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Wednesday, May 2, 2018

No Sour Grapes Here

Nemacolin Woodlands Retreat has a beautiful art gallery where I've been exhibiting for over a year. The artwork just glows in this location and I always look forward to creating new paintings specifically for this space.





















Recently, the gallerist proposed showcasing food and wine-related paintings to pair (no pun intended!) with their annual Wine Weekend event.

I took this as an opportunity to try something new and started playing around with painting grapes. I wanted the grapes to look alive, moving and blowing on the vine. The result is a series of paintings that are flowing and abstract with just a few realistic details.

To create this look, I wet the paper with plain water, leaving dry areas where I wanted the white of the paper.

I drop in rich, heavy color and let it mingle and mix on the page. After it dries, I start to suggest the shape of grapes. I researched different grapes to find out how they hang on the vine and each individual shape.





















I ended up creating a series of these because they were so fun to paint. Here are a few:

Cabernet II, 13 x 11 in, watercolor



















Zinfandel II,  18 x 2 in, watercolor







Friday, February 9, 2018

New Paintings to Whet Your Appetite

"An Appetite for Art" is a new exhibition at Nemacolin Woodlands Retreat in Farmington, Pa. It features the work of three artists (Me, Joyce Werewie Perry, and Maura Light) and differing views on food and wine. The exhibition runs through April 22, 2018.

February Artist Meet and Greets: Saturday, February 10 and 17 from 5 to 7 pm
Wine Weekend Meet and Greet and Artist Demo: Friday, April 20, 5 to 7 pm

Here are a few photos of the exhibition:

Finishing Touch in the cozy, sitting area
in the gallery


Pressure Cook and The Chefs in the
beautiful gallery hallway





















A visitor checking out one of Joyce's
paintings.

Cabernet
14 x 12 in, watercolor
Zinfandel
26 x 18 in, watercolor
Zinfandel 2
12 x 13 in, watercolor


Vintage
16 x 12 in, watercolor

Sunday, January 21, 2018

What's Cooking? Paintings of Food, Chefs, and Fine Dining

Food is full of texture, color, and shape. Cooking in a restaurant involves steam, fire, people, and shiny chrome. Putting them together in a series of paintings has been fun and oh so challenging.

The paintings below can be viewed at Nemacolin Woodlands Retreat Art Gallery in a new exhibition called "An Appetite for Art". Three artists interpret the art of cooking.

For several paintings, I worked from photos that I took inside the 5-star Lautrec restaurant at Nemacolin. The kitchen is beautiful with copper pots, reflective surfaces, fresh herbs, and brightly-colored peppers. It was great to be a fly on the wall and to observe the behind-the-scenes activity that happens before the restaurant opens.

The exhibition runs through April 22. I hope you can stop by Nemacolin for one of the artist Meet and Greets in February and April. I would love to see you there. Details: http://www.nemacolin.com/events-calendar#Event_910

Finishing Touch, watercolor, 29 x 27 in

Pressure Cook, watercolor, 18 x 22 in

The Chefs, watercolor, 22 x 26 in

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Watercolor Artist Magazine

Very cool. My artwork is featured in the December 2017 issue of Watercolor Artist magazine. It was such an honor and, even more so, when I found out my painting, Lumiere, found it's way onto the cover. The article was written by writer/artist Louise Hafesh. She did such a nice job of taking my incoherent notes and create a compelling story that even surprised me, haha.


Here are inages of the article, but you can also find the issue here.

















My painting, What Plagues Us, was selected for a special section of the magazine called "Picture This", which highlights one artist's painting with a full descriptive narrative. This last page was actually a surprise; I didn't find out until I received the magazine!



For a close-up and information about What Plagues Us?, click HERE. To view a collection of available artworks, click ARTWORKS.










Monday, July 10, 2017

Summer Exhibition

Just finished hanging artwork at the beautiful Nemacolin Woodlands Resort for the summer exhibition featuring myself and two other artists, James Kennedy of NYC and Christy Branson, from Seattle.The exhibition runs through September 5, 2017.

Below are my paintings in the show. Unfortunately, I didn't have a chance to photograph the other artists' work before my phone died but you can see their work here: James Kennedy and Christy Branson.









   






Monday, June 12, 2017

Watercolor Essentials: Part 4, Paper

And here we are at the #1 watercolor essential. After teaching students year after year, I've concluded that the most important supply to have, the one that will make or break a painting, is...quality paper!

You can get away with student-grade paints, brushes, and palettes for the first few classes but not paper. A poor-quality paper will not absorb paint; it will blotch and puddle making it incredibly frustrating for students and instructor alike. Cheaper papers also tend to be a lighter weight; anything less than 140# will buckle and bow, creating a difficult painting surface that pools the paint. Scrubbing will usually disintegrate the surface.

I use a cold press paper, either 300# or 260# in Arches, Waterford, and Killimanjaro. Lately, I've been experimenting with the new, high-end Canson L'Aquarelle, a beautiful paper that feels like velvet. I don't stretch or tape my paper down and I paint all the way to the edge. If my paper is a little bowed when I'm finished painting, I simply wet the back of the painting with clean water and lay the painting between two pieces of cardboard and under a stack of books. By morning, it is flat and ready to frame.

