Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Unionville Art Gala this weekend!

I'm thrilled to be participating in the Unionville Art Gala this weekend! This annual art show is a major fundraiser for the Unionville High School PTO. I hope you can come see me there -- I'll have lots of paintings and some special sale prices for holiday shoppers! The event is at the Unionville High School, 6pm to 9pm Friday evening, and Saturday from 11am to 4pm. Here's a small sampling of some of my many paintings available at the sale!


 Sunday I went to the Salmagundi Club for the reception of the American Artist Professional League. I've been a member of the AAPL for decades, and joined the Board of Directors earlier this year. It's nice that this organization now uses Skype during our Board meetings, so members no longer have to commute to downtown NYC to join the Board. A few years ago, I had to resign as President of the Louisiana Watercolor Society shortly after I was elected, because I moved to Philadelphia. I wish all societies and organizations allowed the option for Board Members to stay active by using Skype for their meetings!

posted by Annie Strack @ 9:29 AM   1 Comments

Thursday, November 12, 2015

New Watercolor Workshop in New Orleans!

I've just scheduled a new watercolor painting workshop in New Orleans! This is going to sell out really fast, so you better sign up NOW!  January 29, 30, & 31 at the West Bank Art Guild. Contact Carol Patai to register!  



posted by Annie Strack @ 4:59 PM   0 Comments

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Recent demonstration paintings, and Daniel Smith's Watercolor Ground

Here's some of my demonstration paintings from the Hands On Creativity event at the Plaza Art store in Philadelphia last month. The store asked me to lead "make and take" type painting lessons using Daniel Smith watercolors, Escoda brushes, and Fluid 100 watercolor paper. I brought reference photos of subjects that would be quick and easy for beginning artists to follow along, such as simple seascapes and florals.
Island beach, 7x10 watercolor $89.

Beach, 12x16 watercolor $125.

Sunflower, 9x12 watercolor $95.
 I loved using the Daniel Smith paints, Escoda brushes,and Fluid 100 paper! The Daniel smith paints are very rich and saturated - the colors are much more vibrant than other brands. I used a split primary palette which allowed me to mix every color I could possibly ever want. These colors are sold in a set, which is perfect for any watercolor artist whether they are a beginner or advanced. The six-color set is also a perfect gift for plein air artists, who want to be able to mix every color without carrying a lot of tubes of paint! The synthetic Escoda brushes that I used were also wonderful, as they are very absorbent and hold a ton of fluid. These brushes hold fine points and sharp edges which afford detailed precision, and the large bodies allow for loose painting as well. These brushes perform similarly to high priced natural Kolinsky hair brushes, and are the best synthetic brushes that I've ever used. The Fluid 100 paper is a brighter white than the majority of other watercolor papers on the market, and has a nice texture and sizing. It is a wonderful surface to work on, particularly for artists that like to use a truly white paper. It does have one drawback, however, in that it is harder to remove off of the blocks than other brands of blocked paper. I'm more experienced than most as I've been using blocked paper exclusively for over 30 years, and yet I tore several of the sheets as I was removing them.
Canvas panels prepped with Daniel Smith's Watercolor Ground.
While we're on the subject of art supplies, I want to tell you about Daniel Smith's Watercolor Ground. This is a type of ghesso that can be applied to almost any surface, to prepare that surface to accept watercolor paint. It can be used to cover mistakes on a watercolor painting to allow an area to be repainted, and it can be used as an opaque white paint to recreate white areas. I used it recently while painting en plein air during the Plein Air Brandywine Valley event. I prepped some of my 8x10 canvas panels with the watercolor ground so that I could use them for watercolors OR for oils. When I paint en plein air, I often switch back and forth between using oils and watercolors, and that means carrying paper and panels and different types of frames for each. With my panels prepped with the watercolor ground, I could leave the paper at home and use the same frames on my watercolors as I did on my oil paintings. I carry both oils and watercolor paints in my easel, so I could make my decision as to which I was going to use on my panel when I got to the site. When finished, I used the same varnish spray on my watercolors as I use on my oil painting, and the same frames. No glass or mats are needed. Prepping my panels with the Daniel Smith Watercolor Ground meant that I could still work in two mediums, but I had a lot less materials to carry with me and my framing was simplified dramatically. This is especially important when traveling! If you work in both watercolor and oils en plein air, you really need to give this a try.

Plaza Art also wrote a lovely feature article about me on their blog, please take a minute to check it out!

posted by Annie Strack @ 2:23 PM   0 Comments

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