Art Entertainment

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from Martindale Artworks!

New Year 2015
Happy New Year 2015!

If you are an art lover, here are some movies, books and exhibitions you might be interested in.  I have not seen/read all of these, so you may wish to check out the links for more information before attending.  I am only passing these along as entertainment, not advertising for anyone or anything.

1. The younger set might like the animated movie ‘The Painting’ (2011), where the subjects and landscape of an unfinished painting come to life.  You can read more at IMDB.

2. One of the newest films out is titled ‘Big Eyes’ (2014).  It is the story of a husband who involves his wife and her paintings in one of the largest cases of art fraud and how she deals with it.  You can check it out at IMDB too.

3. One of my favorite books, ‘The Rescue Artist’, is about the theft of Edvard Munch’s iconic painting, ‘The Scream’.  It is written by Edward Dolnick and if you can’t find it at your local library, you can check it out at link above.

4. Other IMDB movies about art and artists can be found at the following link: art movies.

5. Exhibitons:

Kimball Art Museum, Ft. Worth, TX- through January 25, 2015: Faces of Impressionism: Portraits from the Musee d’Orsay

MoMA, New York, NY- through February 10, 2015: Henri Matisse: The Cut-Outs

The Morgan Library and Museum, New York, NY- through January 25, 2015: Cy Twombly: Treatise on the Veil

Flint Institute of Arts, Flint, MI- through February 22,2015: Cutting It Close

Frist Center for the Visual Arts, Nashville, TN- through January 25, 2015: Sanctity Pictured: The Art of the Dominican and Franciscan Orders in Renaissance Italy

Various locations now through 2015: The Art of The Brick, featuring the Lego sculptures of Nathan Sawaya.  Yes, you read that correctly, Legos, those little, colorful plastic building blocks!

6. Another book that came out last spring is Self-Portrait: A Cultural History, by art historian and critic James Hall looks to be very good as well.

I hope everyone has a wonderful 2015, may peace fill your world, love fill your heart, and color and wonder fill your life.  God Bless!

 

 

You Never Know Where Something Might Lead You…

It has been a while since I have posted anything!  We hosted a wonderful birthday party for a dear friend of ours who turned 80 years young!  Since we decided to have it at our place, there was a lot of cleaning and preparation to do, which has kept us very busy.  However, I have been making art as well, just not posting it.

metal art, martindale Artworks
First side of the small pail

One of the projects I created was painting with latex house paint on a small metal pail.  I decided to paint it with a patriotic theme, of red, white, and blue,  I then painted a silhouette of a girl and her horse in a showmanship or halter class at a horse show.  As for the other side of the bucket, I had no idea what I would put on it.  The bucket sat in the studio for about a month, when a friend of mine happened to see it and inquired about it.  Just another project I am working on, but not sure where I am going with it just yet, I told her.  She asked if I could paint a name on the other side, and I told her I could.  She gave me a name and she purchased it for a little girl who was leasing one of her horses.

Metal art, Martindale Artworks
Kendyl’s bucket

My friend then asked if I could paint about six or seven of them for their upcoming Quarter Horse Show.  So, I have been working diligently on them, and will post them soon.  Till next time, happy painting!

Pay It Forward

I am usually in the studio by myself, so I enjoy it when a fellow artist or maybe a friend or relative is able to join me in being creative or just discuss being creative.  I occasionally have a student in, and enjoy seeing them learn and discover their own creativity.  However, if I sit down to be creative too, I have noticed they tend to stop what they are doing and either watch me or just sit as if waiting for me to get done.  I think as artists we must keep in mind that we just might be intimidating to some, especially those trying to learn from us.

Recently my cousin was in town for work, and since his son, Matthew, was on spring break from high school, he decided they could take a road trip and stay at our place for the week.  Matthew is a very intelligent sophomore, and truly enjoys the arts in many forms.  He takes a dance class at school, and has been learning about art, primarily on his own.  When they arrived, he eagerly showed me his two acrylic paintings, both of which were done quite well.  He explained his paints and techniques, and said he would like to do a watercolor while he was here.  After some thought, he decided to paint a small still life of oranges.  We set it up and he mentioned he was concerned with getting his drawing on the paper just right.  I showed him the grid system for transferring a drawing and he remembered they had done one in school a few years back.

