Monday, December 27, 2010

Iowa Memories OLD and New

This has been a most joyous holiday season and I'm so happy to have chosen Iowa as our painting location because I've been immersed in memories of Iowa this past week.  Memories OF Iowa and FROM Iowa. From both Family and Friends, old and new.  Like this submission from Stevie Denny.

NorthSide Cafe by Stevie Denny
7x5 Watercolor on 14lb Paper
Stevie went to Winterset Iowa and found this little cafe right that feels like Main Street USA.
Here's the Google View.

View Larger Map

Or this little farmhouse done in watercolor from Melinda Brown.
Old Portland Road Farm by Melinda Brown
15 x 8 Watercolor on 140lb Paper

Thursday, December 16, 2010

John Wayne's Birthplace is in IOWA

Carmen Beecher provided this OFFICIAL entry from the Street View of John Wayne's birthplace. 
7x5 Oil on Gessoed Canvas Panel by Carmen Beecher
John Wayne's Birthplace
Alma Jo decided to include the DUKE himself in her version of this location.
16 x 20 Acrylic on Canvas by Alma Jo Drain

Here's a Google Street View Map in Iowa of John Wayne's Birthplace

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Digital Paintbrush and an Artist's Eye

The following painting was submitted by Julien Menet who joined us from Thailand.  I'm amazed everyday at the reach of Google's Street View.  I've grew up not far from Marshalltown, IA.  There's a farm like this every 10 to 15 miles.  Some right off the highway, and some tucked away behind acres of corn or soybean fields, and now from Thailand comes this artist's view.
digital painting by Julien Menet
Here's the StreetView for you to enjoy, or paint from.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Winterset, Iowa Where Else?

So if you have to go to Iowa to paint something in the DECEMBER Paint Off, why not WINTERSET.  Sounds very Holiday like indeed.  I don't know if that's what Carol Schiff had in mind when she found this little white house or if it's a coincidence, but I'm going with it!

215 South 8th Ave by Carol Schiff
8x6 Oil on Canvas
Here's the street view image for your viewing or painting pleasure . .

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

New Life to an Old Station

Oh my goodness when I choose Iowa as December's location I did it because it was my "holiday" go to place. I grew up in Iowa, so if I were to look at the holidays from my inner child's view we would be in Iowa. So that's were we went. But I had NO IDEA that the first entries would bring back such memories.

In fact if the choice was from an inner child, this entry from Chris Ousley is speaking to my "inner teen" as back in high school I owned a gas station for a few years. Really, in small town Iowa, back then before the FreeWay went in it was a profitable place. This scene found by Chris could just as well have been the one.

9x12 Acrylic on Canvas Panel by Chris Ousley
Look at the actual Google Street View.  Chris took this aging station, cleaned & shined it like new.

View Larger Map

In fact . . .and I've NEVER done this before but . . . OMG . . . here it IS . . THE Gas Station that I owned back in 1974!!!  My heart is racing. This IS it (below) 30 years later.  Looks sort of abandoned doesn't it? Back in the day it was COOL. "Daisy Duke Shorts" washing windows, checking oil and etc.  HEY it worked.  I worked!

Ummm not for nothing, but if anyone has followed this contest closely, and or checked out any of my other blogs (like you might get some sort of idea that painting THIS gas station in some way shape of form might help you sell a painting this month. You'd be RIGHT.  ;)
Like this one called Kay's Station by Carol Schiff.

Our Winner for NOVEMBER is Brittney Dickerson

In a last minute frenzy (for me anyway) our winner has been authenticated and as you can see it was Brittney Dickerson with her last minute entry.  With a stunning panoramic view she entered on November 30,  she made the top 10% of the popular vote and was chosen by our panel of Judges.

Haleiwa, Hawaii 12x36 Oil on Canvas by Brittney Dickerson

The Google Street View can be found HERE.  It's worth taking a look.  Really the Street View images are more fun along with the paintings.

Brittney's entry has proven a few things.  ONE, it doesn't matter if you get in early or late, we are giving enough time to garner votes.  Our popular vote winner Kim Frakes, had 111 votes.  Brittney had 75.  Kim entered early, and Brittney at the last minute. (really like 11:30pm ;)  AND the system of choosing a group or finalist for further "judging" has proven to be a fair and insightful process.

The first 7 finalist were chosen by popular vote and the final two were put in by ME (because I am the queen) and I felt that they would have made the finals had they more FaceBook friends.  So what that tells you is that I AM taking other things in to consideration when the situation warrants, AND this time I had company as one of the OUTSIDE judges choose one of my wild cards as her favorite.

Now for the answer to "who are the judges"  Our Judges consisted of my sister in law (and Santa Fe Artist who works in 2 galleries there) PE Baldwin and I invited Laeli Bowden (last month's winner) along with a vote (if they cared to) from every one who entered the contest.  So there were 30 artist entrants and 2 outside judges asked to weigh in, not everybody did (and no one could vote for their own, in fact it was assumed that they all would and cancel each other out, so they either abstained, or voted for someone else . . which was very kind of those who did.)

The votes were so evenly split and there were such well thought out comments that I just know it was the way to go. You know the results.  Brittney won, but I choose 2 runner ups just because it seemed like they deserved it.  There's no prize for runner up (may I should come up with one) but honorable mention is worth something isn't it ?  Here are some of the comments from our judges.

