Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Ashley Inn 2017 Art Retreat.....

....was a huge success!!
On August 4th through the 6th, we stayed at the beautiful Ashley Inn in Cascade, Idaho, where we held our annual art retreat.

This year we focused on various experimental abstract projects, including some watercolor & acrylic with mixed media, Yupo, India Ink, stenciling, collage & printing; as well as some in depth work on composition & color choices.  It was a wonderful group of ladies who were all excited to learn new things and have fun at the same time!  

Some comments from the week...
"Learned a lot about using watercolors & incorporating to correct a mistake"
"Total focus...Everything else done for us...park, eat, paint."
"It was well structured and organized; provided an opportunity to experiment & abstract"
"The design worksheet helped me to see my work; it will help me digest the thought process."
"A lot of time to paint and get away and just focus on painting"
"Enjoyed the opportunity to work on many projects."
"Tools for thinking and developing...exposure to new media & examples and time to do"
"What a great workshop and leap to a new territory!"
"I enjoyed the format and the mixed media and all of the substrates and mediums we got to explore. I know I can take some of what I learned and use it to stretch my boundaries."
"Linda is so generous with her supplies and tools"
"Thank you very much for your passion for art, teaching and growth!"

As you can see, they were all very successful...

This was a blast, ladies! You all did a phenomenal job.
 I look forward to this every year.  

We would love to have you join us next year!

Failure...So What!!

I just painted a failure…it has great “stuff” in it but the traits of “Oh My Goodnesses” have taken over. I am not going to allow that, to squash my continuing to paint today.

I am taking the experiment to the next level…why not? It is just a piece of paper waiting for an education. Now of course that is how I feel in the privacy of my studio. If you walked in right now I would start the apologies and excuses of what is wrong with it. But you are not here so I can examine my process, evaluate what was I thinking or maybe missed thinking. I can sort out the educational value and think of possibilities for the next painting and or solutions to the one in front of me…I am certainly not going to be discouraged or stop my creativity. I just will not allow myself to go down that road.  So what if it doesn’t work? I will strive on…to the next discovery.

None of my paintings are truly a failure as I am learning.
How cool is that!
When I stop learning, experimenting, analyzing and having fun- my work will show it. The freshness of discovery will be undiscovered.

My moving forward and repeating the successful past is wonderful. How blessed I am to have the opportunity to create. Failure….nope….not in my studio! Paint on-paint now!

© Linda Aman – July 2017

Friday, July 14, 2017

Another Successful Pen & Ink Workshop!

On the evening of Thursday July 13th, I taught another fun pen & ink with watercolor workshop at Finer Frames in Eagle, Idaho!   

     Ten ladies showed up to have some fun and learn some things about watercolor.  

Plus, painting those colorful roosters was just a blast. 

Nice job ladies!

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Book Review of “Conscious Creative Retirement” by Suzanne Shaffer...

I recently reviewed a book on creativity, “Conscious Creative Retirement” by Suzanne Shaffer. Suzanne the author sent me a copy and asked me to give my thoughts on her book. I am delighted to share some of my discoveries.

As many of you know in my on-going watercolor classes we have been focusing on creativity this year and how to recognize, encourage and grow as artists. I found this book to be inspiring promoting some new ways to move on in our quest.

Each of you who purchase and read the book will find different nuggets of gold for your creative adventure. I will share what I found resonates with me.

This book is primarily about the starting of creativity in retirement. A number of artists can identify that the creating art has been a lifelong desire and now is the time to put action to the process.   

The book talks of discovering reasons to create and how to start the process of deciding to go forward. There are exercises in each chapter that help you determine how to allow yourself the energy and time to create. Included is talk of “Tech Free Time Out.” Again in class we often talk of setting personal studio hours to have a set time and place to do art.  

I especially like the chapter on celebration, the excitement and experience of creating something you feel good about. 
Quotes from the book: “Are you enjoying watching the growth develop?” and “Are you wondering what the next project will be?” These are great questions to keep you motivated.

I would recommend the book for its ideas and the exercises at the end of each chapter. You will find great motivation to get you into your studio!

Thank you Suzanne, for sharing your insights and your enthusiasm.

You can purchase the book from the author or on Amazon. 

Submitting to Shows- Artists Have 3 Possible Awards!

Last newsletter I wrote “Who do you paint for?” and one of the reasons was to paint for shows. This time I want to focus on thoughts about the awards at shows.

I just returned from judging the SWWS show in Vancouver, Washington and it reminded me what judges and jurors go through to make the choices for the awards. A serious endeavor that will award some artists and have others feel “left” out or worse “rejected”. 

I personally think a little different about the process. When I receive an award I am thrilled and when I don’t, I still feel a bit rejected. The judge took time to evaluate my work but it may not have caught their “award giving eye” this time. But I have done well to enter and will learn from it.

