I had a lucky treat a couple weeks ago when I realized that James C. Christensen was in the BYU bookstore doing book signings on November 15th. I have really admired his work for a long time and was super excited to get a chance to meet him. My friend Kelsey and I made our way over and waited in the line to get a book signed and talk to one of our art heroes. I hadn’t even heard of the book beforehand but I knew I wanted it.
We finally made our way to the front of the line and got to talk to him a bit and mentioned being art students in the Illustration program at BYU. He gave us some good advice and said “Lean to draw!” He advocated the 10,000 hours theory and wrote it in my copy of his book to remind me. I left inspired to work harder.
Even better than that experience has been the pleasure of reading his book and studying his paintings. I am seriously in love with this book. It really uplifts me and helps me to understand how he creates the amazing paintings he does. Check it out!
This gallery contains 7 photos.
Well, I had to take my show down this week. It was a little bitter sweet. It was sad to realize how temporary it was, but lovely to realize I had done it. My Friend Kristin Gulledge had a show go up the same day and we took our shows down the same day. Feeling similarly we decided to go to Sammy’s for some consolation pie shakes.
I had already started bring pieces back into the studio when I realized I had never taken picture of the show. In all the craziness of putting it together I just forgot. A couple of my classmates saved me and helped me put it back up then let me use a camera. Thanks for saving the day Melissa and Hannah! So, here it is:
Thank you for all of your support and wonderful feedback!
This week I had the awesome opportunity to attend a painting workshop with J. Kirk Richards in Kanab Utah. My friend and studio-buddy Allyssa and I drove the four-ish hours to Kanab Wednesday morning arriving just in time for the second class of the day and had to leave after the last class on Thursday in order to get back in time for our Friday classes and commitments. It was a short trip, but definitely worth it.
Kirk is a phenomenal artist who definitely knows what he is talking about. You can check out his blog here and his website here.
Kirk taught three classes each day starting with figure painting, then a how to finish a painting class, and finally plein aire painting.
In the figure painting class Kirk talked about blocking in the masses as fast as possible as part of a “premier coup” approach where you paint directly with an initial burst of energy. I really struggled with this at first and am excited to try more of this type of fast, shape-based painting.He also talked about compressing the values in your painting and using more subtle transitions and color statements to develop the painting. A full value range goes from a 1-10 value scale where one is white and 10 is black.
Compressing values in a painting means you are only using a small range on the scale for instance, a four to a seven. In order to make the painting read, you have to place values deliberately and rely on color shifts to turn the form. Kirk has many beautiful examples of this in his work.
In the middle class, Kirk showed explained some amazing composition and color theory using beautiful paintings by the masters. I am not adequately qualified to explain it as well as he did, but we look at using color triangles to tie areas together and discussed how to create an engaging eye-path like a figure eight in your painting. I will attempt to do more research so I can understand those concepts better.
Plein Aire painting in Southern Utah was phenomenal and so much fun! It is a beautiful area just past Bryce Canyon and Zion National Park. I loved painting the red rock formations against the the sky. I’ll be posting pictures soon.
The whole experience was just fantastic and I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to learn from Kirk. He is an amazing teacher.
Show = Named!
I am so grateful for all the support and suggestions, it was exactly what I needed to inspire the name of the show and it really helped me solidify why I am doing these paintings.
While I read through your suggestions different words and ideas stood out to me from the titles until I found the right name. A special thanks to Emily Bonnett, James Gardner and Kristen Gulledge for providing the specific inspiration for the title and accompanying quote.
The paintings in the show represent people who have been my heavenly help. They have definitely influenced me in positive ways and strengthened me. I think we all have that ability especially as we are willing to be a vehicle for heavenly help. It is often the ordinary things and ordinary, familiar people who help us achieve the extraordinary.
“God does notice us, and he watches over us. But it is usually through another person that he meets our needs.”
-Pres. Spencer W. Kimball
*Emily, Kristen and James will be awarded for their lovely contributions
I’ve received some pretty fantastic name ideas so far. Thanks to all who have contributed! I am lucky to have such supportive and creative friends. If you haven’t submitted your brilliant idea yet, you still can but time is running out!
I will choose the winning name this Thursday the 18th.
One of my studio buddies is pretty determined to win and tried to bribe me with this lovely representation of my painting:
While I was flattered, I promise to be fair in my consideration of all names submitted.
Time is also running out for me. I only have 17 days! I am excited to be painting furiously the next couple of weeks. Please pray for me 🙂