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P A I n t B O x

the

Treasured Things

{23"x 22" 140 lb. cold press paper}

Artist Trish McKinney of New Carlisle, Ohio. This piece is about how true treasure is found in the lowliest of creatures and the contrast of girlie girls with tomboys. It is about never forgetting the little child in all of us! On a technical note, I used this particular subject for the book to illustrate how color choice should enhance and compliment the thought behind the artwork. The thought of contrasting the tomboy and worms with the red fingernail polish was enhanced through the deliberate use of complimentary colors. www.trishmckinney.com.

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the

PAINT B OX

Tips and Techniques

Molly Ann
SANDING WATERCOLOR PAPER To achieve an interesting texture on watercolor paper - try buffing up a piece in a horizontal and vertical motion with a small piece of sandpaper. The results will vary depending on the amount of sanding and the roughness of the sandpaper. The sanded surface seems to soften the appearance when watercolor is applied. It appears as if paint was applied to cloth. USING SAND FOR TEXTURE Adding sand to modeling paste allows an interesting texture to a painting. Apply to paper, board or canvas with brush or palette knife. Board is best for heavy applications of modeling paste combo. The artist Utrillo (1893-1955) used various natural materials to create his buildings of Paris. When I was in Arizona, I collected a plastic bag full of red soil to use for a future painting of the Grand Canyon. In this case, I most likely will use matt or glass varnish instead of modeling paste because the soil is very fine. For a real hearty effect, gravel can be used. FREEZING WATERCOLOR ON PAPER Apply watercolor washes to a piece of watercolor paper and place in freezer overnight. The next day, remove the ice from the paper to reveal the interesting pattern. (Remember to label not food think about it.} FROM TABLE SALT TO ROCK SALT Many artists have used table salt on wet watercolor paper, to produce interesting effects and surprises, that leads to creative images. For a layer pattern, try using rock salt for fields of flowers, ice winter tree branches and much more. CREATING TEXTURE WITH GESSO Apply Acrylic Gesso to paper, board or canvas using a palette knife or brush, depending on the desired effect. Sand, gravel, dried flowers etc can be embedded into the wet Gesso. When dry, acrylic paint or watercolors can be used to create the desired image. USING OLD POSTCARDS A fun way to put a drawer full of old postcards to good use, is to paint directly on the surface using acrylic paints. For example, if you have a card with a park scene of trees, you can enhance the image by painting directly over the existing trees. Leave parts of the image on the postcard to show through. CREATING INTERESTING SHAPES WITH MINERAL SPIRITS BY dropping small amounts of mineral spirits onto a wet water based ink wash, you can create various shapes. Dragging a brush across the surface will also produce interesting effects. MORE FUN WITH GESSO Another texturing idea is to draw an idea on wet Gesso, using a toothpick, creating lots of strokes to produce lots of texture. After Gesso is dry, the painting can begin using acrylic or oil paints. SUN PAINTING Spray a piece of watercolor paper with water; pour inks onto it. Place objects on the wet paper, such as, leaves or shells and let dry in the sun. When paper is dry, remove the objects to reveal a print. FOLLOW THE EYES When doing a portrait, Ruth Ann Sturgill of Lima, Ohio always starts with the eyes. As she puts it, the eyes are the gateway to the soul. that enables this artist to establish an association with the model, and thusly, the rest will follow. TEXTURED PAPERS Applying soft pastels to Japanese papers can provide interesting results. Washi paper is one good example because of its long fibers.

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the dried paper helps me to make mini compositions. The results often lead to expanding your imagination. For example, I studied a 4 x 6 print and spotted an arrangement of leaves that looked like bird wings. All I had to do was use a black marker to complete the bird. BEWARE - Once you start this technique, it is hard to stop.

his is a fun technique that leads to a lot of creativity. Tape a piece of watercolor paper to a board; hot pressed works best. Then spray the paper with water. Drip, pour or brush on watercolors. I suggest two-three colors to maintain a freshness. Lay leaves on the wet paper in a pleasing pattern and gently press down. Salt can be sprinkled around the leaves for added texture. Place paper in bright sunshine. You may need to put small stones on top of the leaves if it is breezy. Leave in sun until paper is dry. Remove leaves and brush off salt. The painting may be left as it is or you can cut up in sections to create note cards or bookmarks. Placing a small matt over various sections of

Making Leaf Sun Prints

The Art-to-Art Palette - The Paint Box Section/Tips & Techniques department - 2008-09 Fall/Winter Edition - 41

