Saturday, February 11, 2012

Kim Casebeer Workshops coming up!!!

I wanted to post information from Kim Casebeer's web site on her upcoming workshops!

Plein Air in the Flint Hills

Location: Flying W Ranch, Clements, KS
1515 G Road
Cedar Point Kansas 66843
United States
Join me for a unique workshop experience in the Flint Hills!  Painting, lodging and meals will all be held at the Flying W Ranch area, allowing an art colony style environment in which to immerse ourselves for three days.  This gives us an opportunity to learn from each other not only during our painting hours, but also during meal time and in the evenings.

In this workshop, we will be painting outdoors from life.  We will start the workshop creating many studies of particular elements in the landscape – rocks, trees, water and sky.  We will then work on putting elements together along with understanding how to create convincing land formations.  By focusing on the pieces of the landscape, the plein air experience can be less intimidating.  I will demo each of these elements as well as other demos as needed.  Participants will receive individual attention geared toward their skill level.

Each evening we will discuss topics of interest, such as materials, varnishing paintings, creating a portfolio, and really anything of interest to the class.  When registering, please include a topic you would like discussed and I will try to accommodate.

Workshop will be held rain or shine!  Be prepared to paint in a variety of weather.  If heavy rain or other adverse weather keeps us indoors, subject matter for indoor painting will be provided.

Tuition:  $475 per person, which includes workshop instruction, 3 nights lodging at the Flying W Ranch, and all meals from Thurs. night through Sunday morning, except for Saturday night when we will go to the Grand Central Hotel in Cottonwood Falls for dinner.  Everyone will be on their own for the Sat. night meal.  Does not include painting supplies.

Accommodations:  The Flying W Ranch is near Clements, KS off Hwy 50, approximately 31 miles west of Emporia, in the heart of the Flint Hills.  Our accommodations will be the Lodge and the Prairie Room Cabin at the Flying W Ranch Bunkhouse location.  Accommodations are heated and air conditioned and towels and bedding are provided.  Our meals will be served at the Lodge. 

About Flying W Ranch:  The Flying W Ranch is located in the heart of the Flint Hills, America’s last tallgrass prairie, and is operated by fifth-generation Flint Hills ranchers Josh and Gwen Hoy. This 7,000 acre cattle ranch offers grand vistas, relaxation, and memorable experiences for all of its guests. The ranch is based at their home, a 1890s homestead with a historic three-story red barn, nestled in the Cottonwood River Valley in Chase County, Kansas. The ranch normally has 50 horses, 250 cow-calf pairs, and 2,000 stocker cattle. To learn more about their ranch, visit:

Thursday, May 3, 2012: 
3:00pm:  Check in and free paint time
4:00pm:  Outdoor supplies discussion, free paint time
6:00pm:  Dinner at the Flying W Ranch Lodge
7:00-?:  Group Discussion and passing out materials

Friday, May 4, 2012: 
7am:  Breakfast at the Lodge
8am:  Demos and Painting
12:30pm-1:30pm:  Lunch at the Lodge
1:30pm:  Demos and Painting
6:00pm:  Dinner at the Lodge
7:00-?:  Group Discussion

Saturday, May 5, 2012: 
7am:  Breakfast at the Lodge
8am:  Demos and Painting
12:30pm-1:30pm:  Lunch at the Lodge
1:30pm:  Demos and Painting
6:00pm:  Dinner at Grand Central Hotel in Cottonwood Falls, KS
7:00-?:  Group Discussion

Sunday, May 6, 2012:
7am:  Breakfast at the Lodge
8am:  Critique and wrap up

Skill Levels and Media Accepted:  All skill levels can attend this workshop.  Because of the challenging nature of any plein air workshop, students need to have basic drawing skills and some familiarity with the subject matter and the medium in which it is taught.  Media accepted are oil and pastel.

Supplies:  When registering, please provide an email address as this is the easiest way to contact you.  After you register, a class confirmation will be emailed to you, along with a supply list, maps, and other information about the workshop.  Click here for supply list.

