Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Creations by Various Folk School Students, Quilts, Scarves, Wooden Trunks, and More--All Hand Crafted

     When we took a week of classes at the John C. Campbell Folk School in North Carolina, Mark in clay pots thrown on a pottery wheel, me in hand-painting silk scarves, we joined dozens of others in about 12 different classes. At the end of our time there, we all gathered for a show of the many creations produced by students during the week. The entertainment at the gathering included country and folk classics played by a string group from the fiddling class that also met all that week. 

     Seeing the results of the excellent teaching and focused student efforts was amazing and inspirational. A commenter on this blog to one of my previous silk painting posts (thank you, Rosemary) suggested that I must have been Donna Kassab's "star pupil". Not so! (although I appreciate the compliment) All the students' scarves were lovely. One of the delights of working in a small class with other creative people is observing their varied approaches to using the medium. The first three photos show the hand-painted silk scarves exhibited by our class members at that end-of-the-week show. Sadly, two women had to leave early, and their gorgeous scarves were not available for the show. Still, I think you will get a sense of the differing original designs, the use of color in varied ways--and, hopefully, get a taste of how stimulating it is to learn and create with others at this excellent "art camp for adults".

     The group that made wooden trunks had begun the weekend before, choosing the type of lumber each would use and beginning the rough assembly. Then, they alternated between the wood shop and the blacksmith shop completing the trunks and applying layer after layer of finish as well as hand-forging the hinges and clasps. You see one trunk made by the husband of a silk painter--he used red oak, and she painted a red oak themed scarf to display with it. 

     For the rest, you see lovely quilts displayed behind the trunks (each made in one week!), wood turning products, hand-made glass beads, and the gathering for our final ceremonies and celebration. Click on any photo to see it larger. Thank you for viewing this post; I have loved reliving a super time. For earlier posts about our silk painting class click here.

Question of the day: What sort of class would you take, given the chance?

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Small North Florida Waterscape Painting--Matanzas River Scene

     This small painting of a view across the Matanzas River from a public beach near St. Augustine, Florida, is not quite finished. However, I decided to show you the present (nearly completed) version today. Life has been full lately, and it's hard to say just when there will be time to make the remaining adjustments I have in mind.

     The acrylic on gallery-wrapped canvas piece is 12" wide and just 6" tall, in a kind of panoramic format. One of my reference photos appears in a post from more than two years ago when my husband and I enjoyed an outing to this area and nearby Crescent Beach. You can see photos from that day and read an account of it here. The Matanzas River is tidal, flowing into the Atlantic Ocean near this beach through the Matanzas Inlet (out of sight to your left as you view the scene).
     When ready, the painting will be a gift for a friend who once lived on a boat in this area. I wanted to get her perspective on how well I have captured the feel of the sand, water, vegetation, etc., so showed it to her recently. It was gratifying to get her stamp of approval on my interpretation of this lovely spot. She mentioned the distinctive, slightly pinkish sand and other aspects of the scene she knows so well and felt that this little painting captured the right tones and feel. That was a good feeling, especially since it is for her :>) .

     At first, this piece was intended as both a stand-alone work and a possible preliminary study for a larger painting, but for now, I'm happy with this version and do not expect to paint another. It's time to move on (whenever I manage to reserve painting time again) and to begin a different coastal North Florida landscape.

Question of the day: When you see--or create--a painting of a familiar scene, do you prefer to see it fairly realistically portrayed, or do you enjoy visual interpretations that "bend" what's there for an artistic purpose?