Category Archives: Blog

Traveling with Art Supplies

This weekend I went to Indianapolis and I packed all of my art supplies that I thought I would need. I learned some valuable lessons that will serve me well on some later, longer, airplane trips this year.

The biggest thing I’m discovering is you have to pack for who you are and where you are at. I am NOT a 6’2″ strong young man who can carry lots and walk forever. I’m a 5’4″ 61 year old woman who is in good shape, but I don’t have the legs, heart, lungs, strength of a young man. I always see those people as the spokesperson for what to pack.

I took pastels on this trip. Whenever I see what people pack for workshops, they have a nice wooden box with lots of colors. Pastelists LOVE their colors. I have been very proud of how much I edited down my color selection. This selection would be fine if I had just a little walking to do. But it will not be working for my long trip, where I like to walk around and look at the scenery before I decide. I will not have the luxury of driving to a spot and unloading. I discovered that my very edited down selection was still pretty darned heavy if I was doing much lugging around. So I have edited down quite severely.

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Pastel Boxes, gradually downsizing

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Small box of edited pastels.

Slik F740 Tripod, Easel Butler Shelf, plastic box lid, Coulter Easel Holder, 11x14 paint panel, box of pastels.

Slik F740 Tripod, Easel Butler Shelf, plastic box lid, Coulter Easel Holder, 11×14 paint panel, box of pastels.

I’m going to take a piece of gatorboard for a rigid backing, several sheets of UArt 400 or Wallis paper. I’m taking 11×14 and 9×12 size paper, my box of pastels, a small watercolor set, small vitamin bottle filled with water, a small container of rubbing alcohol, a rag, a pencil, eraser and a pocket camera.

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For painters: Kathy’s cheap easel, plastic clipboard w/ 9×12 disposable paper, portable stool.

 

 

 

 

 

 

September/October Plein Air Events

• September 20 – October 6:  Parkville in Art Plein Air Event. Paint out

    October 10 – 31: Exhibition (Cathy Kline Art Gallery, 173 English Landing Drive, Parkville, MO),

    November 21: Auction ( Auction at KCAI, 1801 NW Platte Rd., Ste 275, Riverside, MO)

Downtown Parkville Afternoon, oil, 11x14, ©Chris Willey. 2nd Place, People's Choice Award, 3rd Place, oil category, Parkville Plein Air 2013

Downtown Parkville Afternoon, oil, 11×14, ©Chris Willey. 2nd Place, People’s Choice Award, 2nd Place, oil category, Parkville Plein Air 2013. SOLD!

 

Rush Creek Sun Streaks, oil, 11x14, ©Chris Willey. 2nd Place, oil category, Parkville Plein Air 2013

Rush Creek Sun Streaks, oil, 11×14, ©Chris Willey. 1st Place, oil category, Parkville Plein Air 2013. SOLD!

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• September 13 – 15: Brush Creek Art Walk Plein Air Event. Work will be on exhibit at the Bruce Watkins Cultural Center on October 3rd, 2013

West Plaza Brush Creek, oil, 14 x11,©Chris Willey

West Plaza Brush Creek, oil, 14 x11,©Chris Willey

East Brush Creek Marsh, oil, 9x12, ©Chris Willey, 2nd Place, Zone 3

East Brush Creek Marsh, oil, 9×12, ©Chris Willey,
2nd Place, Zone 3, Brush Creek Art Walk 2013. SOLD

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New work (or work that I finally finished)

New Mexico River, oil, 24"h x 36"w, ©Chris Willey

New Mexico River, oil, 24″h x 36″w, ©Chris Willey

oil, 24x24, ©Chris Willey

Flint Hills Light Patch, oil, 24×24, ©Chris Willey

I’ve got a few too many paintings going. I get stuck. I move on. I get stuck. I move on. So the studio is overflowing with 85 to 90 percent finished paintings. Today, three of them got wrapped up. Yippee. I haven’t photographed the third. It will come later.

 

STEMS Plein Air Event

The STEMS Plein Air Painting Event just wrapped up. I went out painting almost every day and created at least 14 paintings. That doesn’t mean I’m displaying all 14. Lots of days I did some stinkers or just never finished them. But ALL were great learning experiences. Here are some that I’m willing to post.

Giverny in Kansas, oil, 24×24, ©Chris Willey
2nd Place, Oil, STEMS Plein Air Painting Event 2013

Giverny in Kansas is a 3 day plein air. It is larger, more finished than most plein air works, but it was fun to do. I did two smaller plein air paintings of this view. The first two were unsuccessful paintings, but successful studies for this one.

Overland Park Florist, oil, 12×16, ©Chris Willey

Arboretum Vista, oil, 11×14, ©Chris Willey

Dragush Produce, pastel, 12×16, ©Chris Willey

Red Bushes, acrylic, 11×14, ©Chris Willey
SOLD!

 

 

 

 

 

UCM Student Artist Coalition Fundraising Art Exhibit

I was an art professor at the University of Central Missouri for 22 years. This May faculty, emeriti faculty, and students will be exhibiting and selling artwork as a fundraiser for the Student Artists Coalition. Works are 6″x 9″. Student work will be priced at $15 per piece or two for $25. Faculty work will be priced at $50 per piece. All proceeds are donated to SAC. April 23 to May 3. If you are near Warrensburg, come in and buy some art, support a cause. Here is my piece — a landscape of Marr Park in early spring.

Mark Creek, Early Spring, oil, 6×9, ©Chris Willey

We Had a Great Acrylic Workshop!