Registration:  All registrations are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis, so early registration is encouraged.  Deadline for registration is April 24, 2012.  The class is limited to 16 people.  A waiting list will be established.  Workshops without sufficient enrollment may have to be cancelled in which case a refund will be issued.  To reserve your spot, send a check payable to Kim Casebeer at 7637 SW 37th Street, Topeka, KS  66614.

Cancellation, Transfer and Refund Policy:  All cancellations must be in writing.  Registrations are not refundable after April 24, 2012, unless you can transfer your space or we can fill your space from the waiting list.  We can not guarantee a refund after April 24. 
Contact Information:
Kim Casebeer

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Info from Gamblin on WHITE

Gamblin Artists Colors White Selection Chart
Color NameCharacteristicsDrying RateBinderTint-Strength & OpacityTemperatureTexture & Mark-Marking
Titanium WhiteHighest tinting strengthFastLinseed Oil10WarmButtery
Radiant WhiteThe brightest, whitest oil colorSlowestSafflower Oil10NeutralSoft
Titanium Zinc WhiteSimilar to Titanium White's texture, more subtle in tint strengthModerateSafflower Oil7NeutralButtery
Quick Dry WhiteFaster drying traditional binder, not matteFasterLinseed Oil7WarmButtery
Flake White ReplacementSame working properties of traditional Flake White but does not contain leadFastLinseed Oil6WarmStiff and Dense
FastMatte Titanium WhiteThin layers dry in 24 hours to a matte surface with a beautiful tooth. Ideal for underpainting.FastestLinseed Oil, Alkyd Resin6NeutralStiff
Zinc WhiteTransparent white. Best for use in glazes and scumbles.SlowLinseed Oil2WarmSoft
Please note that this is a relative scale, made to compare characteristics such as drying rate, opacity and tinting strength only in relation to the whites listed above.

Painting with Friends

I had the pleasure of spending the morning painting with my buddy Jim today.  Wed. is our regular plein air painting day, but it was a little chilly today with snow dusting the roof tops.  So we opted to work in his cozy studio on paintings from photo references.  Hardly a word was said between us for two hours.  Listening to Chopin we silently painted in our own little world as the morning slipped away.   It doesn't get much better than painting with friends.

Jim's Stately Bull

Peggy's painting of Zion from Jim's selection of photographs.

An article from Jack White. This was posted on FineArtViews.

by Jack White

Dear Peggy,

This post is by Jack White, regular contributing writer for FineArtViews.  Jack has enjoyed a forty-one year career as a successful fulltime artist and author. He has written for Professional Artist Magazine for 14 years and has six art marketing books published. In 1976 Jack was named the Official Artist of Texas. He has mentored hundreds of artists around the world.  Jack authored six Art Marketing books. The first, “Mystery of Making It”, describes how he taught Mikki to paint and has sold over six million dollars worth of her art. You should submit an article and share your views as a guest author by clicking here. 

Suzie Cox sent me an email on perception a few months back and for some reason I put the story aside. Last night, I rediscovered this little gem. A thin young man wearing a baseball cap with an undiscerned logo, black sweater, grey slacks and ordinary shoes removed his fiddle from its case in a Washington D.C. Metro Station. I guess up in that part of the country, the instrument is called a violin. He began to flawlessly play six of Johann Sebastian Bach's most complicated pieces. He was silent as a mime and never spoke a word, happy to let his violin fill the air with the beautiful music. The young man played a solid 45 minutes without a break while an estimated 2,000 people rushed past.

After about three minutes, a middle-aged man noticed there was a musician playing. His fast pace slowed for a few steps and then he quickly shuffled on as if he were late for an important meeting.

About four minutes later someone dropped a dollar in the hat on the floor in front of the violinist. The woman never hesitated or looked into his face, her actions were robotic.

Eleven minutes into the impromptu concert, a young man leaned against the wall to listen. Looking at his watch, he turned and dashed away as if he had to catch a train.

