On Wednesday, I brought my giclee canvases of The Red Tree to the Napa River Inn, so the good folks at the inn could hang them Thursday morning, just in time for Valentine's Day. When I emerged, it was just that magical twilight time when the sky is not yet dark – still a little apricot-colored above the horizon – but deepening up above. I thought, what a perfect time it would be to walk around to the river, and see the view.
Walking along the north side of the building, towards the river, the walkway to the courtyard was lit and looked enchanting. The Inn is in a complex of buildings at the site of Napa's historical mill - you can see the mill's silos above.
It's just a short stroll past the courtyard to the Napa River... looking north towards the bridge and the last remnants of the sunset, I was enchanted – and ever so glad I had brought my camera in the car. The Napa Artwalk is back here – a series of sculptures sited near the buildings, and facing the river. It's a lovely place to stroll and enjoy the artwork.
Turning south, I passed along the back side of the inn – see the balconies above, lit ever so captivatingly? There's a little garden with a fountain tucked in between the walkway and the building, too. My artwork may be in some of those rooms now....
Past the back of the inn, and the little garden with the fountain, is the courtyard behind the mill. With palm trees! Palm trees have such engaging silhouettes....
Continuing along the walk by the river, I came to the back of the Napa General Store. The tall metal spirals, lit up, are grape destemmers used at the beginning of the winemaking process. Bins of grapes are poured in troughs where the destemmers are turning. I like them as lights, too, though they do look wickedly sharp.
Here's the view of the river heading south of Napa. Far off (you can't really tell here) there were a couple of folks in a little boat, slowly rowing. It was actually quiet enough for me to hear their oars splashing in the water as they drew closer. I thought it seemed like a wonderful time for a boat ride (especially if there'd be enough moonlight to get home by).
I wasn't the only person out for a stroll. Spring has come early (let's hope it holds!), and the weather was lovely and balmy. This view looks back towards the back of the mill, from where I'd come. I like the sign on the side of the restaurant, and the appealing little lights across the tops of the building.
Then it was around the corner, back to where I started my delightful twilight stroll. I'm so glad my artwork has gone to such a lovely home!
Last spring, when I was first contacted by a designer who'd been looking at my artwork on the internet, I had no idea where it would lead. The design project was for the Napa River Inn, in the historic Napa Mill, on the river right in the old, and wonderfully revitalized, section of downtown Napa.
Ultimately, I was one of four local artists whose paintings were chosen for four newly redesigned luxury suites. And for the first time I was reproducing my work – four giclees on canvas, one for each of the four rooms.
What's a giclee (pronounced ZHEE-clay - it's French), you might ask? It's basically a reproduction printed on a very large, specialized inkjet printer, with multiple colors of archival (very long-lasting) inks, able to print on large, heavy papers or canvas.
For these, my printer, Dave Courtney of Dacor Imaging, builds stretcher bars and stretches the canvas over them, then sprays them multiple times with his own special mixture of an archival, protective spray.
Last weekend I learned that Napa River Inn wanted six more giclees in time for Valentine's Day! Dave worked hard to get them done, along with giclees for one of my favorite local painters, Beverly Wilson, and Gail Toland, whom I haven't yet met. All three of us were chosen!
So, the day before Valentine's Day, I drove to Napa to collect them - six big (30"x40") reproductions on canvas, all looking absolutely gorgeous, in protective bags for the journey. I signed each one, and we loaded them carefully in my car. The Inn has promised us painters a tour soon, so we can see how these look in the rooms - I can hardly wait!
I've been working like crazy to prepare for my new color workshop on January 26th, Secrets of Color Harmony - Part I. I've taught workshops on color before, and I teach color in my Acrylic Painting classes, but in this workshop we'll be taking a slightly different approach.
So I've been painting new examples, and finding new examples, and creating new handouts – and figuring out just how much I'll be able to pack into this day. Each participant will create their own book to take home and refer back to, to make this as practical and applicable as possible. The idea is that you go home with specific ways of creating color harmony in your paintings that you can put into immediate practice.
Here are the specifics:
When: Saturday, January 26 - 10:00 am to 5:00 pm (Bring your lunch!)
