Friday, August 25, 2017

I AM HUMBLED

I was recently informed that two of my paintings took the cut for Art for State Buildings in Pierre, South Dakota.  They are now hanging in the Joint Appropriations meeting room on the third floor of the Capital Annex, and in conference room 414 in the Capital Annex, in Pierre, SD.

The Art for State Buildings program is a result of a state statute which stipulates that state buildings should include works of art for public display. For selection, proposals are reviewed by a five-member advisory committee to the SD Arts Council, the agency charged with managing the program. Selection of artwork is based on quality of the work; the artwork’s relevance to South Dakota environment, history, heritage or culture; professional experience in the arts; and permanence and safety, as required for public artworks.

I am completely humbled by this and am very grateful to the committee for choosing two of my paintings for this honor.

On October 27 and 28 I will be showing at the First Lady's Prairie Art Showcase in the Ramkota in Pierre.  This is in conjunction with the Governor's Pheasant Hunt taking place at the same time, with their headquarters in the Ramkota.  This should be an exciting time.
                                         


Oil, 30 x 40 hanging in the Appropriations room.
Oil, 24 x 24, hanging in the conference room.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

TO JUDGE OR NOT TO JUDGE?

Is it necessary to judge the work of artists?

I was asked to judge an art show at a town a couple of hours from where I live and accepted as a favor to a friend.  Now I have never judged a show of my peers and have always felt judging children's work was really not the thing to do, as there is really nothing to measure it against.  I believe in giving participation ribbons as encouragement.  It would be so easy to discourage a child from doing more art if she was to receive negative comments.  I feel comments should only be at the request of the child and only to answer specific questions the child may have about what she has done.

That being said, I have always gone back and forth in my mind whether or not judging any artist's work is really necessary.  The question came up in a question with some of my friends, after the show.

I think this is a valid question to discuss.  I have entered contests and even  been given some positive feedback from them.  Do I need this in order to keep painting?  If there is a judge should there also be an opportunity to have the work critiqued?

I'm opening this up as a discussion to get feedback.  I know there is no one correct answer, but your thoughts both pro and con can help me decide for myself whether or not I want to continue submitting work for judged shows.  Please respond if you have thoughts, and you just might have something to say that would settle it in someone's mind one way or the other.

Thanks for your input.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

MORNING HAS BROKEN

 

SOLD 
Morning Has Broken

I have been working on this painting for a long time.  First, the photo was taken several years ago when
I was out on a farm.  The colors on the weathered wood attracted me, and the composition of the scene was very pleasing.  My imagination took over when it came to the colors.  Early morning light on these wood fences would draw the eye to the painting, and the angles would  help the viewer move around through the painting to see the complete composition.    The sky colors seemed to change each time I saw another sun rise, of which there have been many this summer in South Dakota.. 

This painting is 30" by 40", done in oil, and will be on display for the first time at the First Lady's Art Showcase in Pierre, SD, this weekend, October 21 and 22.  There are many more colors than can be shown in a photo.

 
 
 
 
 

 


Monday, August 22, 2016

NEARLY FINISHED

It's been some time since I last posted, but I have been painting.  Between attending plein aire festivals and working on the one we are planning in Watertown, I have been working on this large 30" x 40" painting of an old corral I saw on a farm when attending a quilt festival.  I knew I wanted to paint it because I was attracted to the old colors on the boards and to the composition.  I now have to put it away and get to a commissioned piece and finish the planning for Paint the Northern Prairie. 

The photo for some reason makes the painting look more purple than it really is, but here is a sneak preview.  So far I'm liking it.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

COUNTRY SCENES for PAINT THE NORTHERN PRAIRIE


 If you drive out into the country in the Watertown you will come across many possible scenes to paint.  These photos were tall taken on the Northern Plains.








 There is a lot of water in the area, and if you go on the back roads you will discover many delightful areas to paint.











                                                                        Another little water area.  In September
                                                                         the colors should be much like these.

There are many small towns within driving distance from Watertown.  Many of them are old but some are still in use today and well kept up.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

POINTERS RIDGE

I started this painting at a workshop in Sioux Falls a month ago and have just gotten around to finishing it.  It is from a photo I took at Pointer's Ridge NE of Sioux Falls when I attended a get together of the South Dakota Artists Alliance last summer.  There is another get together on the 24th of this month, so I'm hoping to get back there and do some plein air paintings.  The painting is 16 x 12 and is done in oil on linen board.

The workshop was a really good one and I learned more about using the brush for certain techniques which I had been working on in the past.  It was well worth the cost.

Pointer's Ridge

Friday, May 27, 2016

FULL MOON, STARRY SKY

I've been very slow at getting new posts on my blog, but I really have been painting.  Right now I'm trying to put finishing touches on earlier beginnings.  It will be good to get them on the walls and off the floor.

I was on my way home one night from my nephew's house.  The moon had been beckoning me for many miles so that I finally had to stop and take a picture.  It was so bright and full that I had to paint it, although the photo had been sitting there for quite some time.  There are times it works that way.  Either I am ready to start on the painting almost immediately or I put it away until I can see in my mind how I want the painting to look.  It is painted in oil on gallery wrapped canvas and is 24" x 12".


Full Moon - Starry Sky
 
 
 
I've Got a Secret

I did this painting a few years ago but was never really happy with it.  After I had posted it on facebook with some other paintings, the children's aunt wanted to buy it.  So, I had to fix the problems.  I ended up painting nearly the whole painting over and I'm glad I did.                                                                         



Monday, April 11, 2016

GIFT OF MOMENTS IS NOW AVAILABLE

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Last week was an exciting week for me.  In January 2014 I took my first 30 paintings in 30 days challenge.  It was very well received.  I have done two challenges since then, but am thinking this last January will probably be my last.  I would suggest this to anyone who is having trouble deciding what to paint, and for anyone wanting to loosen up.

Just after I started the challenge, I met a poet who had collaborated with a photographer on a book.  It sounded like an interesting concept, so I approached him.  Bruce Roseland, a very good poet from South Dakota, was very gracious  and receptive of  the idea.  As I did a painting and put it on my blog, he wrote a short poem to go with.  It was very interesting and surprising how much he could see in my paintings.

The book is finally here.  We called it "Gift of Moments" because it was like a gift every time he opened the blog and when I read the poem.  If anyone is interested, the book is $15.00 plus shipping.  Anyone who purchased one of the paintings in the book will receive a book for free.  You can reach me at symensarmstrong@gmail.com.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

DAY 30 - DELICIOUS HOT CHOCOLATE

Last day of the challenge.  This has been an interesting challenge with never a time an idea didn't pop into my head.  I thought my "Fiesta" placemats and napkins made an ideally colorful background for the chocolate, which doesn't really have a lot of color in it.  The glass mug gave me another challenge which I welcomed.  This brings back memories of our Sunday evening meal when I was a kid.  Hot chocolate and egg sandwiches.  Maybe I'll have to plan on that for tomorrow. 

 Now, on to something different.  On my way today to paint with the Arlington group.  We'll see what happens there.

Hot Chocolate

Friday, January 29, 2016

DAY 29 - CHOCOLATE AND MILK

This one is way too easy.  The last one will be done tomorrow.  I thought it was a great way to finish up a series regarding food.  I had fun trying different color combinations and mixing colors.  I was surprised how I could make a beautiful brown by mixing red and turquoise. 

Milk and Chocolate