Friday, December 20, 2013

Show me the paintings – Take 2 – Jeremy Lipking

Jeremy Lipking’s show was definitely a “Take 2” at the Arcadia Contemporary Gallery in New York. A near “deja-vu-esque” sensation following the show for Casey Baugh with the revisit of the same gallery, with a portrait and figure artist’s solo work. When I think of Jeremy’s body of work the term rock star wins out as a dead on description of who he is in the world of art today.
I’ve always believed there are rock stars in every field.  As the lyrics, “We all just want to be big rock stars”, by Nickelback suggests, we all want our brand to be like a rock star’s - a household name. Jeremy Lipking has achieved this status in the art world.  And for art lovers and collectors it is our joy to applaud his artistry.

 Lipking’s show was well attended (a packed gallery) and the enthusiastic crowd saw red dots go up quickly. Emily also attended this show and reconnected with many of our favorite artists and friends.  Michelle Dunaway, Kathy Anderson, Gregory Mortensen, Casey Baugh, Rosemary Ladd of the Putney Painters and many more were there to support Jeremy and see the body of work he produced this past year.
Danielle and Jeremy Lipking, with Emily Dietrich and Michelle Dunaway
 The paintings were sensitive, beautifully rendered and drew you in to the story that belied their two dimensional surface.  I would be hard pressed to pick a favorite but was drawn to Jeremy’s self portrait as Anders Zorn, a hero to many.  Unable to attend, I viewed his paintings online and felt a special thrill to have witnessed Jeremy’s development.  I still have the American Artist issue from May 2003 with a Lipking portrait on the cover with the caption, “Jeremy Lipking, a promising young artist.”  We at RayMar feel a special thrill to have watched him perfect his craft, and know him and his work on a personal level.

Self Portrait as Zorn Oil on linen 7x10"

Monday, December 16, 2013

Show me the Paintings, Take 1 - Casey Baugh

Determination and a single-minded focus are required to create a body of work for a solo show.  Emily recently attended two back to back shows for Casey Baugh and Jeremy Lipking (featured in Take 2) in Manhattan at the Arcadia Gallery, renamed the Arcadia Contemporary Gallery.

Casey Baugh’s show “Static” opened November 21st.  A young master who creates exceptional portrait work, “Static” catapulted his craft to a new level. It blended his recognizable style and simultaneously departed from traditional representational work. In an interview about this new direction, Casey said, “I have been painting for ten years and right now I feel like I’m starting all over again with a whole new set of materials, problems and challenges. I feel like this is what I should have been doing from the beginning.”

For “Static” Casey took inspiration from a childhood desire to be an electrical engineer.  He combined his exquisite portrait and figure work with a statement about the world in which we live today. "I want these paintings to say something, comment on the world we are living in," says Baugh.  "It's easy to get trapped and engulfed in all of this (the obsession with technology and social media). Sometimes it is bad, sometimes good . . . sometimes it enlightens us while other times it bogs us down."

With skills seen a century ago combined with images in the modern world, best describes “Static”.  Beautiful faces are paired with unusual accessories.  “Illumination” is a portrait of a dark haired beauty with her head encircled by a blinding fluorescent bulb.

Illumination, 12x16 Oil on Panel by Casey Baugh
The opening night crowd was excited to see these new works and many were red dotted right away. I viewed Casey’s paintings online and thought them to be stunning and fresh.  Artists can become type cast just like actors, so I applaud Casey’s risk taking to broaden his talent and to present his collectors with some original “edgy-ness”.

Casey will be teaching at the Scottsdale Artists' School in Scottsdale, AZ January 6-10.  In this workshop, "Painting the Model", he will discuss the correct way of seeing value, drawing, edge and color, as well as composition theory and design. 
- Catherine Dietrich

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Palette Project 2013 at the Scottsdale Artists’ School

Initiated in 2012, Scottsdale Artists’ School’s free two day mentorship program with renowned oil painter Daniel Keys is an innovation. The unique weekend workshop designed to instruct young artists, ages 15 – 21 in painting was well received and offered again November 2 – 3rd, 2013.

 The Palette Project attracted artists passionate about developing their craft and earnest in their pursuit of a career in the visual arts.  The potential candidates were required to submit an essay about their skills, passion and experience for Daniel to review and select.  