Practice makes a fast draw


Sometimes if someone asks me a question along the lines of how should we hang these decorations, how do I get to such-and-such a place, etc., I find it easier to draw what Im trying to get across than to say it in words. And often people ask me how I can draw so quickly and freely. Being a fast draw isnt something youre born with. Although many people have a natural talent for drawing, to get really relaxed about drawing so that it becomes second nature you have to practice pretty much every day. It doesnt have to be formal practice, like doing the scales on a piano. I keep a sketch pad next to my sofa, and in between television programs I often do five or six small pencil sketches and value patterns in one night, strictly from imagination. I also like to sketch things I see on TV. (For instance, last night I was trying to do a quick drawing of Nancy Grace, sketching madly every time the camera focused on her.)
ometimes I do little drawings of patterns I see on TV. I look at things in the background the hill at the opening of Little House on the Prairie is a good example and try to divide the picture shape into interesting and varied values (lights and darks), shapes, and sizes. ometimes Im lucky enough to be able to use one of these quick sketches as a basis to develop a painting. (Ive been known to turn them upside down to stimulate my imagination and find a new picture hiding in the values.) ometimes I just turn to a new sketchbook page and try something else. But any time spent drawing is excellent practice, and sometimes I look back at these sketches and come up with a new idea. One thing to remember if you do this: Keep the sketches small. If it helps, draw a little rectangle on the sketchbook page and stay within that area. Working small keeps you from getting hung up on meaningless detail. If you also

S S S

paint, use these drawing exercises to keep your mind open to new ideas. ometimes a good picture comes from an accident. In a watercolor workshop a few years ago, I was using a drybrush technique which required wiping excess ultramarine blue paint off my brush onto a large piece of scrap paper. At home, a day or so later, I looked at the scrap paper and noticed the markings made an interesting design with a strong pattern of light and dark. (The white paper was the light, and my wipe-off marks were the dark.) here was a good variety of shapes and after looking at the paper from all sides I could imagine a barn with snow on the roof and a line of trees nearby. So I added some middle tones and used a small brush to indicate tree trunks and barn details. It looked pretty good, so I took a large sheet of watercolor and made a full color painting from my impromptu value sketch. The main pattern of values was already worked out for me (thanks to the happy accident of wipe-off brush patterns)

and all I had to do was polish it up. s you do things like this, dont be trapped into just enlarging what you see. Any kind of painting or drawing is exciting, and much of your sketching will be spontaneous. You should try to keep some of that spontaneity in your paintings. Try to make the painting an individual that stands on its own, not just a copy of your small original idea. This is true whether you are working from a sketch or a reference photo. ont just copy what you see; draw it out in your own way and dump details or unnecessary things (telephone poles, trees, etc.) that detract from the main design. If you wanted it to look exactly like what youre painting or drawing, than you might as well just take a photo and enlarge it.

rt is supposed to reflect the artists personality. So cut loose and have fun with it!
By Kay R. Sluterbeck

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Questions
artists ask . . .
Art organizations often get questions from artists and people interested in art. Here are some common questions, along with the answers.
ABOUT BEING AN ARTIST:
Q. Do I need formal art training to succeed? A. Not necessarily. Many successful artists are either self-taught or informally trained. A degree in fine arts is no guarantee of success! Q. Do I have to have a studio? A. Its nice to have a place set aside for your art tools, but a special studio doesnt make your artwork better. Many artists paint in their bedroom or kitchen. The well-known artist Tasha Tudor does most of her paintings at her kitchen table, sometimes by candlelight. Q. How do I know if my work is good? A. First, keep in mind that anything someone says about your art when youre just starting out probably isnt an accurate

and look at it again after youve been painting for several years, and youll be able to answer your own question.

ABOUT EXHIBITING:

Q. Can I make lots of money entering competitions and selling my work? A. That depends on how good you are. Both technical skill and originality are major factors in how well youll do. Many artists enter competitions for rewards other than money, such as recognition, publicity, and meeting other artists. As for selling artwork, statistics show that one out of every four artists has another job to provide a living wage. Most artists now making a living with their art have had to work extremely hard to get to that position. For example, artists Thomas Kincade and Jim Gurney started out by hitchhiking and riding boxcars together across the U.S., sketching and painting along the way. They were dead broke and spending the night on a pier when they got the idea of putting their work together into a how-tosketch book. The book got them on the road to fame. Q. Do exhibit judges show favoritism? A. As a general rule, no. Most judges and jurors judge each artwork on its own merits, not on their knowledge of the artist. Q. I received a prospectus for an exhibit, but I dont understand some of the requirements for entry. What do I do? If theres time, call or write the organization for an answer. Q. Why do art competitions have restrictions on the size and weight of artwork? A. Size and weight restrictions are

necessary to prevent crowding walls and display areas with large pieces, to prevent damage to walls from overweight hanging pieces, and to help staff and volunteers to receive, move, and hang entries. Mobility and ease of handling is a big concern when hundreds of works are involved. Q. I buy ceramic castings and then paint the pieces in great detail. OR I paint pictures from how-to-paint books. OR I copy pictures from calendars and magazines. Is this considered original work eligible for entry? A. No, it would fail every test in a judged exhibit. Unless the creative effort is totally yours, it should not be entered in exhibits requiring original work. If someone could look at your artwork and recognize it as being copied from someone elses art or photograph, even if it is a different medium from the other artists work, then it is not original and not acceptable for exhibiting or selling as being your own work. Q. My work was not accepted for an exhibit. Can I still attend the opening reception? Mot opening receptions are open to the public unless stated otherwise in the prospectus. (Some organizations have private pre-openings open only to show participants and invited guests.) If youre not sure, call the organization to see if the reception is open to the public. If you can attend the reception, youll be able to see what kind of work was accepted into the exhibit and decide if your work is comparable.

