View Full Version : After Mike Beeman's still-life demo at IAPS...

Barbara WC
07-11-2015, 09:12 AM
I was so inspired watching Mike Beeman's 3 hour demo at IAPS, titled "Attacking the Still life with a Painterly Style", that I came home and tried my hand using a few of his "fearless" techniques!

Mike could not emphasize enough in his demo, that we need to overcome our fear of failure during painting- he said many of his students "seize up" when they get a still-life setup in front of them, afraid to start. He said the worst that would come of a painting that doesn't work, is that we'd just have to start again- and big deal! He said some paintings he's started over 6 times before...

He emphasized blocking in large shapes first, focusing on values and color temperature (warm versus cool) and edges (lost and found, or sharp versus soft).

Mike completed 2 paintings in 3 hours! And he likes to talk too, so I think maybe he spent about 45 minutes hands on with each painting...

I've started painting more still-life setups over the last year or so, but most of mine are rather stiff, for lack of a better word. But after Mike's demo, my painting has seemed to have loosened up and I'm in a happier place :)

I don't post here very often because I don't take the time to photograph my paintings- which is why I'm a horrible blogger... However, this one got into our county fair, so I took a photo since I had it for sale in the fine art show...

C and C welcome, but I won't be revisiting this one. I've moved onto the next one...


07-11-2015, 10:02 AM
I really like this one. Not the least bit stiff. Love the textures. The elements all complement each other and the color is distinct. Beautiful!

Donna T
07-11-2015, 11:46 AM
This is so nice, Barbara! You really made those lost edges work for you and there is no stiffness to be found! Thanks for the summary of Mike's demo; it must have been awesome to be there and soak in that knowledge firsthand.

water girl
07-11-2015, 12:19 PM
Congrats on getting this one in the art show! I'm sure his demo was inspiring. Did you get any other entries accepted?

Barbara WC
07-11-2015, 12:30 PM
Thank you geej!

Donna- yes, it was amazing to see how Mike paints- he aptly named his still-life demo...

Karen- Yes, I entered 3 into the county fair, and got 2 accepted, the other was a pastel portrait. Interestingly, the one that was rejected was my best still-life from last year that had been accepted to two other juried shows- the online Pastel Society of the West Coast member show, and a show at a local art society that I belong to- that one was juried by a pastel artist. Found it interesting that the looser one got into the fair, not the tighter one :) I've been entering the Marin County fair since 2008, and the past two years I've been getting 2 in, prior to that I was getting 1 in... we are allowed to enter up to 6 entries, can be in the same category, and I used to enter 6 every year, until about 4 years ago- entry fees have gone up and it's too hard to drag all that work to the fair for the jury process, so I just pick my 2-3 favorites now and drag those over... I guess getting 2 in the past 2 years means my work is improving, so that makes me happy! Although it's sometimes a mystery why some pieces get in over others- in more than one year the jurors have picked my least favorite painting... acceptance rate at our fair is about 1/3, so I'm happy to just get in! Thanks!

water girl
07-11-2015, 01:08 PM
Barbara, you are addressing the unsolved mystery of why one painting is accepted and another is not. We all experience this. Why is a painting not considered for one show and wins a ribbon in the next? Why is that award winning painting not considered in another show? It is someone's opinion on that one day. In a lot of shows, there are many more entries than space available. It's a matter of numbers. I don't think tight compared to loose is much of a factor. Just keep doing what makes you happy.

07-11-2015, 07:29 PM
It's lovely, Barbara. Congrats on the success!

Barbara WC
07-11-2015, 07:49 PM
I forgot to mention my materials: 11"x14" soft pastels, on Sennelier La Carte paper. Mostly Terry Ludwig soft pastels with a couple of Diane Townsend soft forms, and one Great American pearlescent white stick- the pearlescent shimmer doesn't show up in photos, but it's fun to use, people notice it up close...

Karen- Thankfully I don't need to make money off my art, so I am able to focus on what interests me- portraits and still-life. Never think anyone's going to buy one of my random head paintings! LOL! Yep, I think if we like our subject, it comes through in our art.

Mudfish Thanks!

07-11-2015, 08:07 PM
Your painting is wonderful. I agree with Karen about paintings being accepted. many times makes no sense. I bet they don't feel they owe an explanation and they are probably not challenged to support their decision. Pam :wave:

pastel lover
07-12-2015, 02:06 AM
Very lovely. I would love to see that demo.


07-13-2015, 06:01 PM
lovely, just lovely!

07-13-2015, 06:26 PM
Lovely, Barbara! It was so nice to meet you and others at IAPS; I follow those postings with a personal interest now!

Best, Evelyn