Old in Art School

Facade finished.jpg

When I saw the title of this book, I was immediately attracted to it. This is the year I turn seventy. At sixty-two I completed my Ph. D. in Business Marketing, not in art, although I did finish my BA in Art in 1971 and my MA in Art (although with an emphasis in interior design) in 1985. I understand going back to school when a little older is all about attitude. I laughed at the beginning of the book, as the author described the other students, the attire, the classrooms and the fear of failure, but as I listened on to the audio-book I liked it less and less.  One of the reviews of the book described how I innately felt perfectly:

“I was excited to dive into this book, hopeful for little nuggets of wisdom for my similar journey and perhaps a laugh or two in self-reflection. Instead, the reader encounters a self-indulgent, needy author who repetitively presents an inventory of her resume ad nauseam. She used this book to disparage other students all while trying to impress the reader by spewing supercilious comments and including very little about the process or art school. This book had so much potential but was so disappointing.” 

It is interesting to think that no matter how successful you were in what you did before, no one in your art classes knows that or cares about that. I had a little of that this weekend when I took a tonal painting class of street scenes.  I love the work of the man that taught the class and I learned quite a bit in the class. Mostly I learned I don’t like doing a tonal painting.  I love painting with color! Color kept creeping into my paintings in the class and I kept getting in “trouble” for adding too much color.    Sometimes in life, it is just as important to know what we don’t like, as much as what we love.

When I sat down to write my blog, I thought I would look at the artwork of the author of the book before I wrote a lot about it. Viewing her artwork, the first thought that crossed my mind was that she wrote this book, not about her real art school experience, but to promote herself and her art. Her background is in writing and history, so she knows how to write about history, but in this book, she makes being older a roadblock, not an advantage. She has gotten quite a bit of attention over the book, and thus her art. What is totally missing in this book, are all the other wonderful artists that started their art life later in life. She is certainly not alone!

Maybe I should write about starting and stopping art in your life. You start as a child and my case went on to study it in college. Then you start a career, get married, have children (oops no time for art), and in my case was widowed at a young age and raised my sons on my own and don’t have much time for art till your children are grown and have lives of their own.

When she started talking about how you have to dress to be a successful artist, I started losing interest.  Moving forward to discuss the philosophical side of the history or artists (in her opinion) I began wondering if I wanted to bother to listen to the rest of the book.

The book made me think about my own tonal experience. You can enjoy viewing art that you do not enjoy attempting. You can be award-winning in other fields and not art, and still enjoy painting. I have had many art shows, but never entered a contest with my art.

Study Terry Miura.jpg

The class was a learning experience. We worked on these small the first afternoon after watching a demo in the morning. The one on the top right was the first one with the second below and the third in ochre tones.

We moved forward painting in a slightly larger format the second day after another morning demo. My green trees are too green for tonal painting, but as I said I like “color”.

Street scene from Terry Miura Class.jpg The last and/or third day we had options of what we could paint.  I chose to paint a facade of a building, as I used to do a lot of rendering in interior design school, and as an interior design college professor.  I am still working on the facade and realized when I stood back and looked at it, I had added a shadow to the awning, and now I had shadows coming from two directions.  I will try to make the correction and add it to the post. The building and the cafe next door need names too!

I heard once, and again in this class: “If the painting is not selling, add a dog.” I think this painting may need a dog-walker with several dogs. I think it is better to laugh at oneself, that try to be pompous about what you cannot do.

Facade.jpg

As always, I walked away having learned something new, met new people that love art and enjoyed the camaraderie of painting with new and old friends.

I will continue to listen to the rest of the book and hope it gets better, but reading several reviews I don’t think that will be the case. It makes me want to write a funnier book on a similar topic. One of the other reviewers wrote: “More of a self-congratulate memoir of past achievements than a book of more recent achievements. Disappointing … could have been much more.” 

It could have been written in a much more positive manner and encourage those of us over twenty to try different things.

Old in Art School

Taking Art Classes

After a little hiatus from painting impressionistic work, I am back taking some classes and really enjoying the art of the little painting.  A couple of months ago I took a class at the Winslow Art Center by David Marty for six weeks and really enjoyed learning new ideas and techniques.  The class is and was fun (new section now) as we paint one photograph in class (can finish at home) and do another one for “homework”.  It has gotten me back doing one of the things in life I love the most (cooking being the second).Painting Class 1.jpg

This was the first painting I did in class and really enjoyed the process and continued to use some of what I learned in painting number two which was our homework assignment.

Painting Class 2.jpg

Back in class, we critiqued what we had done at home and worked on a new photo.  Everyone seemed to like my homework and it is still the favorite of my husband.

