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.