Another wonderful week

It's always a wonderful week when one sells not one but two paintings!! So happy! So grateful.  Life is good.  Mystic Blues sold at the RNS Art Show & Sale this weekend and so did...

Helen with Mystic Blues

..."On Watch",  painting of a raven keeping a watchful eye on me - while sitting on top of the coolest rock formation I have ever painted. 

The good news continues

Earlier in the week I received an email about my "Magenta Magic" poured painting.

Congratulations
We are pleased to inform you that from 320 paintings submitted from 32 countries worldwide, our Jurors, Anne McCartney CSPWC, AWS, TWSA; Peter Marsh CSPWC, OSA, SCA, TWS; and Rainbow Tse have selected the painting on the labels below as a finalist for the IWS Canada & CSPWC/SCPA’s “A Symphony in Watercolour” Exhibition

This is all so very cool. The universe really does send back good karma when you live with the spirit of giving.  I recently donated a large painting to the IWK Ladies Auxiliary for their Kremese Art Show and Sale next weekend.  And also a bunch of cards to an environmental group for a fundraiser.  And then there is that ginormous window I am painting for ProKids.  Not that I have give to get back other than the feeling that I have done something good.

As an artist,  you have to be selective on how/what you give, how often you give and decide whether or not the cause is near and dear to you - we are asked for donations a lot.  I  have a few favourites that I donate to each year.   

Shideler paintings

New work in progress

A yet to be named poured watercolour.  It still has a long way to go.  The slideshow below takes it through the ugly duckling stage to the point where I have removed the masking compound.  I hope the magic happens in the next step of the process. 

Click through to see the progression so far

To Santa Fe and back

This trip had been loosely planned for a year.  I mean we all registered on the last day of PACE 17 when we hear it would be in Santa Fe.  Other than that, we waited until January to book flights and the hotel room for the trip home. And maybe just maybe, we should have really scrutinized the schedule first.  Who has time to be that planful?

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On the road again

Two friends and i planned to meet at the airport in Albuquerque, rent a car (really really expensive) and drive to Santa Fe. I Googled the satellite maps to look at the roads to mentally prepare me for the drive.  And although I thought I was ready - but absolutely noting can prepare you for that type of traffic - unless you live in San Francisco, maybe... The car agency rental person warned be, but frankly I thought it was a ploy to sell more insurance.  They spoke of inebriated drivers, reckless drivers and crazy drivers.

We persevered and make it safely to our destination.  Only, I speak in kilometres not in miles.  Jeepers creepers the drive was a lot longer than I anticipated- and the resort was off the beaten track in a place called Buffalo Thunder.  The resort was wonderful.   Only there was nothing else in the general proximity other than a couple more casinos.  No grocery stores.  No place to shop. 

Santa Fe.jpg

The PACE 18  sessions were amazing.  Brienne Brown.  Barbara Tapp. Cindy Baron. And so many more.  They talked of throwing the paint down with out a drawing (gasp) and maybe draw later (again gasp).  But being there to learn, I decided to throw away everything I thought I knew and try it. Well, it kinda sorta works.  With a lot more practice it may just really work.  Above are my attempts.

View from behind

PACE included paint outs in various locations including El Santuario de Chimayó.  While we were there the wind was quite strong to the point I decided that setting up my easel may be a bit risky.  I found a bench and noticed all the painters painting in front of me.  And I love sketching figures. Had a lot of fun with there.  And yes, there will be a painting soon!

Santa Fe Sketching.jpg

Cheers, until next time

I have a lot going on

I sure have a lot going on this time of the year.  In addition to preparing for next weekends Kings County Studio Tour, I also maintain the website for the Tour.  So I am double busy right about now. We are happy that the Lyndsay Armstrong-Media from the Telegraph Journal wrote a story that was published this past week

Still painting a lot.  Keeping up with my pledge to myself to create a small oil painting a week. You can see the progress below. Having to allow for some dry time between the layers of paint extends the time to complete  - but I currently have two on the easel and have a plan for the next one.  Just need to order in some more panels.

on the easel by Helen Shideler

WIP Winters Light Through the Glass

We have a wonderful hanging stained glass window that was given to us 

Over the years we (really me) watch with fascination of how the right changes with each season.  Winter is particularly beautiful with the deep colour of the sky and the reflections of the snow.  You can see the effect of winters light through the glass!

