In the first week of December of 2019, I made my way up the frozen Maine coast to see my old friend who moved there to pursue her dream of opening and art gallery and shop. It was a lovely visit, and I was happily unaware of the coming public health crisis.
Whopaints Galleryis owned by Wendilee O’Brien. She sells paintings large and small, as well as lovely cards of her works. Now that we are all in various states of self-isolation, I am missing the spritied inspiration of my art friend, and it is a good time to remember my visit.
While it isn’t possible to physically visit now, Whopaints gallery has many riches for the art lover. Wendilee has completed training in Asian painting techniques in Japan (she speaks fluent Japanese!) and uses these skills to merge her contemporary vision with traditional technique. She renders lively interpretations of her home town of Winter Harbor Maine, representing it in all seasons and moods. Whopaints has a range of watercolor, pastel and oil works for sale; and Wendliee makes it a point to make her art accessible to all budgets.
Like everyone else, Wendilee has had to adapt to the current public health situation. She offers virtual studio tours, online classes and daily inspiration to her clients and followers. You can see her work on Instagram, Facebook, and on her website at Whopaints.com
I just finished an excellent 7-week class: “Observational Drawing” offered by Zullo Gallery in our town. The instructor (Ron Krouk) did a wonderful job of moving the course online when the state issued the “stay at home” advisory.
My goal for this course was to revisit my basic drawing skills. I took “Observational Drawing” to make sure I am really looking and transferring what I see to the paper as I see it. Armed with some new tools for approaching drawing, I hope I can use the “lockdown” time to really practice.
Despite the pandemic, the economy, the politics, I like to think that my nieces will fly into the world and help make it a more positive place. I associate freedom and power with horseback riding and I couldn’t get out to buy graduation cards, so I made these for Anna and Sara.
More snow and icy weather is predicted for tomorrow (April 28th!!) so I’ve been bringing in the daffodils for sketching. This started out as a pencil drawing. I started playing with the Photoshop Elements filters and stopped with this one since it looks like today — kind of colorless and rainy.
In the fourth class we worked on observing the proportions and structure of heads. This has always been a daunting subject for me, but our instructor was very skilled at giving us an approach to the subject. In the final assignment of the class, we used some of the skills form the other classes to try to capture the shapes and planes of a self-portrait.
Today, Ron gave us some very useful ways to approach drawing the figure. Representing the figure using gesture, contour, and straight lines helps get the basic structure and proportions right. It became very clear that understanding and mastering these methods was essential to getting the results I wanted. Knowing anatomy is not enough!
This Spring, Zullo Gallery is offering a class called Observational Drawing, taught by Ron Krouck. I decided that it is time to review drawing basics.
The first class reminded me that drawing really can mess with your brain. First, we drew a foreshortened piece of paper “by eye”. Then we drew the same subject by looking through a piece of plexiglass and drawing on that. Oops! Big difference! My brain mapped something that my eyes weren’t really seeing.
We used the plexiglass method to carefully map and transfer the angles of a white box. By checking, and re-checking, I finally go the angles I needed. All those erased lines show how many tries it took with this method. But, it works!
I lost my Lilly in June of last year, so I know how difficult it is to lose a canine friend. AJ was a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and Golden Retriever cross. His head is like the spaniel, but the color is Golden Retriever for sure!