Wax Workshop Confidential

Wax Workshop Confidential

See why Cold Wax Medium has captured the fancy of many contemporary artists. Join me for a hands on, interactive workshop that meets you where you stand on the journey of discovery in this sensuous medium.

"Telephone" Oil & Cold Wax on Panel, 12"x12" ©Ruth Armitage

“Telephone” Oil & Cold Wax on Panel, 12″x12″ ©Ruth Armitage

Painting in Oil & Cold Wax: March 28, 29 & 30, 2018 – 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. at Emerald Art Center, Springfield, Oregon. Click here to Register today:

https://emeraldartcenter.org/event/painting-cold-wax-oil/

I’ve found Oil and Cold Wax to be workable, flexible and consistently attractive to students and collectors alike. Unfortunately, I don’t offer many workshops in Wax, simply because of the space and infrastructure required.

What’s involved? We begin by preparing our painting surfaces and talking about subject matter. Even with abstraction, I find it very helpful to have an idea, emotion, or subject for each work of art. Painting in Oil & Wax involves the application of many layers of paint, with drying time between each. We’ll work on several different surfaces each day in order to keep muddiness at a minimum. You’ll learn different application techniques and see how they apply to design elements and principles.

A Small Group Setting

Class size is limited to make sure you receive personal attention and individual help in a safe and supportive environment. There are many advantages of learning in a small group atmosphere like this. You’ll not only learn from the lessons presented, but also from observing the progress and questions posed by fellow students. This dynamic ebb and flow of information is one of my favorite things about teaching workshops. I also love the immersion that happens in this concentrated 3 day session. No distractions – just time to focus on art.

You’ll have a chance to slow down, focus and connect with your inner creativity. I find that in these workshops, the enthusiasm in contagious. Watching the demonstrations and seeing how each person interprets them gives each student a deeper appreciation for the creative process. Not only that, but it allows students to free their minds of stress and worry and focus on their own personal expression.

Here are a couple of comments from recent students:

“Thanks for the great workshop today.  You created a lot of motivation for our members to stay and paint.  GOOD JOB!!!”

“We all had a wonderful experience! Thank you!”

Last Friday I spent the day with an experienced group of painters, the Buffalo Grass Watercolor group. Here are a few photos of my demonstration in progress. As you can tell, I was in a ‘purple’ mood!

Need more inspiration to join us? How about this quote by Mary Oliver:

“The most regretful people on earth are those who felt the call to creative work, who felt their own creative power restive and uprising, and gave to it neither power nor time.” – Mary Oliver

I know I’m so glad that I decided to study art and become a life-long learner.

Bonus:

If you’re in the Salem area, you can catch a free lecture on CCTV channel 21 – I presented this lecture on Abstraction to the Institute of Continued Learning at Willamette University on February 3. It will air  2/14 at 12 pm, 2/16 at 8 pm, 2/19 at 8 am, and 2/22 at 2:30 pm.

Call to Artists:

I’ll be jurying the Spring 2018 Show of the Society of Washington Artists. Watercolor, Oil, Acrylic, Pastel and small 3-D subjects accepted. Click here for entry information.

Avoiding Ungapatchka in Your Artwork

Avoiding Ungapatchka in Your Artwork

ungapatchka: Yiddish word to describe something ridiculously overdecorated, excessively ornamented or kitsch.

This summer I learned a new word from one of my students. Ungapatchka caught my ear for two reasons: firstly, it is so much fun to say, and secondly, the word sounds like the thing it describes. Since I was a Literature major in college, I am a big fan of new vocabulary. Watch this space, because I have a few more vocabulary additions in store for the blog!

My student felt everything in her painting was too cluttered and loud, lacking unity. I’ve often felt this about work in progress, and the thing I do to remedy it is to simplify. Recently a friend mentioned that in general my work could use more emphasis on the focal areas and more mystery in the rest of the painting. Mystery is the opposite of Ungapatchka! So, I have been trying to simplify and unify areas of my work. I want to make sure that one area is strongest and the other areas are sublimated.

If an abstract painting is too cluttered, it draws the eye away from the focal area of the work. While some contemporary painting celebrates busy, all-over pattern, I don’t think my skill set supports that kind of style. I want much of my painting to feel soft, muted and quiet in support of the parts of the work that are most important in contrast, shape or movement.