I taught a two-day acrylic workshop this weekend. What a great bunch of students. They all came with enthusiasm, and ready to work. I was impressed at how good they got at mixing colors and thinking about design. We saw a lot of growth in just two days. To Loreta, Jean, Amy, Susan, Bev, Paulette, Linda, and Lana — I enjoyed you all.

Blue Patterned Fabric, acrylic, 10×10, ©Chris Willey

Chris (pink hoodie) demonstrating how to block in a painting

 

 

Painting block in. Acrylic on loose, primed canvas. Watch for the finished painting to follow later.

 

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Everyone did a small copy of a portion of a painting. without knowing what it was. or how it fit together.

Loreta & Bev

 

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Jean, Linda, Lana, and Paulette

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Amy and Bev

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Linda, Lana, Paulette, Bev, Amy, and Susan. Jean’s arm.

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Jean

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Linda, Lana

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Paulette and Bev

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Susan and Amy

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2nd Still Life.

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Paulette’s radishes

Lana and Linda's Paintings

Lana and Linda’s Paintings

Paulette at work

Paulette at work

Lana and Linda's Paintings

Lana and Linda’s Paintings

Susan's Painting

Susan’s Painting

Amy's painting

Amy’s painting

Bev's painting.

Bev’s painting.

Paulettes painting. She is deciding how to crop the painting with blue tape. She decided on a standard 9x12 size.

Paulette’s painting. She is deciding how to crop the painting with blue tape. She decided on a standard 9×12 size.

March Show, Noyes Gallery, Lincoln, NE

Cassie Reclining, acrylic, 24×36, ©Chris Willey

Red & Green, acrylic, 18×24, ©Chris Willey

Bikini Girl, acrylic, 30×18, ©Chris Willey

I have three works exhibited as part of the collaboration with Les Femmes Folles, the group show, Femme Qui Bercent “Women Who Rock”, which debuted March 1st, at The Noyes Gallery in Lincoln, and moved to Top Shelf Wine Club for the month of April

In celebration of Women’s History Month, ten talented female artists created an event depicting not only the strength of the female artist, but also the beauty of the form, and power and integrity of the gender.

Artists Include:
Chris Willey
Sally Deskins
Rachel Mindrup
Amy Nelson
Pamela Conyers-Hinson
Sondra Gerber
Polly Plain
Jennifer Ghormley
Hope Dendinger
and Chairwoman Susan Woodford

Our featured Guests included: Fran Higgins and videographer Greg Higgins with an intimate portrayal of the artistic process behind the collaborations by Fran, Sally Deskins, and Rachel Mindrup.

Also, Les Femmes Folles Poetry Reading featured special guests: Sally Deskins, Rebecca Faber, Fran Higgins, Connie Spittler, Marilyn Coffey, Denise Brady, Deborah T. McGinn, Laura Madeline Wiseman, Rachael Wolfe and Cat Dixon to preview Les Femmes Folles: The Women, 2012, the second anthology of art, poetry and interview excerpts from femmesfollesnebraska.tumblr.com.

Work moved from Noyes Gallery to Top Hat Wine Club, Lincoln, NE

 

 

Two works accepted into the 2013 Heartlands Juried Show

Kansas Giverny and Swope Park Winter were accepted into the Heartland National Juried Show. The show is at the Tim Murphy Gallery, Merriam Community Center, Merriam, KS.

Show runs March 2 through April 3, 2013

Juror: John Roush

Reception: March 2, 2013, 5-7pm

Kansas Giverny (Overland Park Arboretum), oil, 16x12, ©Chris Willey

Kansas Giverny (Overland Park Arboretum), oil, 16×12, ©Chris Willey

 

Swope Park Winter, acrylic, 12x24, ©Chris Willey

Swope Park Winter, acrylic, 12×24, ©Chris Willey

Recent Work

One of the joys of being an artist is being able to visibly see change. It feels like a good period right now.  Carmel Gardens was an unresolved painting that sat in my studio for over a year. One day parts of it were cropped from view by stacks of other paintings — and there was the painting that it was meant to be. I unstretched it, and restretched it into its newer, smaller, better composition.

The markets are companion pieces, although one of the companions sold, so they are separated.

Summer Flower Market(1), oil, 24×24, ©Chris Willey. SOLD

Summer Market, oil, 24×24, ©Chris Willey

 

Summer Storm, oil, 24×24, ©Chris Willey

Carmel Garden, oil, 16×20, ©Chris Willey

 

 

Flint Hills Fall, oil, 18×24, ©Chris Willey

 

 

Summer Sales

Well the weather has been dreadful, but painting continues on. Four paintings sold this summer. I’m happy.

SOLD! Brush Creek Sanctuary, oil, 12×16, ©Chris Willey

 

Brush Creek Sanctuary won an Honorable Mention from the Brush Creek Art Walk Juried Show, now showing at the UMKC Art Gallery. It sold that night. Yay!

SOLD! Paris Gossip,24×24, ©Chris Willey

 

Paris Gossip sold through Strecker-Nelson Gallery. Thanks Jay and Barbara.

 

SOLD! Farmers’ Market, oil, 12×12, ©Chris Willey

 

Farmers’ Market was created at the Overland Park Farmers’ Market and finished in my studio. It was purchased by Pat from Hastings Greenhouse — thanks Pat.

 

SOLD! Fall Evening Vista, pastel, 18×24, ©Chris Willey

 

Fall Evening Vista was the first place winner for Symphony in the Flint Hills. It was auctioned off and purchased that evening, and I was very pleased. What a wonderful event. Posters of this work are available through the Symphony in the Flint Hills website.