Fourteen minutes passed before a three year old boy stopped, but his mother tugged him with a jerk. The little child broke free, running to watch the young man playing the violin. His angry mother grabbed him with a firmer grip and pulled the youngster away.

After 45 minutes of nonstop playing, six people had stopped to listen for a couple of minutes, twenty people gave him money. The donations added up to almost $32. When he finished no one applauded, there was no recognition at all. One young girl watched as he put the violin back in the case, then ran to join her friends. To those passing by he was just another starving musician playing on the street for tips.

In truth, he was the world-renowned violinist Joshua Bell, one of the greatest musicians on earth. He played some of the most difficult pieces ever written on a violin worth 3.5 million dollars. The Washington Post organized this event as part of an experiment on perception, taste and people's priorities. Joshua had played the night before in Boston to a sold out, standing room only audience where ticket prices started at $100.

I raise ruffles when I make the point that art is not a necessity. Art is a luxury and only worth what someone perceives the piece to be. The value of art is all about perception. It's worth what people believe the true value is. Here is a case in point. A few years ago, we were in a small museum that was featuring the acquisition of a Monet to their collection, proudly announcing the new painting with a lot of fanfare. The piece had to be a study Monet tossed away when he first started to paint. The only way anyone would have known the work was done by him was to read the information next to the painting. Even though the art was very weak, it was perceived to be worth a place in a museum.

I received a sincere and interesting email awhile back. The artist, in his mid-thirties, is doing exceptional work. His paintings are well beyond his years and his top work is priced in the $10,000 range. He wondered if the only reason he was not getting $40,000 for the best paintings was because he was not asking the higher price. I might add he is in some very reputable art galleries. One gallery owner bluntly told him, "You have not earned those higher prices."

I beg to differ with the gallery owner. Earning has little to do with value. People don't look at our work and think, "That artist must have spent many years learning their skills; therefore, I feel this work is worth much more." The gallery owner should have said, "We have not done a good enough job marketing your work to the buying public so they will perceive your art has that kind of value." Unless the people selling our work believe we have a certain value, then raising the prices will not help. You can't force perception.

Texas Ranger Leander McNelly circa 1870 ~ Jack White

Joshua Bell is a great example. He has tremendous value in Carnegie Hall, none in the D.C. Metro Station. A lot of galleries have a ceiling they feel comfortable reaching. For some a $10,000 piece is as expensive as they are able to sell. They freeze when talking about larger sums. Some small galleries freeze at $1,000. Their jaws lock when they try to say $1,200, the words just won't come out. That's because the salesperson can't conceive of anyone but the mega rich spending that kind of money on "decoration."

Auction Houses seem to have a knack at setting the perception of worth. They will list a Thomas Moran and say the expected retail value is $750,000. This sets the perception this piece of art has a lot of worth. The same piece could be put on eBay and might bring $300 unless a serious art collector made the discovery. Actually, you need two to realize the perceived value, the bidding increases when a couple of people begin to fight for ownership.

I read about a young couple who inherited their great-grand parent's old antebellum home. The house was built in the 1870s. After a year or so, they decided to take the challenge to look into the attic. One day, they put on old clothes and climbed up to inspect the junk left long, long ago. As you can imagine the dust was five inches thick, cobwebs looked like a horror movie. In one small trunk, they found a rolled up painting. Knowing nothing about art, they brought the piece downstairs and leaned the roll against the side of the brick fireplace.

The following Sunday their minister stopped by after church. Wondering what kind of painting was rolled up he mentioned inquisitively, "It looks old..."

"We found the painting in the attic. It's of a young girl with folded hands."

The minister who dabbled in art asked, "May I have a look?" After seeing the dusty painting he suggested the piece might be something of value. The Auction House curator's eyes brightened up when the art was unrolled. He said, "I think you have a John Everett Millais portrait. This is a painting of his lover Effie Gray. She was married to Millais' mentor, the art critic John Ruskin. We've known about the affair and your painting proves the theory. You've solved the romance triangle." A 160 year old scandal was unrolled, shedding light on John Millais' secret love affair with his mentor's wife.

