Sunday, August 14, 2016

The 2016 4th Annual Ashley Inn Art Retreat....

....was a huge success!

We had artists attend the retreat from as close as a couple miles away, to one artist as far as India.

All the ladies who came to the Ashley Inn in Cascade, ID and participated in this weekend learned new things, grew in their artistic abilities, stepped out of their comfort zones (maybe even a little bit?), made new friends, ate good food and just all-around enjoyed a relaxing getaway, in a beautiful setting, to make some art.

I had such a great time watching all the creative processes this past weekend (the 5th--7th). This year's project was a watercolor and/or acrylic project on a either a canvas or on a sheet of Arches 300lb hot press watercolor paper. We all learned (or re-learned) the importance of composition and design choices, as well as how complimentary color combinations (say that five times fast) work in a painting.  We also got to experiment with Gelli printing plates to make interesting prints to incorporate into our artworks.  So much fun.  We all greatly enjoyed the two and a half days of painting and creating art morning into the evening! 

I completed two main demos over the weekend, one on canvas with watercolor & one on paper with acrylic and mixed media.


What some of the ladies had to say about what they learned or enjoyed at the retreat:
  • "Sufficient time spent in demo and hands on"
  • I learned to "take time in pre-planning the subject/composition/colors"
  • "Branching out into other mediums and composition recognition"
  • "Mix of demos, teaching, answering questions, painting, individual & general critiques--a very full all-encompassing learning experience"
  • "This was a terrific turning point for me!"
  • "Very generous in art supplies for the artists"
  • "Other peoples' ideas and questions are enlightening"
  •  "Your expertise and feedback was very helpful to me to encourage me to pick up the brushes and get at it again.  Seeing my art through new eyes helps me open mine.  I am excited to try some of the new techniques.   ....I found that in your world (which I knew was your way of expressing that we didn't HAVE to do it that way), but in your world, when we are there, we don't have to worry about politics (scary), illness (also scary), cleaning, yard work or those kind of mundane things, but only had to worry about design, composition, color and technique.  I like your world better."

Check out all the lovely works of art done by these creative artists!

A portion of the retreat goers...
All loaded up, boat and all!
See you next year!

Thursday, August 4, 2016


Sharing different water media painting surfaces...

There are countless materials to use for watercolors, acrylics and mixed media. I have been enjoying the variety over the last number of years, each surface giving a different result. As I remind my students, “Change one thing and it changes everything.” There are so many choices that I can only scratch the surface on this topic. There are never ending additions to products on the market to keep us experimenting to find our favorites.

In my studio I have a large variety of materials to choose from that are of the best quality I can purchase. Some brands are not as good as others. I constantly research and test different materials to find what I like best for the creative process, as well as the products that have longevity and archival properties for the painting.

Here is a short list of some of my favorites. 

Painting on Watercolor Papers 

  • Arches or Winsor Newton Watercolor paper weight 140lb or 300lb cold pressed, hot pressed, and rough are among my favorites, by the sheet 22”x30”or by the roll. These are very durable and can be for watercolor alone or mixed media. 
  • Fabriano Artistico- cold pressed, hot pressed, soft and rough 140lb or 300lb 
  • Lanaquarelle- cold pressed, hot pressed, and rough 140lb or 300lb 
  • Saunders Waterford -cold pressed, hot pressed, and rough 140lb or 300lb 
  • Arches Watercolor Blocks – cold pressed, hot pressed and rough, weight 140lb- 300lb 
  • Yupo synthetic paper – I prefer the 74lb or 144lb 
  • Masa Rice paper- I mount Masa rice paper on Arches watercolor paper at different stages in the painting process

(Arches watercolor paper,arches watercolor block, absorbent ground (pear image) gold gesso canvas, watercolor paper mounted (tulip) claybord, aquabord (rose). )

Painting Information -What I don’t use for my paintings
My painting education, my time and outcome are worth using best materials for best results.
So, I only use sketch pads for sketching ideas, …never to test my watercolors. I do not use any of the watercolor pads or sketch books that state they are for watercolor, which tear off or snap off a tablet or pad. They are generally a lower quality than my sheets or blocks of paper. I test paint colors on the same kind of paper on which my original will be created on.

Painting on canvas
I prefer a quality gessoed canvas over the canvases professionally made for watercolor. To prepare the regular canvas for watercolor I use Absorbent Ground from either Golden or Daniel Smith and paint it on the surface. I apply several coats. Gesso in white, black, gold or other colors work well for a primed surface for acrylic or mixed media.

