Bob in front of "What We See".
Welcome back to our third installment of the ArtsyFartsy News. It astonishes me how many of you creative painters, emerging artists, overworked teachers and crazy goof-offs have favorably responded to our first two newsletters. Our relaxed writing style, loosely informative subjects seem to peak your curiosity and evoke an air of bonding amongst us all.
Thank you for your comments, suggestions and input. Maybe I might even listen to them! Just kidding! I really do encourage you to continue responding with future articles you'd like to read. It humbles and pleases me to no end to hear from true dear friends I have not heard from for a long time.
We have a new feature in this month's newsletter: "Composition of the Month." Also be sure to read the "Art Marketing Tip," -- we have a special offer that will save you money and encourage you to create many more paintings.
The Workshop Spotlight is on a couple of Trade Shows coming up this Summer -- And just to entice you, we have photos from Guatemala to remind you to reserve your spot in this November's workshop. It's filling up already.
Can't wait for a year to learn the 12 compositions? Bob demos all twelve on his DVD, "Start Abstract Painting Today!" 60 minutes. Very hip film for the painter who wants to really start abstract painting today. Learn the 12 design compositions, "extreme painting" section, Bonus BobLand and more. DVD only.
Click HERE to view Video Clip.
For info on ordering go to:
We had a great opening on March 2 of my new Grand Canyon inspired Landscapes at Kinion Fine Art in Sedona.
Bob at Kinion Gallery
My next exhibit opens this month in New Mexico:
"Wingland - Dedicated to Lovers and Friends who know how to Soar"
March 23 - April 20, 2007
Reception, April 10, 6 - 8 pm
San Juan College
Henderson Fine Arts Center Gallery
4601 College Blvd
Farmington, New Mexico
Contact: Cindy McNeely
Wingland Catalog Cover
For 18 years I have painted everyday and dreamt most nights. My paintings are from my dreams. The intention and reason why I painted this body of work was my impulsive desire to suddenly paint and record my haunting, but wondrous dreams and personal fantasies.
In my dreams I awake in Wingland. The figures are my closest companions and friends and personal fantasies.
In my dreams I awake in Wingland. The winged figures are my companions and friends... friends who have significantly influenced my desire to put down paint and tell a story.
In Wingland, everyone flies. In my dreams, I fly backwards and pull out images from sweet memories, reinterpret and imagine them with me in this ethereal space. We laugh alot.
In my dreams, there are stories and images of ambiguity, but with just enough evidence to almost tell the whole story. The story of romance and companions, secretly together in public places.
With these images there is no tension or fearful struggle. All is right. But that is not all there is in these pictures. Much more is implied.
In this new body of work, I pay more attention to imagination and my curiosity. I am willing to paint what seems new and bizarre to me.
The paintings in this exhibit were developed over two uninterrupted weeks of painting in Mendocino, California, an artists' retreat. No cell phones, no computers, no news. Quiet times along the ocean bluffs. I watched soaring, gliding, floating birds of all sizes and shapes. I felt so content with this moment. The freedom of the winged creatures out in open space. The freedom of the winged creatures out in open space seemed to clear out my mind clutter and chatter. This euphoric mood became my closest companion during those two weeks.
With this inner peace my creative juices began flying all over the canvas. I painted quickly with spontaneous brushstrokes of color and drew images from memory. I was not so interested in perfecting or having my paintings as "entertainment." I relaxed and moved paint around until figures with wings appeared.
Standing back and away, I noticed human shapes with wings unfolding and flying above the stars. Some figures morphed into shadowy, elusive messengers-- messengers with tidings of immeasurable happiness, like the wide variety of birds that constantly fly in and out of my studio. My personal pleasures came from being able to take facts, memory and sensory feelings and turn them into a dreamy visual story.
My motivation for my paintings are influenced by Egyptian paintings, African sculptures, Japanese gardens and Greek dramas. These classic art forms and contemporary art move me to connect them all and see what happens.
My personal growth in painting draws from my curiosity for reinventing. The time spent painting plunges me deeply into an arena of constant surprises and unpredictable results. I was after newness but what emerged was art that was not for real.