Located in historic Centre Market, ARTWORKS around town Inc, is a nonprofit charitable and educational organization operating a Gallery and Art Center to benefit the artists and general public of the region.

2200 Market Street - Wheeling, West Virginia - www.artworksaroundtown.org - 304-233-7540 The Art-to-Art Palette - The Paint Box Section/Tips & Techniques department - 2008-09 Fall/Winter Edition - 43

Everyone knows that painters use brushstrokes. But did you know that each brushstroke is important to the success of the painting? Brushstrokes can be thought of as the handwriting of an artist; every artist uses different brushstrokes, and brushstrokes can even show how skilled an artist is. Some artists paint so smoothly that no brushstrokes can be seen. Norman Rockwells work is a good example of this. If you look closely at a Rockwell painting, its almost impossible to determine that he used a brush. The surface of the painting is as smooth as glass, and the colors are perfectly blended. You can picture the artist gently stroking the painting with a fine brush to blend everything perfectly.

are the artists handwriting

For comparison, look at a painting by Vincent Van Gogh. Not only can every brushstroke be clearly seen, but also it looks as if he actually used his brush to carve the picture out of paint. Each stroke follows the line of the subject. There is little or no blending; instead, Van Gogh dipped his brush in a color appropriate to the area he was painting (dark for shadows, light for highlights) and laid the paint down without going back to touch it again. For some reason, the public often equates loose painting with sloppiness. A watercolor teacher who works in a very free style commented that one student said he joined her class because he couldnt

kid, Id be amazed at the way he did a head. One stroke for an eye Bang! Then another for the chin. He was a master! And when his pictures were finished, theyd look more like the person than the person!

draw and thought her style would be a good one to copy. He didnt realize that expressive brushstrokes are based on sound drawing ability. Good artists literally draw with the paint. Every stroke counts. The artist must have the right size stroke, of the right value and color, in the right place. Artist Emile Gruppe commented that as a young man he had the good fortune to watch the great Robert Henri paint. As a

culptural Jewelry

and focal buttons in clay by Alice

Available at Fine Art Fairs and select galleries and gift shops. See web site for complete listing.

www.alicehuntstudio.com
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There seem to be two basic kinds of painters. Some like to work in line, and others prefer to work in mass. Some, especially those who draw very well, tend to work with lines, enjoying the process of drawing the details of a scene. If they look at a pile of leaves, they see the leaves first and work them into a pile. Others prefer to work in mass, seeing their subject in terms of large units and big relationships. These artists look at the pile first, and use texture to get the effect without even painting the leaves. For each of these two kinds of painters, different kinds of brushstrokes are important. The linear painters tend to use smaller brushes that allow great control, and each brushstroke is small and careful. Their style is often referred to as tight painting. Painters who work in mass loose painters -- often use big, flat brushes that let them lay down a lot of paint at one time. If an artist is very, very good he or she may be proficient in both tight and loose painting. For a good example, we can return to Norman Rockwell. Everyone knows about his fine, tight paintings which adorned magazine covers for years. But when Rockwell felt his work was getting too tight, he broke a piece off a roofing shingle and used it as a brush to make fast, loose paintings for practice. If youre an artist who would like to loosen up, this is a good method. You can also paint with Q-tips, toothpicks, sticks, toothbrushes, and your fingers. When you go back to using a brush, you may find that this kind of extreme painting practice helps you make more interesting brushstrokes.

hen we think of oil paints, we automatically think of brushes. Artist Ken Gore, however, applies his paint with knives not just ordinary kitchen knives but the specialized tools known as painting knives. I use a knife, he says, because I can do with it what I want to do. He uses a brush only at the beginning, to lay on his turpentine underpainting to be sure the design is right before he starts to lay on the paint. Otherwise, where would I start? he says. But brushes always gave me trouble.
Gore says that he always had problems in art school. He studied with George Rich, a fine painter who had a loose style and painted everything with one-inch brushes, even getting fine detail in a 9 x 12 inch painting. Gore spent two years studying with Rich in art school, and another six years studying on Saturdays and Sundays. However, no matter how hard he tried he couldnt seem to control his brushes when it came to laying on color. During his studies, Gore struggled with brushes continually, getting more and more frustrated. Rich provided a variety of models for the students to paint from, and one day the model was a little girl with pink skin and a pink dress against a pink background. The class was scheduled to work with the model for 12 hours spread out over several days and, Gore says, as usual I got down to the last hour of the last class with about 48 dirty brushes in my hand and everything going wrong. Gore says that his main trouble was that he had no discipline. Rich often told him that only four brushes were all hed ever need -- one brush for light warm colors, one for dark warms, one brush for light cool colors and one brush for dark cools. But Gore didnt seem to be able to follow this advice and dirtied dozens of brushes as he tried to get the look he wanted. Finally, he was down to the last hour allotted for the class, and his painting was a mess. I had nothing to lose, he said, so I picked up a palette scraper no kind of tool at all and began to horse around with it. He immediately discovered he was getting effects he couldnt get with a brush. In that one hour, he managed to save the picture. He thought, If I could do that

Changing tools made all the difference


at the end of a painting session, why not try it at the beginning? Rich had been watching his student fooling around with the palette scraper. He brought over a Frenchmade painting knife and put it before Gore. If youre going to work that way, said Rich, at least use the right tool. And he walked away. From then on Gore used painting knives exclusively. He moved from painting still life and figures to landscape work, where he could swing the knives to create grand sweeps of land, trees and water. He prefers painting from nature. Thats where I get inspiration. I like to do em, pack / em and bring em in, he says. Later, in the studio, he makes the final adjustments on each painting. In my opinion, says Gore, art is the only place left where you can still be free. Free to paint as you want as long as it pleases you, without worrying about whether it pleases anyone else!