The Portrait of Effie Gray would sell for maybe $100 on eBay or $100,000 at an Auction House that recognized Millais' voice. It's common knowledge that art sold by Christie's or Sotheby's has much greater perceived value than the same stuff sitting in our living rooms. When selling our work out of a tent, the perception of value decreases. A fine gallery selling only originals tends to give a greater perception of worth than a mom and pop frame shop. I didn't make up the rules but if you take time to think about it, you will see I speak the truth.

Your next question is how do we increase the perception of the worth of our art?

I worked on branding the name Senkarik from day one with Mikki. I wanted people to buy a Senkarik, not Mikki Senkarik. When we mention Monet, Sargent, Van Gogh, Picasso, Royo and even Kinkade you think of original art with value. We tend to associate success with those having a single name or mononym. For instance, most of you reading this probably don't care for American football, but you have most likely heard the name Tebow. For those who have been living in a blackout shelter, he is the Denver Bronco's sensational young quarterback and dedicated Christian.

With Mikki, we are not just selling paintings, instead we are marketing Senkariks. I have found a Senkarik original has more perceived worth than a Mikki Senkarik. Our goal is to make Senkarik's work generational; collector pieces to be passed down from one generation to another. We plant this seed the moment the client purchases the work. We simply say, "Your future generations will be able to enjoy this piece as you are now."

I invented the framing system we call Senkarik Signature Frames. In the beginning, the frames were a tough sell to the galleries, but when the gallery staff began seeing peoples' positive reaction, we went full steam ahead. The great part is we don't have to worry about dings and nicks on wooden frames. The Senkarik frames also accentuate the double primary palette. A dark frame would cannibalize into the high key colors Senkarik uses.

It's important to use uniform framing for your work. Two successful Santa Fe artists, Barry McCuen and Lynne Windsor, have used the same moulding on their paintings for the past twenty years. You can spot their frames the moment you step into a gallery. Their frames have a single voice. I see lots of artists whose frames obviously came from Michael's closeout bin. Their shows are hung in a montage of different style and color frames. Your framing can be simple and inexpensive as long as you are uniform in the overall presentation. Frame the work so it looks as if one artist was responsible for the entire grouping. I'm not being snobby. Believe me, I've been at the bottom where I had to use whatever frame I could find. I made what I could afford work. As I earned more, my framing improved. Make it one of your goals to have nice frames for your art. Think of the frame as the hairstyle for a dressed up lady. It's a spit polish on your boots. I don't think I need to mention to not continue carrying dinged up frames from one show to another. There is some kind of laser vision clients have that draws their eyes to that one scuffed corner of the frame. Instead of selling your art, you end up defending your ding.

I've mentioned this before but how you dress is a big part of the first impression of perceived value. I find it's important for female artists to dress professionally. Don't dress like you are a 1960s hippy. If you are attractive or have a great figure, you cannot pay a lot of attention to a male client if he is married. Likewise if you are a handsome man, concentrate on speaking with the husband and bring the wife slowly into the conversation without seeming to flirt. The last thing you want is a jealous wife or husband. If either of them sees you as a threat, kiss the sale goodbye. Female artists tend to want to dress "arty" which can sometimes be over the top. Over the years, we have purchased Mikki several silk suits for her events. The first night of the event, she dresses in a lot of color but not gaudy. The main night she is decked out in a nice businesswoman outfit, silk slacks with matching jacket. Our goal is to have the collectors believe she is important and successful. Maybe wear a small string of pearls or, in Santa Fe, a simple turquoise necklace. Just dress in good taste. Men please don't wear tennis shoes with paint dropped all over the tops or a sloppy tee shirt. They know you are an artist, don't advertise you are a sloppy one.

