Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Soft Block Printmaking Workshop

I always loved block printing – whether linoleum block or wood block, its characteristics appealed to me. But the actual process of cutting the block was just too darn hard (literally!). Years later, I learned that my frustrated attempt to cut a lino block would have been easier if I'd let it soften in the hot sun first. Now artists use heat guns and heating pads to make it workable. Still, cutting is a challenge, and it's easy to slip and cut yourself instead of the block.

Imagine my pleasure when I discovered soft blocks! They're basically eraser material – and they cut so easily that the process became a pleasure for me. The cutters are relatively new, too – I use safety cutters that are much easier to manipulate, and that create lovely curves with an ease you couldn't get before.

The pleasure I found in creating block prints with these (then) new materials is what I'm sharing this weekend in my Soft Block Printmaking Weekend workshop. I've written more about the materials at my teaching blog, Napa Valley Art Camp, and there's more information here on my Art Workshops page.

Angel of Peace © 2004 Karen Lynn Ingalls

Here's one of my Christmas cards from a few years back, created with a soft block.

We'll be printing cards, art prints, and fabric, learning different methods for printing with one or more colors, and having a great time – I am looking forward to it!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Good memories of Graeser Winery

Graeser Winery tasting room © 2009 Karen Lynn Ingalls

Sad news to report... Graeser Winery has closed its doors. I have been honored to show my work there for the last two years, to hold my last two Open Studios there, and, for a little over a year and a half, to be their artist-in-residence.

Sequoia painting at Graeser Winery © 2009 Karen Lynn Ingalls

Here's a scene from a plein air paintout some of my students joined me for last year. That's Calistoga artist Sequoia Buck painting in the shade of the lane leading up to the tasting room.

Richard Graeser's Victorian home, originally built by Dr. Cole © 2009 Karen Lynn Ingalls

Here's a view of the lovely Victorian house, built in the 1880s, as you see it about from where Sequoia was standing. The house was built by Dr. Richard Beverly Cole (for whom San Francisco's Cole Valley was named) in 1888, along with the barns and other outbuildings.

View of Graeser Winery's hillside estate vineyard © 2009 Karen Lynn Ingalls

The far side of the long red barn, once home to many, many chickens – looking up to the estate vineyard on the hillside. Richard Graeser's parents bought the property – which Dr. Cole had named "La Perlita del Monte" – in the 1950s. Richard Graeser began growing grapes and established his winery here in the 1980s.

View of Graeser Winery from the hillside estate vineyard © 2009 Karen Lynn Ingalls

This looks down from the hillside estate vineyard, toward the tasting room and house, with views of Mt. St. Helena beyond obscured by the fog. The winery feels like a place outside of time, in its own small, very beautiful world.

Here's to a magical place, and a wonderful winery! I wish Richard and Rebecca all the best, and I thank them for their friendship, and for loving my paintings.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Abstract Landscape Painting Workshop Photos

Demonstrating layering (using a plastic fork) © 2010 Erik Bolijn

Do you wonder what you missed in the Abstract Landscape Painting workshop? I've posted photos on my art teaching blog, www.napavalleyartcamp, here.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Painting Abstract Landscapes - my workshop this weekend

I'll be teaching three more workshops this summer, Painting Abstract Landscapes this weekend, Soft Block Printmaking on July 24th, and Costumed Model Painting on August 14th, all at the Calistoga Art Center.

Painting Abstract Landscapes is a significant one for me; it gets at the heart of what I do as a painter, simplifying shapes and capturing the essence of a landscape, in pigment on canvas. There are many ways of approaching this – no doubt, one for every painter. We're going to dive into three different ways of approaching painting abstract landscapes, to give workshop painters a feel for the possibilities, an opportunity to try on different methods, to see what works best for them.

I've been very excited about the methods, and the painters I've been looking at as I prepare for this. We'll gather for it this Saturday, July 10th, at the Calistoga Art Center, 1336 Lincoln Avenue (2nd floor) in Calistoga, from 10 to 5. It's a full day, and it will be fun! In keeping with the times, I've kept the price down, so it's affordable, too. It's good for beginning or more experienced painters interested in diving right into the essence of landscape.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Parade as art form

Salvador Dali (or his close cousin, Tom Atkins) drove the tractor

Each Fourth of July is parade day in Calistoga. Well, one of our parade days. This one, known as the Silverado parade, is one of the bigger ones.

Stopping traffic as we moved sloooowwwly down the highway....

This year the Calistoga Art Center entered the parade for the first time – the ideas and impetus behind it all came from the creative genius of Sequoia Buck. Here are a few photographs I took of the art center's entry (and from the float, which I rode during the parade).

Frida Kahlo (a.k.a. Sequoia Buck) photographs Salvador while we wait on Cedar Street

Lined up on Cedar Street and waiting for the parade to begin....

A little time to relax and take photos beforehand....

My dog, Zoe, was our patient, loveable mascot.

A little timely local commentary (Wine = Jobs)

Parade Watchers © 2010 Karen Lynn Ingalls

We're moving now, down Lincoln Avenue, to the sounds of the Beatles playing "In My Life."

Starry Night on the Fourth of July © 2010 Eleanor Ingalls

All around the float we had dancing artists, who would come together with their individual "paintings" to create... "Van Gogh's Starry Night," rendered by Sequoia. (Thanks to my mother, who followed us along the street, weaving through the crowds in spite of her recent foot surgery, to get this shot.)

Parade Watchers © 2010 Karen Lynn Ingalls

They're liking it!

Artists dancing down Lincoln Avenue. Getting a little tired at this point....

The last "Starry Night", on the home stretch to the county fairgrounds.

It was a good day! And we won first place.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Painting at the county fair

Tomorrow I'll be demonstrating painting and soft block printing at the Napa County Fair, here in Calistoga, from noon to 4:00. I'm looking forward to it! It'll be hot, but I'll be inside, in the Butler Pavilion (where the art is – and where it's cool).

Here's a link to the Weekly Calistogan's article about the fair and Sunday's parade. And here's a link to the Calistoga Tribune's front page, with photos of the fair and parade.