Category Archives: Uncategorized
I love this little piece. I loved this site. When we drove over the hill I was struck by that patch of green field against the drier grasses in the foreground.
As it often happens, this was just going to be a study — just play, but as I worked, it became the finished piece. It often works best when we have no emotional or financial investment in the work, but we just are exploring. This was going to turn into an oil, but I think if that is what I want to do, I’m going to have to do an oil study. This is a case where pastels just work too differently.
I went to the Flint Hills this weekend with a couple of painting buddies. What a perfect weekend. Fall was prime. Saturday was beautiful color, great weather. By Sunday it was becoming windy. By Monday, most of the leaves have been blown off the trees. Whew! Just in time! We painted, visited a couple of galleries and scouted the perfect locations and ate well. Kansas may not support the arts, but it is amazing to me how many artists support Kansas. Thanks Marcia and Kathleen. I had a great time.
My calendar seems to have filled in. Wow.
• September 6 – 16: View artwork for the Online Fountains Fundraiser @ Mid-America Arts Alliance (2018 Baltimore, Kansas City, MO 64108 (near Lidia’s Restaurant in the Crossroads Arts District. Sponsored by KC Parks and Rec to help save our fountains. 50% of proceeds go to the city. 50% go to the artist. Mine is #18. http://sas-demo-3-com.si-sv2521.com/catalog.aspx
• September 6 – October 25: MVIS American Vistas Membership Juried Show. Buttonwood Art Space, 3013 Main St., Kansas City, MO. Three works exhibited.
• 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.
• September 21: Kansas City Coterie Plein Air Group Paint out, rooftop of KC Library
• 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)
• October 11 – January 10th: Solo show @ Primary Colors Gallery, Independence, MO
• November 2 – November 27: MidAmerica Pastel Society Small Paintings Show
• July – Sept 2014: Solo show at the ESO Gallery, Omaha, NE
Kansas City is known for its fountains. And yet, like many American cities at this time, the cities are going broke, without the funds to sustain them. Please support our fountains and buy artwork by local artists of local fountains.
I finally finished this self-portrait. My sister always comments how stern I look — but one doesn’t smile while painting oneself. Serious face for a serious bit of concentration. And I’m dressed in my polar fleece vest because we keep the house heated at 65 degrees in the winter, and that requires a few layers of clothing. I guess the takeaway is that most of us who do self-portraits have got some much cuter images taken by other people somewhere.
Here is an article written by Sally Deskins about me. Thanks Sally.
Almost every artist that I know uses photos. But how they use them is what makes the difference.
Yes, I use photos. I also draw from life as much as possible. Often, if not usually, the photos are BACKUP for the life studies/drawings/paintings. I use them as reference, not the whole enchilada. I’m currently doing an interior scene of some friends’ house. I drew the interior while I was at their house. After several thumbnails, I worked through the composition that I wanted and the perspective issues. Then I took photos. Lots of photos. Because the time of day gave different light. Because people and cats kept walking in the room. Because I kept rethinking what I was doing. So now, back in my studio I have 13 or 14 photos, plus several painters that I like, all hanging up around my canvas. Now it is about the painting not the interior. The chair is better red than brown. The cats have changed a bit. The floor has lightened. Some things are absracted, rearranged, changed. Because I don’t care if it looks like their house. I care if it becomes a good painting and if I learned something.
I talk to lots of artists, and I’m surprised how many artists are just looking through magazines or photos for ideas. Or they just copy their friend’s photos. And maybe there are no copyright issues here. Maybe these are all their photos or their friends gave them permission or whatever. But there is a creativity issue here. If the photo is so good, why does it need to become a painting? These same people seem always to have difficulty coming up with ideas about what to paint or finding photos to copy.
My best artist friends seldom if ever run out of ideas. And if they are using photos, they aren’t just making lovely copies of photos.
I have a lifetime’s worth of things I will never have the time to paint. I paint plein air. I will never run out of places to go, seasons to relish. I paint figures and still lifes. I will never run out of interesting people that I want to paint. I will always be able to dig up stuff around the house to paint into a still life. And I am always thinking about colors, design, surfaces, paint quality. The photo supports my work. It is not what drives the work. The life around me drives my work. The process of making art drives my work.
Go paint from life. You will see color better. You will see form better, you will be responding to the real world. You will take more risks. If you want to move to the next level, get rid of the photos for awhile. And when you return to them, think of them as a support system, not THE system.
Most Wednesday mornings between 9 and noon you’ll find me figure drawing with an amazing group of artists at the Buena Vista Studios in Roeland Park, KS. We do short poses from one minute to 20 minutes. Once a month on Saturdays I meet with another group of artists for longer poses. It keeps me looking, thinking, measuring, staying loose, and just drawing without concerning myself about the results. Sometimes we should just begin! Here is some of the work. To see more go to this link: http://www.chriswilley.com/portfolio/figures/figure-studies/
Went on a fabulous plein air painting trip with some other artists. I love traveling with other artists. Being surrounded with other artists in a new environment really encourages growth.
We are going to FRANCE the summer of 2014. You are invited along. Contact me if you are interested in going.
Here are some of the results of the New Mexico trip.
August Flint Hills was accepted into the 2012 Visions of the Flint Hills Juried Show.
Oct. 5: Show opens. Buttonwood Gallery, 3013 Main Street Kansas City, MO 64108, 816, 285-9040
Oct. 7: VIP Reception
Oct. 19: Reception
Nov. 30: Show closes