Thursday, June 9, 2011


Our June program presenter was Tom Bluemlein, currently president of the Cincinnati Art Club. Tom is well known for his oil paintings and is a signature member of the Oil Painters of America. However, Tom began his career painting in watercolor as an illustrator, and is now reacquainting himself with his former medium.

During his demo, Tom gave a brief history of himself, explaining that he had studied with John Pike - and the palette he was using had been given to him by John Pike. Due to dyslexia and some eye problems, when Tom paints from photos he often finds it easier to turn them upside down and concentrate on the values in the photo. He also reminded us that a camera is only a tool and that it compresses the values, often making the darks too dark and the lights too light, and that if we can, it is far better to paint from life and squint to locate the value shapes.

Tom often grids his photos and transfers each grid as it’s own small painting and paints the shapes and values in this way. He will then blend the edges together at the end of the painting.

Tom is not one to follow the rules and says “guidelines are OK but rules squelch creativity”.

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