recognize that it can be daunting, but everybody tackled the myriad details with good cheer and determination. I also presented several options for the background.

 All our ducks in a row!!

Seeing all the finished paintings lined up together was a treat -- and I enjoyed the creativity that people took in customizing the backgrounds in their paintings. Some of the group even came prepared to do multiple paintings so they could try out several background options.

Dippy Duck #4
watercolor, 8" x 8"
Chris Beck

This is my finished demo piece, and he proudly takes his place in what is a growing line of these fun ducks with their outsized red bills. I was very excited to discover a new way of creating the background design as I experimented in preparation for the weekend. The process is fun and quite easy to do but gives a complex finished look. I'm going to be adding it to my workshop bag of tricks and look forward to sharing it with more of you as I schedule more workshops.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Playing around for my workshop...

Duck in progress
watercolor, 8" x 8"
Chris Beck

 Detail of background

I'm in the middle of my two-day workshop and I just wanted to share a fun idea that I came up with while I was preparing my teaching materials.  I often use fabric as a resource for background patterns for my little ceramic creatures, trying to relate the imagery in some way to the subject.  I usually do a direct painting of the patterns, but in the course of experimenting with different techniques this past week,  I stumbled on a really cool way of creating the pattern and wanted to show the results.  I demo'd this in class yesterday and got a very enthusiastic reaction from everyone in the class. Really looking forward to using this in more of my work.

Friday, October 5, 2012

I'm the Friday Feature artist today...

 Morning Glorious
watercolor, 15" x 18"
Chris Beck

I'm very honored to be the featured artist on Carrie Waller's blog this week!!  Carrie is a very talented watercolorist in her own right and a most generous friend.  I especially enjoyed doing the interview because it allowed me to share some things that are not usually included in the standard artist bio or statement.  Hope you'll take the time to pop over there and check out the feature.  While you're there, take some time to look at Carrie's work too -- she has some very cool subjects and her works are all beautifully painted!!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Shanghai Zhujiajiao Exhibition...

Morning Glorious
watercolor, 15" x 18"
Chris Beck

I just heard that my painting "Morning Glorious" has been juried into the Shanghai Zhujiajiao International Watercolour Biennial Exhibition.  The reception will be sometime in the latter part of November, date still to be finalized.  There have been several delays in the schedule this year and I'd given up all thought of going, but with enough time to make travel plans, it might be feasible.  Better start mining the couch for spare change!!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Ruddy Duck Demo...

 Last step of the demo -- lifting highlights -- 
taken from the mirror so everything is reversed

 Guy took this photo about halfway back in the studio

The sequence of steps used in the demo

We had a great turnout for my demo at Guy Magallanes's studio this past Saturday -- 27 people showed up for my two-hour presentation and, from his spot in the audience, Guy reports they were mesmerized.  I had a great time showing how I develop one of my paintings of a vintage salt shaker.  Seeing the subject come to life over the course of six panels is almost like time-lapse photography.

The workshop in October is now more than half full and I'm really jazzed about it.  I've got three artists from Southern California coming up for the workshop -- I can't tell you how thrilled I am about that!!  And if someone reading this post is looking for a fun workshop, I'd love to have you join me!!  Contact Guy at guy@guymagallanes.com for more info and to register.

I'm getting nibbles to teach some other workshops too and I couldn't be happier -- I'm eager to expand my teaching activities!!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

More on the workshop...

Expanding a bit on the workshop description to give you a better idea of what topics I'm going to cover. We'll paint this colorful vintage salt shaker, learning how to create volume and shine on slick-surfaced objects and I'll present a number of options for customizing the background.  In addition, we'll talk about developing an idea from concept to design to finished painting.  

I'd love to have you join me for the workshop -- Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 20-21, from 10am to 4pm each day.  If you pay in full by Sept. 15 (that's the day of the free demo), you'll save $25 on the fee.  We'll send the materials list and the sketch after you've paid. Some inexpensive specialty brushes will also be available for purchase at the workshop.  Contact Guy Magallanes -- guy@guymagallanes.com -- for more info and to register.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Featured in The Artist's Magazine!!

By now the September issue of The Artist's Magazine should be available at most bookstores. I'm so thrilled with the wonderful article on my work written by Chris McHugh. They featured a nice selection of my paintings and included a sidebar demo on one of my vintage ceramic critters as well.  The demo is also available in expanded form online: go to this page at artistsnetwork.com.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Come paint with me...

I'm so pleased that Guy Magallanes has asked me to teach a workshop at his studio this fall.  Guy is a wonderful teacher and he's set up a very congenial classroom space at the "shop."  I'm happy to be getting back into teaching and I'm really looking forward to sharing my latest painting techniques.  Please join me for a demo on Saturday, September 15 from 10am to noon.  And I hope to see a bunch of you in the workshop on Saturday–Sunday, October 20–21, from 10am to 4pm.  For more information and to reserve your space, email Guy at: guy@guymagallanes.com.  If you register and pay in full by September 15, Guy will even knock $25 off the workshop fee!!

(You must have some watercolor experience for this workshop.)

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Catching up...