Painting Class 3.jpg

Back in class we worked more on reflection and tree shapes and were sent home with homework of painting the garden.  I did not love the “garden”, so reversed it and added a little girl in the garden.  It looks a little “old world” to me and is not one of my favorites.

Painting Class 4.jpg

From there we went to working on a road scene, which I thought was fun and liked the result.  It is fun to see your style change and grow in a rather short amount of time.

Painting Class 5.jpg

Painting homework for that week, seemed a bit overwhelming to me when I started working on it, as it seemed to be mostly “just trees”, and to try to make that look interesting was somewhat challenging.

 

Painting Class 6.jpg

I think it turned out better than I would have predicted and it did not take a lot of time, or I should say I did not spend a lot of time on it.

One of the other things I was doing while taking the class was working on a three foot by five-foot commission for a design client, so it was interesting going from working on an 8″ x 10″ or 9″ x 12″ to working on the larger scale.

abstract during painting class.jpg

Back in class, we worked on painting rocks on this cliffside painting with rocks and trees.  For once I did not finish in class and worked on the rocks when I got home.  I have started collecting art books, which are always good for getting ideas of how to do something differently.

 

Painting Class 7.jpg

Homework came as another road scene with a barn off to the side.  I really enjoyed working on this one and liked the result, although I did tweak it a bit after the class.

Painting Class 8.jpg

Coming back to class we had the opportunity to work on a Night Scene, and this is what I came up with for the project.

Painting Class 9.jpg

This one came out more abstracted than any of the others I had done. The teacher of the class seemed to like it.  And homework was of a barn, as requested by someone in the class.  I have painted a lot of barns, but usually 18″ x 24″ or bigger, so this was fun.

Painting Class 11.jpg

Working on skies with lots of clouds came next.  Have you ever noticed that the lowest clouds are always parallel to the horizon?  The more I paint the more I notice these things. We painted this in class and difference in how people see the same thing is amazing to me.

We were sent home with more homework after our first six classes, as everyone in the class asked if the same teacher could come back to teach another four-week session.

Painting Class 12.jpg

We came back to class and the first day we painted waves.  Now, this may look easy, but to make them look real (and interesting) I found quite challenging.

Painting Class 13.jpg

Following the beach scene we were sent home the following assignment, which I did twice, as I did not like the first one very much.

Number 1

Painting Class 14.jpg

Number 2:

Painting Class 15.jpg

Tell me if you can see the differences.  I liked the second one much better.  This is becoming a trend now with me and seems the second one is always better.

Since we were all snowed in for more than a week, the perfect exercise for the class must have been working on snow paintings.  We did a series of two and I painted them both twice.

Number 1:

Painting Class 16.jpg

Number 2:

Painting Class 17.jpg

There is quite a difference between these two.  I painted the second one in class.

On to the second snow scene, which both are homework. I didn’t love the first one, so I painted it again.

Number 1:Painting Class 18.jpg

Number 2:

 

Painting Class 19.jpg

I do not know what adventure we will paint tomorrow, but I know it will be fun.

Port Gamble Diana.jpg‘So we all worked on a photo taken at Port Gamble in the mist.  Here is my rendition.  This week we have two homework assignments (Oh my) and to bring in a piece we are working on.  I don’t have anything in process, so will start a new Airstream and take it to class.

Airstream on the Lake.jpg

So here is what I took to class.  We did two more homework assignments. I made a couple of changes to both and here they are.  It was a great class and I think everyone learned a lot.  It is always good to see something from someone else’s perspective.

Madronas.jpg

The photo of these Madronas are probably not something I would have ever chosen to paint, but it makes for a rather eerie effect.

Stream.jpg

The photo of the stream literally had no color, so I enhanced it in Photoshop and even though it is a bit “green”, I rather like the result. Can’t wait till the next time I take a class.  Oh wait, it is not that long I take one this weekend.

Taking Art Classes

Snowy Day Painting

Snowy Lake.jpg

It was another cold and snowy day in Kingston, Washington today.  The weather was so bad my painting class was canceled this weekend.  Last Tuesday my class was canceled too!  So I decided to do the homework for the class today in my studio.  I have never done a snow scene, so spent some time looking through my art books for ideas and then painted this 9 x 12-inch painting.

Considering it is the first time I have tried painting snow, I feel good about it.  You don’t always feel great about what you create, but today I smiled when I finished and really did not spend that much time on it.

Snowy Day Painting

Studio Update

art studio.jpg

Every art studio could use a cozy corner for reading art books.  This last week my husband built these two-inch shelves with a lip for setting finished small pieces and works in progress. Now I need to get busy and paint some more small works.

Next weekend he is going to add more shelves for bigger pieces.  It is wonderful, as they are all straight on the bottom for once.

