Monday, April 4, 2016

Spring 2016 Events

Just home form the Southeastern Plein Air Invitational in Gadsden, AL. that was March 28- April 1, 2016.  Here are some photos from there:

Photo credit John Billingsley

Upcoming this week...

This week I'm headed to the Women Painters of the Southeast's show in Abingdon, Virginia to be the awards judge for the annual exhibition there at Art Depot. Looking forward to seeing the works selected for this show for the first time! There will be over $10,000 in awards to be given out I hear- so I'm very excited and truly honored to serve this year.

You are invited....

I will be doing a painting demo on Saturday, April 9th the morning before the awards show. Hope you can come!
Dot Courson is our Judge this year and will be doing a demo/talk on Saturday morning, 4/9 at 9am. Those interested please contact Susan Yates at 276 628-9091 to sign up. Reservations required. The fee for the demo is $50. 

Recent Studio Work...

Here is my last commissioned painting done for a hunting lodge on the Mississippi River. 

36 x 48 commission  Oil ©2016| Dot Courson| 
Detail ©Dot Courson

Finally...Need a beautiful kitten?

Dali -the new mom! We plan to keep her but her babies need a new home!
 Dali was a stray- a BEAUTIFUL and sweet.... and on March 11th we got a surprise! 


Emial me if you need a kitten--- or a painting: artist@dotcourson.com

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Dot Courson has Two Art Blogs

I have two art blogs...
It was not planned... 

Grab a glass of sweet tea and pull up a chair. Here is how it happened:

First I had a website is with FASO and it's at www.dotcourson.com . For many years there was not a blog associated with it.

Then FASO administrators added a place for BLOGS- so I made that my main website. It is at  www.dotcourson.com/blog.
Here's the latest blog post there:

Having my new blog with my main website very convenient-  but it's leaving behind YEARS of blogs that I've done here on blogspot! 

You are currently on my blogspot site with lots of older blogs (Notice the archived files from past years on the right.)

Actually I manage a 3rd blog! It's about Plein Air Painters of Mississippi that I started several years ago to post Mississippi events because there are lots of Plein Air events in our state and no central place to post them.
The limiting factor to blogging anywhere quite honestly is TIME... Frankly, I had rather paint than tell everyone what all I'm doing. But I need to blog because I love having YOU along,...so I hope you will continue to join me in my adventures in painting around the south.
Hope that clears thing up! Now that I've blogged.....it's already 5:00PM. Cheers!


Sunday, January 26, 2014

A New Year Begins

In a couple days I will post about a great workshop we had here with Roger Dale Brown. It was still life- and it was so inspiring!
 Roger and I were two of the artists interviewed recently IN A 2-part blog by John Pototschnik about what part faith plays in our work as artists. Read PART 1 HERE... and Read PART 2 HERE.
John Potoschnik

But I'm behind on my blog. I have not shared my new car tag  with you! I bought back in November... Watch for my black Honda minivan on warm days this spring. I'm pretty much in the studio for now.

Mississippi's new license plate has a guitar and says, "Celebrating Mississippi Creative Culture".


  •  Invited to go to Ireland this August to paint in Ireland's "Art in the Open", Europe's largest plein air paint out.  Looking forward to traveling over with my friend Becky Joy. We will both be doing a demo and teaching one day. 
  • Recently I was asked to contribute to write and do a demo or two for another new art book! More to come on that later!

  • I have work in a couple fund raisers coming up. The Amish Road pictured in the upper right below was selected by the Ohr-O'Keefe Museum in Biloxi to be in in a fund raiser (tonight!)  at the Beau Revage Convention Center ballroom in Biloxi. The painting was selected from the Pink Rooster, my gallery in Ocean Springs.
  • The Heart Ball in Jackson will also have one of my other paintings included this year.

My work at the Pink Rooster Gallery, Ocean Springs, MS

Finally, I have a birthday coming up in a couple days and found this t-shirt that I want: (smile)

Visit my website at www.dotcourson.com 

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Recent Travels and Art Shows

October is turning out to be my busiest month in awhile.

Paintin' the Town- College Park, GA

In late September it was great to be a part of an invitational plein air event in Atlanta in the suburb inside the beltway called, Historic College Park. Artist Millie Gosch did a great job putting this together and we all had a blast. I sold three of my paintings to collectors and received another commission. Thank you to all who turned out to volunteer and host. It was great meting up with artist friends as well!

Cumberland Society National Juried Competition:

Honored! On October 3rd, I was excited to travel to Nashville to the Cumberland Society National Opening and Awards Ceremony at Richland Fine Art where I received an Honorable Mention - a $500 award for my painting, Back-lit Trees, Oil, 12x16 from judge Peggi Kroll Roberts of
Here is my winning painting at the Cumberland Society National Exhibition at Richland Fine Art in Nashville, TN
 ©2013 Dot Courson

 Paintings that SOLD:
SOLD! My painting of the men, "Making Molasses" sold at Richland Fine Art in Nashville, TN.
©2013 Dot Courson 

And below is the painting by my daughter, artist Susan Patton from Mississippi who was in the same show SOLD... We love seeing "red dots"!!  Susan recently won a major prize recently in the MGAL National juried exhibit in Memphis. She has been in two national shows recently, and has done very well this year! 