The work area is prepped and ready
Daniel donated his time and art company vendors donated the necessary art supplies.  We at RayMar were excited to participate and provided linen panels for the students.  Other donations came from Artists On ArtBlick Art Materials, and Cobra solvent free oil color.

Some of the many supplies donated for the workshop
I applaud Daniel’s vision for this workshop. He told me he decided to become an artist when he was between 15-16 years old and that’s when many artists make that determination.  Daniel invited me to sit in on his video presentation to the students. He told them he could not teach them to paint specific objects like clouds or flowers, but he could teach them “how” to paint.  His presentation of the elements of painting (shapes, values, edges, color and color temperature, and composition) made the process look very achievable. I thought to myself, “I bet Daniel wished he had received this instruction when he was their age”.

A glimpse into class time
Parents and friends were invited to the closing reception and I was introduced as the supplier of the linen panels.  It was a thrill to see the students’ accomplishments.  They learned their lessons well and have ensured the continuing growth and success of this most valuable workshop to instruct and inspire the artists of tomorrow. 

- Catherine

Student work displayed at closing reception


Friday, October 25, 2013

Own the Moment

 The concept of time, unique to us humans, only exists in this very moment.  Our past is in the history books.  And our future doesn’t exist until the moment arrives when we can take action to leave our imprint. 

So when an opportunity presents itself that could catapult you and your talent to the next level and change your life, take the risk in that moment. There is a line I wrote for the Oil Painter’s of America award we present annually. It is “I applaud every OPA member who takes creative risks.”  Just imagine all the different “schools” of art that came about when artists tried other surfaces beyond the cave walls.  The joy of being an artist is to try the untried.
"Showtime" by Daniel Livingston
So go ahead and boldly brush that bright orange “light” on the cheek of the portrait you’re painting. You may tone it down later but take the leap now.  Sign up for the Third Annual Plein Air Convention in April in Monterey.  You know you want to attend because you’ve heard it is a life changing experience.  Submit your best work to an online contest to bring your work to the attention of a vast audience.  The RayMar online contest is the risky idea I created in 2005 to showcase artists and their work. We are near the close of the seventh contest and are inviting judges for the eight contest that begins in April 2014.  Other contests have adopted my original format for even more opportunities to expose your art. 

 Louis Pasteur said, “Chance favors the prepared mind”.  I have come to believe the most successful artists are disciplined to be ready for challenges. So seize each opportunity when it arrives.  Go beyond being in the moment and own the moment when all that you’ve worked for in the past meshes together as you shoot for the stars in your future. 

- Catherine Dietrich

Friday, May 17, 2013

Conventions Inspire

April turned out to be convention month for RayMar.  Emily and I manned (or “womanned”) vendor booths at the 2nd Annual Plein Air Convention and Expo in Monterey and the 15th Annual Portrait Society of America’s Conference in Atlanta. Meeting many long time artist customers and new ones was the convention highlight for us.  
Cathy and Emily speaking about RayMar Products
We unveiled our new multi-dimensional carrier.  Artists have asked for a carrier to transport multiple sizes.  The “Multi” holds the most popular travel sizes 8 x 10, 11 x 14, and 12 x 16 in one carrier. When word got around the convention about this new carrier we sold out twice and then took orders. They are now for sale on our website.

Each convention focused on a different genre of painting.  However, artists told us all subjects inspire them to paint.  We discovered portrait artists paint en plein air and plein air artists paint portraits.  Seemingly a surprise at first, but then we realized artists are open to the world and their sources of inspiration are limitless.

 With hundreds of attendees to view demos and lectures by the top artists in their fields these two conventions supplied inspiration at the highest level. If you were on the fence about attending and passed this year, I highly recommend you participate in one of these next year. They were both well conceived, organized and delivered!
Emily Dietrich with Aaron Westerberg at PSA Awards Banquet

Apart from the scheduled convention events, it is the gathering of so many like minded, creative artists that built intense excitement. From my perspective, to solidify the importance of creating art and the desire to support each other’s efforts is the main purpose of these conventions. Plein Air Magazine has already sent an email advertising next year’s convention, their third annual, which will be in Monterey again. So schedule a convention in your future and prepare for you and your art to grow exponentially.    

- Cathy