I have taken oh so many photos of the stained glass

Knowing eventually I would be going to paint it.  The invitation to participate in “Stained Glass revisited” coming up in September provided just that opportunity. This was interesting. I always saw this painting as a thick acrylic work.  That was, until I tried to get started and now with a close deadline.

I started to work out the details and realized that the shape of the canvasses I have on hand were the wrong proportion.  Too square a shape meaning that I would have had to paint more background.  And that really would not work.  My artistic eye would not let me proceed and the fact that I do not have time for a redo!

I pondered what to do. 

I really wanted to get started and could not afford the time of shipping in another canvas.  Then it hit me.  Rather embarrassing really.  Watercolour.  Duh!  I could cut the paper into whatever shape I needed!  Oh my.  Sometimes I baffle me.

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Then I got real excited. 

On a recent trip to Arizona to the Plein Air Convention and Expo (PACE), I purchased a few tubes of Daniel Smith’s Prima Tek paints. And now I have a really exciting painting to play with them.  And I am loving them!

The glass represented in this painting has texture and is not smooth all over.  These granulating paints are working beautifully to help me simulate the glass. Some of the colours are luscious (not there is a word you do not get to use everyday). 

Lessons Learned

You have to be really cautious when you mix the Prima Tek  colours with regular waterolours.  They can get muddy fast

I highly recommend you paint an under wash first rather than mixing the colours together.  Now when I mixed two Prima Tek colours together, they worked fine.  But the wash had to be under not over these paints

Wonderful summertime stuff

Ahh, summertime and life is good.  Time for family and friends.

This week I had the chance to meet a long time artist friend in person.  We were both member of an on-line art community "Art Colony" for a long time until the site wrapped up.  Most of us still keep in touch on-line.

Helen Shideler and Christianne Fortin

Christianne Fortin and I were able to spend two evenings together getting to know each other in person and immersing ourselves in art talk.  And all things creative.  I am so happy and grateful we had this opportunity to get together.  

And these guys.  I sure miss them.  Vancouver is so far away.  Looking forward to all the family visits we have planned for this summer!

Family time

A few of my favourite things

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KCST June 11th and 12th

The Kings County Studio Tour is coming up quickly - next weekend to be exact.  This is  the "Getting to know" post published for me 

Helen Shideler Canadian artist

What is your favourite time of day to work – are you an early bird or a night hawk?

It has been said that an hour in the morning is worth two in the afternoon.  I hear the crack of dawn and want to get up and at it

What would your dream project be?  If there were no restrictions with time or money, what would you create?

A series of large canvases with some in oils and some in acrylics.  Time is my biggest challenge trying to fit in all of my ideas – there is so much to do. I am never at a loss for inspiration.  Sometime I stress myself out trying to do too many things at once!

What is the one tool of your trade you would not be able to do without?

Well I have an art supplies addiction.  I love them all – so many possibilities, so much potential.  And then someone comes up with something new.  Oh my! Probably leaning towardswatercolors though.

Tell us about that one special piece of work that you would never part with and why? 

A poured transparent watercolor painting of a seagull in flight  "Coming in for a Landing".  I wanted to keep the foggy sky without the typical “legs” that pouring paint can create.  This was tricky and I was breathing funny throughout the painting.  But it worked.   Although this painting may look simple it was very difficult to execute on.  I am unsure most can appreciate the effort it took to create – so it is mine!

© Coming in for a Landing by Helen Shideler

How do you recharge your creative juices?

Sunshine. Go outside, take a walk, sit at a beach, look at the sky, watch it rain, watch it snow, bird watching, look at colours, garden.  Sit outside and breathe.

What would you do with a million dollars?

Honesty, first order a Hughes easel and then retire and travel with my husband.  There would be some sharing with our family and some charitable donations as well.

What kind of music do you like to listen to when you are creating?

It changes a lot but generally uplifting, fun and no too loud

If you had a superpowerwhat would it be and why?