SOLD! Thrilled to see a "red dot" showing that Susan's painting "Bales of Fun" sold prior to the show opening!
©2013 Susan Patton

Caron Gallery Demo

On Saturday Oct 12th,  I will be at Caron Gallery doing a demo of Main Street in downtown Tupelo, Mississippi. I love the downtown area and hope to see anyone there who wants to come watch me paint form 11 until 3 PM inside or outside the gallery!

Dawn Whitelaw will be here again, teaching another sold out 3-day plein air workshop at Dot Courson Workshops on October 14-16! We have students from 4 states coming to this!

Dawn Whitelaw on stage doing a portrait demonstration at the Portrait Society of America in March, 2013

Gallery Visits - and Plein Air Painting- on schedule for the rest of October!

I will be on the road traveling and visiting  galleries that have expressed that they are interested in representing me between now and when we have Artist Becky Joy here teaching the first week of November. Becky is a wonderful teacher and friend. 
There are a couple spots left, so if someone wants in please let us know at Dot Courson Workshops

Thanks for reading!

Visit my Website: www.dotcourson.com
Facebook: Dot Courson Fine Art & Workshops
Twitter: @DotCoursonArt

Sign up for my newsletter today at www.dotcourson.com/newsletters  

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Making and Recycling Art Panels

Art supplies are expensive: oil paints, brushes, canvas and  frames. I look for ways to keep the quality up, and expenses down in order to be able to afford the very best products. I also want to paint like I am rich - uninhibited! - and feel it is better to paint with abandon than to paint uptight and worried about the cost of supplies.

Recycling your bad paintings:

“What would life be if we had no courage to attempt anything?” - Vincent van Gogh

Sometimes paintings fail. Recycling panels is easy. I destroy bad paintings by covering them up in order to re-use or "recycle" the canvas. Every painting simply does not work out... and sometimes I wipe the paint off immediately (recommended) and just start over. At other times I set them aside and later decide that the painting is not making me feel good or is not something that I want to keep or offer for sale.

 “I am always doing what I cannot do yet, in order to learn how to do it.” - Vincent van  Gogh

Some artist friends of mine choose to have a ritual burning of their "bad" paintings, and I guess that is good for the psyche too. It feels good to "clean out the studio" and not have a lot of bad paintings around to remind you of past failures. Seems all artists have them, no matter the level of the artist!

Today I am recycling my canvases using Gamblin Ground. These are what is left of about 25 "bad" paintings that I did that were completely dried,  Today Jackie and I sanded them down slightly and I covered them up with white ground in order to re-use the canvas panel.

Step 1- Sanding.
Step 2 Covering with Gamblin Ground.
Step 3 Covering the paintings that will never see the light of day again! Whew! That feels good! 

Step 4. Lay the new white panels out to dry.


Step 5 - A blank canvas again!(Note: Sometimes it is rough, but that is okay with some paintings!)

 Making Linen Panels

Now for how to make some panels from scratch...
Some of my panels are bought already made just for the convenience.  I love Ray Mar, Source Tek and other brands of quality linen pre-made products but I don't always buy them because Jackie makes most of mine for me in his shop. It saves a lot of money.
To make our own panels we buy Claessens Belgium Linen #66 single primed that is great for landscape paintings. It is in 82 inch rolls from Jerry's Artorama.

The cost: An 82" long roll has 6 yards on it, which converts to over 117 sq ft. and it costs around $300 so that means a 12x12 section costs about $3.00 each. But of course we make  various sized panels that he cuts and uses Miracle Muck to adhere them to 1/4" tempered  hardboard- smooth or sealed on both sides for small panels. It is sometimes referred to as Masonite. Miracle Muck is about $14 a liter. A 4'x8' sheet only costs about $14!  So a  homemade 12x12 linen on panel costs around $3.50!

How we make new linen panels:
Cover in Miracle Muck and smooth out with a sponge brush:

Covered completely in Miricle Muck and ready for the linen:

Linen is cut approx 1/4- 1/2 inch larger than each side of the panel. Shown is a 9x12 panel and the linen was cut larger to allow for shrinkage. The linen is placed with the white side (paint surface) down and raw linen up: Then roll on the back of the hardboard....
and then roll the front -linen side up- to remove air bubbles and smooth the surface.
 Then the wet panels are weighted down while they dry

Once they are dry they are trimmed from the back side with a Fisker round roller blade on a mat.

That's it! New canvases!