Students starting out should try as many brands and surfaces as they can to see what feels right for them. There's rough, cold press (semi-rough), and hot press (smooth). There's bristol board with a variety of textures and the quirkiest paper of all, Yupo, which isn't a natural paper but a synthetic polypropylene. It pools and resists the paint, but that's part if it's charm, once you know how to use it.

Once a student finds a paper that works for their purposes, it's a good idea to use that same brand over and over to learn the properties of the paper, such as, how quickly the paint absorbs, how or if the paint lifts, and how much scrubbing can it handle.

I hope this series has helped make your supply selections a little easier. Have fun!


Monday, June 5, 2017

Watercolor Essentials: Part 3, Paint

Paint! If I had to rate the importance of watercolor supplies, paint would be at the top of the list as the second most important. (What's number one? We'll talk about that next week.)


Despite my pleas, at almost every workshop I teach, a student will arrive with a palette of paint turds. You might know what I mean--those hard, pea-sized blobs of paint that look like they were squeezed out a century ago. The problem with dried out blobs of paint is that it is incredibly hard to load up your brush with pigment, making your painting a likely candidate for the wimpy pile.

I always recommend that students buy tubes of paint instead of pans for the same reason.

Monday, May 29, 2017

Watercolor Essentials: Part 2, Palette
















Sure, I know. It's not one of the sexier watercolor supplies, but having a good palette really is essential. Here are some things I look for in a palette:


Monday, May 22, 2017

Watercolor Essentials: Part 1, Brushes

Students are often at a loss when buying watercolor supplies for the first time. I hear you. I have a studio filled with supplies that I bought when I first started painting that I never use anymore. Why am I still hanging on to them? Good question and probably an answer for a therapist, not a blog.

I thought it might be helpful if I take the next several weeks to write about the materials that I do use and why.

Let's start with brushes.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Watercolor Master Class: Expressive Portraits and Figures

Creation by Peggi Habets, watercolor

Learn to paint expressive and creative portraits and figures in watercolor 
  • small-class environment (18 students max.) 
  • all levels
  • follow instructor-led exercises or work on your own paintings
  • one-on-one guidance and development
  • pre-workshop goal-setting
  • brand-new 1500 sf studio space
This is not your everyday watercolor workshop! This is a retreat, vacation, and master class all in one, housed at the world-renowned Nemacolin Woodlands Resort. The 2000 acre resort features a multi-million dollar art collection, a luxury spa, a Forbes 5-star restaurant and two world-class golf courses and many other exciting amenities.

Melanie Werner, Art Collection Curator and Director of Nemacolin Gallery will host a welcome reception on Sunday followed by a guided tour of the multi-million dollar Hardy Family Collection.

Monday, May 8, 2017

New! One-Day Figure Workshop

Last November, I taught a one-day portrait workshop at the New Kensington Art Center. We had such a great time, we are doing it again. Only this time our focus will be the figure. There are a few spaces available. If you live in the Pittsburgh area and want to join in the fun, you can register here. Syllabus and supply list available on my website.

Here are some photos from the last workshop:

Monday, May 1, 2017

American Watercolor Society 150th International Exhibition

I had the good fortune to be able to attend the AWS awards dinner this past weekend at the Salmagundi Club in New York City. I was a bit of a fan girl as I recognized so many artists whose watercolors have influenced me over the years. Talking to them and seeing their work in person was the best part of the evening. I was also thrilled to receive an award for my painting, "What Plagues Us?" Here are a few pics from the evening.


Monday, April 24, 2017

4-Day Watercolor Workshop

I spent 4 days in Charlotte, NC teaching a wonderful bunch of artists at Nancy Couick's Studio. The students were enthusiastic and so willing to try new, challenging concepts. 

Day One
I demonstrated painting features, skin tones and a head-only portrait. 









































The students then painted their own versions.
Student portraits



















Day Two and Three
Students finished their head-only portraits and started planning larger, personal works of art using value sketches and color studies. We discussed color harmony, values, and most important, the "why" (not what) of our painting. 

Day Four
Students worked on their larger paintings by following their color studies and value sketches. Students learned to self-critique and we ended the workshop with a group critique of everyone's work. 

I learned something too. A student told me about a nifty, new tool from Rosemary Brushes called an eradicator (which I bought) that removes paint from a painting without damaging the paper. It works great!

Thanks to all the students who attended and helped to make the workshop a great success!


3rd Annual Cabin Retreat

This winter, I snuck away on my "Third Annual Painting Retreat" which was, basically,
me alone in the woods with my paints...and a few select amenities.



The weather was beautiful and completely uncharacteristic for February in Pennsylvania, so I was able to spend some time painting outside.



Here is a sneak peak of some works in progress. I look forward to sharing the finished
paintings with you later this year at my open studio and upcoming exhibition.




Monday, April 17, 2017

Step Seven: Framing

This is the last step of "7 Steps of A Painting". Here are steps One: InspirationTwo: Computer DesignThree: Value SketchFour: Color Studies, Five: Drawing and Six: Painting.

Framing is an artform in itself and the right framing can make your painting look even better. However, talk about overwhelming! There is a dizzying array of choices of mat style and color, framing, and choice of glass or acrylic. Taking the time to find an excellent framer is so worth the effort. The framer will help you make a decision by narrowing your choices to fit your preferences.