Friday, December 5, 2008

Como Park Conservatory

This picture is based on a black & white photo taken before the present remodling of the conservatory

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Marquette Mi.

Art Knowledge News

Art Knowledge News is a free online art magazine sponsored by the Art Appreciation foundation. Art Knowledge News has information and news about art and the art world: museums, artists, exhibitions, articles, quotations, and art resources. A wide variety of styles and mediums are covered. Only a few topics show up in the "recent posts" section, but older posts can be accessed by entering a topic of interest in the search box.

Don't miss the Vincent Van Gogh video with music--it is fantastic! This and some other Powerpoint shows (pps) are listed under "Of Continuing Interest..." (Note: I think most of the other Powerpoint shows are mediocre.)

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Flowers in Modern Art

I discovered this website while researching an artist.

Flowers have always been a popular art motif. An exhibition Flower Myth - van Gogh to Jeff Koons examined flowers in modern art. There are many paintings that one does not usually see.

It is not very obvious how to get from the description page to the paintings. The only link I could find on this page is "Temporary exhibitions (10)" so I drew an arrow to highlight the link. Once you get to a page of paintings there is more than one way to navigate the site, and most of the small images can be enlarged by clicking on them. You can also take a virtual tour of some of the art by clicking "Panoramic View" below the header image at the top of the page (both on the main page and the individual room pages). The "See the Tabloid" link is a convenient way of viewing a number of paintings on a page.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Value & Color Watercolor Exercise

This is an exercise I did in my watercolor class recently. In the classroom, a slide of an unknown painting was displayed upside down and very blurry.

First, watercolor paper was soaked in water and placed on a nonabsorbent board. Only three paint colors were used: ultramarine blue, bright red, and bright yellow. These three colors were mixed to obtain other colors. The various values were obtained by using more or less water with the paint. It was also possible to partially remove or "lift out" an area of color with a clean wet brush.

The procedure was to copy the composition, colors, and values which were displayed on the projection screen. As we worked the focus was increased, and the paper dried gradually. As you can see from the blurry images below, it was impossible to tell what we were painting until nearly the end. As the screen image changed, modifications were made in our paintings until finally a clear image was displayed.

The painting is Water Pitcher by Vermeer--I found a copy at the Web Museum that I am using here. The original painting and my watercolor "copy" are displayed at the bottom of this post.

Web Art Museum

The Web Museum is a good place to view and read about paintings by famous artists (look for the page with famous artworks or the artist index). It also could be used as a source of paintings to copy. Most of the images are large enough to see details. If you are working at home, you can use the image on your computer without need for printing. If you are viewing the painting directly from your computer screen, it will look brighter and clearer than if you printed it.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

2 old timers

'47 Hudson &'54 Internatioal pickup

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Stone shelter on Northshore

Stone shelter on Northshore by

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Watercolor Painting

I am taking a watercolor painting course this fall that meets on Tuesday and Thursday, so I won't be able to attend the acrylic painting class. It seems harder to get started in watercolor than in acrylic.

Here is a watercolor painting website that looks very good for learning watercolor painting.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Diamond T pickup...A painting from a photo taken a few years ago

Friday, August 22, 2008

1975 Minnesota State Fair

I spent the last few days scanning and editing my 1975 Minnesota State Fair slides so I could post them on flickr. They are best viewed as a slideshow (click the "slideshow" link near the top right of the flickr page). Here is the link:

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Bayfield Tugg

I painted this picture from a photo I took afew years ago

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Photoshopping My Lunch

Six of us met for lunch at Applebee's today. I shot a few pictures while showing my camera. Lunch picture is very bad--apparently flash doesn't work well for closeups. Look at the bad original and see what can be done in photoshop. Might be some painting ideas here.

I also took some pictures of Kathy's paintings in the parking lot after lunch. I will email them to her so she can post them on the blog (she needs the practice).

