Archive for the ‘Art’ Category

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FIVE ARTISTS : National Archives and Records Administration : Free Download & Streaming : Internet Archivehttps://archive.org/details/gov.archives.arc.50813#



For High a School Juniors and Seniors

Possible resources

School art teachers

School college counsellors

Other college students, professional artists

Online college websites, courses in catalog

Visit schools for best match

 …  All art
… Liberal arts with good art department

 …   Support system for students

   …. Style of work product of students, faculty
Colleges that will acceptstate financial aid from lottery. Usually 2 year colleges that feed into. 4 year school.
Look at Watkins, Chicago Art Institute, Memphis, schools in your area in of interest and pick a challenge as one choice. You may not be accepted, but you could be! Just completing the application will be a learning experience. 
Build up some work experience, cooking (chef) is the latest art form!

Do some volunteering or in-service-training. Try a frame shop or gallery where you will see some of the business of art. 
If you want art to be major in your life, look, read, explore,record …

Enjoy! The beauty of being an artist is you can learn and achieve at your own pace. You cannot be compared to anyone else but you can learn from others. Ask for help when you need it. Date your work or just keep a record. Stop when you have done your best and start something new. Next time you look at it, it could be the best. Who knows?

Check out my paintings


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What did you talk about around the table on Thanksgiving?
Predictions were that current elections and the possibility of war would be top topics. After the sumptuous meal, for the fortunate ones, the grown-up table talk increases. 
We were among guests who shared personal experiences, opinions, and concerns. A small group of adults who spanned five generations. Our common characteristics: African American. We were all employed. (The most senior are employed at staying well and alive.) We shared our middle class-ness, regardless of the path to arrive there. Each person speaking from their own generation: spokes in a wheel.
I have been trying to find symbols that represent what was most important, and disturbing. Were I a composer, I think I would make music. A better writer, perhaps a pamphlet of opinion, a summary and possible conclusions. I might save characterization for a future novel. 
But I am primarily a visual artist. One who usually thinks content before making art. I want symbols where there were no cymbals at the table. The words radiated out from the heat off the sun and cooled as they were politely spoken. Drawn childlike. At the center, each of us spoke from the core of hurts, large, small, deep. Too painful to admit. Lava-like flowing on the outside of a hardened inner core. Too painful to go deeply.
Perhaps, a ball of twine wrapped around a stone. Sometimes a ribbon of velvet and silk, sometimes the roughened rope.

Perhaps a basket made by gichee mothers or for Moses. Safe passage except for a tiny hole. 
Perhaps, a fire burned down to ashes and then getting new life, reigniting. How do you express the cycles of history? The collective rebellions shut down by guns? The passiveness of fear? Not telling our children the full extent of the law and its historic significance? Jacob Lawrence painted the tables but could not record the talk around it. Karin Walker’s silhouettes are just eye candy without the words behind them. 
Or, the broken chains. We are left with the comfort meal, some understanding of how we are all connected but no workable solution.

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Bill Chance posts daily about his discoveries in Dallas. He bikes around the city recoring the highlights of art and food. His commentary and photography shows his surroundings in a very personal way.

This post informs about a talented woman sculptor. He reprints the article from the Washington Post detailing the conservation of her sculpture at the Folger Library (D.C.), her education and awards.


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In most endeavors, it helps to have a plan and a destination. That discipline is hard to come by for the flighty, creative thinker. I read the blogs I follow in the morning, and the mental curiosity can divert from the task at hand.

When I started entering shows, being admitted to juried organizations and exhibits, getting gallery representation was difficult. The owners and exhibit staffs wanted a body of work staying in the same style for at least 2 years. My work was too experimental and varied to interest them.

I got very good advice from other artists. Most I failed to try. Buy your glass and frames all one size. You can get the glass by the box and save money. Even when I started watercolors on the same size of paper, I was tempted to trim for the best results. And for style? My friend suggested I was a group show all by myself. When did the discipline begin?

The first main series of women started when I decided to stop  teaching and took a course. I wanted to do whatever I wanted to leave as a statement. The large format (square) paintings led to the women who helped desegregate transportation. There are ten paintings, some of them posted.

The current and most ambitious series is coming to a close. At least that is my plan.  A few years ago, in a new studio, I was intrigued with the story of Deborah Sampson. She was a MA woman who fought in the Revolutionary War. I did not know her story after living near Boston for 10 years!

And so I started a new series of similar women through history. There are many and each has a story to be told. I have selected a variety of women, countries, stories based on how interesting they were. The list could go on far beyond my telling.

I have decided to finish this series at 31. One has been sold (Rosa Bonheur). This would leave an exhibit of thirty. They are smaller that the transportation series (16 x 20) and acrylic rather than oil.