Every challenge yourself to something and feel either great about accomplishing it or bad that you failed (the first time).  This year I challenged myself to read 75 books on the Goodreads challenge and can very proudly say I accomplished that goal. The year before I attempted to bake every bread in Paul Hollywood’s Bread Book.  I made it about 2/3’s of the way and gained a couple of pounds, but did not finish the book. I still love to bake and may just try to finish it. I take my baked goods to my local fire department, so they are enjoyed and not wasted.  My wonderful local fire department surprised me with a gift certificate the last two years.  That made me cry the first year, as I was amazed they recognized the gift. This year I felt a little guilty as I felt I did not take as much, but will up the ante as the year goes on.

sunrise.jpg

Now with 2019 coming up, I decided I would follow the example of Kevin McPhearson, the author and artist of “Reflections on a Pond”, and paint the view of the water in front of my house every day of the year. If I don’t have time to paint on a particular day, I will take a photo and paint it later. I find it an interesting thought and am hoping it will improve my painting skills.

Screen Shot 2018-12-27 at 11.47.18 AM.png

 

Studio Update

30 Design Mistakes You Should Never Make from Houzz

This article came on my newsfeed this morning and I thought it was very interesting.  While I agree with most, I do not agree with all. There are as many opinions about design as there are people with opinions. 

Drop the paint can, step away from the brick and read this remodeling advice from people who’ve been there

April 21, 2016
There are a million and one things to consider when taking on a remodeling project. Some of those decisions have the potential to significantly impact your home — and in turn your emotional well-being — for years to come. It doesn’t matter how functional your new kitchen is, for example, if you hate the flooring material you chose. It’s going to eat away at you every single day.

In hopes of preventing these situations, we asked readers for design advice on things you should never, ever do during a remodel. Their suggestions are quite revealing, and worth considering. But remember, the thing about advice is that you don’t have to take it. After all, the main takeaway message here should be that no matter what, it’s your home. And you should do whatever you want. Just don’t say we didn’t warn you.

30 Design Mistakes You Should Never Make from Houzz

Artwork in Place

IMG_5174 (1)

I shared the artwork I recently completed the other day, but now it is installed on my newly refinished Entry Hall Wall.  I painted the wall orange, after taking down all the boards.  When they were once again installed, I did a wash of the wall color in the rest of the house, diluted down with water.  The effect worked well, so now the wall is soft, you can see peeks of orange coming through and the new painting likes its new home.

The nice thing about painting is that you can paint at any age.  You can change your style, and reinvent what you like.  As a senior, you still have lots and lots of creative energy.  I now smile when I walk in the front door, as I like the simplicity of the painting with complexity of the brushstrokes.

See other work at www.dianakingsley.net

Artwork in Place

Back in the Studio

I took the day to spend in my Art Studio and redid a painting I did last year.  Purple was my favorite color for many years and I always put it in paintings. I took the purple out of this one, replaced it with my new neutral – Gray.  I defined the flowers a little more with oil crayons and feel the result is much more successful.  It really seems to pop!

While I was in the studio, I wanted to paint something new for my entry, as I had repainted the wall and redid the wood.  Originally it was fence wood, unpainted with purple on the wall.  The new look is shown below, so I think my new painting will be perfect. I had one I was going to use that I was showing at Interiors of Edmonds, but when I called to pick it up for a photo shoot, I found out it had been sold.

IMG_5156

So I think this new 30″ x 40″ will work well.

Upside down sunrise

Sometimes knowing you have something coming gets the creativity flowing.  Our beach home is going to be featured in West Sound Home and Garden magazine this summer, so I wanted something fun to be on the entry wall.  By jove, I think I got it.

Back in the Studio

Artwork in its new home

Flower BuddiesScreen Shot 2016-01-11 at 6.05.18 PM

For the last about 15 years I have been enjoying the creative pastime of painting and drawing.  Over the years I have sold many pieces and with the exception of a  doctor’s office, where I helped install the work I seldom get to see it in it’s new environment.

The second photo is of a piece I sold at Interiors of Edmonds and the new owner was kind enough to share a photo of it hanging in her lovely home.  All artists should be so lucky to see where their work finds a home.

Thank you for sharing.

www.dianakingsley.net

Artwork in its new home

Housewarming Gift

Staci's House

Happy Housewarming to a good friend of mine and former interior design student.  Snuck by a couple days ago to take photos of this adorable house in downtown Poulsbo. For every house I list or sell I will do a drawing for the owners, as a memory for selling and a fun drawing for buying (with cards to share with family & friend).  Hopefully you will be seeing a lot more of them here.  I did not sell or list this house, but thought this might make a nice housewarming gift for a very special person.

Happy to do one of your house if you would like.

Housewarming Gift