Sunday, October 21, 2018

Plein Air and Other Shows

I just finished jurying the American Artists Professional League's 90th Annual International Juried Exhibit. As always, this show is huge -- the accepted artworks filling both galleries of the Salmagundi Club. As a Board Member and Juror, I have one of my own paintings in the exhibit. I actually ran out of shipping boxes and had to go out and buy more, with so many paintings all over the country in various juried shows this month.
Garden Jewels, 9x12 watercolor by Annie Strack
The week after next is the start of Plein Air Brandywine Valley! This juried event draws artists from all over the country. I don't do a lot of plein air events, and limit myself to only the top ones in the country. This one is one of my all time faves, and not just because I'm on the Board, lol! As always, I am also hosting a couple of visiting artists for this event, so in between workshops, exhibits, classes, etc, I'm cleaning like mad so my house won't look like a total disaster. Fortunately, my guest artists this year are men -- so I won't have to clean to woman standards!

Annie Strack, Plein Air Brandywine Valley
And finally, next week I'm going down to Lewes for a few days, to jury the Milton Arts Guild Annual Exhibit. If it's not too cold I plan on going to the beach while I'm there, to wiggle my toes in the surf and get my fix of salt water.

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Thursday, October 4, 2018

More paintings and events!

October has started off with a bang! This week, I worked on developing lessons for my up coming classes, judged an art exhibit, and shipped more paintings off to juried shows.

Creating more color wheels for references in my classes.
In Unionville, I spent the first part of the morning judging the Adult Art entries, and then moved on to the Youth Art to finish up the judging there. I've been doing this for several years, and always enjoy seeing the artwork created in my own community.

Judging the art entries at the Unionville Fair
I worked on creating samples in my Stillman & Birn sketchbook for reference when I travel to teach workshops. I have large samples that I keep in my studio for teaching, but when I travel I need something a little more portable. My sketchbook works perfectly, as I can fill the pages with all sorts of references, studies, samples, and lessons that I can use for teaching. 

Value scales in my Stillman & Birn Sketchbook
Perhaps the biggest thing of the week was a surprise box from Dynasty Brush, containing 100 of their synthetic watercolor brushes! I've been using the brushes all week, and I must say, I'm very impressed by these brushes! The Faux Kolinsky line offers a wonderful selection of brushes that perform very close to their natural hair counterparts. They hold quite a lot of fluid and have a wonderful spring, all while maintaining a fine point for detail. I was quite surprised to discover that I like the Kalel line of brushes even MORE! They are slightly softer, and seem to hold just as much fluid, if not more. Both lines of brushes are also suitable for acrylics, and highly desirable for fine work in oils. 


Faux Kolinsky and Kalel from Dynasty Brush
Galer Winery, 8x10 watercolor by Annie Strack
I also performed a live painting demonstration for patrons and invited guests of the Plein Air Brandywine Valley, at Galer Estate and Winery near Longwood Gardens. After my demo, my framed painting was given away as a door prize at the event. Our patrons have been very supported of the arts over the years, and I'm delighted to participate in this pre-event party to thank our sponsors.

Annie Strack starting her plein air painting demo. 
And finally, here's another little sketchbook painting from my trip to Provence. This is in my Hahnemuhle Carnet sketchbook, which is a really nice cold pressed watercolor paper with an ivory color. I like the base color for sketching, and it works beautifully with watercolors and other mediums. I used a white gel pen to create highlights and the contrast on the toned paper is lovely. This painting is of one of the medieval buildings along the Rhone river in the ancient town of Arles, where my students and I stayed during my recent trip. I'm taking another group back to France for a workshop in 2020 -- be sure to let me know if you want to come!

Medieval Arles, 6x9 ink and watercolor by Annie Strack

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