Stone Coal Studio

Stone Coal Studio

Monday, May 30, 2016

Too Many Choices - Finding a Focus for a Painting

Last week, I visited the beautiful grounds surrounding Grey Towers enjoying everything from the blooms to the vistas.   The grounds were composed of many different garden "rooms" each designed with a focal point.  It was difficult to decide what area was my favorite or which one I would possibly choose as my inspiration for a painting.

While the view from the house was stellar,  the view toward the house was equally as impressive.

 And as I continued my walk through the formal gardens, I came upon my "focus".  It was a bit of a surprise as it was an unexpected stone creature.  It made me stop and smile.

Yes, it was a turkey.   There is no doubt that the garden's creator chose this native bird for a reason.  Yet I can't help but think that the choice was a bit of a departure from what was being displayed in other grand gardens of the time.

It reminded me of the importance to choose not just a focal point; but to choose a focus for a painting which is unexpected, a bit of a surprise, and a step away from the ordinary.  

Now to get back in the studio and put this into practice.   

 Thank you for stopping by my blog.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Not Your Ordinary Garden & Art at Artisan Fair at Sedalia

(detail of Foxglove Folly by Judith Flynn Lochbrunner

"Not you ordinary garden" has been the theme of my art for the past few years and I have not nearly run out of ideas yet!  This may be partly due to the flowers bursting into bloom in May.  And among my favorites are the foxglove.

(Foxglove beginning to bloom this afternoon in the front perennial bed.)

What do I like about foxgloves?  They send up graceful bloom stalks with a delicate pattern of dots inside the flowers and they are deer-proof (deer do not eat them).   The delicate but distinct flowers, gentle curves of the stalk and whorl of leaves at the base are just perfect (in my opinion) for painting.

The challenge was to paint the foxglove and capture my impression of all the shapes of the plant.     For "Foxglove Folly"  I hand-painted collage papers to assemble the flowers and leaves.  After attaching them to the board, it was a matter of editing and painting out the excess to create the foxglove.

Foxglove Folly 
by Judith Flynn Lochbrunner
mixed media on board
36 x 12 inches

This painting will be on display in the gallery in the Artisan Fair at Sedalia on Saturday, May 28, 2016.  The art show will be curated by local artists and gallery owners Mitchell Bond and Patrick Ellis of Goose Creek Studio.

The exhibition, "Goose Creek Artisan Biennial" will highlight some of the most innovative and cutting edge fine art and fine craft being created across Bedford County today.

Although I will not have a booth myself this year, I am happy to report that three of my paintings are included in this biennial art show.  There will also be arts and crafts, demonstrations, food, music in a beautiful setting.  Complete details: Artisan Fair at Sedalia.  

Hope that you will add the Artisan Fair to your Saturday.  
Thanks for stopping by my blog.

Friday, May 13, 2016

Behind the Scenes at an Art Show or "Life Along Route 11" is Organized

Organizing an art show is task that takes time and organization.  Add 5 artists each contributing paintings and a gallery located a few hours from home and this job demands documentation with back-up.

4th of July
by Judith Flynn Lochbrunner
acrylic on painted paper
16 x 12 inches
(Flowers, flags, more flowers and more flags at this historic house near Route 11)

The week before the art was loaded into two cars for the trip to the Arts Depot in Abingdon, the Double Line Painters of the Blue Ridge met at Bonnie's church to lay out the show according to the diagram we had received.  After we marked the hallway walls in the same dimensions as the gallery's, we did what Sue called the "Double Line Shuffle".  Art was laid out against the wall and then moved and moved again until we found a pleasing arrangement that had a good rhythm and variety.  

Once the show was set, an index card for each painting was created with a number, title and artist.    The information on each index card was also recorded on the diagram.  Lastly a photo was taken of each painting with its index card for a third record.

All paintings are unpacked from the bins located in the center of the gallery.  
Index cards are placed by each work.  
After checking that the arrangement matches our diagram the paintings are hung.

Here I am double-checking "something".
 This was repeated numerous times!

Finally it is time to attach the labels to the paintings.  
Note that the index cards are still in place.
We did a final double-check to confirm that the notecards and labels matched.

And thankfully there were 4 of us to hang the show at the gallery.  With all the careful preparation and documentation, "Life Along Route 11" went up smoothly and within a couple hours.

And our reward for all this hard work was a beautiful bouquet, good food, and many wonderful people who came to see our art show at the opening on Thursday, May 5.  

If you are in the area, consider this your invitation to stop by the Arts Depot in downtown Abingdon, VA.  "Life Along Route 11" will be on display until Saturday, June 11, 2016.  

Thank you for stopping by my blog. 

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Paint Out Lessons Or What a Rose Taught Me

  I set-up my easel at 8:30 AM at the Lynchburg Old City Cemetery.  I had thought to do a view of the Pest House with its medicinal/herb gardens (see my previous blog).  However my attention was quickly directed to a large old rugosa rose in full bloom.  It's scent was delightful as well.   Therese Bugnet was in all her glory and I focused on "her" for the morning.

Lesson 1: Focus on the composition no matter how beautiful the roses.

My goal was to take my time and work through the painting from start to finish.  It was cool and foggy that morning which made for some wonderful soft, cool colors.  The acrylics were slowed a bit by the damp conditions which provided some extra "working" time before they dried.  This allowed me more opportunities to stop and consider how the composition was working.  From the initial drawing to fine-tuning and drawing again in between all the steps as the paint was drying, the composition was evaluated and re-evauluated.

Lesson 2: Time is important as blooms don't last forever.

I focused on getting everything in the painting completed before adding the blooming roses.   The light on the foliage and gravestones would change dramatically once the fog burned off.   A few peaks of sun were my clue to wrap it up!

Lesson 3:  Push the color and let some fall like petals on the ground..

Pink is not one of my typical colors as I prefer to use a magenta in my artwork.  Adding all those juicy pinks was just pure fun towards the end.   It was hard to not paint pink roses everywhere!

Lesson 4:  Take the time to smell the roses.

I got in too much of a hurry to start the next painting and I regret not taking time to walk around to see what the other artists were doing.  At my next paint out learning from what the other artists see and how they approach their subjects will be as important as completing my own artwork

While this painting is a bit different from what I typically do it was good to meet the challenge of completing a work in "time" or before the light totally changed.

Fog and Old Roses
by Judith F Lochbrunner

The second work began abstractly which is more typical of my style.  I set up near one of the old family plots which are surrounded by stone and topped with an iron fence and gate.  A red trumpet vine with very thick stems wound all through the fence and was already blooming.  There was a great contrast of colors from the purple-grey thick stems, older yellow leaves, bright green new leaves, reddish buds, and orange-red blooms.  I was able to get about 3/4 of the way complete on this work in the afternoon.

As I was cleaning up I noticed a sign with a short description about the ladies buried with these large and monuments in an expensive family plot.  It seems that this mother-daughter duo ran a "gentlemen's sporting club".  The sign also noted that it was unclear whether the women themselves had made enough money or whether their patrons had paid for it.   Perhaps the red trumpet vine was also a personal selection paid for by the purchaser.

Final note:  Many thanks go to the Lynchburg Art Club volunteers for a well-organized event and to the staff at the Old City Cemetery for making us feel welcome, providing a delicious lunch and 2 PM cookies with lemonade.

Thanks for stopping by my blog.  Come back again.