<![CDATA[Dena Dena - Painting with Purpose...my thoughts on painting and art]]> http://www.denapaints.com/page13998.htm en-us ImpactFolios RSS Generator Channeling Van Gogh http://www.denapaints.com/page13998.htm?blog=5825 <p>I am proud to announce that I have been chosen as one of 115 painters to work on the upcoming film, &quot;Loving Vincent&quot;. It was an arduous process of first submitting a portfoio of my work to the team in Gdansk, Poland. &nbsp;There were over 5000 portfolios submitted! I was chosen as one to come and test for the work, which is part painting, part animating the paintings, making them come to life, in the style of Vincent Van Gogh. &nbsp;The test was three days in the Gdansk studios. &nbsp;I passed! &nbsp;Then, I returned to be a part of a three week training session. During this time, if we did not meet their standards, we could be sent home. &nbsp;I also passed this and am now officially working on the film! &nbsp;It is hoped to be released in October of 2016. &nbsp;</p><p>Artists working here in Gdansk, Wroclaw, Poland and near Athens, Greece are from all over the world. This truly is an international effort! &nbsp;This is truly is a labor of love and a high tribute to Mr. Van Gogh. &nbsp;</p><p>The animation process is very difficult to learn. &nbsp;I feel quite accomplished as a painter, but animating paintings, in the style of Van Gogh, is quite another matter altogether. &nbsp;It involves first creating a Key Frame (KF) that is the beginning of the scene. &nbsp;It is often one of Van Gogh&#39;s classic paintings or it involves a character from one. &nbsp;A video reference is created first using actors and thier movements and conversations. &nbsp;The painters are given this as well as other references to compare each painting to the scene as well as to the likeness of the actor. &nbsp;Brushwork must be in Van Gogh&#39;s style...often thick impasto and in a colorful, broken-stroke style. &nbsp;As the characters move and speak, a new painting, or &quot;frame&quot; is created. The KF painting is photographed after the colors are matched via a computer monitor, which shows the color very differently than our eye sees them. &nbsp;Color matching is a crucial part of creating the KF. &nbsp;As we animate, we scrape off any parts that are moving, and repaint them, maintaining the original integrity of the color and brushwork. If any part is changed too drastically, it shows as the animation is played back. &nbsp;&quot;Flicker&quot; occurs when a non-animated part of the scene, the background wall or a table, for example, is &quot;messed with&quot; unintentionally during the painting. &nbsp;It flashes as a new color or shape that shouldn&#39;t be there.</p><p>Needless to say, this is very tedious and difficult work! Approximately 65,000 oil paintings are required in total for 80 minutes of animated film. &nbsp;On average, I would guess that about 100 frames of paintings will be required for about 10 &nbsp;seconds of movie! &nbsp;An average work day is 10 hours sitting at a canvas with the computer monitor and software. &nbsp;We make about 12.50 PLN per hour, which is about $3. &nbsp;Obviously, we aren&#39;t doing this for the money! But they do appreciate and need our skills to complete this film, a dream of the director, Dorota Kobiela, a native of Poland. &nbsp;Hugh Welchman is co-director. It is being made at Breakthru Studios and you can find out more about it here: &nbsp;http://www.lovingvincent.com/?id=home</p><p><strong style="font-family: Arial;"><img alt="" src="http://www.impactfolios.com/denakirk/29149/29149-303853-large.jpg" style="width: 320px; height: 240px;" /></strong></p><p><strong style="font-family: Arial;"><img alt="" src="http://www.impactfolios.com/denakirk/29149/29149-303851-large.jpg" style="width: 320px; height: 240px;" /></strong></p><p><img alt="" src="http://www.impactfolios.com/denakirk/29149/29149-303852-large.jpg" style="width: 320px; height: 240px;" /></p><p><img alt="" src="http://www.impactfolios.com/denakirk/29149/29149-303850-large.jpg" style="width: 320px; height: 240px;" /></p> Sat, 09 Jul 2016 06:33:26 EST http://www.denapaints.com/page13998.htm?blog=5825?blog=5825 The Wyeths http://www.denapaints.com/page13998.htm?blog=5810 <div>I just saw the Andrew and Jamie Wyeth exhibit at the Denver Art Museum. Curated by Timothy Standring, it is an amazing show of the work of these two men. &nbsp;Many years ago, I lived in Philadelphia. I used to enjoy just exploring the area. It was on one of these explorations that I discovered the Brandywine River Museum. At that time, Andrew&rsquo;s studio was not open to the public. No matter; the museum and grounds were breath-taking. I fell in love with the Wyeth&rsquo;s and their work. What an amazing lineage&hellip;NC, Andrew, and Jamie. In later years, I learned that several artists I was drawn to had studied with NC.