Story Time with Jeanette Wolff

“A Man and His Dog” oil by Jeanette Wolff

I took a photo of my friend taking a quick smoking break-when I painted it later I included a dog-it made me happy because he had seemed lonely! And that’s the story behind “A Man and His Dog.”

See more of Jeanette’s art when her studio is open in Cambria during the Open Studios Art Tour, both weekends: October 13/14 and 20/21 from 10am-5pm.


“Keep An Eye Out For…” by Karen Krahl

San Luis Obispo artist, Karen Krahl wants you to keep an eye out for her pieces “Minden Palomino” and  “Santa Fe Arroyo.” Below are details of each piece. If you’d like to see the rest – you’ll have to visit her during the 2012 Open Studios Art Tour. Krahl is participating only the first weekend of the Tour, October 13/14 10am-5pm.

detail of “Minden Palomino” by Karen Krahl

I started this ambitious canvas several years ago. I was working from a photo that I’d scanned, and used “curves” on photo shop to bring out some bizarre colors. It was all lavender, yellows; not a realistic landscape at all, and so I set it aside. I still liked the composition, but a lot was left to do. I almost threw it out one day.

Then I completely changed the pallet of colors. Working from a small blow up of the 4x 6 with this canvas which is about 4 x 4 feet was painstaking and a real time sink.

Finally I began to like what I saw, but I had challenges depicting a volcanic rock outcropping in the mountain range, and decisions to make about how much detail I wanted to add to the fields, the grass, and when exactly I could pronounce the painting done. I could still be painting grass fronds today on that thing, but I thought I’d left the beholder’s imagination fill in the rest. I left it at a gesture.

detail of “Santa Fe Arroyo” by Karen Krahl

I had a devil of a time working from a small photo when I was out in Santa Fe painting with John Farnsworth in his studio. He wanted me to paint on 6″ x 6″ gessoed masonite squares. Between the photo and square I was painting on, I wasn’t quite sure what I was looking at.

First I was thinking the white things were rocks, but he had personally walked  through arroyo and when he glanced over at my painting, he informed me what I was painting weren’t rocks, they were a specific kind of desert weed. That helped a lot.

Next I asked, if I could paint on a medium sized canvas now that I’d taken his directions on making compositions on a small space. He resisted, but the next day a large canvas greeted me when I walked in his studio. I painted the same scene as the day before, but now had more room for detail.

I wound up not mastering the white weeds, nor much detail, but several weeks later when they shipped my finished “masterpiece” as he kidded me, I was surprised by how much I liked the feel, the vivid colors. The reason it had to be shipped was that the only medium he would let me use was walnut oil, and it took forever to dry.

My Favorite Tool: Stuart Denker

It has never been a secret that my camera plays a very important role in most of my acrylic painting.

In the past, I’ve spent a great deal of time making an ink-jet color print of the photo (my field sketch) selected as the painting subject, wasting an inordinate amount of expensive Epson ink and print paper to produce a reference print with the appropriate detail, color and values.

Since adding an iPad to my studio equipment, I no longer make a color reference print. Instead, I make a quick black and white print on cheap paper providing all the information I need to develop the composition and drawing on the canvas. The color rendition of the photograph on the iPad screen provides me with a vastly superior body of the detailed color, light and shadows.

This snapshot shows my work table with the iPad, a flimsy black and white print and a glimpse of the nearly finished painting.

process of using the iPad

finished piece, using the iPad to reference color

Visit Stuart’s studio in Los Osos this October during the Open Studios Art Tour October 13/14 and 20/21 from 10am-5pm.

Story Time with Rollie Younger

POWER UP TEA: Each teapot holds much more than tea — it reflects the personality of a culture.  That’s what I have found in my travels from the village potters of Japan to the studio of Michael Cardew in England and on to the countryside potters of Denmark. I’ve always been fascinated with teapots — the shapes, the forms.  A teapot keeps me grounded because it demands to hold water and pour properly. It is an everyday item that can remind its user of the joy, humor and beauty in life.  I like the fact that people use art in an everyday way when they use their teapots.  That’s art in motion!

 On the other hand, a Boiler teapot allows me to leap from functional to funk-tional. If it has a handle and a spout, it’s a teapot. Having  explored those different  shapes, techniques and attitudes, I have developed a bit of an attitude myself — this “boiler teapot” reflects the culture of the industrialized world where the demands are great and the breaks are few. The teapot “Passion Tea” makes that short break fun. – Rollie Younger

“Power Up”

Rollie Younger is listed in the 2012 Open Studios Art Tour catalog as “Rollie Younger’s Cambria Pottery” and his studios is located in Cambria, California. Rollie will be participating BOTH weekends during the 2012 Tour: October 13/14 and 20/21. Visit the ARTS Obispo website to learn more about the Open Studios Art Tour.