Fun, Easy, Painting Party Class at Brilhante in Kailua

It’s time for another fun painting party class at Brilhante!  This painting is “Sunset Hibiscus”  I will teach everyone how to paint an Pua Aloalo yellow hibiscus (the state flower) in front of a sunset sky and water.

November 4, 2017 (Saturday) 5:30 – 8 pm
Brilhante Custom Framing & Fine Art
1247 Kailua Rd #2a, Kailua, HI 96734
$40 (we supply all the materials)
Please bring an appetizer or drink to share

Although painting will begin at 6 pm, it’s best to come at 5:30 so you can meet everyone, eat a snack, and get relaxed before we start painting.  The cost per person is $40 which includes all painting materials. You need only bring a snack of some sort to share, and the rest is set up! We are going to have a good time! 


We always have a cap of 12 people when I teach at Brilhante, so I can really customize and scale the painting to be appropriate for a wide range of artists from the beginner that hasn’t touched a brush since grade school, to the intermediate painter. We always have the full range of skill levels present in our parties, so don’t be afraid to come no matter how much or little you have painted.  I design these paintings for a wide range of skills and assure that everyone will have good time and hopefully learn a few skills by the end of the night. I am able to give a lot of guidance and help you respond to spontaneous changes you make to the painting.  It is fun and relaxing to be creative in a group! We each bring something to share like a bottle of wine or a party food, and we relax and let the paint flow. I truly enjoy teaching in this laid back party setting!

This class will be about value and getting the most vibrant color from your paints on the petals.  Along the way we will learn a nice wet-in-wet technique to get a smooth sunset, some glazing, and a bit about color and what makes this painting work as an image.

If you want to join in, please call Tracy at Brilhante Custom Framing and Gallery at (808) 263-1096 to reserve a spot. It almost always sells out (as of 10/26/2017, two days after we really started announcing it, there are 6 spots left). It’s best to call soon if you want to come.

Leukemia Society Fundraiser

I am participating in the upcoming fundraiser for the Lymphoma Leukemia Society at the McKellar Residence: 148 Kaimoani Way, Kailua, Hawaii, 96734, this weekend, Sunday October 29, 2017 from 2 – 5 pm.  I will personally be late since I am also taking a workshop but I do plan to come from 4 – 5.  There will be art for sale with a minimum of 50% of all proceeds going to the Leukemia Society.  Many accomplished artists are donating work to the event, and Greg and Junko (an award-winning steel drum band) will play live music for us at this lovely beachside home!  Please see this flyer for more information:

Leukemia Fundraiser

I would also urge anyone who feels altruistic to get signed up as a possible marrow donor.  Someone amazing did this for my uncle.  I was thinking of testing for compatibility when a kind stranger matched him before I could even find out how to sign up.  Later, I signed up in the hopes to pay it forward someday.  Maybe I will be the stranger with the right marrow to help make extra years possible for someone as wonderful as my uncle. He was seriously ill, but was fortunate to recover well after the bone marrow transplant.  He has been granted precious years of life to nuture his grandkids and spend time with friends and family. 

Please click here to learn the basics of what it means to sign up in the database and what it would require to be a donor:

https://bethematch.org/transplant-basics/how-marrow-donation-works/steps-of-bone-marrow-or-pbsc-donation/

If you are between the ages of 18 and 44, you are the right age to be the match. With a simple cheek swab, you can be in the database, and if a match comes up, you can make the decision of whether you are able to donate marrow.   Please visit this link to learn how to take the first step to being in the database (a DNA swab to determine compatibility with future patients):

https://join.bethematch.org/sidenavjoin

With Hawaii, there are many unique racial combinations, and so it’s important especially here in Hawaii to register since the need for marrow often follows racial/hereditary lines. and it is harder for multiracial patients to be able to match. Someone on the island with wonderful diverse heritage could be the key to help a Filipino/Hawaiian/Japanese/Native American/Irish mixed ancestry patient that would otherwise be unable to find a match.

