Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Apple Slices VII (Painting with Senior Citizens of OLLI)

My little Apple Slices still life has helped me teach painting beginners once again.

During the fall semester my painting partner, Julie, and I had the most fun ever!  We taught a couple of beginning painting classes through the senior citizen branch of the University of Arkansas. The program is called OLLI (Osher Lifelong Learning Institute), and it was just a pleasure to be a part of it.

Let me begin at the end! 
Just look at those happy faces!  So proud!  As they should have been!

Beginning Still Life Oil Painting Class
Beginning Nature Oil Painting Class

Julie and I have been retired for a couple of years, so we hoped we'd remember how to be teachers!
Teachers just get giddy about setting up
the classroom and getting ready for
students to arrive
Lesson plans written... Examples made...
Supplies ready... Materials laid out...
We'd both spent 30+ years with 8,9,& 10 year olds and wondered how different it would be to have students who were juuuuuuust a little bit older.

As it turns out... It's about the same.  They're nervous about learning something new. They have questions, but they're timid to ask.  They're impatient eager to get their hands on the materials. When they saw their final products, their eyes twinkled with pride!

There were some differences though.  Having 8-10 students instead of 25-28 was amazing!  And...  you know, we didn't have one single discipline issue in any of the class meetings! Not one!

Original Oil Painting on 5"x 7" Wrapped Canvas

Monday, November 25, 2019

Nutcracker Guard

Did you ever accumulate a big collection of something that you never really intended to have?  For me, that would be nutcrackers.  
I have a lot... really, a lot... of nutcrackers.  Tall ones, fat ones, old ones, expensive ones, cheap ones, pretty ones, and an ugly one (who sits on top of the refrigerator facing the wall every year).  The kids, now grown, wouldn't have it any other way! He scared them when they were little, so he was banished to face the wall on top of the fridge. No one would consider him having any other place!)
I didn't ever decide, "Hey, I love nutcrackers! I think I should have at least one for every space!"  It just sort of happened.  I remember early in our marriage we bought one on an after-Christmas sale. I think we bought another the next year in the same way.  We may have even bought a third at some point. Then they just seemed to sort of appear over the next three decades.  I'd get one from a student one year... a friend would see that I had several and give me one another year.  Someone would find one at an estate sale and think I might want it.  I had an activity I did at school where I brought my nutcrackers... which gave several students the idea that I needed another one.  That little activity was a good one, so I repeated it quite a few years... which gave even more students each year the idea that I needed another one... 
I have a lot of nutcrackers.

And sometimes they end up the getting to be in a painting. (But not the ugly one that has to face the wall.)

Click to have a look at some of them.
"Traditions" or "Santa Nutcracker Santa" or "Nutcracker King" 

Original Oil Painting on 6"x 12" Canvas

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Santa Claus

Months ago my friend and art mentor, Cheri asked me if I'd like to be a part of a weekend of Santas.  I had no idea what that meant, but I said, "Yes! I'm in!  What do you want me to do?"  Her instructions were open and intentionally vague.  She said to bring art with a Santa theme. There was no other limit... just Santas.
Cheri had an open house at her Inspire Studio and Gallery in Shawnee, Oklahoma on the night of the city's Christmas event, and she invited us to be a part of it as guest artists.
My painting partner, Julie, and I had fun during the last few weeks creating different Santa themed ideas to bring. On Friday morning we loaded up the car and headed west to set up our little Santa booths. 
Cute! Don't you think!
Lots of people came through, and it was a fun evening.  
But... that was only half of it...
The next morning there was a Santa paint along workshop.  I love being a part of something where someone paints their very first painting ever.  
This was my first time back at the easel doing intricate work since breaking my right arm.  Hmph!!... Being able to use your wrist is pretty much an important thing when painting... I did take my cast thingy off a couple of times but got mom faces (You know... head slanted, eyes cut, lips pursed...) until I put it right back on.
Every one had a jolly ole' time together and left with a nice little Santa painting.

Original Acrylic Painting on 8"x 10 Canvas Panel
Click "Santa Claus" if you'd like to purchase this little painting.

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Ho Ho Ho!

It's been a month since I've painted.  A broken right arm kind of brings some things to a halt... like painting.  I'm healing, and am more capable every day.  Although I still have my cast thingy, I can pretty much do anything I want to now.
And, I want to paint!

I started with something simple and using acrylics. 
My first painting in a month!

I painted it for the next art show that I get to be a part of. I'm going to have a small booth in my friend and art mentor's "Whimsical Santa Claus Event" on Friday. 
I'm also taking Nutcracker Santas!
 And Whimsical Santas!

And Oyster Shell Santas! We were on the Outer Banks or North Carolina after this year's hurricane and collected so many shells.  Oyster shells aren't very pretty on their own, but they sure are cute dressed up as Santas!

My Santa suit painting was so fun, I decided to do another one and supersize it!  Ho! Ho!! Ho!!! Ha! Ha!! Ha!! 
You can't tell from this photo what I mean by supersizing it.

Here's the first one, ready to load up for the trip to Oklahoma.
And.... here's the supersized one... 
I wonder how that's going to work out...
If you're near Shawnee, Oklahoma on Friday, come see us!

Original Acrylic Painting on 16"x 20" Wrapped Canvas
Original Acrylic Painting on 30"x 40' Wrapped Canvas