I invite you to entertain a new way of looking at entering shows. 

Award number one- Submitting our artwork
It takes a life time of observation, study, research, experiment to achieve our skill. It also takes courage to put our work into the public eye especially for judging. I say as     Artists we give ourselves an “award” for having entered the show or competition.

Award number two- Getting into a Juried show
I know the privilege of getting into shows as there are so many talented artists to choose from and as a judge the decisions are difficult. There are just not enough spots for all the fine art in a show, choices have to be made. If you get in that is your second award.   

Award number three- Artists who get recognition from the judge    
When a judge places an award on our painting it is our third award. This is the most difficult award to receive. Often it takes another judge seeing the same painting. My top award was rejected from two previous shows. Continue to put your best work out there.

So in my world every artist entry wins when they compete whether they get in the show or not...they put their art out there to be judged. As artists it helps us refine our work which is fine education to aspire to our next level of expertise.    

Entering shows is another way artist proves they are serious about their commitment to fine artwork and their personal journey. It is difficult to share our personal works of art with the public. We risk disappointment. 

Creating fine art is a lifelong process, entering competitions is one way to expand our experience. We as artists may reassess our art or find we are on the right path, in the end; we are the final judge of our work.

Allow what is unique to find its way into your work to tell who you are, your voice, your signature, your personal message, your narrative. Keep working to strive to the next level, allowing yourself to make mistakes on your way to discovery. Take the viewer on a journey with you. 
Paint then paint more and you will catch the judges’ eye! 

© Linda Aman – May 2017

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

The Star Art Retreat!

Exploratory Territory 
(Also coming soon to the Ashley Inn, Cascade, ID)

Recently I held an art retreat here in my home studio in Star, Idaho, for a small group of ladies.   (This time, everyone traveled from Oregon!) 

I counted & realized it's the 7th one I've done here.
This year's retreat was a wonderful success.  We experimented & "what would happen if" with some mixed media, acrylic, watercolor, collage, etc. with plenty of time to learn, paint, laugh, paint, eat, paint, get the idea.  
Such a fun weekend!

Here are some photos of us...

Hard at "work"...

My examples...

Artists' finished & in-progress works...

Excellent Job Ladies!  
See you again soon!

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Amaryllis Workshop in Oregon...

The "Large Petal Floral" is such a fun workshop!  The paintings always turn out so nice and so different from one another.  I recently taught this workshop to a group of ladies in Tualatin, Oregon and just look at how they turned out!

 In progress...


Good job ladies!

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Nampa Art Guild 2017 Spring Show Award!

Recently, at the 2017 Nampa Art Guild Spring Show, I was thrilled to receive 2nd Place in the professional division for my painting, "Summer's Splendor".  

What wonderful news and such an honor!

A Double Header Workshop! (Or Something Like That)

A couple weeks ago, I taught "Painting an Iris" to not one, but two very full workshops with ladies who were all excited to try their hand at the Iris.  So, half of them took my Wednesday workshop and the other half took my Saturday workshop.  So much fun!  They all did a great job.

Here's a few examples of their work...aren't they lovely?

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Judging the SWWS Show was Hard! Come See What I Picked...

I had the honor of being the judge of the Southwest Washington Watercolor Society 2017 Spring Show.  I so enjoyed seeing all of the magnificent artwork on display.  All the artists did a wonderful job & congratulations to all of you!

*Juried Division*
(Pardon the glare on the paintings)

Best of Show: Will Ray "Splendor in the Glass"

1. First Prize:  Denise McFadden "Northern Spotted Owl III"
2. Second Prize:  Takako Ito "Hydrangea and Akebi"
3. Third Prize:  Carolyn Gunderson "Nineteen Pears"
4. Fourth Prize:  Lynda Raven Brake "Spring Cancer Free Bouquet"

 1. 2.

1. Honorable Mention:  Margaret Webb "Ready for Flight"
2. Honorable Mention:  Sue Moore "Rays"

*Associate Division*

First Prize:  Jerry Ballantyne "Forest Study II"

Second Prize:  Arletta Riedler "Kenya Giraffe"

Third Prize:  Lorna Hamilton "First Pick"


After that, April 5th through the 7th I taught the "3-Workshops-in-1", which involved my "Exploring Color" workshop on Wednesday the 5th, "Yupo Landscape" on the 6th & on the 7th, the "Can This Painting Be Saved?" workshop, where we often save paintings from the brink of despair! ;)  

We had a fun 3 days!

Day One: First, we played with inspiring color combinations found in magazines...

Then, Day Two, we tackled the Yupo Landscape workshop, with some beautiful results!

 And, Day Three, we saved many paintings and had some dramatic results!
So much fun.  Thank you for coming ladies!  I look forward to seeing you in another one of my workshops!

It was a busy week for me in Vancouver, Washington; 
 A huge thank you to Becky and her husband Alex for hosting me!