As some wise soul once said, "Art doesn't imitate reality; one of the damned things is enough."
See you in my dreams!
Gemini - 36x36 acrylic on canvas
What We See - 36x36 acrylic on canvas
Workshops in the Spotlight
We just finished up an exciting workshop at the Sedona Arts Center - "Postmodern Painter Meets the Contemporary Collage Artist" -- You can imagine the room was an explosion of color, paper and all that special collage stuff! Large, single room workshop space, big tables, and "red rock creative force" swirling around all the time. The Sedona Arts Center is located in downtown Sedona and has 2 galleries on the property - one for emerging members. Max Ernst taught collage at the Sedona Arts Center in the 60s.
I will be back there in March of next year! Go to www.sedonaartscenter.com to receive their workshop catalog.
Sedona Art Center Collage Workshop
• This summer we will be in the East at two Trade Shows! At Cheap Joe's Art Stuff Trade Show I'm teaching Paint Out Loud Acrylic Abstracts, Abstract Florals from Colorful Loose Splatters and Loose & Juicy Landscapes! Painting classes are June 14 and 15; Kate and I teach Art Marketing Workshops on Saturday 6/16. For registration info go to www.cheapjoes.com
• Holbein's Vermont Art Event is July 31-August 4 I'm teaching all your favorite acrylic mini workshops! This is your chance to try all that Holbein Acryla paint, including the new Mat Acrylic plus purchase paints, paper, brushes, books etc. at a huge discount at their annual Vermont Trade Show. For a workshop catalog, call 800-682-6686.
• Join us in Guatemala this November for a painting workshop and cultural tour! Brochures are ready now! Contact Kate at firstname.lastname@example.org to have a brochure sent to you or contact John Korte for more information regarding registration and costs at www.exploreguatemala.com
Views of Guatemala
Click HERE for top of page.
The Composition of the Month
Did you know that there are at least 12 design compositions? Welcome to our new section! Each month will feature one of the twelve compositions usually found in every painting. Every successful painting is built, composed, designed and constructed on one strong foundation I call a design composition. It's the very heart of a tried and true, time honored graphic design layout. In my workshops and in my Loosen Up Studio Workbook I feature these compositions. So the next eleven newsletters will feature one of these compositions. Collect 'em all!.
This month... the Cruciform! It's a simple, bold graphic design and is universally recognizable as a cross. Whether I am painting an abstract or a non-abstract, I start with the first strokes of the painting in a cruciform manner. I build from there, adding other elements. No matter where the painting continues to grow and develop, I stay true to the basic cruciform design. I am often asked if this approach tightens me up or forces me into a non-creative path. Actually, deciding on the composition from the beginning brushstrokes of the painting frees me up to do whatever I want. It encourages me creatively and empowers me to fly all over the canvas... as long as I remain in integrity with the graphic design of a visually strong and obviously cruciform layout. The examples shown below will illustrate my point.
Abstract Cruciform Composition
Floral Cruciform Composition
Try this as a warmup sketch exercise: Paint at least six small, loose paint sketches, utilizing the cruciform as the initial first two strokes. This is one of the twelve graphic compositions I do every morning before I begin the larger paintings that will be constructed from this design.
Next month I will feature another one of my favorite design compositions - stay tuned!
Something New for Bob
• Bizarre Images on Paper:
How to Create Fascinating Organic Images on Paper for Collage Work
Paper Treated with Citra-Solv
This information is for the experimental artist who is looking for a unique, haphazard, organic and totally one of a kind image on paper. There are lots of books on collage and paper making techniques using a variety of handmade papers or fancy papers from the arts and crafts stores. But here's something that has created quite a stir and buzz with experimental artists lately.
The natural household cleaner Citra-Solv, found in natural food-type stores, is liberally sprinkled (not sprayed) on a few colorful pages of National Geographic magazine. While sopping wet, close up the magazine and let sit for up to an hour or so. The Citra-Solv starts to dissolve the printing ink and spreads it around in a random, unpredictable pattern. After an hour, open the pages and you will discover some fascinating organic patterns on the paper. I pull out the pages and leave to dry. These are later used in my experimental collages. There is no worry about copyright infringement because there will be no recognizable image from the original photograph. The image completely "melts" into a random pattern.
