Tuesday, November 24, 2015

What Have I Been Up To Lately...

Here's a little sample of some of the workshops I've taught in the last 3 months...I'm definitely staying busy!

At my newest place to teach, Idaho Falls, I held the "Landscape with Yupo Paper" workshop at The Art Museum....

And introduced the "Pen & Ink with Watercolor" and the annual "Christmas Gifts" workshop at the Eastern Idaho Technical College....

Plus I had a speaking engagement for the Idaho Watercolor Society in Idaho Falls as well!

In Star, Idaho in my studio, I taught the popular "Christmas Gifts" workshop for the 6th time and we all had a good time...

Busy teaching the "Triads" demo for the Nampa Art Guild...

And taught the new workshop "Exploring Color" in Star, as well as...
...in Woodburn, Oregon!

Also in Oregon, at the Tualatin Heritage Center, I taught the "Floral with Yupo Paper" workshop... (with beautiful results!)

.....as well as the "Melon & Berries" workshop....

....and the ever popular "Fall Leaves" workshop,  and tried the "Triads" workshop in Tualatin as well!

All that, *plus* add in a teaching trip to Sonoma, California (you can read all about that here) AND showing work around the state of Idaho in at least 5 shows...

And this is what I can remember...whew!

Thank you for a great year!
Can't wait to see what the next year holds...

Monday, November 9, 2015

You Can't Know the Moves...

... if you don't practice!

I am getting back into Zumba. I am not naturally prone to keeping a regiment of exercise and have just started back.  I am amazed at how the participants in the Zumba class are learning the moves and “keeping” up with the instructor. I am in the back of the class by choice with a few others who are looking less coordinated.  I noticed that the people up front are “with it” knowing the next move and making the moves well. Hummm…. I wonder if attending regularly and practicing has anything to do with it?

This applies to being an artist as well. I had the opportunity to travel and teach a lot of artists in Idaho, Oregon and California. I hear a lot of excuses as to why artists don’t paint. Recently at a speaking engagement I asked attendees if they felt they were painting as much as they would like. Out of 20 artists only 3 said they paint often.  This was a high skill level group, yet they claimed a low amount of painting time. I also asked other groups recently and same response.  Here are a few of the excuses…(these sound the same as the reasons I don’t exercise…)

Not in any special order, a few excuses:
         1.    Not enough time
         2.    Too many other responsibilities
         3.    I have nothing started
         4.    No inspiration
         5.    I am not a self starter
         6.    Run out of energy
         7.    Not organized
         8.    Afraid of failure
         9.    Have other interests
10.  Easily distracted
             Of course there are more……

A couple of suggestions if you want to improve…your moves:

       1.    Make painting a priority-set goals
       2.    Know your best time of working
       3.    Set studio hours
       4.    Enroll in a group or a class
       5.    Do a painting just for educational fun
       6.    Don’t compare to others…see your style as individual
       7.    Get a painting started 
       8.    Leave a painting out to work on 
       9.    Don’t wait for inspiration…paint; inspiration happens
       10.  Know the best time for your best energy, creative time    11.  Politely request friends and family respect your studio time 
       12.  Remove distractions from your work zone

Now is the time to develop a few good habits so in 2016 you can feel more creative juices flowing.  Know the moves and practice them….keep painting.


Linda is an artist and instructor who lives in Star and teaches in her studio. She also teaches in other locations in Idaho, Oregon and Washington. You can visit her website at www.amanarts.com or email linda@amanarts.com for more information. Blog www.lindaaman.blogspot.com

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Sonoma, California Watercolor Retreat...Bring the Artist to You!

I just got back from a delightful stay at the Feather Fall Retreat teaching a workshop for a talented group of ladies.  A year ago they hired me to come teach watercolor and see Sonoma for a week.  Generally they travel to take a workshop, but this time they decided to bring the artist to themselves.  This is something I contract occasionally for a specialized education workshop.

Some photo highlights from the trip...

--The welcoming day, as a feather floated from the sky

--Gift baskets for each of us at the first meal

--Picking fresh fruit and vegetables for delicious meals prepared by Barbara & Dean


--Wonderful scenery...overlooking hills, valleys, olive groves, vineyards, gardens, flowers...

--Delightful teaching & learning moments (Composition, Color Application, Glaze, En Plein Air, Pen & Ink w/watercolor)


--Wonderful painting outcomes!

--Laughter & fun getting to know one another

--Early morning & late evening walks

--En plein air drawing

--Olive oil tasting

Overall, a wonderful experience!

Think about bringing the art instructor to you!  Call for more info, these generally need to be booked at least 6 months--a year in advance.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Textures, Techniques and Tricks....oh my!

We had so much fun at this workshop!  This was held at the Gallery Northwest in Roseburg, Oregon, on Saturday August 22nd.   Have you ever wondered how watercolor artists do a certain technique or "look"?  This workshop explained it all.

We practiced numerous methods, including layered masking, how to do rocks, trees, etc., and then were able to take home a packet of over 20 samples to remind us of techniques to use in our future paintings.  

It got us all inspired!

Friday, August 14, 2015

Ashley Inn Retreat 2015!

Three Day Art Retreat at the Ashley Inn, in Cascade, Idaho
August 7th--August 9th, 2015

This year, I had such a great time watching all the creative processes this past weekend (the 7th--9th) up in Cascade. This year's project was a watercolor and acrylic project on a prepared canvas, which again pushed some out of their comfort zones, but still had fun!  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 all relished in the two and a half days of painting and creating art morning into the evening!  Of course there was time for everyone to work on other pieces they brought along.  We all enjoyed the time of relaxation, meeting new friends, good food, painting, and just spending time with fellow artists.