&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Some contemporary painters say they have no interest in the Wyeth&rsquo;s and their type of &ldquo;realism&rdquo;. What they often don&#39;t get is that Andrew and Jamie are incredibly adept at abstraction in their realism. Their subject matter is not necessarily of the beautiful, but the mundane, the everyday. And, they make it beautiful. Or at least to me, they do.&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&ldquo;I&rsquo;m not interested in quiet, placid landscapes. Nature is not lyrical and nice.&rdquo;</div><div>Andrew Wyeth</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Years ago in a used bookstore, I discovered a treasure, as I often have in used bookstores. It was a paperback book called, &ldquo;Dog Days&rdquo;, by Jamie Wyeth. It is full of amazing portraits and studies of dogs. The images are accompanied by the artist&rsquo;s own words about his work and the importance of his dogs in his life. The work is fresh and unlabored, yet with the background in drawing and abstract design that makes his paintings so alive. Okay, yes, realistic. But so much more. He sees dogs as they are and as they behave; not in a glorified or &ldquo;cutesy&rdquo; way. Not surprisingly, my favorite paintings in the Denver show were Jamie&rsquo;s dogs, birds, and other animals. The compositions are so unique and clever. Seeing the texture of the paint in person made them really come to life.&nbsp;</div><div><img alt="" src="http://www.impactfolios.com/denakirk/28654/28654-300571-large.jpg" style="width: 100px; height: 136px;" />&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;<img alt="" src="http://www.impactfolios.com/denakirk/28654/28654-300574-large.jpg" style="width: 100px; height: 133px;" /> &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;</div><div>Both works above from &ldquo;Dog Days&rdquo;, Jamie Wyeth</div><div><img alt="" src="http://www.impactfolios.com/denakirk/28654/28654-300573-large.jpg" style="width: 200px; height: 150px;" />&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;<img alt="" src="http://www.impactfolios.com/denakirk/28654/28654-300572-large.jpg" style="width: 200px; height: 150px;" /></div><div>Painting and detail from the Denver exhibit, Jamie Wyeth.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>I prefer animals to people. I don&#39;t mean that in an anti-social way, but it&#39;s the truth. I also prefer paintings of animals over people. Although I&#39;ve always said that subject matter isn&#39;t important for a painting to be good, these paintings are definitely better because of the animals. And even more so, because of the way he paints them.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>When I was living in Philadelphia back in the 80&rsquo;s, I took a painting class with an art professor named John Cederstrom, who also taught at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art. I was a novice then, but he once told me that my paintings at the time reminded him of Andrew Wyeth. I have never forgotten that compliment and am honored to have been compared to such a giant in the art world. My work has changed since; a little less realism. But, I could learn so very much from the Wyeth&rsquo;s. &nbsp;Jamie, for me, really pushed the boundaries of his world of realism beyond his father. But Andrew showed Jamie the way.&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&ldquo;Wyeth: &nbsp;Andrew and Jamie in the Studio&rdquo; runs through February 7 in the Hamilton Building at the Denver Art Museum. &nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div> Thu, 26 Nov 2015 07:20:51 EST http://www.denapaints.com/page13998.htm?blog=5810?blog=5810 Advice from a painter on collecting art http://www.denapaints.com/page13998.htm?blog=5805 <p>&ldquo;I really enjoy art and would like to start collecting.&nbsp; But, I am not educated in art at all and often don&rsquo;t understand much of the art that I see.&nbsp; I am intimidated by many galleries and artists. How do I know if a work is &lsquo;good&rsquo; and will retain or increase in value?&rdquo;</p><p>Painter Dena Peterson answers:</p><p>The best reason to buy art is because you love it.&nbsp; I believe that if you do this, you can&rsquo;t go wrong.&nbsp;</p><p>However, if you also want to build a collection of art that you believe will have lasting value, there are a few things to keep in mind that might help you along the way.