Violet, Sienna and Gray: 2012-07-29

Friday, August 3, 2012

Student Art--What a bunch of Bull......
by on 8/2/2012 6:37:31 PM

Well, now that I've been teaching for a dozen years or so, I find I am often asked about all of my talented students. Yes, I answer, they are all talented; but REALLY ---what a bunch of bull!!!! Ha, had you there! Now, look at this! I am unveiling this glorious painting created from a photograph taken by my student Toni, while on a trip to Italy. This bull is gazing at us with all of his magnificence! I wanted to share Toni's hard work and perseverance  on this piece, she executed it quite well. Bravo! And, below a quote from Winston Churchill that quite sums it up!

A quote from one of my favorite books, discusses the beauty found in the mundane, although can we really call Toni's bull mundane in anyway? This book happens to be a cult classic for painters, it is Winston Churchill's, "Painting as a Pastime". (Find one if you can, sometimes old ones show up on ebay.) Winston: "I think this heightened sense of observation of Nature is one of the chief delights that have come to me through trying to paint...The whole world is open with it's treasures. The simplest objects have their beauty...Obviously, then, one cannot be bored.... Good gracious! What there is to admire and how little time there is to see it in!" Happy painting! (or whatever your passion may be), Kathy
Tuesday's Recipe! A Special Treat
by on 7/31/2012 6:19:10 PM

My book club met last week and the hostess amazed us with a fresh summer recipe, that had us all BEGGING for her to share! She said she found it in Traditional Home magazine, and so I am happy to share it with you today! I've also included a picture of how pretty it looked on Sheila's table. Cold cucumber soup came first, made with yogurt and white grapes for sweetness. Delicious. Then we were served little towers of Mango Crab Avacado salad-unbelievable, and a work of art!! Isn't it amazing that beautiful food enriches our lives? Combined with good wine and lovely friends, it's one of the best things in life! Enjoy this cool, fresh treat.

Afternoon Tea

click the photo to enlarge
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Sheila's pretty table. Enjoy!
Friday's Dog Day smile....boxers!
by on 7/28/2012 9:56:30 AM

I guess posting in the evening won't work! Tried to load this last night, again the server must be overloaded at that time of day. Yesterday was a great day here in Gray Studio. Class was on the small side, five students, and they all enjoyed the peaceful atmosphere of a quiet painting day! Then, I spent the rest of the afternoon working on all of my web work. Daily Paintworks is fun to be a part of; there is a little bidding war, (and I mean little!) on one of my small cow paintings. Fun to watch!

Lat night, I enjoyed a beautiful thunderstorm rolling in, right as the Olympic opening ceremony was starting. I must admit, the storm won in the battle for my attention! I sat on the porch and enjoyed every moment of it, (I can always watch reruns of the show). I love thunderstorms almost as much as I love dogs. Here is a Dog Funny for you, I find them on the app "ifunny". My kids introduced me to it, and it can be a little vulgar; but, the majority of the posts are hilarious. It's a great time waster if you are ever sitting at the doctor's office, or waiting in line somewhere!

For those of you who know my little Tucker well, it's spot on, n'est pas?advice animals memes  - Baffled Boxer: But They Smell So Threatening

Soon, I'll be visiting my girlfriend in Charleston, Mt. Pleasant actually, and she has an adorable boxer. He thinks he's alap dog, and I spend most of my visit, with him curled up in my lap, (well, spread across my body, head to toe!)Nancy commissioned me to paint Griffon, here is my version of this sweet boxer!
Wednesday- Student Art Day! Behold!
by on 7/26/2012 1:56:23 PM

I had so much trouble with slow uploading yesterday, that I couldn't get my blog posted! I am very excited about sharing some of my student art with you. Today, I am highlighting a talented student, who has taught preschool art for years, and is now devoting time to her own practice. It is so rewarding for me to see growth in all of my students, and in myself.

As with anything worthwhile in life, practice, practice, practice is the only road to improvement. Painting is actually a very complicated endeavor. I quoted David Hockney recently, saying "an artist's lifelong meditations are on the problems and paradoxes of representing a three-dimensional world on a flat surface." This is truly a challenge, and one that humans have been drawn to since the very beginning of time; think of those cave paintings.

Painters start with the fact that we have one contained (usually rectangular) space, on which to tell a story. (Usually a story we feel compelled to share.) We must decide what mood, emotion, point of view, style, etc that we want to convey to the viewer. Then we must decide how best to do that, in this small space; composition, color, tonality, texture, focus, brushwork. There is an online painting course, and it makes me laugh to read the course description. Year one is described as reviewing "the first 700 things you need to know" to be an accomplished painter! So each time you look at a very well done painting, realize that that artist has probably worked and studied art for a very long time, and studied the art of many great masters, and made hundreds of decisions in order to CREATE that one work. If you are buying art, that is what you are paying for!

So, here is some of the work produced by my talented student. She clearly has a vision of what her "story" is going to be, before she starts, and then she also knows that if the start is good, sometimes the painting just takes off by itself!! Those are the really good painting days!! Enjoy Betsy's work!
This is just the start of a pretty painting; but it already has wonderful potential!
Tuesday's Recipe! A work of Art!
by on 7/24/2012 6:53:19 PM

My daughter and I are having one of our favorite dinners tonight! I saw this recipe on Dr. Oz, (guess I was unloading the dish washer and saw 10 min of afternoon TV!),  any way, there was a memory expert on the show, and he said he had a memory boosting recipe to share. It sounded great, and it is!! First you quarter a pepper, orange is pretty, and hollow out. Then, peel an avacado and mash contents with a packet of tuna fish. (Here, optionally, add diced red onion.) Then, place avacado/tuna mash into quartered pepper shells, sprinkle with olive oil and your choice of feta or parmesan cheese, and bake in hot oven (broil if you dare!). It is the healthiest gourmet little meal ever! Enjoy!
Monday's= ART! Thoughts from David Hockney
by on 7/23/2012 9:15:41 PM

Hopefully, you are aware of David Hockney, one of the greatest living artists today. He is noted, among other things, for his contribution in the 60's and 70's, to the pop art culture developing in California, at that time. I am reading a great book, "A Bigger Message, Conversations with David Hockney".  The book, simply put, describes Hockney's ( and every artist's) "lifelong meditations on the problems and paradoxes of representing a three-dimensional world on a flat surface". I will soon have a storefront on my website, and I'll be able to link you to Amazon directly, if you'd like to buy this book! Chat with you tomorrow, good night!
Sunday Morning Roses
by on 7/22/2012 11:35:07 AM

Sunday mornings, for me, mean quiet time in my garden. I never start a morning without a tour of my little gardens. It's my time to reflect, be thankful, pray and be amazed at the beauty in every living thing! I often find a corner of the yard to paint in. The early morning sun provides wonderful shadows. This photograph shows an early summer rose about to bloom; unfortunately with all of this heat, they no longer look this healthy. And this is an example of a painting I did in the garden on an early Sunday morning. I loved the way these pink climbing roses looked in this green glass jar, and the way the sun came from behind the arrangement. It is one of my favorite paintings, I can feel the warmth of the sun and the fresh morning air, every time I  look at it!
Wednesday- Student Art Day!
by on 7/18/2012 7:57:53 PM

Well, similar to yesterday, I started a post hours ago and after much interference, I am finally posting! Today's problem, I couldn't find the image of the students' art that I wanted to post! I looked everywhere, to the point where I reorganized all of my photo files (hmmm, started that at 3:30- now it's 8:30;but in between had to draw a chevron design on my daughters' chest of drawers, for her to paint (thank you Pinterest) and staple gunned raffia string to a picture frame ( jewelry storage, thank you Pinterest) so that she can have the cutest first apartment room ever!! (THANK YOU PINTEREST!) Anyway, Betsy, I can't find your sheep painting, so today I am posting a Jenny painting. 
Wednesday will be my "Student Art Day". I am so excited about posting pictures of my students' art. Prepare to be amazed!! NEXT week I'll post Betsy's awesome sheep, but as they were elusive this afternoon, I'll post a Jenny pic.
Jenny moved in down the street a few years ago, and one night while pushing a stroller around the neighborhood, her husband looked up into the studio and said, "I think they are teaching art classes in there. Let's go ask." To which Jenny replied, "Oh my gosh, not now, she's teaching!" He came in, asked, and the deal was sealed! Jenny has been here for a few years now, including childbirth intervals, (four children under 8 years old)!  Every once in a while, a teacher, a class, has the joy of watching raw talent. Here it is! Enjoy, we do, and thank God for her gift. A pleasure to behold, lord only knows the places she will go! Pure joy!
Tuesday-Recipe Day!
by on 7/17/2012 6:55:18 PM

Wow, I fired up the computer to post a blog at 8:00 this morning! It is now 7:40 p.m.! I had trouble loading a painting onto my Daily Paintworks site. So, I uploaded another painting, "Red Tulips, Sunny Window". Success! All of this good progress was interrupted by the GE repairman, (hoping, beyond all hope, it would be in the $200 price range--nope, $500 price range; ughhhhh). Of course, repair man so late that dog groomer is wondering where I am! Soooo, late for both dogs to the groomers; then off to the dentist, asap! Five minutes late there, but, also a day early--appointment is tomorrow!

Pause, regroup, here is today's post! Tuesday is recipe day....Do you see that Rosemary!! It's going crazy in the garden. The winter in Louisville was so mild, most of our herbs have thrived! So, today I am posting one of my students recipes for Rosemary Chicken, it is so good. I wish you all lived close enough to come by and  cut some rosemary right out of my garden!Good night and good luck!? I hope tomorrow's blog won't take 11 hours to complete!!
Watermelon! An evening "Painting Party"
by on 7/14/2012 5:14:27 PM

I love to entertain! I'm not saying I'm a great cook, or that the house always looks perfect, but guests seem to have a good time! Saturday's posts will mostly touch on "Entertaining", and although I am not hosting a gathering in my home this weekend, I did host a "Painting Party" on Thursday night. I have jumped into this new trend going on around the country. It's a great way to connect with all of those people who can't fit regular painting classes into their schedule. The group here Thursday night consisted of four of my students, who each brought a friend or family member None of the four new guests had ever painted before! I set up a mid-summer themed still life: sunflowers and watermelon. Great music, laughter, learning--and they each left with a very good painting! 

This group did opt for the casual dinner, in my great room, after the paintings were finished. We enjoyed Paula Deen's, Asian Chicken Orzo Salad, with green salad and french bread, followed by a little piece of cheesecake and fresh strawberries! We enjoyed another glass of wine, celebrated the completed paintings, and enjoyed our time getting to know our new guests.

Having no guests here tonight means extra studio time for me! I was fortunate enough to spend most of this rainy (finally!) Saturday in my studio. I thought I would go ahead and paint the watermelons and sunflowers. I didn't get as far as I wanted, but will finish tomorrow. Happy Saturday evening! Kat
Dog Days of Summer
by on 7/13/2012 7:17:49 PM