Oil on canvas 24 x 30 Courtesy of R.H. Lowe Galleries, Chicago, Illinois

Spring

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Step 1 As always the first step with the pencil sketch, which in my case is my favorite. In this process the contour of the iris is drawn and then the fun part of drawing in the values and how they fall on the flower itself. It is almost like a puzzle. I establish the white areas that are left white and draw a shape to protect it from the shading that will take place in various parts of the flower. The concept is vividly in my mind at this point. The negative space of the dark is established so that I can distinguish clearly the subject. I continue with this process, putting in the medium darks and lights in this same way.

From StarttoFinish
David&EstellesWhiteIris

By Joan Crawford-Barnes

Step 2 As I transfer the drawing to the watercolor board, I decided to venture out and try the new Clayboard texture for watercolor. The drawing contour was traced onto the Clayboard using graphite paper.

The concept for this white iris arose out of a visit to a friends garden. This photo was shot because of the sunlight and shadows that were seen, as the light of the sun left, its wondrous mark on this beautiful piece of Gods creation. Because I cannot cant resist painting white flowers, I tackled this with that concept in my mind. I am learning through my years of painting experience, that concept is the first step in composing a painting. Minimalism has become a significant thought process, as I paint single white floral paintings. Because I prefer high contrast, this is the concept I was seeing as I started to compose this painting. I wanted very much to center on the light hitting the iris, and the dark background was the way to bring this to the forefront.

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Step 3 Painting the first wash of darks and determining negative spaces, allows me to distinguish the iris clearly. It is at this point that my drawing becomes very important, as I have already established the lights and darks and medium tones for my painting in my graphite drawing. The importance of the first step, the drawing, comes into play. I began my first wash using the lightest value and then build up value after value,

looking at my drawing to see where they were all located. In this particular white iris, I used shades of French ultra-marine and aureolin yellow mixed with lots of water. The glazing process started with the blue and after it dried, it was glazed over with yellow and then the blue again, drying before each glaze. The glazing was only done in the areas that were not to stay white (sunlight). The glazing continued until I was satisfied with the shaded areas and the soft edges inside the flower; flowing into the medium dark and medium light shades. As I progressed, the concept was clearly in my mind. I was seeing some pink in certain areas. This is where I finally found a place to use my Daniel Smiths Rhodonite Genuine, a very delicate pink. As known, white is not white, but it always reflects what is around it and rays of the sun. In the iris, I used three colors ultramarine light, aureolin yellow, and rhodonite genuine.

Step 4 I began to concentrate on the background. Since I was not using watercolor paper, I was not sure how the background colors would react to the new surface of Clayboard textured. I was soon to find out! After many glazes on the background, using the usual pigments that I normally do for a dark background (French Ultramarine, Burnt Umber and a touch of Indigo), the process was not going well. Because the Clayboard was not as absorbent as watercolor paper, the paint was just lying on top and every brush stroke appeared; making the paint looked dull and lifeless. What to do? After a lot of thought and struggle inwardly and being a purist when it comes to painting, I want watercolor to be watercolor, oil to be oil, and acrylic to be acrylic. Here I mixed mediums, using acrylic paint (same pigments as before). I went over the background again and it looked better. But still not satisfied, I applied a coat of acrylic gloss varnish only on the background. After it dried, I was amazed at the beauty of it all. It was a mixture of two textures and finishes and looked beautiful. My painting and my concept of what I wanted came to life. I will use this process again.

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Editors note: In the summer of 1953, while taking

summer classes at the University of Colorado and still a junior at Ohios Otterbein College, Nita climbed Mt. Neva in Coloradoshe rose about 12,814 feet.

