Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Collaborative Painting and Letting Go

I have a friend who I paint with pretty regularly. He's a very good painter, but considers himself an amateur. I personally think his work is of high quality and if he so chose, could be selling his work. He brings a ton of energy into his brushwork and has a great color sense. He might argue otherwise, but he's not writing this blog, so he doesn't get to say!

We painted together on Saturday. Well he painted and I packed and prepared for my upcoming workshop trip to Nova Scotia and dabbled at my painting. I think at one point Dick started to lose interest or get a little frustrated in his piece then started to make some pretty bold moves to make dramatic changes. Sometimes a great tactic, other times great folly. Well, it worked out for him. He was scraping and scratching, then looked at me and with a brush in his outstretched hand said something like "here, you want to work on it?" This is not something I ordinarily do with students, but he's not currently, officially my student, so I grabbed the brush from him. I expected him to move away from the easel and put down his brush and let me have at it. Instead, he stayed there, working on it with another brush, and I must have commented with a remark, like "we're both going to paint on it at the same time?". That was clearly his intention. OK, I stuck with that for a little bit, before I elbowed him out, and made the moves that I was invited to make. I was maybe a little adamant. It's not like I did that much really, he had everything working and very established. I just finessed some color transitions and some edges.

Dick Eaton & Marla Baggetta

This taught me quite a lot. I very much like the spontaneity and energy that Dick brings to his work. I tend to leave that for my pastels and don't bring as much of that to my oil paintings as I'd like. This was encouraging for me in that way. 

I also think it's a great lesson in getting ones ego out of the way of the work. You have to let go and not be attached to the outcome of a piece, any piece. Letting someone else work on your painting gets you there pretty quick! It's so interesting how readily we will make a change to another persons work but will be very reticent to do so on our own, even when we know it's appropriate! I may incorporate this as an exercise in some of my workshops!

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Something Special

I don't usually talk about how much I like a piece that I've done! Not my style, exactly but today I want to! I just posted one of my variation studies on Daily Paint Works. I painted it while I was demonstrating in NYC last month. It's a simple little piece, and after I'd done it, I liked it. It seemed just o.k. at the time. But today, when I'd finished posting it on DPW, I saw something pretty special in it. The quality of light that I'd captured was darn nice; something special. It wasn't really intended or at least planned, but I really love the light streaming into the middle ground near the trees; it's cool! Every now and again, you get to catch a little magic! It's what keeps me going back to the easel, again and again.

I also like that the marks for the river are so strong. I didn't mess around here. It's simple and direct. I also like the limited palette. Of course, I'm so amazed that this little composition continues to enchant me and call to me! It's quite a gift!

This piece is available on Daily Paint Works http://www.dailypaintworks.com/fineart/marla-baggetta/variation-311/272764

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Yesterday and Today

I got up unnaturally early, still a bit jet-lagged from my trip, but it was o.k. An early start is not so bad. I had lots of little errands, loose ends to tie up that weren't attended to in my absence. That was o.k. too. By the time I'd taken care of emails, bills and some household chores, it was 10:00 when I slide into my car and pulled carefully out of my small garage. I hadn't really driven in ten days, so it was a novel and new. Fall was already creeping in and a light rain meant windshield wipers. That was o.k.

My first stop was the Rental Sales Gallery in Portland. I had long procrastinated on picking up a piece that hadn't rented. Getting there early meant a parking spot right out front. Perfect. Knowing it would be a brief stop, I ignored the "Pay for Parking" sign and headed into the gallery, greeted by Jennifer who is the steady director of the place. I don't know how she does it, really. Tons of artists, tons of art. She handles it all with grace and ease.

Next stop was New Seasons to fill up the coffers with some food. I frequent the store in Sellwood and am greeted with familiar "hellos". It's nice. Food for home, and something to snack on, I'm off to my next stop...Macy's to return a dress that I just knew I would never, ever wear. Having checked that off my list, I made my way to Target where I had a long list of sundries to shop for. I hate Target. Did I say "hate". Yes, I did. But that's o.k. too.

The rest of my day continued along these lines until finally around 4:00,  I'd checked almost everything off my list and feeling satisfied with what I'd done, headed home and then to my room for a nap. I love naps!

Today was the same but different! I woke up way too early again; 4:00. Yikes! I tried to sleep a little longer with little success. But, I used the extra time to get some computer work done, then headed to NIA, my dance class. After NIA, I popped into Whole Foods for a snack, where fall is in full swing.

Notice there is no painting, drawing or art making of any sort included in either of these two days. That's o.k. I had two very, very satisfying days of shopping, bill paying, chores, catching up on sleep, and all kinds of fun stuff. Maybe tomorrow I will paint. Maybe not. I will have to get back to work pretty soon! In the meantime you can join me this Saturday at Art Elements Gallery in Newberg, Oregon from 4-6pm. This is the reception for my solo show featuring "Meditations of Light" in oil. You can do a little wine tasting before or after. Here is a link to some places to stop! http://www.newbergdowntown.org/wine-tasting/http: