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Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Pastel Perfect!!

I wish that I were one of those neat people. Sadly, I am not. After 5 years of neglect, I finally cleaned and organized my pastel trays. These trays were made for me years ago by my wonderful stepdad, Sam. He was so handy, and I miss him. In the interest of full disclosure, I am not going to show you how beautiful they look without showing you the "before" pictures. Here goes:

Here is the mess that was my pastel collection. I couldn't see what I had. Scary!

Progress made. Not quite done.


So proud of my collection now. I can see what I have, and I know definitively that I can restrain myself from buying more pastels. Will I succeed in not buying more? Probably not. Sigh. As you can see, the colors are arranged by hue and value. One of the sections has some specialty colors.
Here is the first painting completed after the pastel trays were straightened. I didn't realize how trying to find colors impacted making my art. So much easier now!
"Finally Spring," Pastel, 12 x 8 inches© Lynn Goldstein

Thursday, June 2, 2016

A New Twist

Every once in awhile, it's fun to try something a little different. For example, I love historical fiction, but sometimes I like to read a great biography. It's also so much fun to do an abstract painting after working on representational art for a long period of time. In the case of this painting, I stayed put with regard to my love of trees, but I kept the colors very muted, which is unusual for me. I also rarely paint from someone else's photograph, but this is a portion of a collaboration that I am doing with another artist. She took the photograph, and this is my interpretation. Just for grins, I thought that I would share the process. So, here goes:

The beginning is always fun, especially when working on black. This painting was started on a black surface that was prepared with pumice and pumice gel for texture. I originally thought that the painting would be strictly white on black, but discovered quickly that I wanted some subtle colors added to the mix. 


As you can see, branches are being added. This stage was a slow go. Winter trees provide a great opportunity to study how trees grow. I love to paint them, but all those branches take FOREVER!
Close to finished. Added some more subtle colors and more branches. You can see a portion of a small acrylic painting to the right of this piece. Gives you some idea of scale. The small painting is 5 x 7 inches

Here's a surprise for you! So that you don't think that everything is always serious in the studio, here's a pic of one of my artist friends coming in for a little chuckle during the day. She is "wearing" a mask made by another artist friend.
Gave me a great laugh!

"Crystalline," 36 x 24 inches, pastel © Lynn Goldstein

Here is the finished piece. If you look closely, you will see that one of the broken branches on the lower left hand portion of the trunk has disappeared. I also added more color to the upper left corner. Small changes can have big impact. 


Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Edgar Degas Did It. Me Too!


Years ago I read that Edgar Degas would visit the homes of his collectors, remove his work from their walls, and take the art home to make changes. Not sure if this story is true, and I can't possibly compare myself to Degas.  However,  if it was good enough for him, it is definitely good enough for me. 

Below is an image of a painting that I did years ago. I always liked the composition, partly because it reminded me of the place that inspired the art. I was visiting Glacier National Park (heaven on earth) with my family when I was riveted by these beautiful birch trees. The sun was hitting them in what felt magical to me. I took a photo and this painting was the result. 


First iteration of "Sunlight Choreography"

Fast forward several years, and I still have the painting, but found that changes were calling out to be made. So, I took that painting off the wall, removed it from the frame, and began making changes. Whew,  it feels like the work that I would make now. Thanks to Mr. Degas for the permission to make changes as time progresses if possible.

"Sunlight Choreography," 24 x 18 inches, Pastel, © Lynn Goldstein












Tuesday, May 3, 2016

5 Tips For Juried Art Show Success

One of my first award winners, "Reaching--Late Winter," 36 x 24 inches, Pastel, © Lynn Goldstein 

Have you ever wondered about entering a juried art show in your community or elsewhere? Here are some short (and hopefully sweet) tips for being successful:

1. Enter what you deem your best work, and display it professionally.  I just judged a show in my local area this afternoon and was impressed with the quality of the work. Living in the Washington, DC area, where there are some terrific artists, I was’t surprised to find professionally crafted work. There have been instances in the past when I haven’t selected work for an award because of shoddy framing. That didn’t happen today. Yay!

2. Do your homework. Take a look at the judge’s background and work. Don’t do this with an eye toward entering work that looks like the judge’s work. I can say from experience, that I rarely select work that looks much like my own unless it is exceedingly well done. I hold work that is similar to my own to a very high standard. Study the work of the judge to learn more about art, and also to see if you respect the artwork that the judge makes. 

3. Enter work that is exceptional, not safe. Collector’s may select safe art, but judges rarely do. Work that wins awards is exceptional. When looking to enter a show, ask a respected artist for their opinion if you can to get help in your selection process. 