The Mountain Climber aka Nita Leland

She raised herself up


Tchaikovsky once said, A self-respecting artist must not fold his hands on the pretext that he is not in the mood. This quotation appears on Nita Lelands web site because of the reality it holds when describing the ambition and determination of this former Mountain Climber who has become a well-known author, teacher, lecturer, juror and, watercolor artist throughout the United States and Canada.
A graduate of Otterbein College in 1955, Nita majored in English, her sights planted in a career in teaching. But newly married to Bob Leland, who had signed up with the US Air Force for the next four years, teaching did not seem quite as important as traveling to France to be with her new husband. Nita remembers moving into their first off base apartment, located in Issoudun, France, an experience to say the least. I suffered from culture shock, leaving a crowded dormitory and my family to live in a little (foreign) town where no one spoke my language. While Bob was working, Nita busied herself in their new home, sewing their own clothes, baking six cookies at a time in a tiny, gas oven and writing essays about their travels and experiences. She admits that no one has ever read this material (should not have told us that, Nita). Returning to the states, four kids followed and teaching was limited to her immediate household. But staying home and raising families in the 50s and 60s was commonplace and Dream On rewarding. The streets A portrait of Jenna, Nita Lelands granddaughter was were safe and painted from a photograph. She used Rose Madder Genuine, Aureolin and Cobalt Blue in this transparent communities were strong. watercolor, 9 x 6. The work was published in The New Teaching values to your Creative Artist and placed first in watercolor at Western children and making sure Ohio Watercolor Society show. that they were strong enough to face the world was never compared to what your Carl, assistant coach of womens future could have been, if only. . . gymnastics at the University of However, today Nita and Bobs Denver and excellent photographer; grown children represent an Wes, former high-school science expansion of teacher, course designer, certified Nitas ski instructor and river guide, polished mountain climber, guitarist and ability to potter; and Kathleen, executive teach. Kurt, editor for Xerox, an excellent writer the oldest, and editor. Kathleen and her lives in husband, Tim, also have two Boston, a children, Jenna and Daniel. classical Although one is never prepared music to see their children grow up and composer, move on, it is inevitable that it will poet, and happen, and when it does, you published know your life will never be the author of same. Its almost like moving to a four books; strange place with strange people,

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to be a teacher extraordinaire, exercises on trying-it activities to beginning life all over again. moving and shaking the earth as no create your own sense of becoming Nothing feels comfortable and it is one else can. She merely presents an individual and unique colorist. hard to find meaning in a different, the facts; using simple techniques to Her newest book, Confident Color: daily routine. Nita Leland refused An Artist's Guide to Harmony, awaken a vividness of color and to let this new phase of her life turn Contrast and Unity lives up to its endless ideas that lie deep in our into memories, pictures and promise of being more descriptive minds, ready to be released. Kids, waiting on grandkids. She got up in its step-by-step demos, showing travel, color; life-Nita has seen both and got to work, even when she how different artists use color in sides, with and without a brush. wasnt in the mood. their work. Over fifty Like a bee without clover, like a In 1970, Bob bought Nita her first contemporary artists contributed Mother without her children, Nita set of watercolors and encouraged their work for illustration. Lelands brush has brought a new her to take a class in painting. Busy Leland does not consider herself chapter in her life. with a career as an attorney, Bob knew it was time for Nita to finally have a chance to expand on her very own interests. She jumped in with both feet, her husband not surprised in the least. When Nita first picked up that brush, she appeared to have grown a set of wings. Teaching, writing, and painting, the tireless artist seemed to have no end to her creating, sharing a world full of enthusiasm and knowledge of color and design with others. Almost immediately (once I began studying watercolor) my early efforts at painting sharpened my visual awareness to a greater appreciation of the world around me. Somehow this raised me out of my sheltered world where my family was growing up, and would soon be going on their own. Nita has written three best selling art instruction books and has contributed countless articles to art publications. Also the author and publisher of Exploring Color Coloring Book - a workbook for artists, Leland also works as a freelance consultant to manufacturers of art materials. In the past six months, she has conducted workshops in Canada, Wisconsin, Colorado, Texas and Florida. Lelands approach toward developing the different techniques, learning to get your mind in focus, the experimentation and Music of the spheres realism are much different This fluid acrylic monotype, 11 x 10 work began with artist Leland pouring fluid Quinacridone Magenta, than other how to books Cadmium Red, Hansa Yellow Light and Turquoise Blue on a Plexiglas printing plate. Before pressing a piece because of the great detail of illustration board onto the paint to make the print, Nita said, I played with the colors. in approaching color and The Art-to-Art Palette - The Paint Box Section - 2008-09 Fall/Winter Edition - 51

Running through the daisies, by Elizabeth Layton, dispels the idea that love is only for the young. She and her second husband, Glenn, run toward one another through a field of flowers, each clutching a plucked daisy on which a single petal is left.

rawing helped artist overcome depression


By Kay Sluterbeck

Elizabeth Layton (1909-1993) was an unlikely artist who began drawing very late in life. Without previous art experience or training, she produced artwork notable for its detail, composition and depth of emotion. The history of art is full of efforts to express our universal feelings. What sets Laytons drawings apart is their wide scope, their freshness, and their expression of hope in the face of adversity.
Continued top of next page

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Layton: Kansas artist

Continued from previous page She was the managing editor of her hometown newspaper, and came from a long line of writers and journalists. She raised five children by herself after a divorce. She also suffered from severe depression that came and went throughout most of her life. All of these conditions combined to produce a woman of extraordinary strength and imagination who had great sympathy for people who struggled and suffered. Whatever wellspring produced her artwork, Laytons talent was not evident in her early life. A native of Wellsville, Kansas, she was struggling with bipolar illness and profound depression in 1977, when she was 68 years old. As a reach for therapy, she took a drawing class at a local university. In the class she learned the technique of blind contour drawing in which the artist looks at the paper only for points of reference, concentrating on

the subject, or its reflection in a mirror, rather than watching the line drawn on the paper. The effect of this learning experience on Layton was amazing. Art became more than therapy for her. She credited

it with saving her life and pulling her from the depths of despair. Every day she drew self-portraits that reflected her response to her life, her feelings, and the social issues around her. She drew

