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Thursday, September 23, 2010

Sweet Pea Collection

Just want to let everyone know I have re-introduced the Sweet Pea Collection to our website. We showed them at the Brandywine Festival of the Arts and they got such an overwhelmingly positive response that we felt ready to put them out there again. These are giclee prints of little watercolors that can be personalized with the baby's name, date of birth, size or any simple 3 line message. They make a lovely gift for a baby shower and a wonderful keepsake for a new baby. Please let me know if you have any questions or comments! I'd love to know what you think. They will be available at Minorbird Style open soon on N. Walnut Street, downtown Milford, DE.

Sweet Pea Boy

Sweet Pea Girl

Sweet Pea print, personalized

Ted Nuttall Demo and Talk at Mispillion Art League

After his 3-day workshop in Rehoboth, Ted spent the weekend with us here in Milford. We had a great time on Saturday driving up to the Brandywine River Museum to see the Wyeths and touring N.C.'s home and studio. On Sunday we took the ferry to Cape May so that he could meet up with his friend and mentor, the award-winning Charles Reid. We even got to see the Monarch Butterflies migration over the ferry on our way out and a beautiful sunset on the way home. The weather was gorgeous and we arrived home each evening exhausted, shared a glass of wine and good talk about art, music, literature and life, catching up on each other's lives since we were last together.

Ted demonstrates

Members watching and listening intently

On Monday we showed Ted my "just-about-ready-to-move-into" studio and introducing him to friends around town, stopping at Dolce for a coffee and checking in on Leigh Nagy, whose new shop "Minorbird Style" is also close to its grand opening. Monday evening he was welcomed by a standing room only crowd at Mispillion Art League where he gave a talk on his process in creating the stunning watercolor portraits he is famous for and demonstrating how he works. It was an exhilarating evening that everyone who attended enjoyed. All eyes were on Ted as he spoke and everyone left the gallery knowing they had experienced something very special.

Ted Nuttall Workshop at RAL

Ted says "fear is part of the process" and as artists we must accept and embrace the fear.

I spent three days at Rehoboth Art League last week at a workshop taught by the award-winning watercolor portrait artist, my friend Ted Nuttall. Ted and I met each other years ago, when we were both graphic designers in Phoenix, AZ and have been friends for a long time. Ted was one of the top designers in our field, with such a strong sense of design, composition, color and conceptualization, it was no surprise to me when he turned his hand to watercolors that he would become one of the top award winners in the country. He now devotes his time to teaching workshops and painting the most stunning portraits of every day people, capturing their character, personality and emotion with his well thought out drawings, luminous washes and meticulously placed "sloppy dots." He starts each day with a slide show of works he admires and concepts he wants to share, answering questions and telling stories to bring home his points in a most entertaining way.

I suggested to Rehoboth Art League, where I am a member, that they bring Ted to Delaware for a workshop. The 3-day workshop was sold out with a waiting list, he has that kind of following. Student/Artists came from Virginia, D.C., and New Jersey, Maryland and Delaware to attend and were interested in bringing him back next year for another. I snapped photos as he worked and here are a few.

Ted uses the finest tools - his "palette" is hand-made in England and his brushes are pure sable, Raphael Kolinsky

His watercolor portraits are amazing and so inspirational! While his work appears loose and spontaneous, he is actually a very thoughtful, careful painter who takes his time to create the illusion of spontaneity.

He is such a generous teacher, telling us and showing us how he creates the feeling of light and shadow

Ted said he loves to paint hands. It shows.

He turns the brush to get the effect he wants and never finishes a painting in a workshop.

He is able to talk and paint at the same time. Here he is mixing a puddle of color while he explains what he is doing and why.

He lets the paint drip down the painting - but controls where he wants it and where he doesn't

Ted demonstrates how he lays on washes for the background

If you have an opportunity to attend one of his workshops, I would recommend it highly. I am still trying to absorb what he said and how he approaches his painting and achieves what he achieves. If I can retain even a portion of it, and try to incorporate it into my own work, I'm certain it can only make it better.

About Ted Nuttall
His website states that: "Ted is a signature member of the American Watercolor Society, National Watercolor Society, Transparent Watercolor Society of America, Watercolor West and Western Federation of Watercolor Societies. He teaches watercolor workshops in portraiture and figure painting for arts leagues and organizations throughout the country. His workshops and private classes have been enjoyed by many who have benefitted from his personal and insightful instruction.

Ted's paintings continue to win awards in juried exhibitions throughout the country. This year his painting "Whispering Smith" was selected to hang in the 139th Annual Exhibition of the American Watercolor Society and was the recipient of the Edgar A. Whitney Memorial Award. The Western Federation of Watercolor Societies awarded Ted's piece "In the Twilight of the Forest Noon" and award of excellence. His painting "Her Eyes" was awarded first prize in Watercolor West XXXV Annual show and "Winter Sun | Red Bandanna" won the coveted Skyledge Award (Best of Show) in the 28th Annual Juried Exhibition of the Transparent Watercolor Society of America.

American Artist magazine's 2008 'Watercolor Highlights' featured Ted's painting "Waiting" on the cover and included an article about his background and painting methods as well as examples of his work. In addition, his painting "A Garden in Her Face" has been published in North Light Books' Splash 8 and, another piece, "Ella, San Gimignano" appears in Splash 10." He is also featured in the summer 2010 issue of American Artist Watercolors magazine. To purchase it click here

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Brandywine Festival of the Arts 2010

Bob and I were among the 235 artists participating in the 2010 Brandywine Festival of the Arts in Brandywine Park, Wilmington, Delaware on Saturday Sept 11 and Sunday Sept 12. The weather was perfect on Saturday and there were huge crowds out buying art and enjoying the gorgeous day in this lovely setting nestled among the trees along the Brandywine Creek.

