Welcome to the Creative Catalysts web site. Blog of Artist Marion Corbin Mayer about her art and other adventures.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Follow your bliss. We've all heard this. 

This is ME totally blissed out by painting!
Last weekend I did so by being a "repeat offender" attending a workshop with Artist Dreama Tolle Perry  in Lexington, KY.  It was indulgent to go back for a third time and I loved every minute of it.  Dreama has a unique way of painting and using color that has really resonated with me.  I am NOT a tonalist.  Yes, values are important but gee whiz, color is fun! I have attended workshops with Dreama twice at the Artists' Attic in Lexington and once in Carmel, Indiana. (pronounced Carmle, not CarMEL).  Some people go to Spas, I go to workshops!

I was blessed to be able to stay with a friend, rather than deal with the Lexington area hotel situation complicated by race season at Keeneland and the Rolex, a 3 day cross country event at the KY Horse Park.  It was great to have a quiet retreat after painting each day. Well, except for the thunder storms. My friend's german shepherd is afraid of thunder storms...

On the first day we painted tulips, from reference material supplied by Dreama.

Dreama used a big screem during her demos so we could see what she was doing.

My painting, Step 1: transparent, colorful underpainting.

My painting, Step 2: begin layering opaque colors & DARKS

My painting, Step 3, add finishing touches.
I made a few additional changes after this & still have to take the final image.

Source image provided by Dreama.
As you can tell, I really enjoyed myself!  Three days seems about perfect for a painting workshop.  I met women from all over the US and a lovely husband/wife team from Calgary, CA.  There was even another artist from Cincinnati.  We enjoyed driving home together after the workshop.

I am grateful for the many blessings of my life as it is today. 

Start where you are
Love what you have
Do what you can

Thursday, February 05, 2015

January Painting challenge: a look back

Painting Challenge Summary collage
January was made very interesting when I decided to participate in Leslie Saeta's "30 Paintings in 30 Days" challenge.  I go distracted and stopped at 14 but really enjoyed how this challenge helped me cope with my usual SAD during January.  I really hate living in the midwest during January & February. Love it the rest of the time but winter is tough for me, especially have a dog that needs to be walked several times a day. (NO fenced yard to fall back on...)

I loved having a reason to get going in the morning and sling some paint around. I accepted several pet portrait commissions and also participated in a group show called "Inspired by Abroad."


See http://aydzn.com/2014/12/inspired-abroad/  I also was blessed to sell three of my paintings during this show.  It was fun to participate in two openings as well.  One for the public & one sponsored by the Travel Authority  I really appreciate Amy Yosmali & AY Design / Art on Vine for this opportunity.

Daily painting has taught me that excuses do not matter.  Slinging paint does.  Being an artist is a blessing every day that I allow myself to settle down and paint.  Writers understand this.  There are so many other worthy distractions as well as silly things to do that can keep me from painting.  It takes a challenge like this to initiate the discipline to BE creative.  So get out there & do something!

I am grateful for the many blessings of my life as it is today. 

Start where you are
Love what you have
Do what you can

Thursday, January 15, 2015

12 of 30

French Laundry, 8x8", Oil on canvas panel, $100
12 of 30

Yes, I know, I have fallen a bit behind on the challenge. I accept that the 30 paintings in 30 days is a challenge & goal that may not exactly fit the reality of my life.  I do intend to keep striving though!

This piece is based on an image I snapped in Belaye, France.  On the other side of that low wall is a cliff, with the Lot river valley opening up below. Vineyards & sunflower fields are far as the eye can see...

I have a show opening tomorrow night at a very nice new gallery in Cincinnati called "Art on Vine".  I am so happy to have been included in this group show.  It's really great to see my work collected in one place, too.


 


Two pieces were inspired by our trip to Paris & Giverny in 2011, the rest came from images from our trip to southern France this past summer.  We stayed at www.hautbaran.com & it was amazing. If you ever want to visit France with people who create an amazing experience FOR you, this is the place!

If you are in the Cincinnati area, please come to our opening tomorrow night, details follow the link below.

I am grateful for the many blessings of my life as it is today. 