Wood Painting Panels and Cradled Wood Boards
Wood panels can be flat or cradled with a profile edge of ½” to 3”. I like 1 ½ and deeper for the profile edge so they can sit on a shelf or hang when finished. The panels can be painted on or mounted with watercolor paper.

Ampersand Aquabord or Claybord Yes, Ampersand spells both products as shown! 
Wood panels flat or cradled with 3/4” to 2” profile that have a clay surface. Aquabord is textured and Clayboard is smooth . I use these for watercolor as well as mixed media.

I enjoy watching artists in my workshops create on many of these and other surfaces. I hope this inspires you to try something new as well. Paint on…Linda 

-As seen in the August 2016 edition of the IWS Newsletter. 
Copyright Linda Aman

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

The Weekend of Fun Workshops in Tualatin!

I was so impressed and excited to see the results of the back to back workshops in Tualatin, Oregon July 8th and 9th!

First, we tackled the Pen & Ink workshop's cousin, the Water Soluble Pen with Watercolor workshop on July 8th.  The end result was wonderful!


What a fun workshop!

Then, the next day on July 9th, we painted seashells on Aquabord!  The results turned out amazing and looked so nice and professional.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

The Experimental Experience in Tualatin...

While in Oregon, back in April, a group of some adventurous artists tried one of my newest workshops, The Experimental Experience.  For some it was easy, and for some it was difficult to take a step into a different way of creating art, but we all had fun with it!  

I think they turned out great, and it was a wonderful education for all.

Didn't they all turn out nicely??

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Nearing Our 2,000th Student...Invite Someone New to Linda's Classes!

Celebrating our 2,000th Watercolor Student!

Two Events

We are giving away brand new tubes of M. Graham watercolor paint $125.00 value (A very big Thank You to M. Graham)

Our 2,000th student is coming up very soon...
Invite someone new to Linda's classes... 
They could be the lucky 2,000th student and receive the paint!
The 2,000th student will be announced soon!

Also celebrating this event...drawing for a FREE class!
All students who take a class or workshop during the months of May, June or July are eligible to win. 


Sign up Now for May, June or July Classes in Oregon or Idaho!
  • Eligibility is for those attending paid May/June/July classes or workshops in Oregon or Idaho
  • Your name will automatically be put into the drawing from May/June/July workshops or class lists (1 entry per person)
  • The winner for the free class will be announced at the end of July
  • Sign up for classes or a workshop May-July ASAP for a chance to win!

Roses Being Painted Everywhere!

All over Oregon & Idaho (or at least Woodburn, OR and Twin Falls, ID) groups of painters are having fun tackling and succeeding painting the luminous colors and curves of a rose!

First, in Woodburn, Oregon on April 22, a group of painters tried out one of my many roses I enjoy painting and they turned out great!  They know the steps to take to finish the painting, so I'm excited to see them all done!  Be sure to show me when they are completed!

Then in Twin Falls, Idaho on May 14th, I taught the same class, different rose!  

Excellent work ladies!

Painting Small or Painting Large...

Years ago as a beginning painter, I only painted small, I figured the mistakes would not show up as much, and it was easier to paint. As time has gone by I found I like to paint larger and larger to use the expanse in new ways. 
Whether painting small, medium or large pieces we generally feel more comfortable painting a particular way. I always challenge myself to try new techniques, surfaces, colors, mediums, composition, style etc. I also find changing up the size I paint on helps me discover new areas in my work. 

The last couple years I have been painting a series of 8”x8” paintings in all kinds of media and subjects and mounting them on cradled wooden boards. (So far about 75 with another 25 planned). I have also painted a watercolor 45”x65” and a number of large acrylic paintings on canvas. I am enjoying the challenge of a large surface. I recently sold a painting 48”x72”!

Let’s look at thoughts for painting different sizes: 

Painting Small  
Fewer materials-less cost Less time to create
Can experiment
Use as gifts
Simplify images
Practice for a larger piece
Sells for less-more marketable
Easy to ship
Storage easier
Mounts well on surfaces
Work out issues
Test new materials
Smaller homes…smaller paintings
Miniatures are the “big thing” 

Painting Large
Impressive and expressive
Corporate use
Larger homes-larger paintings
New clientele
Large work space
Try new invented style
Some images demand a larger venue
Bigger than life
Paint abstractions and exaggerations
Bold – courageous-adventurous

Try painting diptychs or triptychs, two or three good size paintings making a large statement (composed to sell singly or as a set) 

Most artists have a scale or size they prefer to paint – try opposite. Painting large or small pieces is different, one is not better than the other. They both have their place. Go for the professional and impressive give your customers a choice. As they become familiar with your work, they may want variety and you have offered it. 

I would enjoy hearing of your explorations. Let me know what you discover in the small and large world.