Sunday, March 25, 2012

Painting Class

Last week in my "Monday Afternoon 3 times a Month Art Class" class was en plein air in a pasture across the road from where I live. My neighbor rehabs old vehicles to make street rods or antique cars. He's getting ready to build his building there and has a couple of interesting ones that I think are ripe for painting.
It was fun but was windy and in the 80's and not everyone came - and one person got too hot... and the wind almost took us down! But hey- that'a plein air painting! 

Here are all the paintings done on site and one also that a Facebook friend did from photograph:

I even had a Facebook friend who painted the picture (below) that I had posted on FAcebook.... Here is her version that was painted from a photo:
She calls her paintings "Mater and Sally" form the Cars Movie... 

...and I named mine (above) "Mater's Momma"! 

Thanks to everyone who participated! 

Saturday, March 3, 2012

What One Gets From Art

When people talk to you about your art, you learn so much.  I learn as much about the viewer as I do myself. And it is almost like a shared past or bond with those who relate to my work!

 This past Thursday I was honored at the reception of my first hometown "solo" show in Tupelo. Caron|Prince Gallery in Tupelo did an amazing show and worked so hard to make this happen.

Tupelo is so lucky to have Caron|Prince Gallery! They have an amazing collection of many of the state's best artists represented! And they work so hard to support the arts in Mississippi. 

During the evening I began asking some of the people there to tell me about their favorite works hanging in this show. I was truly surprised with the feedback...and delighted with the very nice and kind critiques these folks gave...


 One collector was an artist's dream!  I'd spotted him looking at one wall of paintings and introduced myself. It was so much fun to see his lit up face in appreciation to my work - the scenes and places I'd painted.  People's warm response and reaction to your work is one of the bonuses one gets from painting.  He smiled and said that he recognized all the locations of my work! He didn't, of course- but it was delightful fun talking to him as he went around the room (tongue-in -cheek, of course) telling me the settings of my paintings.

Then my niece came up to me with tears in her eyes when she my painting titled "The Homeplace" thinking that it was our family home place!

Maybe all my paintings have a bit of my own homeplace in them... 

Sheena Barnette, a  local reporter for the Daily Journal had written about this solo show, Dot Courson: "Small Places: Landscapes of the South" at Caron |Prince Gallery in the Thursday's paper: 
"The landscapes in Dot Courson's painting work a bit of magic on those who view them. The Southern hills and fields feel familiar: an old barn or patch of trees passed by on the way to town, maybe- but also a bit of mystical, like they're from a different time or place." 

 Creating it is great- it's a blessing to me, and people's enjoyment is always a surprise and it encourages me so much! I do hear the phrase, "I know this place..." very often. It's a compliment too: I want to paint that sense of place if it's a landscape or a still life. Chances are they haven't been to that spot, but it tells me that I'm in touch with the sense of a memory of a place and that they share it with me.

 Still Life / Plein Air:

A respected local photographer and architect felt my still life paintings were superior to my landscapes. He loved the realism in the large basket and pomegranate branch and felt you could "almost reach out and pick it up", but he also was complimentary and remarked about the depth and perspective in the plein air works too.  One person who had been a museum curator in various countries all over the world, said she thought that I best did "water" in my works -but she too also liked my plein air work due to " the sense of space".

Sheena Barnett wrote,
"Even in her still life paintings, she's trying to achieve a certain mood.
'You're painting the atmosphere as much as you're painting anything else,' " 

After this opening, I look forward to getting back to a more leisurely pace in painting and am looking forward to the spring events. BTW -I've added my second plein air invitational for this spring and here is my "plein air" schedule:

ALSO: Artists: I am hosting Anne Blair Brown here teaching on April 19-21. What a thrill to paint en plein air with this outstanding artist! There is still a spot or two left.  Contact me at artist@dotcourson.com if interested.

Other news: 

I now have a BOOK! 

Small Places: Landscapes of the South... The paintings of Dot Courson.

More about this soon...