Canyon Cliffs

CanyonCliffsYupo

This was another yupo piece I did at the demo and I like how this initial wash came out with the runs and color blending portraying jagged mountain edges and rocks and I’m calling it done!

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Don’t Ruin the Jellyfish!

UndertheSeaYupo

Under the Sea? Yupo demonstration

Doing the Yupo demo was such fun on Sunday!  lots of people were there, and stopped by to ask questions, watch the painting and lend their support. I talked to probably a dozen or more people about the art they do, where they are in their process, and also to nonartists who appreciate art.  I started putting on paint without a plan and started demonstrating what the paper could do, and we were off and running. What do you see in the above painting?

I had people say, OK, add some darks but whatever you do, don’t ruin the jellyfish!  I think that’s in the top right corner.

The top left froth and foam was made by spritzing rubbing alcohol and letting the paper and paint “do its stuff”.  As with other art on paper, it’s fun to see what happens if you cut and crop. The first is the froth.  The second, what do you see in it?

froth on yuporiding the waves on yupo

It’s important to note that even with yupo, you can overwork a painting and lose the freshness and texture you had, and I’m sure that happened here.  But all in all, it’s a fun freeing way to paint!

And I was pleased that my painting Spring Morning had a mini bidding war and was purchased!

 

YUPO demo today @ IMA

Quite a last minute reminder I know, but I will be doing a demo of watercolor on yupo paper today at the International Museum of Art on Montana Street during “Elevate your Art” an afternoon of fun from 1-5 today to raise funds to repair this historic building’s elevator.

elevate

There will be a silent auction from 1-4 of small masterpieces donated by local artists, and tons of other fun.  Here’s complete info: 

ELEVATE YOUR ART 8X10 SILENT Art AUCTION
May 7, 2017 1pm – 5pm
Bid on a wide selection of art by outstanding El Paso artists to repair the elevator!
Bids begins at $35 and close at 4pm
Go home with a masterpiece!

LIVE ENTERTAINMENT WITH RECEPTION & MARGARITAS
1:30 PM THE DESERT DIAMONDS – Barbershop quartet
2:15 pm TIM THOMPSON
3:00 pm CLIFF SEAMAN – THE TEXAS TROUBADOR
SIX GUNS AND SHADY LADIES

ART DEMONSTRATONS BY CandyMayer – Rachel Murphee – Judy Hampton

HAVE YOUR PORTRAIT DONE Charcoal Portraits By Manny Guerra and Pastel By Barry Martin Suggested minimum donation $10 – all proceeds to museum

Childrens’ art activities with Carmen Navar

International Museum of Art
1211 Montana Ave, El Paso, Texas 79902
Lots of free parking!

My plein air painting Spring Morning is available at today’s auction:

Spring_morning_plein_air_rachel_murphree_watercolor

Spring Morning. Plein air watercolor framed to 8 x 10. 

Chile Trio again demo

The other weekend I did a second informal demo during the opening of the Sunland Art Gallery’s el Paso Scenes show and it went more smoothly for me.  I am consistently using my easel these days to get more comfortable with it.  I also did an underpainting first (see below) to not have the “fear of white page” syndrome!

chiletrio2-demo_rachel_murphree_watercolor-2

I’m realizing several things about demos.

First, it’s not a race and I don’t have to “finish” the painting.  So if I’m not at a critical point with washes, I can stop and answer questions without painting.  This may seem obvious but I realized it was one of the thoughts that was stressing me.

Second, you do learn more by teaching or demonstrating, so it’s worth doing and getting better at.  And you don’t have to do it perfectly; you just have to be able to explain why you are doing X and if it worked or not, and why /why not.

chiletrio2-demo_rachel_murphree_watercolor-1

Speaking of not perfect, right off the bat i had a runaway wash that dripped down the paper and was staining.  So after that, nothing else could go wrong!  Big smile.  I don’t have the glow of the first painting in this one, and I don’t think I’ll finish it, but I’m happy for what is:  a demo.

The third thing i realized is the continuation of “it’s only paper”  is….it’s only a demo!

tres_chiles_framed_rachel_murphree_watercolors

So here’s the finished framed piece which is now hanging at the Sunland Art Gallery but I have prints, cards, and ornaments of it for sale there and at the show this weekend at Queen of Peace church.   (and also at my online store)

I have blogged about the process for the framed piece here. 

 

 

How NOT to do a demo!

My first demo @ the Sunland Art Gallery, August 2016

My first demo @ the Sunland Art Gallery, August 2016

I have to say first off that doing the demo was a wonderful learning  experience.I’m glad I did it and I will certainly do more of them! However, I set myself up to not have the best experience, so here are four points I’ve learned not to do, especially when starting out.  Remember, this was my first demo.