Morning Glorious
watercolor 15" x 18"
Chris Beck

I've been out of touch for a while, so have a bunch of things to share.  I'll start with today and work back.   I just received notice that my painting "Morning Glorious" made it through Round 1 of the Shanghai Zhujiajiao International Watercolor Biennial jurying. For anyone unfamiliar with this exhibition, it held its inaugural exhibition in 2010 and is the largest exhibition of watercolor in the world -- approximately 250 paintings will be displayed for a month in the Quanhua Watercolor Gallery. There were over 4000 international entries and only 127 paintings advanced to Round 2.  (There are another 5000+ Chinese entries, but jurying for the two sets of entries is done separately.)  The second round of jurying will take place in Shanghai from the actual paintings, so my next task is to unframe the painting and figure out how to mail it to Shanghai.  (If any of my readers has a suggestion for packaging a painting for mailing, I'd appreciate hearing from you.)

watercolor, 10" x 10"
Chris Beck

The next bit of news is that I will be featured in The Artist's Magazine, September 2012 issue.  The article features a selection of my paintings of vintage salt shakers and ceramics and includes a sidebar on the techniques used to paint one of these fun little critters. There will also be an expanded online "demo" which will be more detailed than the sidebar in the article.  I'll post a link when I have more info on that.  The magazine should be on the newstands in the next couple of weeks.

Waiting in the Wings
watercolor, 12" x 12"
Chris Beck

To top off the past week's news, I was thrilled to be juried into the National Watercolor Society show for a second year in a row; the Fezmatics will be heading south in a couple of weeks. The show runs from September 29 to December 2 at the NWS Gallery, 915 South Pacific Ave., San Pedro, CA. And this year, I'm happy not to be faced with the stress of sending three additional paintings for signature jurying -- been there, done that!!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

3rd Annual Peeps Challenge...

Hope Springs Eternal
watercolor, 6" x 6"
Chris Beck

Pod Peep-L
watercolor, 10.5" x 8"
Pablo Villicana Lara

<...cue trumpet fanfare...>  The 3rd Annual Peeps Challenge, now posted for your viewing pleasure!!  

Sugary candy, zany ideas, and painting -- what could be more fun? And if things bog down a bit, the sugary candy comes to the rescue! Thanks to Pablo for suggesting we do this again. You can pop over to his blog to read all about his marvelous Pod Peep-L.

I have to admit that a fondness for foil-wrapped chocolate eggs had a lot to do with my idea.  And having an excuse to hunt down the perfect tiny Easter basket and some great shredded paper "grass" was another point in its favor. Add to that the opportunity to pay a visit to the fabric shop for just the right piece of background fabric and you have all the things that make these challenges so much fun for me.  I took some liberties with the colors in the fabric and my edible subject materials didn't quite make it to the finish line, but who's keeping track?

Hope you enjoy our little bit of spring silliness!!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Another fun stamp...

There's a new duck in the flock!!  I just added this stamp to my Zazzle shop!!  For anyone unfamiliar with the custom stamps on Zazzle, these are real postage stamps -- the postage value is not crossed out on the actual stamps.   They're approved by the USPS for mailing and you can customize the face value of the stamps, when you order, to fit your most common mailing needs.  Pop over for a peek around!!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

TWSA Auction Donation: Old Salt...

Old Salt
watercolor, 6" x 6"
Chris Beck

Each year in connection with their annual awards banquet, the Transparent Watercolor Society of America holds a silent auction featuring small paintings created for the event by signature members. Proceeds from the auction benefit the Awards Fund for the next year's exhibition, and over the years, it has become a very popular part of the festivities.  

I am very pleased to have been invited to donate a painting this year. In keeping with my fascination with vintage salt shakers and other bits of vintage ceramics, I've done a portrait of this recently acquired cutie. Just love her topknot and the coy look in her eye!! 

So if you're planning to attend the reception and awards dinner for TWSA this year, keep your eye out for this wee painting. With a little luck, you might be the winner of this fun piece.

I'm also happy to share the good news that my painting "Hip Hop Bebop" was selected for the annual TWSA exhibition. The show runs from May 5 to August 5 at the Kenosha (Wisconsin) Public Museum. The awards dinner will be on June 16. I'm hoping to be there!!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

We interrupt our regular programming...

I've been a bit out of the loop on my blog posts lately.  I've been dealing with a series of annoying, fairly minor health problems that have distracted me and also sapped my creative energy.  I'm hoping to be back to posting by the weekend and certainly by next week.  I have some super Spotlight features lined up -- and I'm planning to be back to that feature next week too.  Thanks for stopping by and please come back again!!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Spotlight: Cathy Hillegas

watercolor, 22" x 30"
Cathy Hillegas

With parents who loved to draw and paint, Cathy Hillegas was encouraged from a young age to express herself with art.  She also spent many hours outdoors as a child, exploring and observing the woods and creeks near her home.  The results are very clear in her work -- amazing and often very intimate views of her surroundings, particularly the natural world.

Cathy has been showing her work for many years and has garnered a very nice bunch of awards along the way.  This year promises to be a banner year for her -- the painting shown above, Transcendence, will be featured on the cover of Splash 13 (publishing date, June 2012) and she has also been accepted into the American Watercolor Society Annual Exhibition, which opens April 3.

Please hop over to her website to learn more about her and see more of her work.