Monday, August 24, 2015


Jean Vance
The Presenter for the July meeting was member Jean Vance, multi-talented artist with two Masters Degrees in Art.  Some of her accomplishments – Adjunct Professor at Miami University and UC; Private Teacher at the Middletown Art Center, has had numerous one-woman shows and awards.  She personally likes Art from Abstracts to Realistic.  She has been working in Watercolor, Glass Enamel on Copper, Transparent Glass, and Jewelry.
The title of her Program for GCWS in August – Things You Want to Know About Painting

The first thing she taught us was – to remember to bring your apron – so you don’t wipe your brushes on your clothes.  Someone came up with a “makeshift” apron for her to use.  This fit in very well with her next piece of advice – Have Fun – it’s just a piece of paper!  When you paint, make it your own; whatever means something to you.  Jean has a desire to “preserve” old things that are disappearing; she preserves them by painting them.  She says Artists have to believe in themselves.

Jean discussed some of her current favorite colors, and surprised us by stating that she has five palettes, using certain ones for certain projects.  She encouraged us to learn about our paints; which are transparent, which are opaque, which mix well, etc.  She uses Schmicke Resist Fluid (from Dick Blick) which dries either clear or blue, and comes out of the container well.  
Creating "stubble"
She also showed how she uses sand paper to make “stubble” on a man’s face, as well as some “reflections” in water.  By the way, she uses large tubs of water when painting.  She believes in using very good quality brushes, Sable making the best point; Squirrel holding much paint and water.  She also uses Rat Whiskers brushes when she needs a Rigger brush; holding lots of paint, and enabling long thin lines.  She uses one or two inch flat brushes for a great deal of her work; encouraged us to use the biggest brush we can.  Jean usually doesn’t tape her paper (usually Arches 140  or 300 lb) down as she might want the deckled edges to show.

Creating rocks

Adding some greenery behind the rocks
Some Tips:
To encourage your creativity, use different sizes and shapes of paper.
Start your paintings in different ways:  most important item first; favorite color first, etc.
Start your painting at the bottom and work your way up.
Combine a “portrait/figure” with tools of his trade as the background.
Have horizontal, vertical, and diagonal shapes in your painting.
Don’t be “stingy” with your pigments.
Jean cannot paint every day because of teaching, and “Life”.  She does many, many sketches, sometimes accumulating ten at a time, and then paints when she is inspired to do so.  She mats and frames her own paintings; one time cutting 160 mats in one session.
Creating line work with rat whisker brush
Members may want to pay close attention to Jean’s advice and tips after seeing the wonderful work she entered into our Annual Exhibit.

Submitted by Joyce Grothaus, GCWS Secretary, August 2015

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