Watch Me Simplify

Here are a couple of videos of me working on an oil & wax piece. You’ll notice that early on, I’m making pretty drastic changes in the layers, while toward the end of the process, the changes are much more subtle. The earlier work looks more ‘Ungapatchka’ to me. What do you think? The second video is longer. Watch as I make some stronger changes, then subdue them by taking off the paint I just put on. (If the videos are not displayed in your email, click here and here to view them on the web.)

What do you think?

Should we avoid clutter in our work at all costs, or do you agree with Mae West?

“Too much of a good thing can be wonderful!”
-Mae West

Upcoming Exhibits:


Nature Perceived- Randall David Tipton, Don Gray and Ruth Armitage

Grants Pass Museum of Art, February 23 – March 30, 2018. Artist’s Reception: Friday, March 2, 5-9 pm.


Celebration of Creativity

March 1 – 4, 2018 – Southminster Presbyterian Church, 12250 SW Denney Rd., Beaverton, OR 97008

First Look Gala – Thursday, March 1, 7-9 pm, View other hours on their website here.


H2OMG – Muckenthaler Cultural Center, Fullerton, California

February 1 – April 8, 2018 – More information here.

Art Extravaganza 2017 Sponsored by Clackamas Art Alliance

Art Extravaganza 2017 Sponsored by Clackamas Art Alliance

If you’ve never experienced Art Extravaganza, you’re in for a treat! Sponsored by the Clackamas Art Alliance, this vendor trade show is an opportunity for artists, educators, students and all art enthusiasts to test, try and buy new and favorite art supplies and tools.

You’ll enjoy:

  • Product Demonstrations
  • Artist Demonstrations and Lectures
  • Panel Discussion by CERF+
  • Workshops
  • Door Prizes
  • Networking Opportunities
  • Pop-Up Art Materials Store by Merri Artist

Some of the many exhibitors:

  • Alvin
  • Arches
  • Faber Castell
  • Gamblin Artists Colors
  • Mel’s Frame Shop
  • ReClaim It!
  • Strathmore Artist Papers
  • Winsor & Newton
  • Yasutomo

It’s free to attend, and the mini-workshops are very reasonable. Also, I’ll be giving a lecture and demo of my process using Oil & Cold Wax Medium on Panel from 10:30 – 12:30. Tuition is $10 and space is limited.

If you’ve been thinking about taking my workshop in June at Oregon Society of Artists, this would be a great preview of the class.

You can get tickets and pre-register for the free trade show by clicking below. The first 50 people to pre-register will be entered in a drawing for a reproduction of Susan Kuznitsky’s pastel painting, beautifully framed by Mel’s Frame Shop. Register Here

Here are some of the other artists who will be sharing demonstrations:

  • Shelly Caldwell – Mixed Media Assemblage
  • Renè Eisenbart – Watermedia Painting
  • Sheila Ford Richmond – Block Prints, Fabric Paints
  • Karen Hadley – Mixed Media, Acrylic, Collage
  • Susan Kuznitsky – Pastels
  • Cindy Lommasson – Chinese Brush Painting
  • Sarah Sedwick – Artgraf
  • Amanda Sweet – Watercolor

Finally, check out the event page for a full list of vendor exhibitors, classes and demonstrations.  I hope to see you there! And just in case you think winter will never end here in Western Oregon, I’ll leave you with nature’s own Art Extravaganza, directly from my soggy garden – Happy Spring!