He set to work on drawing the oranges, then began the painting.  He was not impressed with having to wait for certain areas to dry before he could start another, but he soon found out it is just the nature of watercolors.  After a couple of days, he ended up with a very nice painting of oranges.  I felt he did a very good job, and we decided to go to the Frist Center for the Visual Arts in Nashville to see if Rembrandt and the Dutch Masters were as good ;-).  Of course, we found that they edged us out a bit, and thoroughly enjoyed the exhibit.  The Early Americas exihibit was good and Matthew had just studied some of the cultures that were represented so he was thoroughly engaged with it.

watercolor, still life, oranges
Matthew’s Oranges, watercolor

We then stopped by Hobby Lobby where Matthew discovered a set of gouache paints.  He asked me about them and I told him I had never used them, but I thought they were like a cross between watercolor and acrylic, so he decided to try them.  Later in the week he asked if we could make some bread, and I told him I did not have bread machine.  He is very creative in the kitchen and said we could make it from scatch.  I had always wanted to do this, so he got out the recipe book he had brought with him and we made a Poppy Seed something or other loaf.  After much kneading and more kneading, it turned out wonderful.  I loved the fact that we were both able to share in our areas of expertise, and have fun while learning too.

Cheekwood Botanical Gardens
Denny and Matthew at Cheekwood

We topped the week off with a visit to the Cheekwood Botanical Gardens and Art Museum, where we had a special treat to the beautiful spring day in the 70’s.  We were a little early for the flowers, but the weather was great and the museum had some wonderful exhibits.  I am glad I was able to pay it forward and help an aspiring artist, who helped me learn how to make bread!

A Trio of Christmas Paintings

Happy New Year to everyone!  I hope you had a wonderful Christmas.  Yes, I am way behind in my posts.  So, here is a set of three pastel paintings I did for a client for Christmas.

House painting, pastel painting, architectural painting
“Deck The Halls”, 9″ x 12″ pastel, private collection

This is the first house I have ever done in pastel, the only other one was a graphite drawing.  I was happy that I was able to capture the winter fog that frequently settles in the trees on the hill at the back of the property.

Christmas tree, landscape painting, decorative, Christmas card painting
“O’ Christmas Tree”, 12″ x 9″, pastel, private collection

This was a wonderful challenge.  I actually went and photographed the ornaments the family hangs on this large cedar tree each year.  On the night I photographed the tree, the moon was out, but only a sliver.  The client requested a full moon so I said I would see what I could do!

 

 

Cat, barn, farm art, Christmas, wreath, cross,
“Silent Night, Holy Night”, 9″ x 12″, pastel, private collection

The final piece is a painting of the little barn that is decorated every year.  The client asked if I could add in the family’s black cat (which had passed away earlier in the year) looking up at the wreath.

As usual, I thoroughly enjoyed working on all three of these paintings.  I pray that each and every one of you has a blessed New Year!

 

 

Plein Air Painting in the Smoky Mountains

One project I find very rewarding is plein air painting.  That is the process of simply painting outdoors, whether it be in a city or the country, using the medium of your choice.  It is a wonderful way to connect with nature in its purest form.  My husband and I recently took a trip to the Smoky Mountains in East Tennessee.  We met with family and friends to see the sights and had a wonderful time.  While driving the Cades Cove Loop we stopped for a break at a point called Abrams Falls.  The sign said a moderately difficult 2.5 mile trail that will take about 3-4 hours round trip.  We did not have time to hike then, but decided we would do it in a day or two.

Abrams Falls, Cades Cove, Smoky Mountains, Tennessee art, plein air painting, acrylics
Photo of Abrams Falls in Cades Cove, Tennessee in the Smoky Mountains by Denny Martindale

The rest of our party left a day earlier than we originally thought, so we planned our hike for that morning.  I had thrown in a canvas and grabbed a handful of paints and brushes (literally) as we packed for the trip, so I decided to take them with as you never know what you might find.  I carted the paint gear and David carried water and snacks and we set out on the trail.  It was a clear, cool morning as we made our hour and a half trek to the falls.  They are not overly big but the setting is in a cove and it is really refreshing as you sit and listen to the sound of the water surging over the edge of the rocks.  I found a log that made a perfect seat and proceeded to set up to paint.  Since I have only done plein air on a couple of other occasions, it takes a little more thought to set up than if I did this on a regular basis.

plein air painting, acrylic painting, Tennessee art
Artist at work, plein air painting Abrams Falls Photo by David Martindale

