Monday, May 11, 2015

New Painting Exhibition, "upStage: An Exploratory of Dance"

I am joining forces with my favorite female artists: Claire Hardy, Jeannie McGuire, and Christine Swann. We are four painters who will present our personal interpretation of dance in our distinct style and medium.

We hope you will join us for our opening reception on Weds, May 27 from 6-9 p.m at the beautiful Mansions on Fifth in Shadyside. There will be visual art (of course!), live music from outstanding performers, and special guests from the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre.

Please RSVP to Galerie Werner at 412-716-1390 or info@galeriewerner.net. Cover charge is $10. We hope you'll join us for this special evening of art and entertainment.

Here is a sneak peak at a few of the paintings I will be exhibiting:

(from top, clockwise: Spent, Fleeting, Quiet Persistence, Willow Wisp)

Monday, April 27, 2015

Student Gallery

After each watercolor workshop, I invite my students to submit completed artwork, and I share it on my blog and FB page; it is a nice opportunity for students to get extended feedback from me and the other students, as well as an incentive to continue painting after the workshop.

Here is the latest work from my Santa Monica Workshop in March:

Barbara's work:

This was a case where I suggested one thing and the student opted for another. Good thing, because the result was much better than if she had followed my advice. This is a fun painting with a great deal of expression. I gave Barbara a few suggestions to balance the composition but, overall, I think it is a wonderful painting.

Barbara, "Julie and Mat"

Nancy's work:

Nancy was a painting machine and completed several paintings, color studies and value studies during the workshop. Each of her paintings were beautifully painted and her use of color is terrific. As she mentioned at the workshop, she might have planned the composition and design of first two paintings differently after doing a value sketch and a color study, but they are strong portraits as well as expressive paintings.

Her color study, third below, will be her road map for a larger watercolor painting. Looking at the study now, I can see that adding a little of the highest chroma red, to the figure on the right (on her clothing or hair perhaps?), will add some punch to her painting and create a focal point between the two figures.

Nancy, "Lilly"

Nancy, "Bill"
Nancy, color study for larger painting

Chris' work: 

Chris did a great deal of exploration with value sketches and color studies to develop her "Girl with A Mirror" painting. She made many changes to the original painting and created a very personal, charming work of art.

Her painting of the man with a camera was done before the workshop, and the older woman was done after the workshop. Although they are both successful paintings, I would say that the painting of the older woman has a more harmonious feel with the O, V, G palette and the stronger values.
Chris, "Girl with A Mirror"

Chris, "Whitetail Woman"

Chris, "Man with A Camera"

Lisa's work: 
The first painting was more of a study in technique than a finished painting, and it accomplished that goal. She learned a great deal about paint application and values.

The second painting is not yet finished. It was started after working on value sketches and several color studies. Lisa made lots of changes from her original photo, and the result is a fun, lively painting with harmonious color.

Lisa, head and shoulders study

Lisa, "Musician Superhero"

Barbara's work:
Barbara is a skillful painter who did not need to learn technique. She did benefit from the planning process of value and color studies. She also learned to lay down her color in less layers using more pigment. You can see that her two paintings below are beautifully planned out and harmonious in color. I made one suggestion to eliminate a tangent, but other than that, you can see that both paintings have impact from across the room and are just as delightful up close.

Barbara, "Cambodian Potter"

Barbara, "Cambodian Potter's Son"

Lori's work:
Lori's first painting was her one-color study. We did this exercise to work on values. 

You can see that Lori tried a lot of different approaches in her four paintings. Her three subsequent paintings are full of personality and mood. 

The bottom painting, in particular, has such a fantasy-like feeling to it; perfect for a children's portrait. She worked on color studies and value sketches beforehand and used them as her template for the painting. The result is very harmonious. 

I made a few suggestions to Lori regarding the cropping and areas to tweak. Overall, very nice!

Lori, one-color study

Lori, "Young Girl"

Lori, "Man with A Hat"

Lori, "Bubbles!"

Monday, April 13, 2015

Upcoming Watercolor Workshop

May 2 and 3 are the dates. Northbrook, Il (right outside of Chicago) is the place. A 2-day portrait watercolor workshop at the Northbrook Arts Commission. There are a few spaces available, so please join us if you can!

For more information in the workshop, go to WORKSHOPS.

One-on-one consulations


Opportunity to paint

And fun!!

Monday, March 30, 2015

Week-long Watercolor Figurative and Portrait Workshop

It was a busy week at Santa Clara Valley Watercolor Society. We had a room full of talented, creative artists. We all worked hard, learned a lot, and had some fun while we did it. A bonus: coming home to 5 loads of clean laundry thanks to my amazing husband.

'Demos from the week'
Demos from the week

'It was a fun week with this group.'
Fun group!
Studies, sketches, and swatches
More demos: sketches and color studies
Student color studies

Monday, March 23, 2015

New Dancer Painting

Here is another painting for my upcoming exhibition, Upstage, at the Mansions on Fifth, Shadyside, Pittsburgh. 

Show dates: May 27 through August 31, 2015
Opening reception: Weds, May 27 from 5:30 - 8:30 pm.