The most basic problem in painting or drawing is coming up with a subject. Very few artists are able to work from their imagination only. For most people there has to be some kind of source material to use as a springboard. Also, the best paintings are of subjects that really interest you. If you hate painting flowers but try to do it because many of your friends like flower pictures, the resulting paintings will probably be lifeless because you arent truly interested in flowers. One of the best magic books for source material is your own sketchbook. Fill its pages with drawings of things youve observed from life. Sketch objects around the house and yard, people, and family pets. If you go on a trip, take your sketchbook and draw things that interest you. Later on when youre looking for an idea, you can use a sketch or combine elements from several sketches to make a picture. Many artists carry cameras to catch fast-moving scenes or as a way to make visual notes for future reference. Inexpensive disposable cameras are perfect for this use. You can put one in your pocket if you go out for a walk, and use it to record good painting subjects. Another good place for photography is at the zoo, where you can snap pictures of the animals as they move around in their enclosures. Dont forget to take pictures of the people looking at the animals sometimes they are just as interesting. Cameras are also a good tool for portraits and paintings of children, who usually arent able to sit still for long. It saves time in portraits of adults as well. The artist can take a number of different poses and later select the best to paint. It should be kept in mind that photos are great raw material. You dont have to copy the photo line for line. A photograph is like clay; how you use it and what you design from it depends on your own creativity. You can change the lighting, move things around or take them out, or combine things from several photographs to make the best painting or drawing possible. In other words, just think of the photo as another tool, like your brushes or pencil, and dont let it boss you around. With the advent of camcorders and cell phones which can record moving scenes, another recording tool is available for artists. Some DVD and video players can freeze the exact frame you want long enough to do sketching and painting. This is great if you have moving footage of a fast sporting event, or scenes from a dance class or gymnasium. Be sure you have permission to photograph. If you get in the habit of carrying a small sketchbook or camera, you can quickly accumulate plenty of ideas for paintings.

Getting ideas and recording them

herself in all kinds of scenarios and as characters such as Cinderella, Lady MacBeth, and the Greek Muses, all morphed into older women. Her work dispels the myths and misconceptions of old age. She did not hesitate to use personal and painful subject matter. Her drawings have the enthusiasm and eye for detail of a much younger artist, and reflect her expectations as a woman, a wife and mother, and a strong-willed social activist. Not many artists can produce drawings that reach such a breadth of emotion, from devastating rage to absolute joy. And few have depicted such strong social concerns about subjects such as capital punishment, homelessness, hunger, racial prejudice, AIDS, aging, and the right to die. When asked why she took on such subjects rather than drawing hometown issues, she responded, These are hometown issues to me. They are close to my heart. Laytons extraordinary drawings and writings have been exhibited at the Smithsonians National Museum of American Art and in more than 200 art museums and centers throughout the United States. Layton didnt care whether or not her work was art. She said that if one of her drawings conveyed a particular feeling that other people could identify with, then the drawing was successful to her. Her self-portraits were part of a journey toward self-healing. What came out of this process was an unprecedented representation of old age that neither romanticized it nor apologized for it. Her work tells us that human experience is universal and the emotions she depicts may be felt by all of us.

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Collecting should make you smile


eople have always enjoyed collecting things. Maybe the first collection started when someone painted a picture on the wall of a cave, and someone else said, Hey, thats nice. Would you do one on my wall? Or did statues come first? Spirits or animals carved out of wood or stone would have served a purpose, as well as being decorative. However collecting began, people now collect just about everything. You can collect important things, or you can collect things that have no purpose or use, and that may not even look pretty. You can even collect books about the things you collect. If someone wrote a book about the history of collections, book collectors would probably add it to their collections.
Meanwhile, its inspiring to contemplate people who collect original art. An artist creates a unique item nothing else in the world is exactly like it. Art collectors can have whole rooms full of one-of-a-kind items. They can have things worth millions, or things worth nothing except to the collector and the artist. There are endless kinds of art to collect. Some people collect art done by their relatives. Maybe Aunt Fanny isnt the greatest artist in the world, but her still life paintings include her own vases and flowers, and maybe shes painted a picture of things that you yourself own. This makes for an enjoyable personal art collection, and it probably makes Aunt Fanny happy as well. Other people specialize in certain kinds of art. They collect only pottery, or only oil paintings, or only handmade jewelry. You can get even more specialized and collect, for example, pottery that is useful. Then every time you stir up cake batter in that beautiful handmade mixing bowl, you get extra enjoyment from an ordinary task. Sometimes a collector lucks into something really unique. Hunter Davies is an ordinary British citizen, who enjoys collecting paintings. He has about 30, mostly without any kind of theme or pattern. None of them was expensive; he bought them simply because he liked looking at them. In 1975, when Davies was the editor of the Sunday Times Magazine, a freelance photographer sent some transparencies of paintings done by a local landlady in Plymouth, England. Davies loved the pictures, thought they were worth a story, and rushed into the magazines art department where he was told the paintings were boring, boring, total amateur, crude and derivative. Davies was always having arguments with the art department, and he usually gave in because

