Monday, August 11, 2014

Color Workshop

Original oil painting  20x16"
by Susan Roux

Are you ready to use color freely? Would you like to be confident enough to use color freely? Are you caught in a cycle where you paint mostly with local color? Let's change that.

Sign up for a color workshop now!
October 13, 14 and 15
Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday
Roux & Cyr International Fine Art Gallery
48 Free Street
Portland, Maine

Join in the fun as we explore color and arm you with the tools necessary to use color creatively. Color is emotion in a painting and you can learn to manipulate the emotion your paintings emit. Don't be satisfied by just capturing the essence of your subject, learn to be in control of how your painting "feels". 

Take a look in the shadows of her dress. So much excitement and interest can be captured with the creative use of color. Be in control of color harmony in your paintings. 

Play with color. Let it explode on canvas while still capturing your forms. You'll have so much fun letting your brush dip into all those pretty colors on your palette. Aren't you ready for a color party? Aren't your paintings ready for a color party?

Sign up now. Limited space available. Contact me soon before it's all booked up!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014


Sea Angel  
Original oil painting  24x18"
by Susan Roux

Things here are very exciting as the opening of Roux & Cyr International Fine Art Gallery nears. We have a wonderful body of 25 artists, representing 6 countries. You can see them all on our website. Come view the beautiful work that will be adorning our gallery walls!

Our Grand Opening is: 
Memorial Day Weekend
 Saturday, May 24, 2014 

You are all invited to attend. If you can't make it but find yourself in Portland Maine at some point, please stop in! We are at 48 Free Street, across the street from the Civic Center in the Arts District. I'd be very happy to show you around!

We will not be a typical art gallery. We have a lot going on and are working to be community friendly and an inviting place for people to come see art, talk about art, learn about art, create art and last but not least buy art! I'll be busy in our back studio continuing to teach weekly courses to beginners and intermediates. We will also be offering workshops from our very talented artists, so keep an eye out for anyone you'd like to learn from. You can also contact me with a request and I'll urge that artist to set up a workshop. Our first scheduled workshop is a 2-day workshop by artist Sandra Leinonen Dunn on August 7-8, 2014. It is at a very reasonable cost of $200. Please contact me if you'd like to attend. 

Bean Pot and Green Apple
Original oil painting  16x20"
by Sandra Leinonen Dunn

The best way to keep up with this schedule is through our Facebook page. Please come like us here. Don't forget to share us as well! It's the best place to keep up with our latest news, rotating monthly exhibits, any events and openings. You can also let me know if you'd like to be on our mailing list by emailing me. Unfortunately as you already know, my blogging time has been severely cut since I began planning this gallery a full year ago. It's no longer the most efficient way to keep up with our news.

I must admit that I miss coming here and interacting with all of you. I also miss seeing all your great art. It's so inspiring to see how committed you are and how often you post. It helped motivate me as well. 

So what happens to an artist when they decide to open a large art gallery?

Every emotion you can think of! I'm busy beyond comprehension, but doing all the work with love and passion. It's been amazing to start with a vision and step by step move it forward until eventually all the parts fall into place. Watching it all turn into reality... Paintings are beginning to pour into my home and that like none other, is making it all feel so real. The day we enter our space and begin to build wall partitions will be huge as well. 

Thank you for stopping by and do leave a comment so I'll know you came. Don't forget to like us on Facebook and email me if you'd like to join our gallery mailing list. Have a good day!

Friday, November 1, 2013

Uniting the World Through Art

Original oil painting  18x24"
by Susan Roux

It's a very exciting time as my business partner Paul and I prepare to open a Fine Art Gallery in Portland, Maine. This past Monday we signed our lease for a nearly 3000 sq. ft. space at 48 Free Street, located in the Art's District. It's been a long road acquiring this space. Suffice it to say, many long hours have poured into our grand project!

Roux & Cyr International Fine Art Gallery 

will have their grand opening on Memorial Day Weekend 2014. 

Everyone is invited to come join us for this momentous occasion. The gallery will be Uniting the World Through Art. We are representing 25 artists from five different countries and hope to grow those numbers within our first year. We are showing mid-range to high-end representational paintings in both traditional and impressionistic styles. The collective we have gathered together should be a stunning exhibition. I can't wait to see all our great artists' work together in one place. Our place!

It's been a busy stretch with some tasks being fun while others, daunting. Some of the fun things have been purchasing antiques, hand crocheted doilies and fine china cups and saucers. I've been busy working on wood finishes and reupholstering chairs in coordinating fabrics. Our color scheme is burgundy and gold. As each piece comes to completion, the look emerging is rich and classy. 

