Monday, April 18, 2011

"Spring's Promise" Oil Painting by Artist, BARBARA FLOWERS

"Spring's Promise"  BY   BARBARA FLOWERS
Painted at  Corse Gallery,  Jacksonville, FL   April 16, 2011
Barbara with her finished painting "Spring's Promise"

"On Saturday, April 16, 2011, I was privileged to attend Barbara Flowers "Lunch & Learn" at the Corse Gallery in Jacksonville, FL.  Thanks to Barbara and another precious lady, Ellen Cleveland, the day was indeed very encouraging for me.  I was assured, with certainty, that God is indeed directing my path and each day is precious . . . . .  even though my Beloved Karl is no longer with me.  All things truly are working together for my Highest Good.

Now, I am the happy, grateful owner of "Spring's Promise" and was able to bring the wet painting home to Naples.  Barbara didn't know that I had already bought the painting before she finished and titled it.  She couldn't have known how fitting and apt the title "Spring's Promise" was for me and my heart overflows with thankfulness.

All the photos were taken with my IPhone and turned out ok but as soon as the painting is dry enough, I will set it up for a professional photo and share it with you.

The notes, below, are just as I jotted them down while Barbara was painting and lecturing.  There is no definite order but I hope you will find value in them."

Photos & Notes for "Spring's Promise" by  BARBARA FLOWERS

Notes taken at "Lunch & Learn"at Corse Gallery, Jacksonville, FL, April 16, 2011

All equipment is on wheels and she uses a laptop with monitor in her studio. 
Spotlight is a photo lamp.
Sculpture stand from Utrecht
Paints with plastic gloves, half sheets Viva towels, Kleenex and uses "Lean" medium

"You can paint anywhere but it must be a dedicated area."

Barbara and Jerry sleep in the small guest bedroom because the master bedroom is her studio.

Her home studio is the master bedroom since it is large enough for her to step far back and view the painting on the easel as she paints.  Uses a glass palette.   Her studio has an expensive air filter system and a smaller fan blows fumes toward the filter.  Color corrected lights installed above easel.  

Barbara hates north light because it is boring and always the same.  She loves the sunny, east light in her studio.

Barbara paints everyday- but maybe not on Sunday.  She was a foreign language correspondent and still likes to aways be "dressed and ready to go" so she is always fully attired and groomed as she enters her studio to paint.

"What enthuses and inspires you is what you paint and make it your own.  Turn off the internet - which means to stop copying others artwork."
"If you're painting what your teachers have told you - you're not painting your own painting."

Barbara painted in a realism manner before coming to this loose painting style.

"Pick out something quickly and just paint it.
"When painting florals, one painting germinates another painting.  Listen to your voices."

Recommended book to get:  "No More Second Hand Art"

Buys paint from Dick Blick

Uses pre stretched gallery wrapped canvases

"Not every paintings turns out.  Go to a new canvas - don't keep working on a bad painting."
"Don't be stingy with paint . . . . paint like a millionaire."
"If you're miserly with the paint, it shows on the painting."

Uses large tubes of Gamblin paint.  Also Holbein's Radiant Blue and Radiant Turquoise.

Titanium White, Cad.Yellow Lt., Cad.Yellow Med., Cad. Orange, Cad.Red Lt., Napal Scarlet, Quinacradone Red or Cad.Red Dk., Gold Ochre,Terre Verte, Chromatic Black, Trans.Red Oxide, Manganese Violet, Aliz.Crimson, Ultramarine Blue, Cobalt Blue, Cerulean Blue, Viridian, Sap Green, Permanent Green Lt., Portland Gray Deep, Portland Gray Lt., Portland Gray Med.

Concepts:  Different surfaces, Harmonies, Limited palette, Calm, Less is more, New ideas, Not always the same, Big versus small, Everything with palette knife, etc. 

"You don't have to do the same thing everyday.  Always grow, the masters did.  Interpret the scene with your own concept."

"Under every good painting is a good abstract design."
"If you're sold on your painting - stick with it, not what someone else likes."
"Don't think about sales - it's disastrous".
"Always respect others opinions but do your own evaluation - you're the author". 
"Variety is the spice of life". 

"You'll never learn more if you do what you did yesterday".
" Today's concept is about color."

