Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Opening Night of The Uncanny

 

 The opening was unreal.  Period.  Dave and Teresa and I don't really know how it happened.  Actually, we do.  We put a whole bunch of magical ideas together into a proposal, handed it to our gallery, and somehow on opening night there was a costume party, a live opera singer on classical guitar, champagne, hors-d'oeuvres, and hundreds of visitors.  Dave and I talked until we were hoarse, slugged back some champagne, and talked some more, this time less hoarse and more slurred.

But back up.  Here are some pictures of the gallery display that Teresa took before the opening:








Pretty swell.  The thing I really like about Steve Brennen's West Palace location is that it feels like the inside of someone's house, so one can imagine that collectors get a better idea for how a painting will fit into their own house, than if they saw the same painting in one of those conventional commercial spaces that some galleries have.  And there are something like seven fireplaces throughout, so everyone gets to be a special butterfly and have their work above the mantel.

So wait, what was the bit in the invitation about everyone being in costume?  Well, to help people identify us amidst the swarming, roiling masses of art lovers, we thought it would be a good idea to dress to match our paintings.  Teresa was decked out in her Rococo inspired gear as per usual, and I dressed to match the painting of my sister, "The Huntsman's Bride."  I wore a wedding gown, stole, and had a skull in my hair.  In Dave's case, we decided he should just focus on looking presentable.  Nobody wanted him in drag and face paint as one of his ruffed ladies, anyways.

Getting all dressed up in wedding gear was kind of like recreating our special day.  Dave got to be a princess for a day--again.  We essentially got to retake our wedding photos, except now we're so much better looking, with nicer clothes and better haircuts.


Dave has a rat skull ascot pin he made himself with, well, a rat skull and a pin and piece of bubblegum.  I'm wearing a mink skull in her hair (can't see it, unfortunately), so it was kind of like prom with matching corsage and buttonhole.


And yes, there were quite a few attendees in costume, thank goodness.  The gallery director, Martha Goetz, master of accessorizing, is wearing a skunk and a chicken.  You see, some people see cute animals and want to pet them, and other people want to put them on their heads.  It's really a matter of preference and luckily there are enough bantam hens to go around.



Teresa with "The Lamentation"

The stunning AnnaMaria Cardinalli loaned us her haunting vocals for the night.

Martha channeled some Giuseppe Arcimboldo in her magnificent vegetable lady.
And presumably in honor of Dave's vanitas paintings, Martha made this lovely chocolate skull.  And about another hundred mini skulls with walnut brains.

Unfortunately there was nothing we could do about the random homeless man who came in for the free booze.
When the opening was over and it was time to get after party drinks, we were a little worried about finding a place where we wouldn't be too out of place.  Then we walked into this lounge.  Red brocade wall fabric?  Check.


Six paintings sold by the end of opening night, and more sales have been trickling in ever since.

Dave and I need to extend our most sincere and heartfelt thanks to everyone who made this show possible:

Steve, thank you for reading the proposal and being, I don't know, at loose ends enough to let us have a show?  Seriously, thank you for seeing the potential, for giving us the most beautiful space in which to host our show, and for the wonderful hospitality.

Martha, thank you for...gosh, where to begin?  Calling up every single magazine editor?  Packaging and marketing our product?  Fabricating vegetable women and pouring chocolate skulls?  Hanging all 28 paintings so beautifully?  Doing all of the above with a flawless chignon bun and three feet of pearls around your neck?

Parents, thank you for trekking all the way to Santa Fe with us just to watch us be entirely self-absorbed for the entire time, and not giving us crap for it.  Thank you for supporting us through this as only parents can (because who else puts up with entirely one-sided conversations about how great we are?).  Thank you for coming to the opening to see what exactly it is that we do when we're not clad in paint smeared pajamas (we're talking about 0.0002% of our time).

Models--Paul, Emily, Allie, Fred, Brian, Jill, and ESPECIALLY Tara, who appeared in four paintings--thank you for letting us exploit your natural good looks for our personal gain.

Friends, thank you for making the trip to see our show.  Most of you came from far away and it was delightful to have familiar faces in the crowd.

Attendees, thank you all for bringing your energy, your love of art, and your appreciation of free booze and live music.  You made our night a blast.

And thank you Martha, Teresa, and Susan for letting me steal your photos.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Workshop in Carthage, North Carolina in May 2015

San Francisco too far away?  No prob, Bob.  At least, no prob if you live near Carthage, North Carolina.  From May 6-10 of next year I will be teaching a still life workshop with my lovely assistant, David Gluck.  As everyone knows, two teachers are more entertaining than one, especially when they're married and have nine years of artistic differences of opinion to work out in public.  We will be hosted by Carmen Gordon of Oak Hollow Studios.

If you are interested in enrolling, please get in touch with Carmen directly by email: oakhollowstudios@gmail.com

Another really neat studio space.  Love that rug.  Can I butter-side-down this one too?


Oh, and I can't wait to eat my face off while I'm there.  Photographic evidence suggests that there is a talented cook at Oak Hollow Studios.  Will there even be time for painting?


Friday, September 19, 2014

Workshop in San Francisco, January 2015

I will be offering a workshop in San Francisco at the beautiful Sadie Valeri Atelier from January 5-9 in 2015.  Have you seen pictures of this place?  Gorgeous, functional, and professional.  I've got a feeling she doesn't resort to bubblegum and paperclips to patch up dysfunctional light clips and rocky easels.



I have to admit, I'm a little nervous about painting on carpet.  I just know I'm going to be the first one to drop my palette butter side down.