 

 

Inktober

Inktober: "Teeming"

Inktober: “Teeming”

I wanted to at least do one day of Inktober, the seemingly ubiquitous challenge that has a list of prompts and is an great reason to hone skills with ink drawing.  Today I had time to create something, so I looked at the official prompt.  “Teeming” – what a fitting prompt for me lately.  My mind has been swimming with thoughts that flit like fish, unpredictable emotions, and a feeling of drifting like a school of fish.  It’s been a tough couple of weeks.  I decided to use this as a therapeutic exercise as well as a technical one to express that dreamy, lost quality.  Utilizing memories and a photo from my latest scuba dive, I delved into a inner self-portrait of sorts.  There is an odd photo after scuba where my hair was tangled and wavy, and I started with that as inspiration, knowing I was going to weave fish between the locks like tessellations.  From there, I let myself wander. 

If you want to draw for part or all of Inktober, here is the site and the prompts and “rules” (follow them if you want, or just be joyful and don’t worry about it) are below. 

Enjoy!

 

30 in 30: Highlights to Date

As the official 30 in 30 wraps up on Leslie Saeta’s site, I have gathered a set of 16 paintings to make a collage of my highlights to show for her conclusion posting.  Having most of the challenge complete, my daily painting habit is strong. An artist can only improve with time spent at the easel, so it’s good to hone habits and make an effort to paint as often as I can.  I will end up with a little less than 30 paintings because some are taking more than one day, but it won’t be far off. I am feeling very productive and definitely took the challenge seriously.  I spent significant time at the easel every day.  I opted not to show some pieces that need more work, but I have them behind the scenes waiting to emerge after finishing touches. 

With so many shows coming up, these little paintings are coming into existence at the perfect time.  I have already sold 6 paintings from this series, so the rewards for my work with the brush have started to flow.  I am very grateful!  My teenage daughter called dibs on the scuba dive painting from memory (“Black Coral Cave” – which I was not planning to sell). Since she was with me when we went into the beautiful caves, it seems fitting to give that piece to her. Seeing her fist pump the air when I told her she could have it was the best sort of payment!

This wraps up the official Saeta Blog timeline of the 30 in 30, but of course I will continue for a few more days to account for starting 5 days later than everyone else. Thank you for taking the time to read my blog – it’s more fun to write if someone actually reads it!

30 in 30: Iiwi on a Blue Lobeliad

Iiwi on Blue Lobeliad Flowers by Wendy Roberts

Today’s bird is one of my favorites that I paint more than any other bird, the iiwi.  I love the bright red-orange color of its feathers.  I keep finding new color schemes I want to try with this vibrant red color.  This time the tiny honeycreeper is nestled on a vivid blue-purple lobeliad plant in bloom, using its curved beak to feed on nectar within the flowers.  Thanks to Kim and Forest Starr for a wonderful series of photos that served as inspiration.  

30 in 30: Day 1 of Shama Thrush in a Mountain Apple Tree

Day 1 of “Shama Thrush in a Mountain Apple Tree” Yesterday’s work was rushed and didn’t turn out well, but you will see it later on once it’s had time to be sorted out. In the meantime, I started a new painting that I will show the daily progress on. I don’t always do an underpainting, but this is a complex scene and I felt a brown undertone would be great for this one.

This painting is part of the 30 in 30 challenge.  You can see the completed paintings to date here: 30 in 30 gallery

30 in 30: Mynah Bird in a Coral Tree

Mynah Bird in a Coral Tree
Acrylic on Gessobord
5″ X 7″

Mynah birds can be trained to talk, and they do not sound like parrots.  If you want to see one that was rescued and taught to talk, I highly recommend this link:  

I love listening to this bird’s voice.  Their usual chatter includes an amazing range of sounds: the soft peep of surprise that sounds like the mew of a cat, loud squawks, shrill dual-tone screams meant to defend territory, and even clicks. I have placed it in the boughs of a lovely coral tree.  They are both introduced species from India that thrive in the mild climate of the islands, mynah birds particularly are one of the most common birds in the low elevations.

30 in 30 Black Coral Cave

Black Coral Cave by Wendy Roberts

Black Coral Cave
Oil on Wood Panel
9″ X 12″

This painting was a joy to paint, though I don’t think it is 100% done.  It is another alla prima oil painting experiment.  I felt slightly more at ease painting the entire painting in one sitting this time, though I still have many hours to log before I will claim expertise in this direct wet-in-wet painting technique.