One of my favorite aspects of the gallery is a large teaching room in the rear. It allows me to continue to teach my weekly classes. I hope to reach out to more people, going from my rural location to the center of the city. The gallery will also offer amazing workshops from our represented artists. So prepare yourselves for announcements here with regards to that. Where else can you get international workshops without leaving the country? Our high-end artists are eager to come share their talents and secrets with you.

I know I've been very absent from this blog, but I hope to be posting on a more regular basis. I'll have lots of information to share with you as well as introduce you to our roster of high achieving artists.

Thank you for stopping by and please take a moment to say hi and let me know you were here. Have a great creative day!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Color Workshop

Burning Through the Fog
Original oil painting  24x36"
by Susan Roux

This is for all of you spontaneous artists out there.

I was approached by an out-of-state artist who requested I teach a workshop at the end of this month. I've decided to honor her request. Most slots filled quickly by my current students, but there remains a few slots open. It will be an intimate/friendly workshop, held in Poland, Maine. Bring your oil paints and your sense of humor!

The focus is on color. Understanding color and using it creatively to aid in capturing your emotional response to your subject. I won't try to change your painting style, just arm you with new color-usage tools. Capture form while using color creatively. We will work with a series of exercises, a painting demo and time for artists to practice what they've learned while I assist everyone with helpful instructions. My students who took this workshop last year improved in leaps and bounds. It was so visible to all those students who hadn't participated that those who had were approaching painting with a new found fearlessness to color that translated into beautiful work. I'm positive I can help you move forward in your own artistic journey. What do you have to loose?

Dates: August 26, 27, 28. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday.

Time: 9-4

Location: Poland, Maine

Bargain price: $100. for 3 days

Contact me if you're spontaneous and interested.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Harmony with light

Sand Beach
Original oil painting  18x24"
by Susan Roux


The same light drapes itself on an entire scene. It was the lesson I taught my class through this painting. Light comes from one source, the sun and whatever time of day or weather condition you're trying to capture that single source illuminates it all. We all know golden hour, when for a brief time our surroundings become transformed and everything looks gilded. Golden light is draped everywhere.

The same is true for every type of light, every weather condition. It's just not as dramatic and probably harder to see.

Let's put this in terms for the artist. How do we apply this fact to our work?

Whatever color you choose to paint the light in one spot must be used to paint the light throughout. So if you decided to use a mixture of cadmium yellow, white and a dab of yellow ocher to highlight your brightest spots, then a bit of that same mixture should be added to all sunlit colors. Don't get this confused with your values (how light or dark an area is). I'm not saying you need to bring your colors to this same intensity, just add some of this same light to everything in sunlight. Here's one way to approach it. You may want to mix a little pile of cadmium yellow with your dab of yellow ocher without the white. That way you can easily add it to your other mixtures and then add as much lightener as you please to achieve the value you want.

It's the color of light you create that must drape itself on everything.

Your light could be a number of combinations. On a sunny day, it's usually the yellow combination you add to your white. Whatever you choose, be it lemon yellow, naples yellow, indian yellow, cad, ocher etc. Often this light you create might also include a bit of pink if you desire to warm it.  Be creative with your light! Don't paint every painting with the same combination. Weather conditions create different shades of light all the time. So if you're trying to capture what's actually around you, you'll need to adjust the combination of pigments in your highlights.

Just remember to add those same colors everywhere in your painting!

It's as easy as that to capture harmony with light.

So if you've shied away from experimenting with colors of light because you lose harmony, there's no need to fear it anymore. Have fun with the light. Play with the light. Just remember to make the same light kiss everything sunlit in your painting!

Thank you everyone for your comments. You make my day! Please leave me a quick hi to let me know you stopped by. It's fast, you won't have to prove you're not a robot here.

All paintings are for sale. Simply contact me if you're interested...

Have a great day my friends and thank you so much for stopping by!

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Sowing seeds

Coastal Light
Original oil painting  24x18"
by Susan Roux

I know of a small fishing village that's been in existence since the 1700's. It's been fished ever since and there's still fish and shellfish to catch today. How is that possible?

I found out their little secret. For instance in harvesting clams, the fisherman agree on reaping only from certain areas a year. While this harvest goes on, part of their duty is to "replant" or seed clams in a different area. These new clams that are relocated will be allowed to grow and multiply for several years before being harvested. There are a lot of small islands in this village, which means lots of shoreline creating the perfect stage for making this possible.

Ingenious! Renewing their food supply insures a continued harvest, year after year. Talk about looking ahead and planning for the future...

Those same lessons can apply to artists as well. Of course I don't mean take some of your small paintings out of the studio and go plant them outdoors so they can grow and multiply, but I do mean sowing seeds. Sowing seeds today can lead to an unexpected harvest in your future.

