Just a short public service announcement today: Please join me (if you can, barring the weather) next week at Yosemite National Park for my annual workshop! With budget cuts and poor funding being a stark reality for our national parks, I am proud to support this beautiful California landmark and climbers’ paradise in whatever way possible. Proceeds from class fees, materials purchases from the Art Center, and sales from my paintings go to The Yosemite Conservancy. I hope to see you there!
Read my past entries on Yosemite here.
Elsewhere (click to read):
Yosemite Conservancy Blog
Yosemite Conservancy on Facebook
Yosemite Conservancy on Twitter
Frank Eber on Instagram
Highest award for Watermedia at AIS 2016
New brushes close-up
Set of 2,4 and 6
New brushes logo
While I was teaching in Albuquerque I got word that my painting won the ‘Award of Excellence for Watermedia’ at the 17th Annual National Juried Exhibition, held at the Howard Mandville Gallery in Kirkland Washington. This exhibition runs until October 30, 2016. If you’re in the area, please check it out! Some of the best painters in the country are part of it. It is 90% oil paintings, so I am very happy to have won an award with a watercolor.
Watercolors are generally ignored in the wider world of art. Especially galleries don’t like them, because they are mostly framed behind glass and they claim that they can’t sell them. The medium is arguably much harder to master and more expensive to frame, yet watercolors fetch only a fraction of the money an oil painting would. It has been like this historically and is unlikely changing any time soon. That’s why it is so important to get this recognition. Maybe it will help all of us watercolor artists.
I am happy to announce that I officially have my own brush line! I am very proud to work with DaVinci, one of the oldest brush manufacturer in the world. Today, almost all brushes are made in China, India and Sri Lanka. In the western world there are only a few original and small companies left that actually make brushes on-site. They are hand made by artisans who do three and five year apprenticeships! Nuremberg, Germany was always known as a brushmaker city and DaVinci is continuing this tradition despite all the cheap and low quality competition out there. These brushes come in three sizes (2, 4 and 6). They have newly developed, fully synthetic hair that holds the same amount of water a natural hairbrush would. Bristles never break and no animals were harmed in the process. Please check my website for more information!
This may sound like esoteric babble, but I am convinced that it is absolutely essential to paint like we mean it! In my workshops, I have met many students who are potentially great painters but are held back by a crippling lack of confidence in their painting abilities.
They are controlled by fears and believe me, a fearfully applied brush stroke shows! Therefore, I will now put up a sign like the ones you might see in the Zoo:
When painting, act like you know what you’re doing. Paint like a master painter and ignore all the other clutter in your head. I know negative thoughts have a way to keep creeping back, but just do like they recommend while meditating: ignore the thoughts that pop up and focus on the task at hand which is applying pigment on paper. Nothing else.
We are not interested in what the painting looks like later on or when it’s done. Stay in the moment.
Maybe some of you have heard this great saying that might apply just perfectly for this kind of situation: Fake it until you make it!
Iconic southern California view: Ocean Blvd in Long Beach
Astrid and me with the paintings
I have just completed teaching my last workshop of the year and I am pretty exhausted. For the remainder of the year, I will be focusing on my own work. I will be part of an exhibition at Studios on the park in December and January and there’s still work to be done for that.
One of the students in my workshop was visiting from Norway and she bought two of my paintings! Thank you, Astrid!
Maybe I should also mention that she mainly came to visit her son who lives here in California? But that would take away from it, wouldn’t it! Anyway…
I just wanted to wish all of you a Happy and prosperous new year! You won’t find ‘ greeting card’ style paintings posted on here or anywhere else. Not my style. Instead I’ll show a bit of new stuff I am working on right now, like this:
Stay tuned, everyone. I am just getting started
Some of my new year’s resolutions: Become a better painter, paint more than 200 paintings next year. Set the bar high! All the best to you; over and out!
Very happy to have this small feature of my work in this month’s issue. International Artist is one of the better magazines out there, in my opinion. This was a competition with the category rivers, seascapes etc. and they picked my work as one of the finalists.
Also happy to report that my painting ‘Dordogne River valley view’ is featured in an article about this year’s travel show of the American Watercolor Society in the magazine ‘The Art of watercolour’ . The English version of this excellent french magazine is available at all Barnes and Nobles stores here in the US. The Traveling Exhibit of the American Watercolor Society is currently hosted by the Steamboat Art Museum at Steamboat Springs, Colorado.