Karen Knutson paints in mixed media, trying to make her paintings fun and easy. A wide range of subjects, including landscapes, figures, collage, abstracts, florals, and birds. Many lessons are included on this blog to encourage her art students. Teaching across the country makes her life a great journey.
I belong to a critique group, called Critical Thumb Group. We meet once per month and critique each other's paintings. By the way, I encourage all of you to form a critique group. It's a great way to get feedback from other artists. A new set of eyes to challenge you to be a better artist. Our group has 10 members, and that is the maximum that I would recommend. This month, we were instructed to bring old paintings that we didn't like. We all exchanged paintings, and then painted revisions, using acrylic, caran d'ache crayons, and whatever else we could find. It was great fun, a lot of laughs and a great lesson for me. Below is the painting that I started with. My favorite part of the painting was the right flower section. I liked the rhythm there. These were colors that I usually don't use, so that was a fun challenge too. I kept telling myself, get big simple shapes in, but my brush had other ideas. We only worked on these for about an hour, which is hard for me, since I am typically a slow painter. In analyzing the finished painting now, I can tell you that my brain was right. I should have gotten the big simple shapes in there first. Way too busy! Tomorrow, I will show you what I do with busy paintings. This one's not done yet!
Last night, I went to the Minnesota Watercolor Society meeting, where EmmyWhite was the demonstrator. Her demonstration was a fun, whimsical painting of turkeys who had been pardoned, and were in a shelter. There were so many laughs as she told her thought process and basically, became a kid again. We all need to find the kid within us when we paint, don't you think? I decided to do a turkey painting this morning in homage to Emmy. It was so fun to play, and I can honestly say that I didn't look up turkeys before sketching this. I went from my memory. No surprise by the look of it, right? It was a stretch and a big risk, but so much fun!!!! This painting is called Two Faced Turkey. See the 2 headed turkey in the background? I really admire Emmy's paintings, and love that she follows her true spirit evey time she paints. Check out Emmy's paintings at http://www.emmywhite.com/
I got my 30 minute study done early this morning. I decided to do wine glasses, since I LOVE a glass of wine with supper each evening. It's been recommended by my doctor, after my yearly physical that I drink only 3 - 5 glasses per week. (He didn't mention how BIG that glass was supposed to be, though.....) So, the daily routine will have to be moderated. This sketch took about 45 minutes to do, but I was loving the illusionary effect so much that I just allowed myself to take longer than my usual 30 minutes. I'm feeling very inspired today, after spending the day yesterday with my good friend, Suz, going to 3 gallery shows.
Some days you just don't feel like painting- whether you have the moody blues, or you're scared of that white paper, or you're just procrastinating. I have many cures for this. Sometimes I make cards, like this one, "Red Vibrations". I use "old dog" paintings and cut them up, add acrylic paint to brighten up the muddy colors, add embellishments, and before I know it, many hours have passed. The best thing is that my imagination gets sparked, and suddenly, I feel like painting again. This card has brads, price labels, grommets, and ultra thick embossing powder on it to really spice up the composition.
I want to tell you about my workshop that you may want to put on your Christmas list:
This is mainly a watercolor class, but additional media will be offered to expand the imagination of the student.The objective of this class is to expand the imagination, simplify shapes, and create clean, glowing colors!We’ll learn how to do 30 minute studies that will help students think in simple terms and create great designs.Many special effects that will be offered:working with graphite and pouring water over the paper to create great textures to begin the paintings.Also, collage will be added to create texture.A patchwork effect will add to the fun!This workshop will definitely get you out of your box! (Karlyn Holman will be teaching at Madeline Island on the same weekend, a separate class, but lunches and evening meals, etc. are all together!) To view details of my class, click here .