Levels of Observation by Cheryl Whitestone

I have to say, after 45 years of painting, I have truly trained myself to see. To see in a way that not only understands the energy, feeling or beauty of something or someone but the minute details and nuances that compose the thing I am viewing. I believe if you can truly see, you can paint anything. It is like putting a subject under a microscope. But be careful because this can leak into your life, and it can be easy to see all the imperfections that reside in the world and even in yourself. That's when you need to put on rose-colored glasses and know turning away from irritating issues or resolving them quickly is the best medicine.
I had a friend that confessed that he was scared of me, or rather artists in general. He said it was because he felt they could see through him. In some ways, this is probably true. But I assured him artists, or at least myself, were more curious than anything else.

Audrey Flack said in her book "Art & Soul, Notes on Creating" about seeing:
"When I am working from a photograph, a transparency, or direct observation, I am always amazed at how much more I see as the painting progresses. After I think I have completely perceived a particular area, something else reveals itself. As the work continues, the level of awareness deepens. The process takes its own time. I have come to accept that time and not fight it. I know when I begin my work, no matter how hard I try,
I'll never observe as much on the first day as I will on the last. Life like development will not be rushed, nor will there be full realization before completion..."

I understand DaVinci sat and observed the paintings he was working on for days without making a single brush stroke. Here's what I have been observing and working on:

"The Murphys' Walk on the Beach" 24"x36" Oil Portrait on Linen


Preparing for an Upcoming Exhibition of my Art by TMNK


I've been asked to speak at the upcoming G40 Summit. Actually I'm waxing metaphors here. I'm not really speaking. The G40 Summit is a group exhibition of contemporary art and I've been given the honor of having my art, my creative voice included. I tend to view the opportunity to exhibit, like being asked to give a speech, an opportunity to share a profound message with my audience.

"Ladies and gentlemen... ," yeah, that's the hard part. What do I say, and how do I say it? I could just speak extemporaneously, or ramble on, or perhaps tell a few jokes. I could draw abstract references to arcane matters, but none of these are my style. I was inspired by great orators like Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr, Malcolm X, and Chuck D., so my message must be powerful and have lasting impact. I view an exhibit as much more than an opportunity to show off my newest work; it's an opportunity to have my work impact future generations. It's an opportunity and responsibility I take very seriously.

The curators of the G40 - The Summit issued a call to arms for political art, so I decided to address domestic terrorism. While much attention is placed on the importance of hunting down those "foreign" enemies that would seek to do us harm, I hope the body of work I contributed to this exhibition will provoke a discussion, and perhaps influence change, about the harm we do to each other. The violence that erupts daily in our streets, destroys innocent lives, and leaves many living in terror.

Yes, exhibits are opportunities for the artist to sell their work, and to share their creative offerings with the public. And sometimes, as history has shown us, art can have social and political relevance. I heard the call to arms, and responded with work that questions humanity's inhumanity, and the influences thereof. I saddened daily by the reports of friendly fire in our neighborhoods and the collateral damage that lay in the wake.
There's a war going on. Art is my weapon.

S.T.A.R.T. has Started! by Carissa Goldstein

After months of planning, the night had finally arrived. I tried to plan every detail ahead of time, but there came a moment when I just had to let it happen. The students showed up empty handed, ready to jump right in and play with the supplies that were included with the workshop. While jamming out to Paul Simon, the instructor, Samantha Donnelly, led them through different exercises and demonstrated several techniques including shading and perspective. After an hour or so of practice, the group was ready to tackle the still life Samantha had set up. Even though this was the first time some of them were tackling representational art, Samantha made it fun and they all had a good time. She took the time to go around the class and answer individual questions while they all worked at their own pace. The biggest complaint was that time passed too quickly!
This definitely helped to get me pumped about all the other classes I have planned. Knowing that people enjoyed the format of the class and the material covered, I am encouraged for the future. This series is also proving to be the perfect stepping stone to our full day workshops. Students left the class eager to sign up for longer drawing classes to learn more. It turns out they just needed a little push to get started!
Interested in finding out more about this program? Visit our website for detailed information on all the classes. For the month of February, we will have Thursday evening classes and then starting in March, I am adding a SECOND section per week. The new section will be on Monday mornings from 10:30a.m. – 12:30p.m. You can also feel free to call me if you have questions! (919)876-6610. I can't wait to meet you!
Samantha Donnelly's Drawing

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