Well, I have decided to have a "topic" for each day of the week. Perhaps this will really help me to post each day. Fridays are going to be "Dog Days", because, for those who know me well, I am the original Dog Whisperer! Dogs bring joy to our life, without a doubt. Lucy is my 14 year old beautiful mutt, and Tucker is my  5 year old Shih Tzu. Together they are the greeting committee for my students every morning as they enter the studio!Just another thought, the "dog days of summer"; every once in a while I want to remind myself of the origin of this phrase, google has given me this answer today...At this time of year, Sirius the Dog Star, is closest to the Sun, and it's usually the hottest time of the year, thus the correlation. In ancient times the Dog Days were popularly believed to be an evil time "the Sea boiled, the Wine turned sour, Dogs grew mad, and all other creatures became languid; causing to man, among other diseases, burning fevers, hysterics, and phrensies." Whew, sounds like a rough time, but then again, Louisville's temperatures topped out around 107 degrees last week, so Louisvillians may have felt exactly that! (Glad I was in Michigan!)
by on 7/13/2012 7:05:30 PM

Hello! Thanks to a wonderful friend, I was vacationing on the shores of a beautiful little lake in Northern, MI last week. Lake Leelanua, near Leland. I intended to blog each day, but, was having too much fun with my girlfriends! This is the 12th year we have taken this trip, and like I said, this week of camaraderie and laughter is thanks to one very generous lady! Thanks, BT!
Here is my little "Guerilla Box" set up. I wanted to capture the sunlight on this little urn, and enjoy the view of the lake. I have a camera tripod that attaches to the bottom of the box, if I want to paint standing up. It's a wonderful arrangement for travel. This little painting will be posted for auction on Daily Paintworks in a day or two!
Daily Paintworks-daisies for van gogh
by Kathryn Gray on 6/30/2012 4:39:34 PM

This cheerful little painting was completed after viewing Van Gogh's sunflower paintings at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York city. I came back to my studio inspired to spread thick, luscious brushstrokes across the canvas. It is my second post on Daily Paintworks, and I just received and email from someone who wants to purchase it! I will hate to part with it, as I do all of my paintings!
Inspirational Quotes Daily!
by on 6/29/2012 7:56:15 PM

A while ago, I signed up for a website that sends me an "Inspirational Quote" daily. I love it! Today's quote was from the Dalai Lama: " With the realization of one's own potential and self-confidence in one's ability, one can build a better world." This is obviously a lesson that may take until middle age to realize, as we become whole, full and confident adults- we can turn around and give back to the world we live in! That's the fulfillment we strive for! 
Into my first week as a blogger!
by on 6/29/2012 7:31:38 PM

Yes, I've started blogging so many times it's embarrassing! This time it's good, I've got it! Today, I had a great class, small, but wonderful. We discussed one of the greatest living artists, Daniel Gerhartz. My students don't really know of him, but, that's my job, to educate them!  As a realist painter we must encourage and pass on the teachings of the best in our genre. They were all amazed as I passed around his new book. We also listen to inspiring music; it seems to go hand in hand with occupying and producing from the right side of our brain! Two musical artists I  mentioned today are: Marie Hines, and of course, Krishna Das! Sample them on Itunes, you won't be disappointed! After class today, I painted two florals, while the temperature climbed to 104!! My studio was 81, with a full house size AC unit cranking hard! Namaste!
I've joined Daily Paintworks!
by on 6/27/2012 3:04:45 PM

I've finally made the commitment to a daily painting website. I've thought about doing this for quite a while. I am taking on all kinds of new avenues in order to make myself paint more, while spending so much time teaching. The website is Daily Paintworks, and I'll have a small painting posted for sale every morning (or least that's the goal :)). Here is my first auction item: a small painting of my little friend Maggie, feeding the ducks at Cave Hill, here in Louisville, KY. It is a beautiful and renowned cemetery and arboretum. It's a magical place. Thanks to Maggie for being a wonderful model!
My first post on Violet, Sienna and Gray!
by on 6/27/2012 2:28:37 PM

"How Now? Brown County Cow?"
I'm adding this painting today, because I sold it a year ago to another lovely artist, named Betsy. After many years teaching art to young children, Betsy now attends one of my weekday classes. She completed a painting this morning that was FABULOUS! Congratulations to Betsy! I'll ask her for her permission to post it on my blog. We had a really great morning!