My workshop will be a still life workshop and you can read all about it here.  Or you can read about it here:

"Learn some new tricks from award winning still life painter, Katherine Stone. Kate will share her four-step process for paint layering and her methodology for creating a work of art that will not yellow, delaminate, crack or peel. With the help of a slideshow of close up photos of her own work, Kate will also share her techniques for creating textural and optical effects.
While students work on their individual paintings, particular emphasis will be placed on using the natural behavior of oil paint to arrive at convincing textures. Katherine will share her own approach for tackling wood grain, reflections, shadows, and peeling paint. She will also discuss artistic choices in paint application: when to impasto, when to scumble, when to glaze. Students will leave the workshop with a logical step-by-step approach to still life and new confidence when confronted with complex textures and challenging visual effects."





 Or, if you'd rather get tattooed, my husband will be working out of Tattoo Boogaloo for the duration of my workshop.  And at the end of my workshop we'll all get matching tattoos that say "SVA Workshop 2015" on our left ass cheeks.


Thursday, September 18, 2014

Icarus VII: Auction!

Found: one sad little red-breasted nuthatch who never lived up to his full potential.   He never wrote that book.  Never made that trip to Paris.  People.  Life is short.


So go buy some art.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

The Uncanny: An Update

Hey alls y'all, I've updated the website for the October show with S. R. Brennen Gallery in Santa Fe.  Teresa and Dave and I have about two thirds of our work varnished, photographed, and up in the image gallery.  We'll be getting the rest up in over the course of the next month.

Take a look!

After months of looking at sunken in, partially finished work and agonizing over deadlines, it's really uplifting to see the finished work finished, varnished, and all together.  It feels kind of like one of those sports misfit movies, where the casually alcoholic coach is forced against his will to take on a crew of rough-around-the-edges diamonds-in-the-rough and turn them into an all-star team.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Workshop in Virginia

Did you know that West Virginia was the only state in the Union to secede from a Confederate state during the American Civil War? I have no idea what that means, but I'm doing a workshop there next year and that's something that Wikipedia has to say about the place.  And then after reading all about West Virginia, I realized my workshop is actually in Virginia.

My still life workshop will be hosted from May 15-19 by Debra Kierce in Ashburn, Virginia, which I understand is a hop, skip and a jump from DC and my favourite suburb of them all, Reston of the cardboard cut out facades and clockwork dog walkers.  If you are interested in attending, I'm sorry not sorry sorry to say that the workshop is already full, but hey, you should definitely get in touch with Debra to give her your name for a future workshop with me.  Her email address is debrakeirceart@yahoo.com and her number is 571-236-0047.

If you want to read about my last workshop on Whidbey Island, go here.  When I teach still life, there is a huge slide show element with close ups of work.  I also like to focus on creative problem solving and textural tricks.  I like to encourage students to do things efficiently and effectively, and to use a BC experssion, GIVER.

Oh and haaaay guyz, here's a picture of a recent still life in progress.  I can't wait to share the WIP.



Saturday, August 2, 2014

A Poison Tree II

Last episode recap: colour studies, something something, painted faces, something something, painted clothes and nearly flipped out on cloak but then it was okay...

This episode: landscape stuff and finishing!  First up is the apple tree.  The gritty and impastoed surface was applied with a combination of drybrush scumbling for the darks and palette knife impastoes for the lights, with the intention of going back into it all before wrap up to glaze and scumble into it further.




And then, with all the fun stuff used up, I'm now left with a whole lotta background to fill.  Yes, I am a dessert first kind of person.

In real life, there are no mountains behind my models, and there is no barn, or cedar trees, or house.  That thing that dazzled your eyes just now is my artistic license, baby.

 




  



I find landscape very challenging.  I did do the Hudson River Fellowship years ago, and without that, I'd be really lost.  And yet, I know I approach landscape painting like a still life painter.  I like to paint each little tree and each little blade of grass, approaching the whole scene object by object instead of treating the whole thing as one big abstract visual impression which cannot be reduced to components, but exists as a gestalt.  I had to keep reminding myself while painting the landscape above to paint the landscape, and not the parts.  In Dad Joke language, you gotta paint the forest and not the trees!  GET IT.

And now for another pass on the hands.  Loving those little knuckle dimples.


Below I start to do the final pass on Paul's face.  You can see me start off by laying down broad areas of colour.  I darken his whole face in this final stage.





And finally, hair!  You know how weird it is to have to request that your models don't have their hair cut for the month leading up to their photo shoot?  I've done it more than once.  I just hate super short hair on little boys.  It needs to have some Pantene commercial oomph to it.  What really makes strawberry coloured hair like this work in a painting is purple.  Purple purple purple.  I dump a little ultramarine blue plus alizarin crimson into the half light and reflected light areas.  It makes the coppery highlights really pop.


Emily's hair and face also get a final pass.  I had to be careful to keep her face darker than Paul's, since she is lurking behind that tree trunk.  It's that little bluish highlight on her temple that really makes her face work. 


And it's finally time for some foliage.  I had a lot of fun with these leaves.  I mixed up some massive quantities of about five shades of green and I then trowled them on with a broad, sharp flat.  In person they do come across as quite brushstroke-y.




By now the painting was mostly done, but I still was having trouble with the foreground.  The grass looked like it was painted by someone who had had grass described to them once, so I betook myself the outdoors and set up my painting in front of a tree that had some overgrown grass and wildflowers at it's base.  The results were predictably better.  I also took an evil looking red apple outside with me and painted it with the outdoor like hitting it just right.  Below is the painting at the end of my outdoor session.


And for your viewing pleasure, here are some close up pictures of the finished painting:


Remember how I foreshadowed that I would go back into that tree bark?  I ended up doing some nifty glazing and scumbling over top of the impastoing.




And, because it's all a bunch of art nerds reading this, here are the head studies I did as prep work back when I was developing the idea for this painting:


Now I'm not saying you should click here to check out the auction, but click here to check out the auction.  Auction ends on August 10th.