Thanks and please feel free to ask questions or offer your own ideas in the comments section below! 
Happy fearless painting, everybody! 

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Southern Culture and Art

Some of the South Mississippi Art Association painters at my workshop this weekend in Hattiesburg, MS.

Art as a metaphor:

Art is a metaphor for me, so I try to be honest with my work, wanting to describe my life though my paintings.  It seems pretty intuitive to do this. My life seems pretty ordinary to me and I enjoy describing it in my landscape paintings. An example of that is in the finished painting that I did mostly in plein air out in our garden. I ended up naming the painting,"Coon Trap".   You can read about it here.

 Soviet impressionists seemed to do that and they are some of my favorite artists. An architect at my show this weekend said the Russian impressionist's influence was apparent in some of my work and that I would probably enjoy reading the Russian art theory. I have a big book of the Soviet impressionists work but mainly I just look at the pictures. I may actually read it now to see if it describes a deeper theory behind it...besides the well know government imposed propagandized art censorship in the history of the art there. But I hope I find a deeper meaning because I like theory. I like finding interrelationships and connections between of things.

And speaking of interrelationships:

The night before my show opened at A Gallery, there was another art show opening in town- actually right across the street at Oddfellows Gallery. Half of that show was probably classified as non-objective work. I look closely at work in shows and this work was by the USM Art department faculty. I really enjoyed meeting them and seeing the show. But while I was browsing over the work, an astute young guy asked me if I was an artist.  I answered that yes- and that I was mostly a "landscape" painter.
He asked me a question that taught me a lot about my own work:
"Do you consider yourself and American landscape painter?" 
I nodded, "Yeah... Pretty much."
Then I stood there thinking about it, and spoke up hesitantly not wanting to "peg" myself into a specific region, but felt the need to better describe my work,   "Well, I'm mostly a 'southern landscape painter'.. and then just being me, I blurted out the simple truth:  
"Honestly, a lot of my work is just painting things from my backyard!"
So I asked, "What do you do?"   
He lifted his nose into the air and said he was a Cultural Anthropologist
Feeling much better about my work, I said, "Then you should go see my show... It's all about cultural anthropology!

The American Anthropological Association defines Sociocultural anthropologists this way:
 They "examine social patterns and practices across cultures, with a special interest in how people live in particular places and how they organize, govern, and create meaning."

Should I start describing myself a "Cultural Anthropological Artist? ...It has a nice ring to it!

Getting them straight...Justin Albert hanging paintings for my show at AGallery in Hattiesburg. The show includes the painting, "Coon Trap" and it runs through mid October. All paintings ©2013 Dot Courson.

"Coon Trap" Oil, 30x30 ©2013 Dot Courson
This painting is a strong cultural anthropological statement about sustenance and the southern life: a garden with a live trap to save the sweetcorn crop from raccoons.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

My Quaint Life

I was reading an article by Wells Tower in Garden and Gun  where he quoted southern writer Barry Hannah who said,
“...being Southern isn't always a graceful adjective; it’ll kill you sometimes. Often, it’s shorthand for ‘Don’t bother reading this because it’s just gonna be a lot of porches and banjos.’” 

This rang true to me because last week I had a tweet from someone describing my painting in the garden as "quaint". What? Is my banjo showing? Well, I should just get over it and just face the facts: I love quaint. Here is the update on the progress of the painting of our garden from my last blog:
Garden painting in progress ©2013 Dot Courson

To me, being an artist is feels like the act of immersing oneself and into the beauty and wonder of everyday things. In other words, I’m just living the life I always have- but showing it in my paintings. Pintrest boards with names like "Chic Obsessions" or anything "Haute" or "Artsy"  will not include my work. It's true- I am a painter of mostly southern flavored subjects...and landscapes in particular.  I'm hoping to show a mood and a slice of life my paintings. 
Reminiscing, Oil 8x10 ©2013 Susan Patton

My daughter artist Susan Patton is probably influencing me. She actually verbalizes her thoughts about her paintings and I love to hear her speak about them. She paints a lot of verbs.
She paints with such honesty and humbleness and shows the depth and breadth of all that is good about people and the southern-ness of the life she knows so well.  Last week she won a top award at the Memphis Germantown Art League National Exhibition at Gallery Ten Ninety One for this painting above called, Reminiscing. The word reminiscing means "indulge in enjoyable recollection of past events".  A lot of people told her that they love seeing people like this, sitting together and talking and thinking and connected to each other in her work. She explains, 
"You never see people just sitting and talking like this anymore. Nowadays everyone is connected to an electronic device..." 
Sad and true. But these family members are immersed into reality and the memories of the greatest generation. 

Join me!
Tomorrow, August 11th, I will be in Memphis, TN at the Orpheum Theatre. Starting at 1 PM the Orpheum Art Sale will feature local art, yummy food from The Corked Carrot, live music and wine tasting. $10 per ticket.