Show confidence in your work. If you are proud of your art, people will feel your assurance. Remember you don't have to explain how you invented the wheel, just tell them what you felt when you were making the art. Buying art is an emotional experience; therefore allow the client to feel yours. When they begin to focus on one piece then you can jump in, "That's the little barn near Dripping Springs. I love that place so much. It's like going back in time." Then ask, "What drew you to this piece?" Shut up and wait for them to respond. From then on make the client the most important person in the room. They will perceive you are engaging and smart. After all, you talked about their favorite subject, them. Their perception of your value will increase.

This topic is bigger than I have room for. I will say it again, what your art is worth walks hand in hand with the client's perception of the painting's value. G. Harvey can get a million dollars out of his larger paintings because the art buying public perceives they are purchasing value. Mrs. Betty Unknown may find selling a $500 painting difficult, people don't perceive she has a future. You have the power to change how people perceive the worth of your work; it's up to you to prove them wrong. You can improve on your subject selection and increase the skill in executing your final work. Don't take where you are now as being your ceiling. Refuse to remain on the lowest rung. Climb higher, get better, learn more and build confidence in what you make. The only limits are the ones you self impose. Learn to love yourself so others will perceive you are worth it!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Stress Kills Creativity

I copied this interesting article from the Online Universities blog.

Although creativity keeps human society flourishing, science honestly offers few answers to how the intricate, infinitely complex concept actually works. No matter how much research pours into measuring and grasping the essential phenomenon, it seems as if more questions pop up than receive tangible answers. Theories and findings sometimes conflict with one another as well, meaning every "fact" presented here might very well end up discarded in due time. But that’s par for the course when exploring what seems almost entirely inexplicable.
  1. Stress kills creativity
    Just like it kills mental health, the heart, and pretty much everything else. Stress negatively impacts creative expression, particularly when it involves rigid timeframes and criteria. According to psychologist Dr. Robert Epstein, no gene or any other factor predisposes some individuals toward creativity and others not (this perspective is, obviously, disputed). External factors such as stress play a much heavier role in determining innovation than anything intrinsic.
  2. Those considered geniuses describe their creative processes as trancelike
    Dr. Nancy Andreasen, who wrote The Creating Brain: The Neuroscience of Genius, may not be able to scientifically explain how creativity and genius emerge, but she does know how they inspire and impact the great thinkers. All people experience moments of "ordinary creativity," which permeates daily tasks. But the artist, composers, scientists, writers, and others qualifying as geniuses typically talk of oneiric "flashes" setting off their most notable, iconic works.
  3. A connection between dopamine production and creativity might exist
    Because dopamine increases along with positive reinforcement and other rewards, some neurobiologists (like Dr. David Sweatt) believe it easily correlates with creativity, too. Either receiving money or the simple satisfaction of a job well done might stimulate levels of innovation, and dopamine in kind. Such a link still exists as a theory, albeit one that does go a long way in explaining the sometimes inexplicable.
  4. Perception is the first step to nurturing the creative spark
    All creative pursuits start when the thinker perceives an external stimulus and processes it in his and/or her mind. More complex than merely seeing, the "engines of our ingenuity" hook up imagery with imagination. Personal differences in this inevitable linkage lead to creative output and adroitly explain why some people end up with the particular results they do and keep society pushing forward.
  5. Creativity might correlate with brain chemistry and structure
    Theories regarding creativity’s true origins abound, and some think one’s aptitude may be determined by his or her brain chemistry and structure. University of New Mexico’s Rex Jung believes that if you have less of certain neurological phenomena, you’re better off when it comes to creative pursuits. Specific chemicals froth about in smaller dosages, while white matter sits weaker and the frontal lobe’s cortical regions are thinner. Interestingly enough, brains testing higher on intelligence tests feature the exact opposite composition. Generally speaking, of course.
  1. Creative thinkers have slower nerves
    During creative moments, the left frontal cortex experiences comparatively more sluggish activity, which also correlates with the aforementioned decreased white matter and connecting axons. Unlike intelligence, creativity tends to thrive when thinking slows down, although "flashes" of inspiration and insight occur with the speed of flashes. Emotions and some cognitive processes happen in this particular region as well, which scientists such as Dr. Jung believe encourage abstract and novelty thought processes.
