Newsletters2019-04-24T11:46:33-05:00

GPWS Newsletters

SPOTLIGHT ON THE ARTIST: Jan Johnson

August 23rd, 2019|

As a child I always loved to explore outside and then once inside draw and color whatever I’d been occupied with. Eventually my favorite subject became drawing horses. Over the years I became pretty good at knowing the facial structure of a horse’s bones and muscles. As I grew older, I learned there were other animals and objects to draw and in college I’d intended to become an art teacher.! But, alas, when married I quickly realized that being a permanent resident of a small farming community didn’t offer many opportunities to become an art teacher. So I switched my major to elementary education and taught second grade till my retirement. During those years I was too tired when I arrived home to do much of anything except collapse. Once retired I unearthed my art supplies and began with simple pencil drawings and eventually began working with pastels. Many pastelists first complete a watercolor underpainting before layering pastels over it while allowing some watercolor to show through. I was never successful with this but decided I needed to also learn to work with watercolors.! I am someone who likes to control their art efforts and watercolor resists that urge. I am learning to allow it to do its own thing with minimal control and we’re both getting along better with one another. Another watercolorist once told me that when I began painting with watercolors I would never go back to pastels. I responded with “No”, but I have found that I am working less and less with pastels. I am an introvert and both mediums allow me to be alone with something relaxing that I love to do.! Trying to decide on a favorite tool is hard. I have had several brushes recommended to me which I’ve purchased and tried and now have way more than I need, but I do have to say that I purchased one brush Joyce Hicks said she used and immediately fell in love with it so purchased a second size. The Princeton Round Aqua Elite are light and hold lots of liquid. ! I have always been fascinated by the human face. There are so many variances in features and the way a subject’s features change in various lighting and thought. Animal faces offer the same inspiration. In Stan Miller’s workshop I learned lots on painting the human face. Most of my animals have been done in pastel but probably my favorite watercolor painting is of a Snowy Owl I saw and photographed at Gavin’s Point Dam two winters ago and completed in batik.! I never seem to know when a painting is complete and always overwork some area so I guess I would have to say my dream project is to complete a painting without overworking it.! Three artists whom I admire work in various mediums. Robert Bateman is probably top of my list. I remember spending hours in the Joslyn Museum in Omaha many years ago staring at his enormous wildlife paintings and [...]

SPOTLIGHT ON THE ARTIST: Sheryl Baloun

June 6th, 2019|

Creativity for me has been fun to explore on so many levels  - quilt making, photography, watercolor.  I find myself envious of truly creative people that are in GPWS who see the world in different shapes and colors.  Beginning watercolor classes with Barb Sparks has been an exciting adventure that has led to new friends, new eyes to view the world with and a whole palette of new colors.  What most inspires me is the beauty in our natural world - I love landscapes, sunsets, mountain vistas, rocks, pathways, any path that leads to see something beautiful in this amazing world we live in. My Princeton brushes and Arches paper are the backbone to my paintings.  Light, light, light creates an atmosphere of joy, peace and a sense of calm to paint in.  I have started playing around with acrylic inks and granulating medium which form amazing textures in landscape scenes. A finished  piece sits on a table for a few days before I call it finished-it’s only then that I notice the need for more values, texture or adding that missing element.  I have yet to create a piece I am over the moon about though I do enjoy many of my 5” x 7” pieces I have painted.  Smaller paintings put a smile on my face. Overcoming creative blocks always leads me on a path of less productivity in actual painting as I look at art journals, art magazines, old photos, boxes of things I want to paint . . . my painting time may have passed but I do enjoy the stroll down the world of art in other areas.  Yes, it does work for me to finally be inspired in these artistic meanderings to create and paint a work of art. My favorite artists include John Lovett, Anne Blockley, Steve Mitchell, C. M. Russell.  Their styles capture the essence of their paintings with simple elements and amazing composition.