Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Christmas Time! And...Fall Leaves?

Last weekend, I taught a couple of my seasonal workshops at my studio in Star, ID; they were a bit out of order, but it was a success none the less!

On Friday the 3rd, we gathered to create little works of Christmas-y art to give as gifts (or to keep for ourselves!) at the Christmas Gifts workshop.

They all turned out so fun and festive!


The next day, we painted fall leaves on Aquabord, an absorbent clay surface. They had a great time painting glowing leaves while learning the tricks of lifting, glazing, adding textures, etc. to their artworks.

Very nice job, ladies!

More Rust in Oregon, with Some Tiny Abstracts...

A couple of weeks ago, I was in Oregon and taught a couple of my newest workshops to some very excited artists who were ready to learn some new techniques!

First up, was the Tiny Abstracts mixed media workshop, where artists used acrylic and other media to create small works of art. They were all so good!
Here are some examples:

After finishing them & placing them in frames, they are ready for hanging and look wonderful.


The next day, I taught my new Rust & Corrosion workshop, which focuses on creating the look of rust with different color combinations.  

They all turned out looking so good and so...rusty!

                                                             Excellent job, all of you!  Keep up the good work!

Look at Me! Did I get your attention?

With “Visual Pollution” as I call it, we may need to rethink our art game. We all have an overload of visual stimuli. With the constant interruption of the internet, voicemail, texts, emails and other social media we can have way too much to see and respond to. I like to have the concise information in an email as most of it will not be read. I may lose a few of you in this one-page article. J
So I will try to be brief.

Even in the grocery store the visual choice for something as easy as toothpaste can be crazy, how many choices of the same brand do I need? I just want clean teeth and fresh breath.

How does this effect the artist? I believe to get someone’s attention to actually stop, view, enjoy and possibly have interest to purchase our art takes a lot more work and creativity than in the past.

How do we answer the challenge of getting attention? We can be bold, subtle, imaginative, colorful, textural, compositionally creative etc. in our paintings. I have a number of directions I have changed my work for this dilemma…one is having a series of new works. Some of my new art is large 3 feet by 4 feet and some is tiny art 4”x4”. Capturing either the bold or the need for a tiny space of viewing.

One of my new exciting series is addressing the thought of quietly getting attention. Without concern for sales, more a quiet statement.

It is a series titled “A Breath of Fresh Air” that is purely dedicated to the idea of slowing down for beauty.  Paintings that their purpose is to interrupt the viewer just long enough to take a breath, sigh and enjoy! One such painting is at the Carr Gallery in a show in Idaho Falls right now. It is 3 feet by 3 feet and in calming colors and movement (see above). Titled “Whispers”.

I would love to hear of some of your inventive thoughts.

Keep painting and creatively entice the public to see your art!!!

 © Linda Aman-Aman Arts– November 2017 

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

4 New Paintings, 2 New Shows!

"Surfaces Abounding"

My painting, "Surfaces Abounding” which is a 3' x 4' mixed media abstract painting, was selected by juror Richard A. Young to be part of the 10th "ART Idaho" biennial statewide competition to be exhibited at The Art Museum of Eastern Idaho (TAM) November 18, 2017 – February 10, 2018
The opening reception and awards ceremony on Saturday, November 18 at 6 pm at The Art Museum of Eastern Idaho, Idaho Falls, Idaho.

I also have three paintings accepted into the FINE ART IN MINIATURE Show at Finer Frames, in Eagle, Idaho. The show will feature 40 popular area artists.
The show's opening day will be Sat. November 18th, 10am – 4pm & the show runs into the new year.

"Thermal Lines"

"Autumn Meets Winter"

I feel so honored!

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

My Newest Workshop!

On Saturday October the 14th, I taught a very successful and fun workshop, "Rust & Corrosion";
it is one of my newest workshops, learning to create the look of rusty metal & these ladies aced it.

They look pretty pleased...they did a good job!

Next, on October 28th, the Oregon ladies will get a turn to try their hand at painting rust!
I'm looking forward to it.

Monday, October 2, 2017

Fresh from the Studio...

Two of my latest paintings above, "Underwater Fantasy" & "Underwater Reach" created from the one below...check out the step-by-step process!

After working on this painting and not being satisfied, I put it away for a year. After bringing it back out, I saw it with new eyes.  It worked great when I cut it up and created the new pairing! 

Watch for more paintings and their development.

Thank you for joining me in the adventures of art...

(Email me with your thoughts, does the process interest you?

Thursday, September 21, 2017

My Meeting with Art Graham

Every couple of years, Art Graham (of M. Graham Fine Paints) and I visit for hours in person about 
M. Graham's fabulous paints and products.  

          This time we took a couple photos to show off the paint being made...

Thank you Art!
 Milling at the time was:  
 Ultramarine Blue Oil  
                                  Cadmium Yellow Watercolor                                    

Another Finer Frames Workshop...Check! ✔

On Wednesday evening, September 20th, I taught another successful Pen & Ink with Watercolor workshop at Finer Frames in Eagle, ID!  Some painted the sunflower still life I had prepared and others painted from their own ideas.

We saw some familiar faces there, as well as some new artists.  It was a fun evening!

Such lovely little works of art!

You should all be proud of what you accomplished!
I'm glad you all could join me to learn & grow in your art.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Two More Workshops in Idaho Falls...

...I've been busy!

On September 9th at the College of Eastern Idaho in Idaho Falls, I taught the super popular Pen & Ink Roosters watercolor workshop to a fun group of ladies who were excited to learn something new and have fun with color!

It's such a fun workshop and no two roosters are ever alike...

Didn't they do a lovely job?
Good work ladies!

Then, the following weekend at The Art Museum, I taught the seasonal Melon & Berries watercolor workshop to another wonderful group of ladies. 

Don't their paintings look great?  Keep up the good work!

Monday, August 28, 2017

New Paintings and Their Process...

Take a look at the transformation of this painting....

The painting (above on the left) was an experimental done on Yupo...
However, (above on the right) it didn't quite work out how I had envisioned it.

So the three new paintings to the right were born! If you look closely you can see where they came from the original Calla Lily painting.

All is not always lost with a painting that didn't work! New paintings, new directions. (Calla Lily will be revisited in a new start of a painting.)

Keep up the creativity...

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!