4. Read the prospectus carefully, and follow it to the letter. This just makes sense. Print out the prospectus rules and read over them more than once to ensure that your work is presented properly. You wouldn’t want a great piece to be rejected for a silly technical mistake. 


5. Don’t take a rejection (or an acceptance) too seriously. Selections for juried shows are completely subjective. The results are the opinions of one or a handful of people. My artist friends and I have had work win awards in some shows while the same work wasn’t even selected for others. Remember this so that you are able to keep juried shows in proper perspective. 

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Led By King Arthur

In 2011 I was fortunate enough to enjoy an artist residency in Dinan, France. Dinan is in Brittany, a place that now owns a part of my heart.

The King Arthur story has always interested me. Imagine my delight upon discovering that the King Arthur legend has ties to France—it makes sense—after all, I was in Britanny.

About 45 minutes drive east of Dinan,  the Forest of Paimpont is all that remains of the vast forest that covered ancient inland Brittany. Legend has it that the 25 square miles of woodland is also the location of mythical Broc√©liande, the forest of King Arthur. This painting was inspired by my visit there. 


"Into the Forest," Pastel, 11 x 17 inches, © Lynn Goldstein
The day that I visited was dreary, chilly and misty, but I didn't want to portray the forest that way. The Arthur legend has lit my imagination for years, so it was important to me to indicate a bright light in the distance of this piece.  One of my favorite books is "The Mists of Avalon" by Marion Zimmer Bradley which is the King Arthur legend told from a decidedly female perspective. But I digress. Legend has it that the adventures of Yvain, the Knight of the Lion, occurred in this forest. Also, Vivianne, the Lady of the Lake, was said to have imprisoned Merlin the magician here after learning all his secrets of magic. It is also said that excalibur, King Arthur's sword, is in the lake within the area. In fact, the painting that I made that was selected to remain in France was a painting inspired by that lake. It was the only painting to which I gave a name while in France. 

"Vivianne Was Here," Pastel, 12 x 9 inches © Lynn Goldstein

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Part 1— 4 Steps to A Commissioned Painting

Have you ever wanted a piece of art that is made just for you? If so, this series of posts will help you to understand the process.

Step 1:
Choose to work with an artist who works in a style that you love. Do not ask an artist to work in the style of someone else. In doing so, you run the risk of being very unhappy with the finished piece. If you have a specific location where you want your painting to hang, if possible,  give the artist an opportunity to see that space. If not, good photographs of the room are a must. 
When someone has a specific location in mind for my work, I like to see the room  to get a better idea of what I will be able to do. This is the time that I get a feel for what the collector finds appealing. It is good to see the restrictions and to understand as closely as possible what is most desired. In order to ensure that my work enhances people's lives, I am clear about the process, and understand what is most important to the buyer.

Step 2: 
After you have expressed your requirements, plan to see a sketch or several sketches so that you can choose what you like best, and approve the composition prior to the painting being started. 
With a better idea of what the parameters of the project are,  I provide you with at least one black and white sketch depicting the landscape. Here are some examples of sketches that have been provided for commissioned landscapes.






Part 2 — 4 Steps to a Commissioned Painting

So, you now know what scene you are going to have painted for you. What happens next?

Step 3:
If the color palette is very important because of where the piece will be displayed, you will likely feel better (and so will I) if you are able to see a color sketch. Many people look at my color sketches and feel that they are not so much sketch as they are miniature paintings. Either way, by seeing, and approving, the color sketch, you will have an even better idea of what you will be receiving. 
When making my most recent commissioned painting, I was able to visit the home of the collector, and also take two pillows from their sofa, to utilize in an effort to match the colors of the room. I understand the notion that artwork doesn't have to match the sofa. I also understand the desire of an individual to have work that compliments the decor of the room. When that is important to the collector, I am happy to work within an specific color scheme. 


Pillows from the collector's home which were in my studio while working on the project



5 x 7 inch acrylic painting for approval ©Lynn Goldstein
Step 4:
Now for the real fun. With the color sketch approved, I am ready to start the painting. 
Once completed, if possible, I visit the home (or office) of the collector so that we can be sure that the colors work well in the room. Light affects the way that colors appear, and the light in my studio rarely matches the location of where the work will be placed. Once approved, the art goes to the collector if the painting was made in pastel. If the painting was made in acrylic, I will need to varnish the piece. After varnishing, the collector will be able to enjoy the painting for years to come.

The completed painting. Thrilled to announce the collector's loved it! 24 x 36 inch, Acrylic
©Lynn Goldstein