Monday, August 4, 2008

Paintings by Earl

I painted this picture from a photo I took in the Swedes Hollow neighborhood of St Paul

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Minneapolis Reflections Photos

These are a couple of digital photos from the Minneapolis Reflections series that I did for the class I took this summer. That's me in the middle of the Schmitt Music mural reflection.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Alamo Square in Miniature

Alamo Square in miniature...
Houses were created in Adobe Illustrator, printed and mounted on a board, then cut out on a band saw.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

July News

Six of us (John, Chuck, Kathy, Earl, Lynne, Mike) met for lunch on July 22 at Applebee's at 53rd & Central (by Menard's and the Fridley welcome sign). I photographed the Fridley welcome sign before lunch.

Earl showed some practice paintings of clouds and a book of clouds photos he is using for reference. He is planning to upload some pictures when he figures out how to do it. Kathy showed us the current status of her grandaughter painting and the book Drawing With Charcoal, Chalk, and Sanguine Crayon she is planning to use for her fall drawing class. Mike told us about his photo book
The Quiet Hours published by the University of Minnesota Press. Lynne has been concentrating on digital photography this summer and has put some of her photos on Flickr under the name "cityclickernet."

CityPages has a nice review of Mike Melman's book and you can search inside the book at Amazon. I checked the book out of the Minneapolis Central Library. It is listed in the catalog at 12 Minneapolis libraries but not at the Anoka County libraries.

I also checked out another photography book Photographing Your Artwork: a Step-by-Step Guide to Taking High Quality Slides at an Affordable Price. That book tells the proper way to photograph artwork using a 35mm manual SLR camera, tripod, lights, an exposure meter, a gray card, exposure bracketing, and squaring up the artwork in the viewfinder (Amazon has an excerpt you can read online). I shot my picture with a handheld point-and-shoot digital camera using autofocus and autoexposure--definitely not the recommended method. I tried to square it up on my camera's LCD screen but wasn't very successful--I ended up skewing it in Photoshop to square it up and also adjusting the color a bit.

Friday, July 11, 2008

acrylics by earl

South Pier Lighthouse - Canal Park, Duluth, Mn
Old Skelly Station from n.e. corner of University & Lowry Ave N.E.

The Godfrey House

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Acrylic Color Mixing & Glazing

These are several interesting and useful articles I found on the Golden Paints website:

Color Mixing Guide has important color information and mixing exercises.

Clean Color Mixing compares inorganic and inorganic pigments and the effect of matting agents on color.

Golden Acrylic Glazing Liquid describes many ways of using acrylic glazing liquid.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Karen Cooper Acrylic Paintings & FineArtStudioOnline

When I study the examples in painting books, I often find that I like an intermediate stage better than the finished painting.

I really enjoyed Karen Cooper's acrylic paintings at the Stone Arch Festival of the Arts. She has a simple colorful style that I find more interesting than detailed realistically colored paintings. Karen Cooper has an excellent website, Karen Cooper Paintings. The portfolio section of the website is divided into still life and figurative paintings. Her recent paintings are mainly figurative, which she describes as "people in places you want to be." Her people are usually very simplified and are not meant to be portraits.

In addition to showing many paintings in her portfolio, there are two blogs. Cooper, about painting, blog is a journal blog. Cooper, daily work blog is a "project blog" where she writes about and shows various stages in a painting's progress.

Note for dedicated web surfers: I couldn't resist clicking on the link at the bottom for Artist websites by There you can find many artist websites--go to the page that has a list of all the artists.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Landscape Composition Rules

I am taking a Photo Composition and Design course this summer, and I was given a link to a list of Photo Composition Articles. I found one article on the list that is actually about painting — Landscape Composition Rules by Johannes Vloothuis.

Since I am currently working on a landscape painting based on one of my photographs, I found this article very interesting and useful. I discovered a couple things in my painting that I should probably change. I recommend this article for anyone interested in painting a landscape. As the author states: "Rules are made to be broken, in which case you should at least know what rule you are breaking and why and not err due to insufficient knowledge."