Creative Arts Community at Menucha

Creative Arts Community at Menucha

Creative Arts Community

Last week I taught a workshop for CAC (Creative Arts Community) at Menucha, a beautiful retreat center in the Columbia River Gorge. Each year this group brings together fantastic workshop instructors and interested adults for two weeks of creating together. This community is over 50 years strong because of these special ingredients:

  • A dedicated board and volunteers
  • Meals served family-style
  • An incredible setting
  • Dorm style and private rooms
  • Evening programs
  • Sharing of art
  • Walks in nature
  • Small classes for individual attention

My workshop focused on painting in Oil & Cold Wax. We talked about working in a series, content, design and techniques for working in Cold Wax. I was so pleased with how hard each student worked and the results were amazing. Here are a few paintings that resulted from my time at Menucha, and the demonstrations I gave:

Winter Pond

“Winter Pond” Oil & Wax on Panel, 12″x12″ ©Ruth Armitage

Burning

“Burning” Oil & Wax on Panel, 12″x12″ ©Ruth Armitage

Summer Breeze ©Ruth Armitage

“Summer Breeze” Oil & Wax on Panel, 12″x12″ ©Ruth Armitage SOLD

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Student Reactions:

“It was a wonderful week. Ruth gave the perfect recipe for a successful teaching experience. Just the right number of demos, giving us lots of work time, wandering around the room for individual mini conferences and lots of encouragement along the way. Keeping the class joyous and not stressful were also great attributes for a super experience. I especially thought her use of the i-pad was very cool to take a picture of our painting and show us different design possibilities.” – Sharon Segal

“Ruth, thank you so much for the truly rich experience this past week. Your willingness to spend so much time with each of us working through our hundreds of issues, problems and questions was beyond anything I’ve experienced from an instructor. You are so very generous, kind, and wise. And your lightness of being allowed us to not take ourselves too seriously.” – Karen Story

Scenes from Menucha and the Columbia Gorge

I also wanted to share some of the beauty of this place and the students who shared it with me. Enjoy these photos from my art workshop at Menucha! If this looks like fun to you, check out my other upcoming classes on my art-workshops page. My Maui class is filling fast. It’s already 1/3 full – don’t miss out, register today!


Holiday – Oil and Wax Abstract

Holiday – Oil and Wax Abstract

“Holiday” Oil & Wax on panel 12″x12″ ©Ruth Armitage

Enter to win “Holiday” – a new Oil and Wax painting

I’m getting my paintings ready to deliver to the Street of Dreams, including the work above. I had been searching for a title, and finally settled on “Holiday.” The brilliant red seems so joyful to me, that it reminded me of the excitement of being on a trip.

“I like to have exciting evenings on holiday, because after you’ve spent 8 hours reading on the beach you don’t feel like turning in early with a good book.” -Arthur Smith, English Comedian

I’ve been planning a couple of trips, and the idea of a holiday is pretty appealing right now. It’s what keeps me going through the slog of weeding the garden, framing and shipping artwork, designing exhibit materials and all the daily chores.

I wanted a way for visitors to the Street of Dreams to sign up for my email list, and an incentive. So, I decided to run this giveaway on my website. And why limit the giveaway to attendees of the Street of Dreams? I say, anyone can enter! I hope you’ll share this opportunity with your friends… who wouldn’t want to win a painting that reminds them to cultivate a holiday frame of mind?

Wishing you the best of luck, and I hope you will enjoy receiving my free monthly newsletter. If you’d like a sneak peek – you can see a past issue here: http://bit.ly/ArtIsTruthPastIssues

Stairway to Heaven Oil and Wax

Stairway to Heaven Oil and Wax

Another new abstract painting – “Stairway to Heaven” below.

Oil and Wax on Panel 36x36"

“Stairway to Heaven” ©Ruth Armitage, 2016 – Oil and Wax on Panel 36x36″

This piece will also be on view at the 2016 Street of Dreams, July 30 – August 28, 2016.

I had been thinking about a quote that my friend Margaret Godfrey found on our trip to Denver in June:

“You can’t look at the top of the staircase and want to be there. You have to look at the step directly ahead of you and ask yourself, “How do I climb that step?” – Patrick Wilson

I wanted to use an s shaped composition to portray a winding route, or stairway. I really love the warm and cool contrasts in this piece. Additionally, the painting came together relatively quickly – which probably makes me love it more!

I found some other fun quotes about stairs, and some ideas about hanging art on your stairway. Check them out on my Pinterest board!  My favorite quote is the one about Optimists. I try to see myself as an optimist, and this particular quote fits me to a ‘T’ – what about you? Are you an optimist or a pessimist?

Let me know what you think about my new painting. I’m always interested in your comments.

I’d also appreciate your feedback on what class I should offer next! Weigh in below:

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