Whether a visual artist or a writer, a time comes when you have to attend to the business end. If you do not sell your work, it is important to decide on storage and whatever documentation you want to leave with your work. Toni Morrison had her manuscripts and revisions in her home when it burned down. Duplicates, cd’s etc. should be carefully preserved. Leave your work to a relative or friend who will be pleased to have it. Perhaps, they will publish some of your work. Many times the local library will accept your work.

Painters have a bigger problem. This series is smaller because my studio is smaller. Before you frame work, be certain to sign, photograph and document everything. For insurance purposes, place a value on your work whether you intend to sell or not.

Who knew?

A story I heard  about a painting and its value happened when the owner told her friend of its value. She cautioned her not to let it get away when settling her estate.

The day of the funeral the gaudily framed work of art was put under the bed in case the house was robbed. The painting was as ugly as  the frame. But it was taken to be evaluated. The dealer took the frame off and carefully looked at both parts. The painting is worthless, he said. It is a print on cheap cardboard. So disappointed was the new owner until the dealer explained. The value was in the lumpy, gaudy, dark frame. Each hump and bump was a rough gem or precious metal found on the many travels the owner had made. Uncut and unpolished, the value was most generous. So your smallest drawing might , if not already, draw a generous sale price.

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by Bettye W/ Harwell

Women’s Series II

This painting based on Thomas Gainsborough’s Pink Boy is completed. I used the pose to depict a woman poet who was English. She wrote in the early 1900s.

I used acrylic on canvas. In between layers, I added glaze medium. Additional shading was done with a tint of color plus glaze medium.. The gold embellishments were added using a pen. There are many gold pens available and all golds are not the same. I opted not to use any oil-based pens. It was tempting not to use the 18K gold pen!

You will see that my work is similar but not a copy. First, that is because I cannot copy another’s work! The shirt has a bow similar to those worn by the subject in photos. I decided not to overdo the suit with raised patches in order keep the focus on the face. There is a bronze-green color on the shoes but I chose to match them to the suit. Her hair was cut short with a pompador in her teens.

Glazing takes time. You can use a heat gun to help dry each layer. The extra time allows you to observe what needs correcting. Next post, I will use gel medium instead of glazing.

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acrylic on canvas

Charlotte (in progress)

Blog University 16 – Imagination

What do you do if your subject is unattainable? Imagine it.

I am painting a woman who died before I was born. Her story is the subject rather than realism. After reading a great deal about her life and work, I selected two opposing ideas to incorporate:

1. She wore her father’s clothes after his death.
2. “She dressed like a dandy.” This quote was by a contemporary person.

Why not paint her in the style of Thomas Gainsborough? Student artists learn by copying great paintings. The Blue Boy had remained famous during her lifetime.  While researching, I found Pink Boy. It was a better fit for my subject.

By making a sketch, I learned  an amazing structure is under the composition. You can trace a print to find the lines and shapes in the composition. A black/white print may also instruct. Consider making a value study.

My painting is developing slowly ‘in the style of‘ rather than a copy. Each layer corrects the drawing and colors. By glazing and adding texture, the finished work should emerge. I believe attire is like a costume and expresses something about the person. The painting shows something about the artist’s imagination, also.

Image: Charlotte (unfinished) acrylic on canvas


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While thinking of the New Year’s possibilities, review your art skills

when the sky is dark and gray,

the landscape frozen white

is there no dark?

is there no light?

Remember the darkest dark forces the brightest light. This area in painting, photography and music brings emphasis and shape to the work. It is the most dramatic and the most emotional connection with the viewer.

How do you do this in a painting?
– do you glob on white next to black? Maybe.
– is the tube of white as bright as a touch of yellow mixed in?
– are you limiting yourself to the direction of light around you? A wonderful teacher in Nashville, the late Hazel King, pointed out many sources of light in her classroom: windows, flourescent fixtures, an open doorway. Her work used light creatively for color and composition. She had a system which a comparison of paintings would appear.
– does your darkest dark shape the light? I looked online at The Horse Fair by Rosa Bonheur. It was the largest painting by any man or woman. The overall tone of the painting is dark. There is a Steam Engine rear left and a mass of horses moving left to right across the canvas. Almost in the center, a bit forward, a large, black horse rears up. In the version I saw, a light circle curves under its silhouetted hoofs, around under his body swinging back to the right. It extends to become a subtle oval. Encased within the light is a large white horse pulling you into the painting.

You have to believe this was the intent of the artist. You can study other paintings where the artist wishes you to hang around.
– does your painting follow Bonheur’s method?
– do abstract works use the same darkest dark/lightest light technique?
– what do small dots of red or red next to green add by moving the eye of the viewer?

When you are not satisfied with your work, go back to basics. Add a strong dark next to the lightest area. Make it define the shape. Turn your painting in three directions and observe from a distance. Squinting or a card blocking portions of a canvas can make you aware of how to punch your work.

Sign it, save it or sign it, sell it!

UZU app

Dark and Light

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