This first quarter of 2017 has been a blur- a fantastic and exciting blur! Returning to my studio in Tubac in mid-January after 8 weeks of travel and holiday fun, I began preparing to teach my first oil painting workshop. Wet Your Whistle Original Oil Painting Leslie Miller Fine Art

I found teaching about a subject I am passion about to be very rewarding. I learned a lot during the lesson planning as well as from my students. The lessons we learned covered a broad spectrum- from making a workbook in Adobe InDesign and designing slides for the presentation in Keynote to the challenges and benefits of painting a subject more than once. Choosing a subject that reflected the group’s area of interest and included lessons in composition, color mixing, and perspective was challenging. I painted from one reference photo 4 times to achieve the perfect size, aspect ratio, and appropriate difficulty and timing for a beginners class. I learned from the experience the importance of value sketches. Familiarity with the subject allows me to create more energetic and expressive brush strokes and the appearance of a more spontaneous reaction to the subject that drew my eye initially.

February Bold and Loose Beginners' Oil Painting Workshop

February Bold and Loose Beginners’ Oil Painting Workshop

From my seven students, I learned more about myself as well as more about creating art. One of the most interesting things to me is how differently we all see the same subjects. Eight paintings approached with the same color pallets, same reference material, and same workflow rendered eight distinctly unique, beautiful paintings. We each have our very own style, vision, and individual mark-making tendencies to express our impressions and observations. This reminded me that we all are creative beings with an artist’s sensibilities. The differentiating factor is how much time and dedication is given to developing skills to become a better artist.

If this inspires you to give oil painting a go, I’ll be teaching the same workshop again March 30, 31 and April 1.Learn more here.

Santa Cruz Valley Open Studio Tour Leslie Miller Fine Art

Santa Cruz Valley Open Studio Tour Leslie Miller Fine Art

In February, I was incredibly and humbly thrilled to learn that I had been voted by the community of TCA to receive The Masters Meed Award.Leslie Miller Fine Art award Master Meed for 2016
A long-standing tradition at the Tubac Center of the Arts the Master Meed award selection takes place by popular vote during the annual Member’s Juried Exhibition. Meeds an old English word meaning “a merited recompense or gift.
The artist acquiring the most votes award a special medallion plaque and he is or her name is permanently added to the Master Meed plaque hanging inside TCA. The first award was made in 1971.
A Tubac jeweler, Tom Barbre of Cloud Dancer gallery, donates mistime and talent to casting the silver medallions designed by Harold Wilson, Tubac Center’s architect.
In January, I launched a new website and product especially for artists-  www.artrepreneuroutliner.com  Art business specific outlines and templates are designed to be used within Evernote, a powerful, fully customizable, and free virtual filing system. Evernote is available on multiple platforms so your ideas, inspirations and everything about your business is stored in the cloud and available to you anywhere, anytime.
After the excitement of the class and the TCA show, John and I checked a huge item off our bucket list this month- an African Safari! It was the trip of a lifetime, steeped in life changing experiences. Be watching for lots of wild animal art, African landscapes, and even portraits to be painted soon. First I’ll have to wade through the 2000+ photos!
I invite you to support the local arts and enrich your soul this weekend. If that wasn’t enough of a whirlwind, I’m thrilled to be hosting a tour of my home studio as part of the Santa Cruz Valley Open Studio Tour. The annual event welcomes visitors to artist’s work spaces for inside look at the individual art processes and inspiration that make artists tick.
 
 

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