This will be a fun newsletter to write and I'm going to start with an historic art story.
Monet and Renoir were friends and during one summer they painted plein air, (or outside) the Seine River. Back then, they had bathing establishments where people would gather, connect, and swim in clothing that covered most of their bodies.
They sat side by side and painted the same landscape.
Bathers at La Grenouillere by Claude Monet, 1869.
La Grenouillere by August Renoir
Monet paints wonderful, tiny details. Some say he paints with an urgency to what he views. The landscape occupies the top half of the painting and the waterscape the lower half. This painting does have a human element with women chatting and small figures in the water, but Monet's painting is always more about the water, wind, light, and reflections. He is a systematic, loose painter, and paints with big brushes and makes the same strokes with thick paint and covers the entire canvas. Look at all those horizontal and vertical strokes.
Renoir's version has many more figures which is his preference. This particular bathing establishment is where gentle folk would go to drink and party the afternoon away. Renoir captured the softness in the receding landscape and flowey materials of his subjects clothing. His paint strokes are rounded and plump and he utilizes a variety of strokes. He has a much more controlled style.
They both were Impressionistic painters using light brush strokes, everyday subject matter, and movement.
Which brings me to a contemporary comparison.
I rather enjoy writing about myself and my river hiking artist friend, Sarah, in the same context as Monet and Renoir! Ha! Please allow my folly.
Patrice paints with acrylic paints on canvas and utilizes a glazing technique to add watery dimensions to her paintings.
Sarah is a watercolor expert who paints shapes in spectacular colors on high quality paper. Her weaving of shapes creates the movements she experiences in watery scenes.
Sarah and I are in our third year of exploring all aspects of water flow and falls, movements, reflections, and calm. We arrive at our location early and have breakfast and coffee at riverside. We do not set up and paint plein air as Monet and Renior but will each wander off our own ways to observe, take photos and videos and make notes, for studio painting later.
One morning Sarah sent me the above image she had just finished. I immediately recognized the very place and sent her the image of my version, which led to discussions, which led to the both of us obtaining a two person show at the Dee Denton Gallery in Lake Oswego this coming July.
We will display our work and although our approaches are quite different... we do share the desire to paint our world, appreciate, and recreate near some of the finest waterways.
I think that makes us more alike than different!
If you are in the mood to see art up close...
my art is at the following locations:
Salem on the Edge
156 Liberty St NE
Salem, Oregon 97301
Emerald Art Center...May 2 thru June 2, 2023
500 Main St
Springfield, Oregon 97477
Dee Denton Gallery... July 1 thru July 30, 2023
368 S State St
Lake Oswego, Oregon 97034
Painter's Showcase Exhibit & Sale
Grand Hotel Bridgeport... August 25-27, 2023
7265 SW Hazel Fern Rd
Tigard, Oregon 97224
Have a wonderful May!
My (art) life review...It was a cold and cloudy morning. (Ha!...what a great way to start a newsletter!)
I had been out walking Angel, the wonder dog, when I saw my neighbor friend, Kathy, jogging towards me. We catch up and share our lives often, on local residential streets. She asked me about a recent Open Studio & Gallery I had and I eagerly told her about the group that attended the scheduled art talk I gave. She told me I was courageous. It's always fun connecting with her.
My mind kept revisiting our conversation. Was I really courageous? I know I can be laser focused when I'm interested in something. Now if you have been reading my newsletters, you know they sometimes contain my vulnerable perspectives. Warning: here I go again....
I sat back and experienced a mini (art) life review. I was in my studio two years earlier and viewed my watercolor paintings with appreciation. Then I decided firmly to give up this area of expertise... and become a novice painter of acrylic on canvas. A huge re-direction.
My last watercolor painting.
I just began, and quickly progressed through trial and error. I knew all the elements of art so it was a matter of re-applying them to a new medium. These new beginnings were fun and joyful but I couldn't help but compare the new me with my established art groups, and feeling how much of a novice I was! Very uncomfortable.
Back in the studio, my joy would return as I focused on landscapes, brush work, blending, and every day I painted.
One day I hiked down to a stream and challenged myself to go from painting a 10"x10" canvas to a 24"x30". I figured out a different way to sketch that large, and created a real beauty. Actually, this first large painting was recently purchased by Multnomah County for the downtown Portland's permanent art collection!
This is the painting Multnomah County purchased for their permanent collection.
My confidence was boosted and I was in the studio all the time. Bill would come down and ask, "Are you going to eat today?"
My life review was very quick now, creating a large body of work, successful sales, Open Studios, speaking opportunities, and prepping for gallery representations.
Is this courage or perhaps the willingness to bump into discomfort and make more forward progress, in spite of it?
Well, I certainly have focus and believe in myself. My art has lovingly brought out characteristics which I have exercised to my advantage and ability.
Kathy calls it courage.
I accept and appreciate that kind compliment.
So, how courageous are you?
If you let your mind wander a bit...you may reveal some wonderful surprises you have taken for granted.
Enjoy that reflection!
Hope to see many of you at the Lakewood Center for the Arts Show & Sale April 21-23.
Hi...I'm Patrice... an acrylic painter who writes, and enjoys sharing how I create and think.