Thursday, April 18, 2013

The Teaching Component

Original oil painting  14x11"
by Susan Roux

As the last of our snow melted this week, I found myself painting reminders of my garden from last summer. This lovely poppy was a new addition and I'm wondering if it survived the winter. I was so attracted to the delicateness of it's petals. They're thin and floppy much like fine transparent rice paper. It was fun trying to capture that quality with paint. I wonder if the name papaver has to do with paper? It seemed the appropriate title for this showy, dainty blossom.

As you well know, I'm in the process of opening an international fine art gallery. It's been consuming most of my time and the prime reason why my posts here are so far apart. Don't worry though, I'm still painting.

I'm so happy to announce that the gallery will have a teaching room. My classes will move from my home studio to Portland. I'm really excited about that component. Not only will it give me the opportunity to continue inspiring lots of people to paint, it offers a space to conduct workshops. My plan is to have some of my represented artists travel here to Maine and teach directly in the gallery. How fun and a wonderful opportunity for you!

Until everything is set in stone I don't want to formally announce our intended workshops just yet, but keep your calendars open for late summer, early fall. If you're curious to know right away who's tentatively coming and when, you can contact me personally. As soon as everything is definite, I'll let you know.

One of the great things about teaching at the gallery is all the wonderful art that will serve as examples of the concepts being taught. Often at home, I pull out my own work to help explain things. Now there will be a whole range of works from many different amazing artists to refer to. I think it will elevate the teaching component and offer such inspiring stimulation for all the students. It will do everyone good to be experiencing diverse works of quality art, including myself. When the bar is set high, people tend to strive for higher achievements. It will be an honor to teach in such surroundings.

Please stay tuned for future announcements of upcoming workshops. There'll be lots of exciting news in the near future!

Keep painting everyone. It's wonderful for the soul...

Monday, April 1, 2013

International Fine Art Gallery

Uniting the world through art

How do you like our sign design so far? Our round logo will fit nicely in the empty space beneath the word Gallery. It's all coming together. Just as the sign design develops, so does the entire vision. It's so fascinating to watch the individual parts begin to fall into place. It's very similar to how a painting comes together. Having a general idea and building upon it by responding to everything else you've already done, while keeping the final goal in mind.

I'm a colorist. I teach and promote the use of creative color. Color can be a crazy thing. Each has its own mood and by combining them differently, the artist can infuse different emotions into their work. 

We are also affected by the colors around us. 

I laugh sometimes as my students create paintings that would fit wonderfully in my home. Every color around them, though they don't even realize it, affects the color choices they make. Even those colors way off in their peripheral vision. 

I like to use this concept as an advantage. In the initial block in, I encourage wild freedom of color. Grab whatever color you feel like dipping your brush into. It's just the underpainting and most of it will be covered again anyway. Nothing too scary about that.

Some students are more daring than others. I really discourage beginning with local color (the color we perceive things to be. The leaves are green, the sky is blue...). Those students that begin with the funnest colors create the most energetic and emotionally filled paintings. As the students take breaks and view each others work, the more conservative ones ooh and aah over the wild colored ones. Why? Because the creative use of color infuses emotion.

Those initial colors keep affecting the color choices we make. Just as color around us affects our painting, so do the colors staring bluntly at us from our canvas. This is an important point that I cannot accentuate enough. An emotion you set early on in the process will strive to carry through until the end. As I tell my students, if you begin to paint something with local color, you have no place to go with it. Adding green to something that is already green is not exciting. Adding green to something that is purple, magenta, blue or red creates energy and excitement. That energy translates back to you as the artist. The funner your painting is, the more you wish to continue painting. Like a good book you can't put down.

How many times have you lost steam while working on a painting? Perhaps you had imagined it more exciting than what was reflecting back at you. Grab some color! Have some fun! You'll like it better in no time.

I'm following this concept as I put together ideas for the gallery. Every time I begin to get too bogged down with the more serious business side of things, I throw in something creative. By keeping it colorful and exciting it reflects back a wonderful energy that makes the continued journey forward easier and fun.

Art has it's difficult side too. Focusing to improve can hurt your head. If you can remember to keep it interesting and fun, the journey and the outcome will always be more exciting.

Thank you for stopping by and leaving your wonderful comments. You really make my day!

Note: Roux & Cyr  (pronounced Roo & Sear)