We had a very good sales on Saturday but Sunday it rained and so there were less people out and consequently less sales. Overall it was a great experience. We met lots of wonderful people and almost ran out of business cards! I was very happy that my brother and sister-in-law came down from New York to support us and enjoyed the day. I presented my "Sweet Peas" for the first time in public and got a terrific response. I took orders for personalized prints and many people who knew someone who was expecting a child took order forms, so we'll see how it goes.

At the Festival

The fountain at Brandywine Park

Delaware Governor Jack Markell stopped by our booth to say hello


Fred and Elaine enjoying the Festival

My Sweet Peas (a boy or a girl) make a great gift and can be personalized with the baby's name, date of birth, height and weight. They got a really good response from the folks who visited our booth. I will be putting them on the website soon and they will also be available at Minorbird Style in Milford, Delaware once the shop opens sometime soon.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Brandywine Festival of the Arts - Musing about Art

Well, the car is packed and we're ready to go. Going up to Wilmington (Delaware) today to set up our booth (#F-8) at the Brandywine Festival of the Arts. We applied several months ago and were juried in, along with 250 other Fine Artists and Fine Craftspeople who will be offering our original art for sale in Brandywine Park this weekend. We're excited to be in this new venue and also a bit anxious. We have filled two large suitcases with framed work and prints and assembled all the paraphenalia one needs to do one of these outdoor shows - a tent, display stands, a table, etc etc. And it's all stuffed into Bob's PT Cruiser - master packer that he is, he gets everything in there like one of those puzzles.

I was very excited to see that they used one of my watercolors in their advertising (Ristorante Fontanella is on the bottom row of the ad - scanned from the newspaper which explains the poor quality!! - second from the left). It seemed a good sign that at least the graphic designer who did the ad liked it! Or maybe the images were chosen totally at random - they closed their eyes and threw a dart. Who knows! And I wonder, do people reading these ads pay attention to this stuff anyway??? Do you??

This is sort of a costly experiment for us, between entry fees, hotel, gas and food, not to mention the framing etc. It seems that a good number of the people who have purchased our art seem to come from north and west of here - Pennsylvania, Maryland, D.C. - so we thought why not go up in that direction and bring it to them! We're hoping our gamble pays off. The last two shows here in Delaware have not been stellar. We keep blaming it on the economy and I know that is a factor. Seems like if this one bombs we need to devote more time to painting and photographing and consider not doing shows for a while. Now that may seem drastic, but it's how I'm feeling right now. Maybe I've just got the pre-show jitters!

My Studio in the Riverwalk Center for the Arts is almost ready for me to move my supplies in and get to work. I'm ready, mentally, to do it. It's another experiment, to see if I can work in this kind of environment, not holed away in my home studio. This will be a place where other artists are working too and I'm looking forward to the artistic vibe I hope will be there. Visitors can stop by too to see what we're doing and I wonder how much of a distraction that will be - or will the pressure of knowing people can see me working force me to dig deeper, work harder. So much unknown. But like we've done before, we're putting one foot in front of the other, traveling down the path to see where it leads. Thanks for coming along! I'd love to hear your thoughts.


Monday, September 6, 2010

Delaware Watercolor Society at Mispillion Art League

Friday evening, September 3, hurricane danger passed, we gathered at the Mispillion Art Leaguefor the Delaware Watercolor Society's Water Media Juried Show. Members of MAL were invited to submit work for the show and those of us who work in water media were juried along with the DWS members. I belong to both leagues and while I did not win any awards, I was honored to have my work included among these fine water media artists. All the work is outstanding and I hope if you are in the area between now and the end of September you will stop in and see this stunning show.

We were competing for attention that night from Rehoboth Art League who also held an Opening Reception for its show "Rhythm" and Tara Funk Grim's colorful paintings. Milford High School was also having an Open House to show off the new school building to the citizens of Milford, just a few of the other things going on in the general vicinity that night! In spite of that we had a pretty good turn out and everyone enjoyed the evening. Thanks to our hard working Maintenance and Exhibit committees, the gallery looked its best and I think we gained some new members that night and even had a few sales!

Mispillion Art League is located at 5 N. Walnut Street in downtown Milford. Hours are Wednesday/Thursday and Saturday 10-6 and Friday till 7 with additional hours by request. For information call 302-430-7646

Judy Struck, Diane Deeney and Eleanor Adams (MAL members - ready for guests to arrive)

At the Opening Reception


Best of Show: "Muskrat Love" by Donald Blow (DWS) (red dot = SOLD!)

First Place: "Sharing a Sundae" by Cathy Walls (MAL)

Second Place:"Reflections" by John Hassler (DWS)

Third Place: "Hands of a Farmer" by Dale Sheldon (DWS

Juror's Choice Awards (in no particular order - listed alphabetically)

"Starburst Peonies" by Riva Brown (DWS)

"Miracle Grow" by Lesley McCaskill (DWS)

"On a Sunny Day" by Erika Neidhardt (DWS)

"A Basket of Christmas" by Cathy Serwalt (MAL)

And lastly, my two watercolors that were juried into the show:

"For the Birds"

"Weathered Barn"

Friday, September 3, 2010

Mispillion Art League hosts Delaware Watercolor Society

Hope the rain doesn't deter anyone from coming out this evening to the Delaware Watercolor Society's Juried Show hosted by the Mispillion Art League with work by members of both organizations. It's a beautiful show and it will be a lovely evening with refreshments and lots of good mingling!

5 - 8pm, 5 N. Walnut Street, downtown Milford, on the Riverwalk. For info call 302-430-7646