Wednesday, August 24, 2016

A Less Than Conventional Approach

Years ago, a friend asked, "So, you can paint a good landscape, now what"?  I have given that question a lot of thought. Since that interchange, I have made two installation pieces, and worked on a sculptural form. Now, I am beginning a series that has my head reeling with excitement.

The series that I have begun explores amazing and interesting trees. These are some of the largest, oldest, trees of historical significance, or are just plan interesting trees.

"Norway Spruce," is the first of these paintings to be completed. Although not native to the United States, Norway Spruce grows well here. It is not invasive, and is a beautiful tree. In fact, Norway Spruce trees are often used as Christmas tree specimens. This particular tree is located in Great Falls, Virginia, and was saved because it was on a parcel of land that was too small for a gigantic home. Sometimes survival is just the luck of the draw.

Here's a play-by-play so that you will see the work as it progressed.

Very early in the process. You can see the textured surface, and the beginning of the tree trunk. 

Happy with the direction that the tree trunk is taking, I decided to reward myself and
paint the tree as it may have looked in its youth. 

Here's a close up of texture and the entire Norway Spruce.

Time to add more branches, and add more color and patina to the textured areas.

Some of the green needles need to be added. 

One of the things that fascinated me about this tree was the branching structure.
Although a bit tedious, those branches needed to be added! 

More branches!

After a closer look, I thought that the large branch on the right needed to
break into the textured area in the upper right. Almost completed!

Norway Spruce, 24 x 24 inches, acrylic, © Lynn Goldstein 

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Paint By Numbers - Love it or Hate it

Do you remember Paint-by-Numbers? Along with coloring books, this childhood activity has made a comeback.

I should have known that I would be an artist when I was growing up because I HATED Paint-by-Numbers. I didn't want someone else telling me where to put the color. I also didn't like the idea of being told what color to use in the first place. In fact, I hated someone telling me that I had to paint a boat in a particular color, or in a particular position. To tell the truth, I didn't want to paint a boat at all. How about a tree? I guess I wanted to experiment and do things differently even when I was young. Worked out okay for me.

Did you like Paint-by-Numbers, or hate it like I did? Let me know in the comments below.

If you want to paint your own thing, you may join me in classes. I will be teaching Pastel Painting at the Workhouse Arts Center in Lorton, Virginia again starting Wednesday, September 21. For more information and to register, click here:

"Filtered Sun," 9 x 12 inch, Pastel, © Lynn Goldstein NOT PAINT BY NUMBERS!!

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Painting Inside the Box -- Literally

A few years ago, while paying for a purchase, I noticed gift boxes tossed into a receptacle. When I spotted a box that looked like a book, I mentioned how much I liked it. The salesperson immediately gave me the box letting me know that its destiny was the landfill. Making art with the little object seemed like a much better idea. "Book of Memories" is what came of the unexpected gift. Since this piece just sold, I have been giving it thought, and wanted to share it. Here is the result:

 "Book of Memories," Mixed Media, © Lynn Goldstein, closed

"Book of Memories," Mixed Media, © Lynn Goldstein, closed, front cover

"Book of Memories," Mixed Media © Lynn Goldstein, signature

"Book of Memories," Mixed Media, © Lynn Goldstein, interior view

"Book of Memories," Mixed Media, © Lynn Goldstein, interior view

"Book of Memories," Mixed Media, © Lynn Goldstein, spine 

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.