Start where you are
Love what you have
Do what you can

Information on my upcoming group show "Inspired by Abroad" can be found here

Sunday, January 11, 2015

11 of 30

Shh! It's a Secret!, 8x10", Oil on Panel, private commission
#11 of 30

So here it is - my secret commission for an anniversary gift TODAY!  Hope she likes it. He was happy with it. I am pretty darn happy as well.  I love the moment when the dog's personality emerges from the paint.  Because this is a black dog & black can be such a "dead" color I worked in a lot of other colors. I think this is the best dog nose I have ever painted.  The anatomy of dog noses is really weird (IMHO). It is gratifying to be getting a hang of it.

Here's the magic behind the scenes...



at this point I always think, "Great heavens! What have I done?"






A grand day's work! Since I had this done already I was able to spend this afternoon doing some framing for my upcoming show. The opening is this Friday. See link below. Hope you can come!

I am grateful for the many blessings of my life as it is today. 

Start where you are
Love what you have
Do what you can

Information on my upcoming group show "Inspired by Abroad" can be found here

Saturday, January 10, 2015

10 of 30. 1/3 though the month!

Castlefranc Bridge. 6x6" Watercolor
10 of 30

Again I went to my photos from France for inspiration tonight.  We painted this bridge on location in Castlefranc (means "free castle") I was able to catch someone wearing a bright blue shirt gazing at the waters.  Didn't make it into my oil sketch but made it into this watercolor.  It was a beautiful morning to be out painting in France.  We went into town & enjoyed a picnic lunch in a wonderful community garden, then explored a church that had been built in 1465.  Before "Columbus sailed the ocean blue..."  The beauty of this area of France is that it had no strategic importance so was spared both WW1 & WW2. So much stuff is really, really old there.

My oil sketch was way more somber:

Castlefranc, 6x6", oil on panel
It's fun to wallow in summer memories when it's 20 degrees with sleet and ice predicted...

I am grateful for the many blessings of my life as it is today. 

Start where you are
Love what you have
Do what you can

Information on my upcoming group show "Inspired by Abroad" can be found here

Friday, January 09, 2015

9 of 30

Haut Baran Hydrangeas, 8x10", Pastel on Panel, $225
9 of 30

Today I attended a pastel class led by Ray Hassard (www.rayhassard.com). I have been working with Ray for many years. I love his teaching style and wonderful work. I own two of his pieces. It was a grand afternoon plus I managed to complete another painting.  This is the third version of this scene that I have painted, first on location in oil, then in watercolor from a sketch I started on location and now in pastel. I think this is the most successful.


H.B. Hydrangeas, 6x8", oil on panel
x
H.B. Hydrangeas, 7x5", Watercolor
The process of painting in pastel is very different than oil or water color.  There are so many colors to use (I've been collecting pastels for years!)

Start with a sketch, then build up the darks




My pastel collection in my Heilman "backpacker" box
http://heilmandesigns.com/?product=heilman-backpack-pastel-box

The thing to know about pastels is no matter how many you own there are way more lovely colors to lust over...  I am concentrating on using what I have. We are blessed in Cincinnati to have Great American Pastels manufactured right here.  http://www.greatpastels.com/

I am grateful for the many blessings of my life as it is today. 

Start where you are
Love what you have
Do what you can

Information on my upcoming group show "Inspired by Abroad" can be found here

Thursday, January 08, 2015

8 of 30

Apples, 6x6" Watercolor
8 of 30
 Today it was very, very cold. We began the day below zero & made it up to 18 degrees. Walking a dog in this weather is very challenging. And yet I managed to get to my swim exercise class and assorted other commitments. Painting at the studio was replaced by packing up a painting to mail and .. and...

So here I am tonight back with my watercolors at home.  I based this painting on a shot I toook looking UP into an apple tree last summer. We have one tree in our neighborhood that the deer love. The owners don't seem to like apples.  It's a good tree.  I just feel uncomfortable harvesting a tree not on my property.  As I said, the deer love the apples, as do the yellow jackets.  The sight reminds me of summer.  and being warm.  I am grateful to be snug & warm at home tonight.

I play with watercolors. These are my travel kits.
I hope that you too are warm & dry tonight!

I am grateful for the many blessings of my life as it is today. 

Start where you are
Love what you have
Do what you can

Information on my upcoming group show "Inspired by Abroad" can be found here