"Look at your paintings in different light, in different rooms."Today, she is using gallery wrapped canvas (36"x36"x1.5") with a thin wash of burnt sienna and ultramarine blue.

Setup is a vase of red tulips, a bowl, pears and plum.

"Don't be a slave to the setup."

Says she is going to paint what she knows and sees.

Begins with a block-in sketch using thinned paint and a brush.  
Uses a ruler to mark center of canvas

"No detailed drawing".   "While working, you may have to adjust."  "Angles rather than round"
"Always hold brush at the end."
"Some drips can occur while sketching.

She feels that pears are just wonderful to paint!


While sketching in the tulips she says "Don't get hung up on anything now."
Mixes colors with turps for sketching and adds colors for variety.
Only uses oil paint - not acrylic.

"Every painting, you learn something new."  "You can always change your mind."
"If you do something in one place, do it in two other places to make three."  (She's speaking now of running tulips off the canvas) 

"Oil painting, you can always go darker but not lighter."
"Painting is about massing in - not drawing."
"Lines takes you down a tight line."

She is using a scrubbing method with the brush as she masses in areas.

Barbara is very good at painting and narrating what she is doing at the same time.  Am I ever fortunate to be here!

"Painting is about shape - not things so painting will be much more elegant."
"Think about shapes and connecting."
"Painting is about dividing up into unequal and abstract shapes."

She is scribbling and scrubbing with the brush to get rid of sketch lines.


Using a large palette knife, Barbara is laying down dark red on the sketched tulips and says that she is still in the blocking in stage.  "It's about layering."

"Putting your arm behind you while painting keeps you out of trouble."

I notice she flips the palette knife to use both sides and moves quickly from tulip to tulip.  She says "The flow is working."

Doesn't usually mix colors in advance but is mixing some starter colors now.  She calls this "Color Path mixing".
A lot of scraping the paint on the canvas.

"Starting the background color always takes a little while."
"Mix color with knife as you go to get color variations."
"The first little area is a starting point to determine how the painting will go."
"Make a decision now!  Maybe change later."
"My paintings are a little bit about realism and a little bit not."

Barbara is applying the paint quite thick
Scraping  (find the form - lose the form.  find the form - lose the form)
Is using a lot of neutrals

"I'm the artist and it's my story to tell."
"Put your local color in and then the darks, lights, shadows, halftones, etc."

She's thinking complimentary colors
Wipes the palette knife often - brush too

"Making prints take away the value of the original painting."
"When a spot requires too much attention, it's best to leave it right now."
"There's something to be said about speed."
"Just get in there and get it done.  Don't -------- around."
"There is no right or wrong place to start."

When someone asks Barbara if she is going to show us how to do drips, she replies
"A drip is just thinned down paint."

Barbara really gets excited about the painting as it progresses.  She walks around, back of us all to view the work several times.  It was great to hear her say . . . .
"Wow!  That looks really good, you guys."

"We as artists, keep evolving."

She's creating a painting and not concerned with thick or thin texture.
She is using a J16 palette knife and also showed us a squared off small painting knife.
Has added the handle to the pitcher (vase).

"Never frame a painting for your house - frame for the painting."

Lava soap for keeping liner brushes hairs together.


Karla said...

Thanks for sharing this Nora. It is very interesting!

Susan Roux said...

Wow Nora! What an amazing post! I love it. Wish I had been there with you. I would have gained so much more out of this demo... lol You know what I mean.

I'm happy to hear spring is bringing a promise of new beginnings for you. I can't wait to see what will pour out of you in paint. As your birthday approaches, a fresh start awaits. Can you see me smiling from here? Be well. Great painting! You'll appreciate it so much in your home. Blessings.

Carol Blackburn said...

Wow, Nora....what an awesome post. I'm so glad you had such a wonderful experience and to own that painting just tops it off.
Enjoy your day!

Janelle Goodwin said...

Thanks for posting this, Nora. It was very inspriational. Blessings!

barbara flowers said...

Nora, thanks for making the effort to create such an informative post. May God continue to bless your hands and mind as you create your beautiful paintings.

billspaintingmn said...

Thanks Nora! This was fun and imformative!

Susan Renee Lammers said...

Wonderful notes for all to read! I really enjoyed this. You have a lot of 'Spring Promise" now! Congratulations. I love to own paintings.

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