This summer, my family went scuba diving.  It was the first set of dives for my daughters who are finally certified in scuba.  I used to have an underwater camera a long time ago, but the photos are only as good as your equipment allow them to be.  My cheap camera never did a good job with underwater photos, so I ditched the camera and got in the habit of taking detailed notes of my dives, including as many fish names as I could figure out, but I missed the visual aspect a camera can offer, even if it is subpar.  This time, rather than taking a camera, I took inspiration from a friend and talented artist, Cynthia Schubert-Richmond, who has spent a lot more time underwater than I have in a lot more locations.  She solved the issue of sharing what she saw underwater by making paintings from memory, and what a wonderful memory she has!  It’s quite a brilliant idea really, because it had never occurred to me to paint from life after the fact without a reference, let alone trying to record the underwater world with all its unfamiliar sights, which always feels so surreal to me.  Her paintings of her dive trips were gorgeous!  They are not online, but you can at least see her other amazing works.  

Her underwater scenes inspired me to sketch when I got back to the hotel in the hopes that I might be able to reconstruct the feeling of diving – painting is more accurate for me emotionally than a photo ever could be because even with the best equipment, it is challenging to take a good panoramic photo in the water, and you can’t always catch your favorite fish sightings within your favorite ocean landscape scenery.  You have to choose macro or micro when using photography underwater generally speaking.  Thus, how nice it is to be able to paint it!  This painting is like a shadow of how it felt to me when we went on our last scuba dive.  It’s not accurate physically.  I couldn’t draw a map of the location.  I was too dazzled to pay attention to how the cave was shaped.  I remember the rays of the sun shining through the multiple openings, the feeling of mystery within the system, wondering what would be around the next pillar, seeing a few spectacular and unique fish, and swimming up over the coral beds.  Most of all, I was struck by the beauty of the amazing black coral  dangling down overhead from the top of the cave like a chandelier, complete with three little cowry shells in its boughs like monkeys in a jungle tree.  Because it is a painting, I get to capture many of the aspects of this dive all in one image, albeit, you could never really do it full justice compared to seeing it in person, but this is much better than my photos ever were.  When I look at my painting, it does evoke the memory of gliding through this mysterious underwater cave for me.

30 in 30: Ripening Bananas

Ripening Bananas
Acrylic on wood panel
11″ X 14″

Today I finished my revamp on the Ripening Bananas.  Above is the revamp.  Here is the original before revamp:

Ripening Bananas

Ripening Bananas – before revamp

Everything is more defined now, and the composition changed.  I feel like I understand the banana plant more fully than I did 3 years ago since I am now the proud and hassled owner of a small banana grove that requires a lot of pruning and removal of suckers. Just a tip for any of you who have bananas, they grow better fruit, and more of it if you limit the number of suckers.  What was 2 “trees” 3 years ago has necessitated more than a dozen “trees” to be removed. I am learning to get the unwanted suckers chopped down early.  It’s very cathartic to go out into the back yard with my favorite horihori knife (a gardening knife that is my favorite tool of all time – Here’s a link to it – I highly recommend it for you or for a gift that anyone with a yard or a talent for gardening can use – it’s well made and hands down the best weeding/hacking/sawing tool you could ask for in the garden).  I can use it to chop down even the big “trees”.  Bananas are not a woody plant, hence why even though people call them a tree, they are actually a giant herb!  The “trunk” is actually a stem, but it is as thick and tall as a tree, so the source of the confusion is obvious. Individual bananas are called “fingers”, and the whole stalk is called a “hand”.  I have had three harvests to date, with my largest 2 hands of bananas weighing in at more than 60 pounds each!  It’s a plant that inspires generosity since it’s too much fruit for one family to use.

This is part of the 30 in 30 challenge, day 16, but two of the painting took 2 days, so It’s painting number 14 in 16 days so far – I am hoping to eventually catch up, but I am freely following my inspiration in my daily painting regimen – if I feel like making a larger piece, I have been spending the extra time to do it. This may mean a catch up session eventually, but my gallery for the 30 in 30 continues to grow!.