These seeds can be anything from simple acts of kindness to conscious steps in marketing to help propel you in the future. Simple acts of kindness are selfless things we do for others. The benefits can be far reaching for both parties involved, the receiver as well as the giver.

Do something nice for somebody without expecting anything in return and you will be rewarded down the road. Some call it karma and the TV series My Name is Earl explained that very well.

We're creative and we possess lots of gifts because of it. We have a lot to offer and we can come up with very interesting ways to share our gifts. Helping someone, giving them a hand. It all counts. The real trick is not to expect anything in return. It's not I'll do this for you today, but then you must do this for me tomorrow. Selfless and without expectations.

It will leave you happy and uplifted. The feeling is so great that it tends to multiply. It can grow in you like an addiction. Reach out to people. Send them a smile. Share something with them. It can take minutes or even seconds, but it all matters.

I have lived my life doing acts of kindness for people. Now in this new phase as I work towards opening an art gallery, I'm amazed at how many of these seeds have grown to harvest. It's overwhelming actually. Things I never thought amounted to much, things that took so little of my time, have grown into compassion and trust. I find myself surrounded by a sea of grateful people all willing to help. My heart smiles as I bask in the warmth of the love.

The other type of seed you can sow for your future are seeds of marketing. It's ok if you don't have a whole plan figured out in your mind. Most of us don't. But everything adds up. If you're here, most likely you're already networking. Socializing with like minded people, sharing ideas and offering words of encouragement. (We're back to those acts of kindness again... See how easy it is?)

Have you met Debbie? I recently stumbled upon her. She offers many helpful ideas on marketing your art. Are you showing your work on Facebook? How about Pinterest? Sign up with her and she will include you in her weekly tips. Here she posts an article from Christine Corretti who explains how to make the most of your Pinterest account.

The marketing thing can be a real pain, since all we want to be doing is pain-ting instead!!! So all the help we can get, especially to simplify things is welcomed.

Do yourself a favor and sow some marketing seeds for your future. In the meantime, work hard, smile at people and the benefits will come to harvest in due time...

Happy planting everyone!

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Color vs Value

Ahoy Maties
Original oil painting  24x18"
by Susan Roux

Color and Value. They're quite different.

Color, we all know. It's how we've been taught to refer to the pigment of everything we see. It's green, it's blue, it's yellow, it's red... Of course as artists we know there is a lot more to color than just identifying it's pigment. We train our eyes to see beyond mere childlike identifications. Is the color neutralized? Is it saturated? Has it been lightened or perhaps darkened? Is the color in sunlight or in shadow? This is where it can get tricky.

As soon as we start thinking in terms of how light or dark the color is, we switch to talking about it's value as opposed to it's pigment. Here lies a very confusing fine line for a lot of people. My students stumble on it a lot. Value becomes confused with color.

It's pretty easy to do since we are always using color to paint our paintings. Whether we're depicting value or color, it's with mixtures of color that we work with. Even trying to write it feels like a tongue twister.

The most important thing to capture in representational painting is the correct value. How light or dark a passage is. It's what identifies form. Three values, a light, a dark and a mid-tone placed between the two will create the illusion of 3-D form. As for color, the skies the limit!

Unlike needing the correct value, color can be as expressive as the artist chooses. So long as the value is right in a passage, any pigment can be used. The decision is up to the artist. Some will opt for a close representation of what they see while others will play with the emotional factor color possesses.

I experimented once and painted an entire painting with very wrong colors, but kept the values correct. It was pretty bizarre to look at, yet when you looked at it through a red-sheet value finder, it appeared to be totally correct. A friend said it would make a great exhibition. Paint all these crazy paintings and have value finder glasses for viewers to use. I could actually picture it in large cities, but never followed up with the idea from my rural area.

Do you have a red value finder? I like to pass some around during my first class with beginner students. It blocks out color and helps you focus on the actual values. As I try to have them look at things in terms of value, it's a great tool. Squinting does a similar thing and I'm sure a lot of you are accustomed to doing so as you paint.

 Are you getting your values right? An easy way to check is to turn your image to black and white. Eliminate the color and what remains are the values. Does your work hold up to this test? If not, try focusing on it and you'll find your work will improve. Your images will become stronger. Getting the values right is primo in representational painting.


Ha ha. I have to laugh at myself. It's wasn't until I was sitting here looking at my image in black and white that I noticed the reflection doesn't line up with her right leg. I moved her leg to the left near the end as an adjustment, but never moved the reflection! I guess she needs to come sit on my easel a bit longer...

See. There's proof that turning your painting to black and white can help you improve your work!