Four Twenty Two, watercolor, artwork size 27 x 34", framed size 32 x 40"

Monday, March 16, 2015

Monday, March 9, 2015

A New Painting, An Old Drawing

Two versions of the same pose:

"Spent II", w/c, 17 x 21"

"Spent", charcoal/pastel pencil, 12 x 16" (sold)

Monday, March 2, 2015

Into the Woods I Go

My cozy studio for the week

Last week I ran away! Not exactly, but sort of. I spent a solo week in a cabin in the woods in the dead of winter. So quiet, not a soul around. At first, that was disconcerting, but after a few days, the chatter in my head quieted, my pace slowed, and my thoughts were clearer.

My day consisted of waking up around 5 am, throwing a log on the hot embers to get the fire going again, sitting in a chair with my coffee and mentally planning my day. After eating, I would start painting, and continued working for about 10-12 hours each day. Sometimes, I would listen to music or a podcast, and sometimes I would shut everything off and listen to the stillness. Before I knew it, it was getting dark and it was time to sit again in my chair in front of the fire; this time with my supper and a glass of wine.

The week went slowly and quickly, at the same time. It was a perfect getaway and opportunity to work, uninterrupted, for days on end.

Some of the paintings, drawings, sketches and
color studies I worked on.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Donating Artwork

When most people ask artists to donate artwork for a good cause, they are unaware of this fact: the artist can only deduct the cost of materials on their taxes, NOT the price of the artwork. (At least, I want to believe that they are unaware and not trying to take advantage of the artist.) In other words, A $900 watercolor painting is worth about $60 in the eyes of the taxman.

Don't get me wrong, I do donate artwork to a few charities that I've chosen in advance to support. But I've also been asked to donate artwork so many times that I had to come up with a better response than "Hell no." Art business consultant, Maria Brophy, addresses this in her excellent article DONATING ARTWORK

Below is a form letter I now send to expectant donation seekers:

Dear (person seeking free art for your cause),

Thank you for the opportunity to donate art to your organization. I would be honored to have my artwork and name associated with your event.

Due to the heavy volume of requests from many deserving charities, I’ve developed the following guidelines to enable me to donate artwork without incurring a loss for my business (see below). As you may know, current U.S. tax laws are unfavorable to artist donations. (There is little to no write-off for artwork, aside from materials.) By offering these terms to all artist donations, your organization will: Attract top quality, high value artwork; and over time, will become known as the go-to-organization for unique and valuable art.

If these terms are agreeable to you, please print out the form below, sign and return (you may scan and e-mail or send by mail). Regardless of your decision, I wish you much luck with your fundraiser.

Charitable Donation Guidelines

Peggi Habets will select a framed painting from her recent collection. A minimum or a reserve price will be set and will be designated by Peggi Habets. (This is required to honor the value of the artwork for our existing collectors and our partner galleries.) Peggi's paintings range in price from $900 - $3000.

The organization agrees to split the proceeds from the sale or auction 50/50 (50% to Peggi Habets and 50% to the organization). I ask for payment within 9 business days of the sale. The name, address, phone and e-mail of the buyer will be provided to Peggi Habets for her records.

In the event the artwork does not sell, it will be returned by the organization to Peggi Habets Studio within 9 business days in the same condition it was received. If the artwork is damaged, the organization agrees to compensate Pegg Habets for the cost of repairs, or if it is irreparable, for the cost of the artwork.

We agree to the above terms:
Name _________________________________________________________    
Title ___________________________________________________________ 

Date _______________________

Monday, February 9, 2015

Watercolor Portrait Demo

I gave a painting demo at Bethel Park Artists League, using washes and layers to show how I define the facial features and build structure of the face. The first image is the demo after 1 1/2 hours, which included discussion and taking questions from the group.

The second image is the finished version after another hour in my studio.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

New Dancer Painting

Here's my latest watercolor painting for "Upstage", a exploratory exhibition of dance. This is a group show with each of four artists working in their own style and medium. My focus in this series is the solitary dancer and the work and preparation behind the scenes. Each painting uses color, texture, and gesture to create a specific mood and emotion.

The exhibition will be in May, 2015 at Galerie Werner at the Mansions on Fifth, Pittsburgh, Pa. Details to come!

Quiet Persistance, watercolor, 23 x 20" before framing

Monday, December 1, 2014

Commissioned Pet Portrait

I rarely take commissioned pet portraits these days, but every once in a while a former client will return with a request for an additional portrait--usually because they have a new addition to the family.

Below are two paintings I did for a client: The top one is recent; the bottom one was done two years ago. 

Monday, November 24, 2014

New Painting from the Dance series

Coming this May, myself and three artists will be presenting an exhibition of paintings at Galerie Werner at the Mansions on Fifth in Pittsburgh, Pa. The theme is dance and we have some exciting artwork to share from four unique perspectives and a variety of media.

Stay tuned for more info as we develop the show. In the meantime, I will share a sneak preview of one of my paintings.

Solitary Pursuit, watercolor, 23 x 16" framed

Monday, November 17, 2014

Workshop Students' Paintings

I always encourage my students to continue working on their paintings after the workshop and invite them to send me their images. I received these after my last workshop in Charlotte and thought it might be nice to share them. 

The students were at all levels of experience and each had a different goal for their art. I love how they stayed true to their own unique style while incorporating what they learned. I try to emphasize that the workshop is not to teach students to paint like me, but for them to take what I teach and add it to their personal toolbox.

Below you can see that is the case. Aren't they wonderful?

KC, 1

KC, 2


Susan, color study