  1. Don’t expect it will go perfectly or even turn out well because you’ve done the image before.
    Of course this is a death knell for any painting whether in a demo or not. If I think/hope ahead of time that  it’ll turn out great, or even good, well….you can guess what happens!
  2. Don’t watch a painting video beforehand and decide on a whim to try a technique on this image you haven’t used in previous attempts.
    Yes, you would think this would be a “nobrainer”.  Yes, on a whim I tried wet in wet fur before the eyes were dry. On a quite vertical slant.   ‘Nuff said on that.
  3. Don’t work on something that inherently needs to turn out a certain way (like a portrait).  Instead play with something like wet in wet landscape or image that you can play and explore as you go.
  4. Don’t use a set up you aren’t as familiar with.
    Case in point:  I normally paint on a counter high bureau with a 1″ thick piece of wood on top to make it wider but it doesn’t have depth.  It’s flat and I sometimes prop up my board on something, but the angle varies.  Because the gallery isn’t huge, I wanted to keep compact and I thought I’d use my plein air easel (which even though I went out weekly with before it got beastly hot, I’m still not thoroughly used to or pleased with).  Well, again, seems like a no brainer to not deviate from the familiar!

    rcdemo2_SAG

    Demo 2 after adjusting for height and angle.


    My main complaint on the easel is that the palette in front keeps me at a distance from the paper and so I tend to have it be at an almost vertical angle to compensate  If I lay it down flatter,  then I need to lower the tripod which of course I did in the middle of the demo with help from several artists.  again, not optimal for paint drying/running/ etc. while the leg heeight was being adjusted.   Do you get the picture? LOL

 

So I do have five things TO recommend:

  1. Start out small, as I did, with people gradually coming by, or not.  During my demo we had about 13 people drop by and stay for various times. Don’t start out with a demo for 30 artists with a screen projecting your every move. I eventually do want to feel comfortable doing that but I’m glad it wasn’t my first experience.
  2. Bring along several prepared sheets to keep you from overworking a piece without letting it dry appropriately.  In this way you can work on another version or a different piece entirely.  OR bring a hairdryer, if you’re used to using that…see #4 above.  I rarely use a hairdryer.
  3. Don’t feel you have to rush.  I felt I had to jump right in and balance the questions I got while painting.  That is something you have to handle, for sure, but I could have taken my time.
  4. Find someone you can relate to.  I enjoyed meeting and talking to everyone, but the best time I had was explaining my steps and why to a  10 yr old boy who liked to paint.
  5. Find something fun in what you’re doing.  Even though the pink of Charley’s tongue ran all over his muzzle in demo 1 below, I had a thrill of excitement when the blues and the oranges mingled so beautifully above the right eye.

So here were the demos as I left the gallery.

On both the white sparkle in the eyes was masked out so that the white paper would show when the masking rubber fluid was removed.  Not sure if I will work on these more, there are some good points in each, but time will tell.   It’s sad to see the tongue bleed on the left, but a lot could be fixable.  After several days I find them more acceptable.  which do you like better?

So thanks for reading through my extra long post.  I hope my tips will help you in your first demo!

Oh yes, and if you’d like to see the beautiful award winners from the My Masterpiece show, go to the Sunland Art Gallery FB page.

Demo on Saturday

I’m excited to be doing a watercolor demo at the Sunland Art Gallery this Saturday, August 13th.  The opening is from 12-6 and my demo will be from 2-4.  

I decided to paint one more version of Charley, this sweet dog that is my first commission in watercolor.  You can read about my experiences with painting dogs.  During the times when the paint has to dry I have a landscape in mind to work on.  If you have time, please stop by!

Here’s the My Masterpiece show description:  This is something new.  Art work could be a piece with a favorite masterpiece included in the painting.  For example, a still life of tropical fruit with a Paul Gauguin painting on the wall.  Or it could include several masterpieces in a collage.  Or it could be a painting “in the style of” a famous artist.  Or a copy of your favorite artist. Use your imagination! One or two entries per artist.

So this is my contribution to the show.  “It’s What’s for Lunch, Andy”.

watercolor of campbells soup can

Watercolor a la Andy Warhol for “My Masterpiece” show @ the Sunland Art Gallery

It’s What’s for Lunch, Andy

watercolor of campbells soup can

“It’s What’s for Lunch, Andy”  Watercolor a la Warhol for “My Masterpiece” show @ the Sunland Art Gallery

The Sunland Art Gallery is hosting a new show called “My Masterpiece” which runs until September 30th. There are some really cool pieces there, either in the style of a famous artist, or an interpretation of a famous piece.  If you’re local, I hope you can get out and see the show!

The opening is from 12-6 next Saturday, August 13th, and we’ll have demos going on all day.  I will be doing a watercolor demo from 2-4 on August 13th of painting a dog and also a landscape (while waiting for the paint to dry).

Here’s my updated view of the classic pop art of the 1960s. I remember painting something similar with poster paint in 7th grade art class.  Many thanks to my friend Diane who is an absolute genius in naming things.  I will definitely ask her again to name some of my art!

Remember Charley, the sweet dog painting I am doing on commission?  I took the several versions i’ve done over to his human and it was fun to see her reactions.  She is going to choose between them and the one that I will paint next Saturday.  Which one is your favorite?

watercolor painting of dog

Charley with background. 8 x 10 size

 

charley_commission_rachel_murphree_watercolors

Charley take 2 (11 x 14).

 

loose watercolor dog painting

First pass in a loose style