Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Easter Egg Project

Easter is fast approaching and that usually brings lots of chocolate and eggs. Unfortunately, our daughter is allergic to milk and eggs which makes it hard to avoid food allergens during special holidays, let alone everyday life. As a food allergy mom, I have to get creative with foods and activities that are safe for our little girl to experience.

While strolling into Target, I came across these fake eggs. I thought they would be the perfect alternative to traditional egg dying. And the best part is, we can save them for next year!

Before we started painting, I gathered some painters tape, hole punches, scissors, paint brushes and crayons. We decorated one egg with small painters tape dots and another with squares.

Here's a tip for punching out the dots: Have the sticky side of the tape facing up. If you have the sticky side facing downward, it will stick to the hole punch. If you are using a small punch, use a pencil to help get the shape out.

We then used Crayola watercolor paints to paint the eggs. Each egg is different: some are completely painted (like the painters tape eggs) and others have some white areas left. Use a variety of paintbrushes to explore how each one creates different marks. Another great learning opportunity is painting the egg one primary color and then adding a second primary color to create a secondary color. This is always a lot of fun and seems like magic to little ones!

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

The Creative Process

Everyone's creative process is so different and unique to themselves that I thought I'd share the stages and various emotions I experience while creating a painting.

At the beginning of a new painting I am always super excited to get started! I begin by sketching it out on the Gessobord and laying in colors for the under painting. As I work, I am picking out the parts that I feel need the most attention and considering where to start.

My paintings take between 25-60 hours to complete due to the amount of details I like to render. After I finish the underpainting, the excitement wears off and I'm usually overwhelmed with the amount of work ahead of me and unsure of where to start. But the best way to get anything done, is to just do it. Sometimes this part of getting started can be forced. 

I like to compare the next portion of creating to reading a really interesting book. You're so into what's happening in the story that you just can't put the book down. When I'm in the groove of a painting, I want to spend every possible moment I have working on it. As I'm beginning to see the painting come together and understand the direction in which I am working, the excitement returns and I am rejuvenated with creative energy.

While I continue to work there are points where I am second guessing the work I have made so far and or my abilities to complete the painting all together. Then, the feelings of being overwhelmed return and finding the gumption to finish is challenging. I've discovered the best way to deal with this part of the process is to take a day or two to step away from the project.

After a short breather, I'm ready to finish. As I return to the work, I gain a better perspective on how to finish the painting. My momentum usually speeds up in anticipation of seeing the final creation. The excitement returns and every moment I have, I work on the painting until I feel it is finally complete.

Below are some pictures from various stages of the creative process from past paintings. 

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Review of the Inaugural Opening at PGAC

Friday night I attended the Pitman Gallery and Art Center's inaugural opening reception. I went with my friend and mentor, Janice Chassier, and my middle school art teacher, Lorraine Hill. These women were very influential in helping me become an artist and art teacher. I was so glad to spend the evening exploring this new gallery space with them.

When we first walked into the gallery, there was a very welcoming sitting area with couches and featured works of art. After going up a few steps, guests were welcomed with delicious hors d'oeuvres and refreshments in the foyer. The Greater Pitman Chamber of Commerce had a table setup with information about all of the great things Pitman businesses have to offer. I spoke with the owner of the Inn on Holly, Yvonne. She was very nice and even introduced me to one of the gallery board members, Lisa Morgey. Lisa then introduced me to gallery founders Tina and Albert Magonagle. It was great to put a face with their names!

While viewing the artwork, we were immediately impressed with the size of the gallery space. The artists that were exhibiting together had three very different styles. The gallery's size and layout displayed them all very well together. Each artist had their own section or wall. On the left side of the gallery was fantasy work by Scott Kirschner, in the center was photorealistic artwork by Robert Hochgertel, and on the right side was abstract work by Chuck Hosier. The most versatile part of the gallery were the mobile walls that can be reconfigured! I can't wait to see how they utilize them in future exhibitions.

The opening was very well attended! Although the gallery is very spacious, you inevitably bumped into some fellow art lovers on Friday night. I found this aspect to be very exciting because you are all there for the same reason: to view artwork, reflect, and talk about art!

After the opening, we strolled down Broadway and explored the businesses that were open. Below are some pictures from our evening out in Pitman.

Outside of Pitman Gallery & Art Center

Looking in toward the gallery from the foyer

Looking from the back corner toward the foyer

Pitman Broadway Theater at night
Fahrenheit Ceramic Studio mural by friend, Nick LeDonne