Where: Calistoga Art Center, 1435 North Oak St., at the Napa County Fairgrounds
Cost: $85, with 10% discount for Calistoga Art Center members
Materials Fee: $15, payable to the instructor
Register by Wednesday, January 23. (I need to know how many people to prepare materials for.)
Maximum 12 people, minimum of 4
You can find out more information at my art workshops website, at:
www.NapaValleyArtWorkshops.com. You can also sign up online at www.CalistogaArtCenter.org.
In December, I gave a demonstration and taked to the students at St. Apollinaris School in Napa. Sandra Cassayre Moore, their art teacher, who invited me, is also a fellow Napa Valley Open Studios artist.
The students had lots of great questions! And we packed a lot into our time. You
can see more about it, including photos Sandra just sent me of student's paintings, on my teaching blog here, at www.NapaValleyArtWorkshops.com.
Since Open Studios, it seems I've been working very hard at catching up. This weekend, I decided I really needed to tame my email tiger, archiving some emails and deleting lots and lots of others. These do go back quite a ways, granted. But you should know that this is what I have in ONE of my two biggest email boxes, after I spend a lot of time working on it. (The other one looks much better than this now.)
So... the point is - if you're waiting for an email I missed (maybe a long time ago, though I hope not), I may find it sometime soon! And if I did miss it, my apologies.... This tiger is pretty darned fierce, but it's getting less so, after a lot of persistence on my part. And time. And it will need a lot more.... Something good to do for the New Year, right?
I thoroughly enjoyed the demonstration I gave at the Napa Valley Art Association on Monday. And I had no idea that Bette Maron was sketching me on her iPhone - I love the results (thank you, Bette!). I'll post photos of the painting in process as soon as I get some taken.
So, how do you get a painting started? How do you create a strong composition? How do you come up with a design on the canvas that will make a painting that works?
They've given it the title, "'Set-Up Success in Acrylics' – getting the composition in focus, finding the big forms, building layers, approaching a finished painting with confidence.'
If you get started on the right foot, it makes all the difference. I'll cover some very simple, but absolutely basic, ways that help create a composition that works. I'm looking forward to it!
Couldn't make it to my open studio this year? Here's a pretty thorough photo gallery of what you missed....
Gail Gum took most of these photos during our second weekend of Open Studios, during a quiet moment (we didn't have many of those!). My work lined the sidewalk and the driveway leading to the backyard, where my studio-mates Carolynne and Davina presented their work. That's me on the left, and painter Ann Renard on the right, who helped me during the weekend.
Here's a closeup of the paintings lining the sidewalk to the left.
I think I probably had more work assembled here, in one place, for this Open Studios than I have shown anywhere all together....
And the wall of paintings lining the driveway on the left. Although I generally paint from my own photographs, two of these were painted en plein air (on location) – the second from the left on the top, which is the view from my studio; and the one on the far top right of Mt. St. Helena at sunset. That one was painted in rapidly changing light, on two successive evenings, and then turned in as part of the Calistoga Art Center's first PaintOut last year.
The wall of paintings continued up the driveway to a small table with my greeting cards. I had to put everything up and then take it down each day (except for the grids and canopies) – it was a lot of work! I couldn't have managed without Lee's help the first weekend, and Ann's the second.
My cards represent the full gamut of my work, for the most part – from my landscapes of rural northern California; to some more of the still life drawings with acrylic wash; to relief-print-and-stencil flowers and butterflies; to drawings with color I did of my nieces when they were young of a tea (well, Kool-aid) party we had.
More paintings lined the driveway on the right side, too – beginning with a couple of vineyard scenes and "Breakfast al Fresco #2."
The painting on the far upper left is the third painting I brought for open studios this year that I painted en plein air. I have fond memories of painting it side-by-side with my buddy Susan Poor, who has been my friend since elementary school, on her family's ranch east of Hopland.
For the first time, I had ceramic tiles made of some of my paintings. I thought they turned out beautifully. I had to order more for the second weekend, and nearly sold out.
These were some of my mixed media pieces - in front mostly paintings from my "Quotations" series. These are very layered – and a lot of thought goes into finding and putting together all the elements, incorporating texts and images.