  2. "Psychological distance" facilitates creativity
    When hitting a creative snag, the best thing thinkers can do for themselves is step away and try to look at everything from a completely different point of view. Studies have shown that the most consistently creative individuals display a willingness to approach their challenges from a wide variety of angles beyond their initial inklings. Putting some space between original perspectives and newer ones encourages abstract thinking, a crucial component in the inventive process.
  3. Early research into creativity divided it up into three separate subsections
    Mel Rhodes’ inquiries into the creative mind — which required him to research around 50 takes on the subject — eventually led him to break everything down into the person, process, and environment components. The person element, as you can probably guess, involves one’s unique set of characteristics needed to think and perceive things in an innovative, abstract fashion. Actually understanding and formulating ideas and results is known as process, and environment means the internal and external milieu in which the creative individual works.
  4. Aerobic exercise increases one’s creative potential
    When brain fog starts rolling in, try a moderate amount of aerobic exercise to try and clear it up. Rhode Island College scientists noted that the two hours after engaging in such rigorous physical activity proved some of the most mentally fertile in a 2005 study. They used the Torrance Test of Creative Thinking to measure how well the participating thinkers performed with and without exercise.
  5. Creativity might plummet if it becomes a means to a rewarding end
    Although from 1987, this study’s findings showcase just how largely unknowable creativity’s true face is these days, as it conflicts with some more contemporary theories despite making just as much sense. Tests conducted on Brandeis University creative writing students noted a dive in their motivation and thoughts regarding their work when receiving rewards for their efforts. They approached poetry with a lessened sense of intrinsic interest, a finding which ended up applying to situations beyond the creative.
  1. Improvisation stimulates the brain’s language centers
    fMRIs and improvised jazz form the crux of surgeon Charles Limb’s pioneering maps of the creative process. His TEDxMidAtlantic lecture discussed his fascinating findings regarding the physiology behind musical improvisation, specifically, how it makes the Broca’s Area light up like the Fourth of July. Brain scientists think this part is responsible for language development and cognition, implying that one of the body’s most essential organs might recognize music (and maybe even other expressive pursuits) as akin to speech.
  2. Bilingualism and multilingualism might improve one’s creative skills
    Researchers "may not have had [their] EUREKA moment" when it comes to proving a link between bi- and multilingualism, but compelling evidence certainly exists. Individuals capable of speaking more than one language generally display more competent multitasking skills and improved cognition, both usually labeled key ingredients to creative thinking. Most telling, however, is that they seem better able to analyze situations and stimuli from multiple angles, which nearly everyone attempting to define creativity considers essential.
  3. Creative people are more likely to be dishonest
    That doesn’t mean all creative folks ought not be trusted, nor that their opposites are always the most honest sorts, of course. But individuals capable of more novel and abstract thoughts — and possessing more flexible moral fibers — "enjoy" a higher risk of less-than-trustworthy behaviors. Multiple studies show that the ability to concoct more solid, viable stories and view scenarios and stimuli from many angles dull the chances of getting caught.
  4. High IQ and creativity might correlate with one another
    Harvard, like many other institutions of higher learning, hopes to try and unlock creativity’s beautiful and bizarre secrets. Dr. Shelley Carson, notable for developing a new standard to measure the mysterious phenomenon, wants to try and find a definitive relationship between intelligence and creative thinking. Some of her earlier studies note that both increase together at the 120, 130, and 150 IQ levels, but more research is needed to prove any sort of solid correlation.
  5. So yeah. Creativity and mental illness might very well coincide
    Painting all creative types as insane — particularly the influential and genius — always has been and probably always will be a rather tired cliché, albeit a cliché that might actually hold some cachet. Their brains have been proven to open up more to external sources and possess greater memory capacity than others, but such a perk does come burdened with some unfortunate side effects. Overstimulation might very well result, which can pique (or worsen) anxiety and depressive disorders.