&nbsp; These tips will also help you to have more confidence and feel less intimidated as you visit galleries and artists&rsquo; studios to begin your journey as a new art collector.</p><p>&middot;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Has the artist studied her medium for many years?&nbsp; This doesn&rsquo;t necessarily mean a college art degree.&nbsp; Many accomplished artists study with other reputable artists through workshops, ongoing classes, or apprentice programs.&nbsp; Knowing the basics of art, having this &ldquo;core&rdquo; knowledge, regardless of the style of art she has adapted currently, shows the diligence and dedication she has committed to her art.&nbsp; Most artists have a resume that will show this type of study.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&middot;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Years of painting (sculpting, photographing, etc.) makes a difference.&nbsp; This does not imply that a new or emerging artist is not worth collecting. However, I do believe that &ldquo;brush mileage&rdquo; shows dedication to the artists&rsquo; career and the perseverance needed to improve his skills.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&middot;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; The artist&rsquo;s work must show an originality in concept and design from start to finish. This means that she does not rely on source material that was not created by her.&nbsp; A true professional will never copy from a photo from anywhere or anyone, even if they claim they had &ldquo;permission&rdquo;.&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&middot;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Similarly, just because a work of art looks &ldquo;just like a photo&rdquo;, does not mean it is good art! For me and most professional artists, that phrase is NOT a compliment!&nbsp; Even if a work is representational (meaning it looks like something that most viewers can identify), it must exhibit a feeling of originality and passion that may have nothing to do with how much the work &ldquo;looks like&rdquo; the subject.&nbsp; A good painting, for example, must go beyond the literal interpretation of subject matter.&nbsp; The artist has a clear &ldquo;visual purpose&rdquo; in creating his work. This is what makes it a painting.&nbsp; Otherwise, we could just take a photograph.&nbsp; (In fact, good artistic photography does so much more than simply record a scene or subject).</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>Other &ldquo;artistic&rdquo; things to look for in the work of art itself are (and I know painting, so this is what I will speak to):</p><p style="margin-left:38.8pt;">&middot;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; a strong understanding of values and how to organize them (values are the relative lightness and darkness of the shapes in the painting)</p><p style="margin-left:38.8pt;">&middot;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; a good variety in the use of the brushwork (visually hard or soft &ldquo;edges&rdquo;, thick or thin paint, etc.)</p><p style="margin-left:38.8pt;">&middot;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; a strong knowledge of design and composition (placement of shapes in an interesting way and in a way that leads the viewers&rsquo; eye easily throughout the painting)</p><p style="margin-left:38.8pt;">&middot;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; a good knowledge of drawing skills and linear or atmospheric perspective.&nbsp; Again, many artists know these &ldquo;rules&rdquo; and choose to break them for visual impact or other artistic reasons.&nbsp; The key is that you can tell when they are doing it on purpose, and not because they have no understanding of them.&nbsp;&nbsp; The same applies to non-representational paintings. Good non-representational work is not simply just throwing paint on a canvas like a &ldquo;kindergartner&rdquo;.&nbsp; It may have seemed like that is what Jackson Pollack was doing; however, he did it very deliberately and purposefully in an attempt to achieve a desired design and effect.</p><p>I hope this has given you an artistic language that you can use to communicate with artists and gallery owners as you begin your adventure in collecting art!