Several years ago I began a series of collage paintings with cows, and have recently taken them in a slightly different direction (incorporating the original punny titles into the paintings themselves). Working on these is fun for me – they let me exercise my zany, punny imagination – and are a nice creative switch from the landscape work. It's good to push yourself in new directions – it keeps your work and your creative process fresh. And I really do need to paint the red edge of "A Bird on the Cow," don't I?
Some of my paintings lent themselves nicely to a green-and-purple grouping. The two paintings of lavender gardens are of the view at Matanzas Creek Winery in Bennett Valley, in Santa Rosa. The upper left vineyard is my neighbor's (Diamond Mountain AVA).
Perhaps because people associate my work with strong color, they are sometimes surprised to see work more specifically involving drawing. But I was first and foremost a drawer, from the time I was tiny. I love working in graphite.
These still life drawings, the large ones with acrylic paints used in a watercolor wash method, really represent going back to my drawing roots. They are part of a series that evolved from my teaching; I was demonstrating how to use acrylics in a watercolor manner, and showing and telling my students that simple still life paintings are a good way to focus and simplify your work. I thought, heck – I should put up or shut up. When the Arts Council asked me to put up a show at the Napa Senior Center, I decided it would be a good opportunity for me to show work very different from what most people expect from me. I call the whole series "Simple Pleasures."
I appreciate that Napa Valley Open Studios allows us to share studio space with other artists, if our own studios are inaccessible for some reason – and that Carolynne Gamble invited both me and Napa artist Davina Rubin to join her at Studio #8 in St. Helena. After working so hard all year to prepare for it (as a member of the steering committee for Open Studios, it's been a year-round job), it's hard to believe that it's over!
My thanks to all the friends, supporters, and interested folks who visited us this year!
It's already time for the second weekend of Open Studios! I've been working so hard on the Facebook page for Open Studios that I find I've neglected this blog. So I'll post links here, for the present, and more photos to follow.
To find out more about Studio #8, you can see our studio website at www.gambleingallsrubin.weebly.com. You can find studio photos there, too!
My Facebook page, at www.facebook.com/KarenLynnIngallsArt, also includes photos and posts about our studio, and my work (with captions on the photos!).
And if you'd like to find out more about Napa Valley Open Studios generally, a great place to start is our Press Room website, at www.NapaValleyOpenStudios.info, which I've designed and built. Our NVOS Facebook page, of which I'm one of the managers, too, is pretty newsy!
Just one more weekend... I'm looking forward to it!
It's hard to believe I have less than three weeks until Napa Valley Open Studios! This year I'll be in St. Helena again – this time at the studio of Carolynne Gamble, a painter of wonderful mixed media mandalas and fellow San Francisco State alum (though we weren't there at the same time). Davina Rubin, an abstract painter whose work is glazed in luscious layers, will also be part of the fun.
We're Studio # 8 – and we'll be open from 10 am to 5 pm on the last two weekends of September – September 22 & 23 and 29 & 30. You can find us in St. Helena, not far off Highway 29, at 1807 Crinella Drive. You can find out more at our studio website at www.GambleIngallsRubin.weebly.com, as well as see some of Carolynne's and Davina's work.
We'll be giving demonstrations of acrylic and mixed media painting with collage throughout the day, incorporating contributed hopes and dreams into a painting – and encouraging our visitors to participate!
Lots of plans afoot... it will be a wonderful day! If you'd like to learn more about Napa Valley Open Studios, you can go directly to our press room website at www.NapaValleyOpenStudios.info for general information; blog posts on individual artists; an article about our catalog cover featured artist, Mark Mattioli; videos; and catalog and map downloads. You can browse images from each of the 74 artists in this year's Open Studios at www.NapaValleyOpenStudios.org to see who else you may want to visit!
Karen Lynn Ingalls
I am an artist in Napa and Sonoma Counties, in California. I paint colorist landscapes of rural California, teach art classes and lessons, and live in Calistoga, California. I also teach private, group, and corporate art workshops in Napa Valley, Sonoma County, and other parts of Northern California.