Probably fly.  When I was a child I used to have a recurring dream that I would be running and then take off and fly.  In these dreams I was really soaring and swooping.  They were glorious dreams.

Chocolate or vanilla?

Yes, on apple crisp please

So much to do getting ready for the KCST

Omigoodness.  I have so much to do. The Kings County Studio Tour is only two weeks away!  I am still painting away and hope to have a number of smaller works available.

 Kings County Studio Tour 2016

Kings County Studio Tour 2016

I am excited and a bit worried.  A bit of a conundrum.  You see the town has dug up my street. The Pettingill Road is currently only accessible from the bottom end.  The construction is schedule to be completed on Friday, June 10th - the studio tour is the next day.  Omigoodness - I hope they finish up on time.  Fingers crossed

My studio is #6 this year.  I hope to see you.  I have many small paintings available as well as larger paintings.  And I have a freshly printed assortment of fine art new cards.  I spent much of the day folding them!

 KCST 2016 Map

KCST 2016 Map

KCST 2016 Brochure

Plein Air in Arizona

I have just returned from the Plein Air Conference and Expo (PACE 16) in Tucson Arizona! And what a wonderful experience it was.  I will be creating a few posts on this experience I am sure. There was so much to do and to take in.  

 

I met up with a few friends there Jane Hagen Freeman and Marilyn Wear.  Marilyn was a prize winner - was so exciting to be there to see her win!  We attended many daily sessions for interest and to help us hone our plein air skills.  I also met up with Poppy Balser from Nova Scotia!

Shideler Plein Air Arizona 2016

It was so hot there that my watercolours kept drying on the palette before I could get the paint to paper.  I persevered and managed to complete three sketches.  One of the most important lessons was the importance of first completing a value sketch to help plan your work.  We herd this a lot and frankly, you cannot hear it enough if you do not do this step.

I dod not keep all my value sketches for some reason as I quite liked them.  Below are a few of the ones that made it safely home.  The sketch on the bottom was be being distracted in one of the sessions - I love to sketch groups of people.

Sketches by Helen Shideler

And we got to visit with some pretty amazing artists

Marilyn, Jane and I with Frank Ebert
Thats me with Georgia Manseur

 

 

 

Demo Poured Painting Colours of Autumn

Yesterday was such a nice day.  I had the opportunity to paint at the Hooper's Studio in Hampton with some really great folks.  This is the kick off weekend for their Small Works Show and they invited a number of us to participate.

I worked on a demo poured painting piece.  The first photo is the painting with all the layers of masking compound still on. 

The finished painting is below.  As this was a demo, I had to take some "short cuts" to try to get it done in a day.  Typically I prefer to pour one colour in a session.  For this piece I had to pour two and sometimes three colours in one session.  I liked the way the colours mingled on the wet paper but the paler washes were a bit overwhelmed by the deeper and/or brighter shades. I also had to use the hair dryer to speed up the mask and pours.  Week.  I never like to use a hairdryer with masking.  Oh well.

Autumn Colours by Helen Shideler

Once I removed the mask I went in and enhance the painting with a few strategic washes and a bit of detail brushwork.  Overall I am quite happy with the outcome.  This is an 8 x 10 Painting matted in an archival mat and in a cello envelope.  It is available on my web site.

 yours truly, Joe Pach, Mary Kay O'Brien, David MacKay

yours truly, Joe Pach, Mary Kay O'Brien, David MacKay


Great News "Call of the Raven" Won an Award at the CPSWC Open Water Show

I received an email the other night notifying me that... 

Dear Helen, we are thrilled to inform you that your painting Call of The Raven has been awarded theD.L Stevenson Award, (Gift certificate award)....
Congratulations on this prestigious prize.
"Call of the Raven" by Helen Shideler

Pretty exciting.  Especially since I embarked on a project to paint ravens with the CSPWC Open Water juried show in mind.  Last year when we visited  Yellowstone National Park there were a number of particularly friendly ravens in the parking lot at Artist’s Point.   They were walking around the travel trailers looking for hand-outs and cawing their hearts out.  One raven in particular was following me around and without being intrusive, I was able to get many really nice reference photos.  I was literally on my knees looking him in the eye and chatting with him.  I knew he would be the subject of numbers paintings :)