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March 2012

February 2012

Nuance

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When I bought this house a wonderful old gentle man was tending its garden.  For years, each Tuesday we would take a few moments to visit and over time I learned of his long life, his family and his point of view.  He had been born to parents who crossed the US-Mexican border long before this act became illegal.  He told me that all his parents did to legally enter the US was put a dime into a bucket.  Santos shared stories of Pasadena that most history books don't record.  Living in restricted housing, playing baseball with the late great Jackie Robinson when he was a kid, fighting in the war as part of the "other" soldiers.  But he was not bitter at all.  He reflected a positive point of view always.  In the last few years Santos lost his sight and could no longer tend the garden.  He had trained his crew to carry on and when he could no longer help he gave his crew the business.  Santos saw the nuances in every plant in the garden.  He knew when something needed iron and he recognized when a fruit tree was being strangled by a stray root.  He was my friend and I will miss him.  Rest in Peace, Santos.

Artfully yours, Chris

Plein Air in the sunshine with Golden's OPEN Acrylics

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I spent the morning yesterday at a Plein Air event at the Riverside Art Museum.  The artists were gearing up for their annual "paint-out" and I manned a table demonstrating Golden's OPEN acrylics.  This was a true test of the extended working time in outdoor conditions  as the table was set up in the brilliant morning sunlight and there was a brisk breeze all day. We started out cool but by early afternoon it was distinctly warm!   For 3 1/2 hours we painted and explored how versatile and workable the paint is.  The artists were amazed and created little landscape gems right in front of me.  I love spontaneous painting so I played for a bit myself while chatting with the other artists.  My landscapes are a bit more creative than the traditional type but the colors are fabulous!  If you haven't jumped onto the OPEN Acrylics bandwagon, you should give it a try! Layer Love V.2.0 is an online Class that I teach with Julie Prichard on her network.  It will give you a great intro to OPEN and its many possibilities.  You'll just need to take your laptop outside if you want to learn it plein air!

Artfully yours, Chris

Signs of spring...

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The flowering plum burst into bloom this past week.  It is a riot of  bright pink flowers and is always a signal that the earth is getting warmed up.  Not that SoCal has had any winter to speak of, but it has been resting.  I took a few personal days this week and it was nice.  Went into the desert where the mountains were lavender and gray and the sunsets were magnificent oranges and fuschia.  I'm prepping for some classes coming up and today I made this little layered collage using hand cut stamps and OPEN acrylics.  I love cutting the stamps and then playing with them! 

Artfully yours, Chris