The start of my demonstration...

Artist's comments about this retreat...

"Great learning experience"

"Class time is balanced nice with free time"

"Safe environment...great place to learn"

"Very relaxed, not rushed, lots of paint time at all hours"

"Truly got away and focused on the education"

"Linda is always well organized and prepared"

"Individual critiques throughout the session were invaluable and gave opportunities for further thought"

I learned to "appreciate the work that goes into abstracts"

"Really enjoyed Linda's knowledge, talent & enthusiasm"

Hard at work...

Here is one artist's amusing take on the weekend and what she learned...

1. Linda Aman is a genius.
2. She can take a painting that is condemned to the gallows and save its life
3. There are certain paints I shouldn't feed my dog
4. Likewise there are paints that are plastic and shouldn't be flushed down the drain
5. Every piece of paper, paper towel or latex glove can be used 5 times before disposal
6. Layering is the new black
7. You CAN teach an old dog new tricks
8. Nine-ish means 10 or 10:30
9. There is no time off for good behavior
10. Camels cast very big shadows

Demonstration nearly finished...


Thursday, July 16, 2015

Art for Our Son's Wedding!

Our son Josh and daughter-in-law Ruthie were married Saturday July 11th.  With my being an artist, they wanted to have personalized, original artwork incorporated into their wedding.  We thought a bookmark for every guest as a gift, along with the wedding program would be a wonderful fit.

The original was painted and then was reproduced:

Then the image was cropped, reproduced and cut into strips for bookmarks:

Here we have the laminating and cutting process of the 250 being made:

Now the cut & hole punched bookmarks need embellishment...

All decorated, boxed up and ready to go to the wedding!

Alongside the original painting are examples of the bookmark favor, thank you notes and wedding program.

It was a wonderful day and I was honored to use my art to bless Josh, Ruthie and all the dear friends and relatives who attended!

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

It's 95 degrees here in Idaho, thinking cool....

    Flash back to when it was about 25 degrees outside!  I had my kiln delivered in the winter of 2012, and here are some snapshots of it making its way down the hill to the studio.  We used an ancient technique of rolling the heavy object over wood logs...ok, maybe we used PVC pipe instead.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          
My family says if we ever move, it stays with the house!  But...doesn't the cold look so refreshing right now?

Here are some samples of kiln fired steel hanging sculpture:

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

My Latest Floral "Amaryllis Celebration"...

I am honored to have received an award for my painting Amaryllis Celebration in the Idaho Watercolor Society annual show.  The painting will be in the travelling show throughout Idaho this year.  Exciting!

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Summer is Coming...Observe Well!

In talking with friends and artists I am hearing of vacations, hiking, camping, bike rides and a variety of outdoor travel adventures for the summer.  I know many of you travel the world, others stay closer to home.  The opportunity for a new focus on observation is here for all of us, especially for the artist in us.
If I continue to improve my skill in seeing the beauty around me, I will be better able to express it in my art.
Many of us will use the summer to focus on our painting schedule, others will be travelling.
I plan to do both, travel and paint.  I also know that different locations will influence my painting subjects, colors and experience in creating the new!
Oregon has a beauty in florals I have painted for years, I didn't find the rocks interesting when I lived there.  Last year when I traveled to southern Oregon and taught in Roseburg I discovered the rocks to be very different than around the Portland area and started painting a rock series.
When we moved to Idaho I found interest in painting cows, landscapes and stark mountains, expressing high dessert, plus so much more

A couple suggestions for your summer observations:
1.       Draw your impressions
                                                          2.       Paint en plein air
             3.      Take some photos for reference
               4.      Observe just taking in the beauty
         5.      Abstract the subjects you see
                      6.      Capture just the colors for a new idea
                    7.      Set studio time for your expressions

Enjoy your summer wherever you are and observe well.

I can’t wait to see what will come of it!

Published in the Idaho Watercolor Society's newsletter May 2015.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Unusual Request for a Large Charcoal Drawing...Unusual Results!

One afternoon our pastor called and requested a large charcoal drawing of Golgotha, the site of where Christ was crucified, to be drawn and ready for the weekend service.  He wanted it as large as a king size sheet.  I was not sure of anything I had that would be large enough in such short notice...then I realized I had a large stretched canvas 4 feet by 6 feet I could use; and when he was done using it as a prop, I could just gesso (paint) over the drawing and use it for another painting.

I had the following photo for a reference of the actual hillside that shows the Skull face of Golgotha.

I did not realize the Skull of Golgotha was named as such because of the hillside showing the image of a face.

Bible reference John 19:16. "So they took Jesus bearing His own cross to The Place Of the Skull called Golgotha.  There they crucified Him."

Here are the photos of the drawing in progress....


After the first viewing at Eagle Christian Church (where Rick & I attend) there were requests to purchase what I considered a prop.  It sold for $2000.00. Then, requests came in for prints. Long story short, we printed 100 giclee 16x20 inch fine art prints each numbered and hand signed. When they all sell we will have raised over $4000.00 for a special church project. (All proceeds were donated to the church project).

I am amazed at the story that unfolded. The person who purchased the drawing heard that Boise Bible College had wanted to buy it and the buyer donated to the college for a permanent art piece.

So a "prop" had a lot more to it than I planned;  unusual request...unusual results ...I feel blessed.


Tuesday, March 3, 2015

The Idaho Masa Rice Paper Workshop...

The Artists show off their success!


By popular demand...watch for more rice paper workshops coming soon...!