I proceeded to block in the basic shapes of the falls and the surrounding landscape.  I had just grabbed some tubes of paint so my colors were a bit limited, but I figured I could probably make do.  One of the major aspects of plein air painting is the timing of the light, shadows and atmospheric conditions that allows an artist to recreate a particular scene.  Midday is not always the most opportune time, and here I was painting at high noon.  Although the air was still on the cool side, the sunlight and resulting reflection was intense.  It helped that I was in the shade, but the colors were not what they would be in the morning or later in the afternoon.  I even reached a point in the process when I was so dissatisfied with the piece that I was actually ready to quit!  At the urging of my husband, I continued on and after about an hour and a half, to my surprise, finished with a piece that, all things considered, is not too shabby.  During this time, other hikers were coming and going, and everyone wanted to see what I was up to.  I presume they were impressed as they took photos of me at work, and one man even took a close up of the painting and then one of the falls from my perspective.

Abrams Falls, Cades Cove, Smoky Mountains, Tennessee art, plein air painting, acrylic painting
Finished piece, Abrams Falls, acrylic, 9″ x 12″ by Denny Martindale

After we were home for a couple of weeks, I finished it off with a coat of varnish for acrylics and once dry, placed it in a black frame.  If you have not tried plein air painting, you might just want to give it a try.  Make sure you prepare for the elements, pack the correct painting gear, and tell yourself you are out there to have fun.  Once you loosen up and decide it doesn’t have to be perfect, you will have a wonderful experience with nature that only plein air painting can give.

<div style=’text-align:center;font-size:11px;font-family:arial;font-weight:normal;margin:10px;padding:0;line-height:normal’><a href=’http://www.dwellable.com/a/3331/North-Carolina/Smoky-Mountains/Vacation-Rentals&#8217; style=’border:none’><img src=’http://www.dwellable.com/dwellback/3331.jpg&#8217; style=’width:102px;height:20px;border:none;margin:0;padding:0′><br>Smoky Mountains on Dwellable</a></div>

Cutouts, the latest project

This has been a very interesting summer thus far.  I normally paint in pastels, watercolors, and acrylics in the studio in the house.  I also do a few murals and other things.  However, when one of my clients commissioned me to paint the horse troughs, I began a studio in the barn as well.  When we built the barn about 8 years ago, that was one of my “someday” goals, to have a real studio there.  I dreamed it would be in the west end of the expansive hay loft, complete with heat and air and a small water closet on the lower level.

art, studio
Art studio in the aisle of the barn with the finished horse troughs

Upon finishing the troughs, my client asked if I could possibly paint some wooden cutouts she had of hunt figures.  I said I would see what I could do.

painting on wood
Wooden cutouts awaiting paint (fox has primer coat)

She brought them out and I spent the next month painting life sized cutouts of Masters of the Hounds,  fox hounds, and foxes.  It is interesting to work on these as you have to use the shape that has been formed for you.  Once I got going though, I was quite pleased with how they turned out.

Master of the hounds, foxhunting
Masters of the Hounds partially complete
fox hunting, master of the hounds
A completed Master of the Hounds ready for shipping

 

I painted them with latex house paint, using only about 8-10 base colors from which I mix the myriad of other colors needed.  Once complete, I coat them with polyurethane.  Each figure had two bases which also needed paint and coating upon which they will stand upright.

fox hound, art
Fox hound with the bases attached. I painted the bottom of the figures and the bases to look like grass.

This week I delivered 2 foxes, 6 Masters of the Hounds, and 9 Fox Hounds to my client.   She was delighted.  Now I have 8 more foxes to do, plus I am looking into some more horse troughs!   Looks like the animals might have to move out!

artist, fox hounds, studio
The artist with 3 of the fox hound cutouts ready to ship. They are on one of the two easels my husband built on either side of the aisle with the paint tables in the center of the aisle.

 

 

Background work on horse troughs #1 & #2

Here are the photos of the background work on horse troughs 1 & 2.  All of my work on these troughs is done in acrylics.  At this point I am also just painting, no airbrush, projectors, etc, just letting the troughs dictate what goes where.

acrylic painting on horse troughs
This is the start of the background work
acrylic painting on horse troughs
Here, things are finally starting to take on a bit of shape
acrylic painting on horse troughs
This is a closeup of the background

The background for troughs 1 & 2 are very similar.

acrylic painting on horse troughs
More detail of background