Sunday, April 20, 2014

31 Days of Thanks Day 27 Artists who inspired me part II

31 Days of Thanks Day 27

I've learned a lot from many different artists. Some by painting with them, some just by reading their books.

When we first came to New Bern I met Ruth Heppler and we painted together one night a week for several years. Eventually we got too busy at Carolina Creations and I didn't have time. I was working in watercolors while Ruth worked in oils but making time to paint each week was important and I continue to paint each week to this day. Not every day but every week.

One of the artists I know that does paint every day is Mike Rooney.

Carolina Creations was one of the first galleries to ever represent Mike Rooney. I still remember the first day he came in to show me his work. He was so nervous, shy, and talented!

Mike had been working as a sign painter and wanted to spend more time doing fine art.

After a couple years Mike was having great success with his work, quit his day job and began to paint full time.

By this time I'd become accomplished with watercolors and with my glazes on clay but was now interested in exploring oils.

So we hosted a 3 day plein air painting workshop with Mike and my exploration of oil painting began. These are a couple of the paintings I did after taking workshops.

My goal for working is oils is to loosen up!

Since then we have hosted several more workshops with him and at every one I learn something more.

Mike now spends his time traveling from Key West to Cape Cod, showing his work and teaching classes.

I went to Asheville to go to a workshop with Ken Auster. He's the guy that did all the chef paintings in Ruby Tuesdays. What I learned from him is that I don't know how to apply oil paint. "It's called painting not scrubbing." That might sound like a mean thing to say but it was and still is huge for me. I realize that is most of my problem with oil painting, I'm too heavy handed with the brush. So now whenever I start to work in oils I remember him saying that.

He is messy, I am too! He said 'all my clothes either have paint on them or will have paint on them,' I'm right there with him.

His paintings have a lot of drama, which I like, and he does a lot of architecture, which I love to do too. I still haven't loosened up as much as I would like but I'm working on it.

This is a painting I did when I came home from that thinking about some of the things he talked about.

Thank you Mike and Ken for your inspiration!

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