</p><p>Dena</p> Sat, 17 Oct 2015 12:20:33 EST http://www.denapaints.com/page13998.htm?blog=5805?blog=5805 What is plein air painting....really? http://www.denapaints.com/page13998.htm?blog=4687 <p><span style="font-size: medium"><span style="font-family: Verdana"><img style="width: 297px; height: 267px" alt="" width="600" height="600" src="http://www.impactfolios.com/denakirk/1140/1140-257300-large.jpg" /></span></span></p><p>&quot;Water Shapes&quot;&nbsp; Dena Peterson Kirk&nbsp;&nbsp; 8&quot;x10&quot;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Oil on Linen&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Painted entirely on location, Big Thompson Canyon, between Estes Park and Loveland, CO</p><p><span style="font-size: medium"><span style="font-family: Verdana">This painting was just accepted into the Plein Air Artists Colorado 16th National Juried Fine Art Exhibition and Sale (to be held at Wilder Nightingale Fine Art in Taos, NM, May 5-May 24, 2012).</span></span>&nbsp;</p><p><span style="font-size: medium"><span style="font-family: Verdana">Shameless self-promotion aside, I am proud to be a part of this show; it is definitely not easy to get accepted.&nbsp; Not only that, it isn't easy to create true &quot;plein-air&quot; paintings, especially those I would be proud to frame and hang in a gallery.&nbsp; I would say out of all the plein-air paintings I do, only about one out of five are, in my opinion, worthy of selling.&nbsp; That doesn't diminish the benefits of painting <em>en plein air</em> and is not a comment on my painting skills.&nbsp; Most of the time, the paintings created in this manner are for my eyes only or to be used as a reference for a later studio painting.&nbsp; I have a feeling this is true for many artists, whether beginning or accomplished.</span></span></p><p><span style="font-size: medium"><span style="font-family: Verdana">Most people who have an interest in painting have heard the term &quot;plein air&quot;, unless they have been living in a cave (hopefully one with awesome cave paintings, like Lascaux).&nbsp; Plein air painting is simply painting in the open air.&nbsp; Although it's become quite the catchphrase in the art world, it's been around since the time of the Impressionists and probably before.&nbsp; Anyone who takes their paper, canvas, brushes, and paints outside to paint what they see there is painting &quot;plein-air&quot;.&nbsp; </span></span></p><p><span style="font-size: medium"><span style="font-family: Verdana">Plein air painting is not for the faint of heart. It's hard work and requires a tremendous amount of concentration.&nbsp; The physical demands&nbsp;of packing and hiking with all the gear&nbsp;can be daunting.&nbsp; Setting up, dealing with the elements (wind, rain, snow, sun, bugs, mud, etc.), and packing up require some backbone.&nbsp; Oh yes, then there is the part about painting!&nbsp; Some would say, &quot;the fun part&quot;.&nbsp; Well, it is satisfying, but &quot;fun&quot; isn't necessarily the right word.&nbsp; The hardest part about painting outdoors is in simplifying what one sees.&nbsp; There is alot of information outdoors; often, too much to paint before the light begins to change...no more than a couple of hours.&nbsp; The novice painter will try to paint everything she sees, which, in my opinion, does not make for a good painting.&nbsp; The real skill lies in learning how to simplify and edit.&nbsp; This often takes years of learning and practicing.&nbsp; </span></span></p><p><span style="font-size: medium"><span style="font-family: Verdana">However, in&nbsp; my mind, the very act of reducing a scene to it's basic elements is what makes the plein-air painting such a beautiful thing.&nbsp; For me, a plein-air painting is meant to be a quick impression of the scene before the artist.&nbsp; The best ones are generally smaller, thus not over-worked and fresh.&nbsp; They are done quickly and instinctively, all while the artist applies the fundamentals of design that has taken years to master.&nbsp; So, just because it is painted quickly, does not mean it is any easier or less valuable.&nbsp; A doctor may be able to make a quick diagnosis; however, aren't you glad she has the years of training to help her to do it accurately?&nbsp; Painting is similar, though maybe not so life and death (okay...sometimes painting feels like life or death to me!).&nbsp; </span></span></p><p><span style="font-size: medium"><span style="font-family: Verdana">What is less valuable, however, is when a painter sets outside to do a plein air painting and, for whatever reason, decides to bring it home and finish it in the studio.&nbsp; To me, it then ceases to be a plein air piece.&nbsp; Once in the studio, a painting that begins as a fresh impression, often ends up being overworked in an attempt to make perfect what wasn't meant to be in the first place.&nbsp; The popularity of various plein air shows and competitions has, for me, taken away from the true spirit of plein air in many cases.