Citra-Solv & National Geographic Magazine
Bob used Holbein Acryla paint & negative-shape
painting techniques to finish
After the collage work is complete, I finish the artwork with a UV varnish to help insure some degree of "archivalness." This new technique is too new for any archival history so I cannot make any claims. It's all experimental, and just one more cool thing to do in your studio.
Please note that Citra-Solv also comes diluted in a spray pump bottle. It won't work. Instead, use the bottle that reads "Super Concentrated Citra-Solv." Use full strength. Enjoy!
Yes! Yes! Yes!
If you have to ask the question, the answer is YES!
I have found during my teaching time in painting workshops, painters might ask me questions that they already intuitively know the answers. Questions like:
• "Is it finished?" YES.
• "Should I add more yellow?" YES
• "Does it have too many focal points?" YES
• "Is the color too muddy?" YES
What they are really asking me is permission to do what they already want to do. My job is easy! I usually answer, "YES, you know you want to do it. You don't need me to give you permission to do what you feel needs to be done."
Artists just have to take risks. There are no guaranteed end results-- just do it. Either it will be the right thing to do or not. It might work, then again it might not! If you have to be guaranteed of the end result, don't be a painter. Be a civil engineer or a surgeon or an accountant... we want those people to have predictable end results. So, while in your studio, a little voice tells you to change something, do it - the answer to your question is usually YES!
Art Marketing Tip
Kate Burridge - Art Marketing
Let's talk about the presentation of artwork! No doubt you've heard the phrase "Presentation is everything." Well, it might not be EVERYTHING, but when it come to showing off your artwork in the best possible light, it's about 95%.
Yes, your artwork is beautiful-- it has it's own voice. Now frame it or display it in such a way that the presentation is not a deterrent or distraction! Here's some solid advice from our Art Marketing Workbook: "Physical pieces of artwork have a better chance of getting in when a professional presentation is made.
Ready-to-hang means professionally prepared and ready to hang. Saw tooth hangers, broken or scratched glass, badly cut or dirty mats are entirely unacceptable in all instances. Frames that are cheap, falling apart or spray painted, secondhand "garage sale" frames that sport colorful mats are less likely to get into juried shows and galleries. What works are frames of a simple design, neutral colors (such as natural light woods, white or black metal), and not gaudy or overbearing.
Now, a word about mats and shrink wrap: I've heard all the reasons why you need to purchase your own mat cutter and shrink wrap system. Years ago we cut them ourselves. One day, after hours of ruining mats and burning holes in every other shrink wrap with the heat gun, it dawned on us... what business are we in?
Fortunately, that was the time we started working with Documounts, where we can buy custom mats, foam core backboards and clear, self-sealing plastic bags. Now, when Bob assembles his paper pieces, putting them together with mats, boards and sealing them into the clear bags takes seconds. Typically he assembles fifty small acrylic paintings in less than an hour!
Documounts is offering special pricing to ArtsyFartsy Newsletter subscribers and Burridge Workshops attendees: All orders placed by April 30th receive a 10% discount. To get a catalog or to place an order, please call 1-800-769-5639 or simply log on to www.documounts.com. Be sure to mention or enter the discount code BURR07 at time of checkout. Pretty Cool!
How to Live Your Dream
Everyone should be so lucky to live their dream!
• Invest some time in yourself.
• Surround yourself with supportive people.
• Lean over the edge a little.
• Test out your dream.
• Talk to others.
• Be passionate about it.
• Take the high road - you'll look and feel better.
• Stick with it - even though you don't want to.
• Be out of touch so you can get away.
• Cut away all the extraneous stuff that does not serve you.
Do not allow others to influence you if they do not have your same dreams! No person has the right to instill or insert their "baggage" on your dreams. I continue to be aware of others who attempt to discourage me from doing things that they can't imagine doing themselves!
Keep your brushes wet!
Copyright ©2007 Robert Burridge. All rights reserved.
If you wish to copy this material to other publications or mail lists, please ask for permission by contacting:
Robert Burridge Studio
Arroyo Grande, California