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Fridley Community Education Acrylic Painting Class

Today was the last meeting of the spring session of the "Painting with Acrylics" Community Education class at Fridley Community Center. The class was taught by Kathy Buchanan, shown here advising a student on her painting. Three sessions of the class (fall, winter, and spring) were taught on Tuesday mornings this year. Kathy is planning to teach a daytime painting class and an evening drawing class next fall.

The classes are good for both beginning and experienced painters. Students may copy paintings of the "masters" or work on original concepts. Kathy supplies individual help when requested as well as demonstrating some basic painting techniques.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Van Gogh's Brushstrokes

I have been trying to imitate Van Gogh's brushstrokes on a couple of paintings and have not been getting satisfactory results. I took my camera to the MIA recently and took some closeups of a couple of my favorite paintings, including Olive Trees by Vincent Van Gogh. Although the light in the galleries does not seem very bright, I was able to get some useable pictures without a flash or tripod. By useable, I mean good enough to study on my computer, not good enough to print. It is also possible to view many paintings closeup using the zoom feature on the MIA website.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Size of Posted Pictures

It is important to resize your digital photos and scans before uploading an image to the blog. The original size is much too large to use on the web--it will consume too much space and/or load too slowly.

For guidelines, I suggest maximum sizes of no larger than 50kb and no wider than 400px. If you have a picture you want to upload and do not know how to check the size or resize it, please ask me for help.

Getting Started Help

Most of Blogger's features can be figured out by trial and error. If you are confused about what to do, you can find help in Blogger's help section. When you go to you will see a "Sign In" link in the upper right corner. That will link you to a sign in screen with a "help" link at the bottom. You can also get to the help section by going to

There is a lot of blogger help information available, but it can sometimes be frustrating trying to find the right topic. Here is a link to a topic I located that I think would be most useful for those trying to get started in posting: All about Blogger's post editor.

Make a Sugggestion

Use the "suggestion" label for your post when you are making a suggestion.

At the bottom of the posting window there is a box "Labels for this post." It is best to click the "Show all" link to see and choose from the labels already available. Although it is possible to type in a new label name, it is best not to have too many labels.

Using a label for a post places the post in a specific category and makes it easier for readers of the blog to find posts on a particular topic. If you forget to use a label when you are posting, you can go back in and add it by editing the post.

To edit a post, first choose "new post" then "edit posts."

Art Site Of The Day

I created this category for any group member to share their online art discoveries. Just write a brief note about why you like the site and place a link to the site.

To place a link, highlight the link text (usually the name of the site), click the link icon on the toolbar, and paste (pasting is more accurate than typing) the copied url in the popup window in the space that begins "http."

I will probaby be creating a few more label categories like suggestions and books. Feel free to suggest categories.

Pierre Bonnard

I recently read an article on Bonnard in an old 1984 issue of House & Garden, and my favorite painting in the Minneapolis Institute of Arts is Pierre Bonnard's Dining Room in the Country. Curious, I searched online for more Bonnard paintings.

I found a site that apparently was created at the time of a 2003 National Gallery of Australia exhibition Pierre Bonnard Observing Nature. The text accompanying the paintings pointed out important features of composition and style, and was the reason I found this site so interesting.

Note: I couldn't access the main National Gallery of Australia website--it may be undergoing updating.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Art-A-Whirl in Northeast Minneapolis

The 2008 Northeast Minneapolis Arts Association Art-A-Whirl is this weekend May16-18. For information see the NEMAA website.

Utrecht Plein Air Painting Events

Utrecht held a plein air painting event in Loring Park on Saturday, May 10. Unfortunately the weather did not cooperate. I attended this, along with a couple of other people. I attempted a pastel drawing but it started to rain earlier than expected, so not much was accomplished.

Another plein air painting event is planned for May 31 at Eloise Butler Wildlife Garden. Details can be found by going to and clicking on the link for the Minneapolis store.

New Blog for Fridley Community Center Painting Class

It is nearing the end of the spring session of the Acrylic Painting class at Fridley Community Center. Several members of the class expressed an interest in getting together over the summer when there are no classes.

I thought it would be fun to also to have a group blog where members could post suggestions for meetings, painting tips, pictures of their work, website links, art book recommendations, etc.