they knew so much, and were awfully clever. But this time he insisted on doing a story about the artist. He called her up himself and interviewed her on the phone. She really did run a guesthouse; she painted pictures on the side, and she was about to have her first exhibition. To help her out, Davies bought one of her paintings. He chose a whimsical picture of three women in bright bikinis sunbathing in a tiny back yard. He liked the painting because it made him smile, and also because it reminded him of his twin sisters whod lie prone in the titchy back garden of our house whenever the sun came out. The painting cost him only ten pounds (at the time, about $20 U.S.). He intended to buy more of her paintings, but didnt get around to it. He now wishes that he had. During her first show, the artist, Beryl Cook, immediately became so popular that her prices rocketed. She is now arguably the most popular artist in Great Britain, and gets up to 45,000 pounds (about $67,000 American money) or more for a painting. Davies could sell his Beryl Cook painting and make a lot of money on it, but he wont give it up. It has hung prominently in his home for years, and it still makes him smile. Which is probably the best reason for buying any kind of art that it always gives you pleasure.

Granny and her Pet Mouse

Beryl Cook

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he Shadow Puppets of Indonesia


In our country puppet shows are often thought of as amusement for children. But in many areas of the world, puppet theatre performances are entertainment for both adults and children. The Indonesian Wayang is the most ancient and most popular form of puppet theatre in the world. The first recorded wayang performance is mentioned in an inscription dated 930 AD. Many features of this traditional puppet theatre are carried on just as they were in earliest times. Hundreds of people will stay up all night long to watch the superstar puppeteers, called dalang, who get extravagant fees and are international celebrities. The wayang figures are rod puppets which
come in several forms, including wayang golek, which are flat, painted rod puppets, and wayang klitik, which are painted, flat woodcarvings about half an inch thick. Wayang kulit, or skin puppets, is now the best-known form of Indonesian puppet theatre. Wayang kulit shows display only the shadow of the puppet instead of the figures themselves. These puppets were developed because as Islam came to Indonesia, displaying actual representations of a god or gods was prohibited, but shadows were acceptable.. Making a wayang kulit figure takes several weeks, with groups of artist working together. They begin by tracing a paper master model onto leather, skin or parchment, providing an outline of the figures and indications of any holes that must be cut (such as for the mouth or eyes). The figures are smoothed, usually with a glass bottle, and primed. More smoothing and inspection follows. The figures are painted by specialized craftsmen, even though during the shadow performance the colors and painted details will not be seen. The final step is to attach the movable parts (upper arms, lower arms with hands, and rods to manipulate the parts). The puppet has a central staff on the body which the puppeteer holds. Up to ten figures at a time can be made during a week. For the most part the traditional puppet designs have changed very little in the last 300 years, although some performances now include objects such as airplanes, cars, and bicycles which are added for comic effect. All the puppets are manipulated by one man, the dalang, who speaks all the voices as well. The performance is accompanied by a gamelan or Javanese orchestra of 12 to 40 instruments. Shadow puppet performances are held at night. The shadows of the puppets are projected on a stretched white cloth screen by a flickering coconut oil lamp; this, combined with the lifelike movements created by the dalang, brings the shadows of the puppets to life. Nowadays, electric light bulbs are often substituted for oil lamps, and some modern wayang performances use colored lights and other innovations. Performances include short, humorous plays and epic performances. The epics are sometimes long and very complicated, often based on Hindu literature and other traditional stories. Only a small segment of the epic plots are presented in one evening. Although the plays have many levels which are difficult for non-Indonesian observers to understand, the beauty of the shadows, the skill of the dalang, and the sounds of the orchestra combine to create a moving experience for the viewer.

Less expensive puppets, often sold to children during performances, are made of cardboard instead of leather and painted with spray techniques, using stencils, and with a different person handling each color.

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I have lived in various places and observed the landscapes of the coast, the desert, the plains and the forests. What has always stopped me in my tracks is the light of the sky during daybreak and sunset.

Ober-Rae Starr Livingstone

Reaching for You

Father can you see me now


At nineteen years of age, Ober-Rae Starr Livingstone decided to embark on a journey around the world. He hitchhiked, took buses, trains, and even worked on sea-going freighters. India, Nepal, Afghanistan, Iran and several other countries taught him one significant lesson, beauty can be found everywhere-in the landscapes and in the people. He arrived back in the states with a renewed awareness, wanting to share the worldwide phenomenon of peace and beauty, returning us to the Eden within ourselves and to remember that we are all a part of this experience. Coming from a large, supportive family, artist Livingstone credits his Father with being his most important mentor. Returning from my travels, my Father recognized the need I had to express creativity and led me toward art, says Ober-Rae. He encouraged me every step of the way and created projects that he asked me to help him with. Forty years later and his Father now gone, the path that they once shared will be forever present. See Father next page
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Father
Continued from next page Livingstone is an abstract painter who works with acrylics, layering to achieve a balance of shapes and colors. The intensity of color is what brings his work to a heart stopping experience. Using anywhere from six to twenty layers of color on most parts of the canvas, Ober-Rae is able to achieve a healing, energetic inspiration from a God-made wonder, the sky. He approaches each new painting with a sense of challenge, not unlike our own lives. The problems, the learning process, the struggles and frustration that finally lead to that light at the end of the tunnel motivates him to seek the awareness that makes his work stand out and speak.It is not unusual for me to

