Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The arty side of the California State Capitol

California State Capitol building, from the side • © 2010 Karen Lynn Ingalls

Three years ago, Arts Council Napa Valley approached State Senator Pat Wiggins, our representative in Sacramento, and asked her if she would like to choose artwork from the Napa Valley to display in her Sacramento offices. She said yes, and chose two artists — painter Molly Corbett Kruse and me.

Lofty Oak © 2003 Karen Lynn Ingalls

She loved our work! I was honored that she chose one of my paintings, Lofty Oak, as the image for her holiday card the following December. And what originally was intended to be a six-month show lasted three years.…

Last week, Molly and I drove to Sacramento, to pick up our paintings, and had an art-filled day at the Capitol. It was a day to remember!

Molly and Koren on the floor of the Senate Chamber (obviously not in session – the new Senators were just sworn in a few days earlier, and the new governor and lieutenant governor will be sworn in after the new year). Notice the television camera artfully hidden behind the draperies? • © 2010 Karen Lynn Ingalls

Koren Benoit, art curator at the Capitol, gave us a special tour, showing us paintings in offices and committee rooms that most visitors don't get to see. After lunch, we saw even more with a Capitol docent. What a wonderful day!

An office in the State Capitol, with one heck of a gorgeous painting (I wish I'd written down the painter's name) • © 2010 Karen Lynn Ingalls

I'll be sharing some of what I saw and learned in my next few posts here and on my art teaching blog, Napa Valley Art Camp.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Combing through my photographs

Franz Valley School Road vineyard • © 2010 Karen Lynn Ingalls

The next stage of my painting process is looking at all those photographs I took when autumn colors were at their loveliest. As I have nearly 650 photographs to go through, it's a pretty extensive part of the process.

Not only do I look through all the images and choose the ones I like best, but I also crop photos to find new compositions, and adjust the lighting to approximate more nearly my memory (and imagination). I resize and save them, labeling them so that I can identify where I took the photo. The photo above, by the way, was taken on the way to my studio.

Thank heavens for digital photography! It allows me to take plenty of photos, giving me lots of images to work with in the paintings I'll be working on throughout the year.