"My vote among the finalists is for the painting by Britney Dickerson. I like the use of color and the creative yet balanced composition in the painting."

"Hello again, I should have looked at the finalist before I replied...oh well.  As I said, the competition is very steep, but my favorite is Tim's"

"My “finalist” vote is for Jo Ann Simon’s postcard watercolor… It’s loose, flowing application makes you feel movement – like the tropic breezes."

"I think it was Gingers painting that caught my eye her technical ability as a painter gives her my vote."

"I vote for Maria Milazzo.  She did a  nice job of taking an ordinary street scene and turning it into a delight to look at,  adding nice details like the cars in the driveways.  I also loved her clouds -- they make for a very interesting sky!"

"I would like to vote for Tim Webster's 16" x 20" oil on canvas.  I love his perspective and brilliant use of colors they pulled me in at first glance.  The details are gnarly down to the birds flying over head to the people swimming in the water.  This painting defiantly caught my eye out of all the finalists."

"Hello I would like to vote for Maria Milazzo. The beautiful and colorful street view of Hawaii is amazing. Don’t you just want to move to that quiet road.  The colors and the sky are so inviting I want to see where the road leads. I think this is a fantastic idea of what Hawaii is all about. Maria did and awesome job and has my vote!"

"Len Windle 11x14 Acrylic on Canvas  - I like the palm trees and the touch of sun hitting the rocks behind"

My opinion (from PE Baldwin)
1st - David Evans...originality, narrative interest (tells a story), good color and composition
2nd - JoAnn Simon...composition
3rd - Maria Milazzo...color
4th - Ginger Gehris...skillfully handled

These were just the votes with comments (the actual vote count was Brittney 4, nearest other 2 and everyone of the finalists got at least one vote from someone) so that our November Artist's can see the feedback to their paintings.  The contest was a lot of fun last month.  I hope everyone is satisfied with the procedure(s).  I am learning what I have control of and what I do NOT have control of in the contest, and I'm working on a few updates to the 'display' functions.  But all in all I think it went pretty well.

So the winner was Brittney, and the runner's up were Maria and JoAnn

Thanks to everyone who participated.  Off to IOWA to look for another subject.  Remember December's prize is $350 (a little extra incentive to paint through the holiday)

Share the JOY.  Kay

Monday, December 6, 2010

A classic Little Church in Iowa

Feeling frazzled from the Holidays already?  Here's an idea.  Paint Something.  Look at this Little White Church in Iowa.  It makes me want to plan a wedding.  But alas, I've been happily married for 27 years and my daughter is only 14.  But my day will come.
Church Street View - by David Sgambellone
14 x 20 Watercolor on 14lb paper

This little town is on the river it appears. Feel free to paint THIS VIEW or find one of your own from here.

Gingers Gehres sent us her Digital entry.  Busy for the holidays she applied a different hand to this piece.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

November's Finalists Unveiled

The popular vote is in and the most votes were garnered by Kim Frakes.  Kim will receive a $100 Visa Card for the recognition by friends and family.  Kim's painting received 111 Official Votes in our Contest.  However there were many others who received high numbers of votes and the Judging phase is in progress.

The FINALISTS ARE AS FOLLOWS - Winner announced tomorrow. . . . 
Kim Frakes - 16x20 Oil on Canvas
Britney Dickerson 12x36 Acrylic on Canvas
Jo Ann Simon - Watercolor - ACEO 3.5" x 2.5"
Tiziana Blacklock - 11x15 WaterColor on ColdPress Paper
Maria Milazzo 18x24 Oil on Canvas

Ginger Gehres 16x12 Acrylic on Canvas
Tim Webster 16x20 Oil on Canvas

Len Windle 11x14 Acrylic on Canvas

David Evans 11x14 Oil on Linen Panel

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Goodbye Hawaii, Hello IOWA

What a busy day the first of the month is turning out to be.  Some quick updates to the contest(s) currently running.

November submission period has ended and we have 30 OFFICIAL entries (that's 3 more than last month whoo hoo!)  Please take some time over the next 5 days to view them and cast your votes.  After the 5th, the finalists (as chosen by public voting) will go to the final round and be judged by a panel of peers.  I don't have time to make that group too big right now, so the judges will be me and the few other artists who have already expressed their willingness to help.  None of these judges have entered the contest ;) so there will be no voting for oneself.

December's location has been announced and can be found under the Current Challenge Tab above.  But as you already know, the new location boundaries are the State of Iowa. Where I spent my childhood and my first 18 holiday seasons. (I've grown accustomed to Arizona holidays, but they are nothing like the Winter in Iowa)

Iowa is beautiful. The birthplace of John Wayne (and me) and don't forget about the Bridges of Madison county.  They are out there folks.  Just waiting for you to discover them and paint.

AND OH YEA, in case you didn't notice December's Prize is $350.  A little "extra" to help motivate you to paint this holiday season.  Could be worth it.

Finally, the Contest entry form will be available in the next day or two.  Figured no one could be ready yet anyway ;)  But given that November's contest is still active as we vote and choose a winner, I didn't want any December entries anywhere to confuse the voters.  Does that make sense?

OK, share the happy.  Have fun.  Kay