Being Still

Our Secret Place

taught, many artists throughout the years have had an influence, mainly in their color fields. Mark Rothko, Sam Francis, various artists of the 60s and one of his favorites, M. Katherine Hurley, whose work amazes and inspires him to keep working and improve his techniques. Ober-Rae Starr Livingstone has made a huge statement in the last ten years and his paintings have been featured in such places as: The Knoxville Art Museum, Miller Gallery, Cincinnati, Ohio, and the University of Cincinnati. Publications include: The Artists Magazine, Cincinnati

entirely paint over a canvas that I have been working on for several days if it begins to feel like the painting is stuck and I am getting into a mental struggle with it, says Ober-Rae. Although self-

the landscape with the hope that, through depicting the beauty of Creation, others will remember that feeling of awe and peace that we often experience when we stop to watch a sunset, or to observe the play of light dancing on water, or when we take the time to observe sun and shadow sweeping across a valley.

Ober-Rae has found a purpose that many of us only dream of finding. I paint

Enquirer, City Beat, Art Draglais Magazine and Mount Shasta Magazine.

Still Time
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Artist Livingstone lives in Cincinnati, Ohio and hopes to be represented in many more galleries in the future. For more information, www.newageart.com.

choes of spectacular voices


Opera is not for everybody, says Blanche Thebom, co-founder of the Opera Arts Training Program in San Francisco, California. The feeling today is that the average young person doesnt have much discipline because with TV and computers, everything is so facile, so easy. Criticized at times for her lack of compassion in the three-week rigorous training program, often reducing the 13 to 17 year olds to tears during challenging workouts, Thebom knows that these young girls are willing to push their voices beyond physical limits to become a part of the opera world and she does not flinch in showing them what it takes to get there.
Thebom sang with the Metropolitan Opera in New York City for twentythree years and was the first American artist to sing at the Bolshoi Opera in Moscow. Born in Pennsylvania in 1918, Blanche spent a large portion of her childhood in Canton, Ohio, where her family had relocated, and she always wanted a career in singing. The lack of money in the thirties left Blanch to practice her voice in any way possible. The church choir and weddings helped her keep a glint of promise toward a life of song as she worked as a secretary to pay the bills. Her chance arrived in 1938 when her employer offered to pay for her study with prominent voice teachers. Years of study and intense training could never prepare her for the harsh criticism of reviewers of becoming a new, young rising star but she refused to be beaten and today, passes this knowledge along to others. Another prime example of the tireless, extreme career of a celebrated female singer, often referred to as a diva, is Brooklyn born Beverly Sills. Devoted to voice lessons with Estelle Liebling at the age of nine and graduating from the Professional Children's School in 1945 at age sixteen, ten years of grinding work began as she toured with opera companies. But it was not until 1955 and eight unsuccessful auditions later that Sills was finally received in her dbut at the New York City Opera as Rosalinde in "Die Fledermaus". Beverly also proved that you don't have to be of international breed to make it in the world of opera, marrying a journalist from Cleveland, who worked at the local newspaper, The Plain Dealer. Always a smile on her face and known for her warmth, intelligence and humor, her nickname of Bubbles just seemed to fit. When Bubbles had to relieve her singing career as an opera star, she continued in the public eye on TV and served on several committees, including being Chairperson of the Metropolitan Opera Considered a musical instrument within the human body, the voice is an interesting but complex machine. Positioning the tongue or lip position, loosening or tightening vocal chords and regulation of air pressure can create an already near perfect voice into one of grace and substance, traveling far over a sixty member orchestra and beyond, stroking even a rock outside of a packed theatre. (also called Whistle register). A good vocal teacher is absolutely essential for training the voice in breathing, resonance, volume, phrasing and warm ups to achieve Opera status. Disciplining ones voice to perfect opera quality is not merely a passion for singing but a way of life. Performing well for a hall full of opera enthusiasts is like hitting a home run on the baseball field to most singers. The magnitude of having complete control of a perfected voice and throwing tones with each change of a scene is incredibly thrilling to both the players and the audience. The electrifying performances that were once only found in European opera houses or from singers trained abroad is no longer just a dream to many musically talented young people. Several schools exist in the Midwest where a wish can become reality when, at one time, the opera seemed too far away to touch. The Cleveland Institute of Music in Ohio, the Indiana University in Indiana or the Westminster College in Pennsylvania are excellent places to begin for more information into a world of music, language and acting. Becoming a diva is possible and rewarding but only if you have the fortitude to make it your life's journey.

The registers involved in the human voice are Chest, Middle voice, Head voice and Super Head Voice/Falsetto

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