&nbsp; The pressure to have &quot;finished&quot; works to hang, sell, and be judged tempts too many artists to complete their work in the studio.&nbsp; The very beauty of &quot;plein air&quot; becomes lost.&nbsp; Additionally, the standards by which plein air paintings are judged by the public change...soon, collectors are expecting plein air works to be more &quot;finished&quot;; this often means larger, pricier, and more &quot;detailed&quot;...the very anthithesis of the beauty of a plein air sketch.</span></span></p><p><span style="font-size: medium"><span style="font-family: Verdana">I urge all artists and collectors out there to beware of popularizing plein air painting events,&nbsp;shows, and competitions&nbsp;to the point that true plein air painting becomes extinct.</span></span></p> Wed, 22 Feb 2012 06:07:58 EST http://www.denapaints.com/page13998.htm?blog=4687?blog=4687 Thoughts about teaching and painting http://www.denapaints.com/page13998.htm?blog=4636 <p><img alt="Gone To Seed, Dena Kirk, Oil on Canvas" width="262" height="293" src="http://www.impactfolios.com/denakirk/19077/19077-191435-large.jpg" /></p><p>Tuesdays are my painting class days.&nbsp; I really look forward to class most days.&nbsp; And, even if I am not really feeling &quot;up to it&quot; on any particular day, by the time class comes to an end, I am always glad I taught.&nbsp; No matter how I feel, once I start talking about the process of painting, I get really jazzed about it!&nbsp; One point seems to lead to another interesting point, which leads me to think of a certain painting by one of the Master's, or a more contemporary artist and, before you know it, I am off searching through my stacks of art books for an example of a painting that will help to illustrate my idea to the student.&nbsp; It's so funny to me that most days, I can't remember where I parked my car, but I can almost instantly reach for the exact book where a certain painting image is located.&nbsp; And, I have hundreds of art books...not alphabetized, no Dewey Decimal System; but I am pretty sure I can grab the right&nbsp;one just by seeing the color on the jacket.&nbsp;</p><p>There is so very much to learn about painting...I am always learning.&nbsp; There is even more to learn about how to teach about painting.&nbsp; My students over the years have been great about helping me know how to help them best.&nbsp; No one thing works for everyone, as any school teacher will tell you.&nbsp; But, when something does &quot;click&quot;, it's a pretty neat feeling.&nbsp; We all can remember that one teacher that finally got through to&nbsp;us.&nbsp; One thing I am learning is that students also need to be &quot;ready&quot; to hear about something.&nbsp; One of my early workshop experiences was a lesson about this for me, although I didn't realize it at the time.&nbsp; This was a guy whose work I loved and was (is) incredibly well-repsected in the art world.&nbsp; I was fortunate enough to get into a 3-day workshop.&nbsp; I was a decent painter at that point, but really, kind of just &quot;getting it&quot;.&nbsp; (However, I probably thought I was better than I was!!).&nbsp; Well, the workshop went a bit over my head and I found the instructor to be somewhat &quot;impatient&quot; with me.&nbsp; I mean, I could get a decent rendering of the still life we were working from, nice colors, pretty strong values.&nbsp; Yet, I couldn't figure out why he wasn't just patting me on the back and saying, &quot;great job&quot;!&nbsp; I wanted my art diploma!&nbsp; I had succeeded, right?&nbsp;</p><p>No pat on the back...not even much encouragement.&nbsp; I left almost in tears.&nbsp; A few years later, however, I understood what he was trying to convey.&nbsp; I get that he was trying to push me to take the painting farther...that a painting is more than a &quot;rendering&quot; of a teapot or flowers.&nbsp; It's about shapes, values, edges, pushing, pulling, what to leave out, what to keep in, leading the eye, making every space interesting.&nbsp;</p><p>I try to remember that now, every time I teach.&nbsp; Yes, my job is to encourage, to praise, to be passionate and share my enthusiasm for painting.&nbsp; But, I do my students an injustice if I just keep them at their own status quo.&nbsp; It's a balance...how far and hard do I push them and when is it too much? What is our purpose in taking a class? For some,&nbsp;it is to be challenged, to move beyond the ordinary.&nbsp; For others, it is for validation.&nbsp; I hope to do both tomorrow&nbsp;morning!&nbsp;</p> Mon, 06 Feb 2012 08:44:05 EST http://www.denapaints.com/page13998.htm?blog=4636?blog=4636