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Family Draw Day

Old Mill Demonstration
for Family Draw Day
Pastel on Newsprint
24″ x 18″
Lisa Mahony

Sunday Fun Day

What a time we had at The Old Mill on October 6th, Sunday. Thank you, to the parents, individuals and kids for joining in our Family Draw Day. There was even a gallery wall where people donated their artwork. It was fun to see the gallery fill up with the day’s artwork. There was a lot variety and style!

Demonstrations give you new ideas

The above is my demonstration piece. I decided to work in one color because it is all about values. Contrast your darks and lights to create drama! Step back and simplify your work but above all, be positive because drawing takes work. It can be expressive, funny, delicate or bold, just keep trying.

Any last words of encouragement?

Something NOT to do ( yes, I did this one), is to compare yourself to the masters. You will run screaming and never try again! You’re really looking at decades of their hard work. Even the masters had to start somewhere.

Keep a eye out for more fun activities

One of the participants today created this!
Graphite in a watercolor journal, next comes color!

Finally, a big thank you to Gary Spisak, the Education Director for the California Art Club. Gary put this adventure together, I helped a little. I hope to see you soon. Feel free, to send your drawings to http://www.LisaMahonyFineArt.com or, to http://www.CaliforniaArtClub.org, we love seeing new artwork.

Take care, and keep drawing,

Lisa

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Painting with Friends

Rodolfo’s Demonstration
Oil on linen
9” x 12”
available

It is always more fun and motivating to paint with others. Thank you, California Art Club, for scheduling events. I painted this at the Muckenthaler Cultural Center on Sunday September 29th 2019. Not only did they schedule a paint out but they had a duel oil demonstration with Rodolfo Rivademar and Lilliana Simanton. I watched both for a while then I toured The Muck to see the California Art Club’s Autumn exhibit. Both the demos and the exhibition were great. Suddenly, I was no longer tired. I ran to the car (in a dignified manner) and started on Rodolfo’s Demonstration.

Why do you like painting in plein air (outdoors) with others?

I love seeing other peoples’ gear, which mediums they use and loaning out a jacket or a wad of shop towels, so they can continue. The camaraderie is also vital. I know my husband and two daughters are bored by talking about linen vs. canvas or which brand of paint is best, but your fellow artists can tell you what they like and why.

Why not just stay in the studio?

It is important seeing how artists start a painting. I can ask questions at the demonstrations, see how they make their strokes, what mixes they make and even how they hold their brushes. I can talk with other artists and find out how they start. Do they jump right in? Tone their canvas or sketch first? No matter how they start, it allows me to determine if I am painting in the most efficient and joyous way.

Why is it important to stay positive?

Hey, it’s not easy dragging all of your gear out, finding a spot or motivating yourself to paint. Sometimes, nothing works but keep positive about it. Focus on one positive thing, “I made new friends and I did my best” is usually what I keep telling myself, if I am having a crummy day. No matter what, become a cheerleader for yourself and others and guide conversations towards a positive outcome. Why? Because it is easier to stay in bed. It’s harder to become disciplined. Keep doing your best, no matter what you do!

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How to Paint Happy

Painting is hard. Don’t make it harder by reciting negative mantras.

No one starts out hating art

When we first started painting, we were full of wonder. Swirling paint, mixing colors and creating storylines was enchanting. We made all the things we loved: trees, rainbows and smiling people holding hands.

Then we look around and spy some one doing it better. That’s all it takes to cast doubt and our creative spark wobbles.

The truth is that the amazingly gifted kid, simply put pink flowers in the foreground of a dark painting.

All of this happens in grade school! So when your seven year old shows you the painting he made, he worked on it just as hard as you did at your job that day. Take a moment and say something intelligent. Ask him why he chose that color or ask him to tell you the story of his painting. Listen and learn.

We are all learning so be nice to yourself, celebrate your victories. Getting your gear together is a victory. Organizing the studio is a victory. Get into the habit of complimenting yourself, your friends, the mail carrier, a waitress because we all need a little happiness to continue. That way, when someone compliments your work you won’t be thrown off balance. Say thank you and how much you appreciate the compliment. Anything but, do you really think so? I messed up the water and the trees are all leaning to the left.

Wow, that wasn’t what anyone expected to hear. I whoop or hop, sometimes I do a little dance. Sure it looks mad but I am experiencing joy, so why not?

People have come up to me and asked me who I am talking to? This usually happens when I am working out a tricky bit. I laugh and tell them what I am actually doing.

Look, people don’t know how to talk to artists and their only references are from sitcoms and their friends that paint to relax.

I tell them. I am trying to pick out a color for the shady side of the rocks that is a bit surprising and fun.

Now back to my dance off with the cat.

Stay positive and paint happy

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Today I am painting at the LA County Arboretum & Botanical Gardens

Wow, what a place this is! It’s hard to believe that I’ve grown up in Los Angeles County and now, live in Ventura County but I’ve never visited this place! It is astounding to see the variety, care and planning they’ve put into creating the gardens.

Off on another adventure

I’ll post even more pictures later. Here is what I am working on first. Then I’ll be back tomorrow! Really, it’s 127 acres of sheer beauty.

Time to add more sass and work on edges and such

Do you know what arboretum means? Woody plants. That’s what it used to be- trees and shrubs.

When I asked for directions from Siri, he asked (haha, I changed Siri to a man), “Did you mean- LA County Arboretum & Botanical Gardens?” Yeah, that one. They had to add botanical garden because it is so much more than trees and shrub now. There are flowering plants, exotic plants and er, crazy looking plants. More later.

Psst, Don’t forget about my demo on Sunday in Santa Paula California, at 963 Santa Barbara St., in the Old Train Depot. We will be on the top floor and the demo will be from 2 PM and go till 4 PM with a nice snack break in between. I’ll even bring some small paintings that will be for sale.

Rolling Wave, acrylic on illustration board
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My September challenge

Finish what you started !

Oh, it is on like Donkey Kong

It is starting to look like a painting graveyard over here. I keep lying to myself and promising to finish that one tomorrow. That ended yesterday! My paintings are taking too long, that’s the big problem. I have had a steady year of improving my artwork. Reading, getting critiques, studying the masters and asking a lot of questions. I have even been selling, winning awards and my first demo is Saturday at 2-4pm 963 Santa Barbara St. I will tell you secrets during my acrylic demo and teach you how to paint happy.

Now that it is September, it is time to complete my plein air journey. I need to get ready for my ultimate goal of doing 2 to three paintings a day on location. Can I do it? I am going to do everything I can to reach that year end goal. So it starts now. Actually it started yesterday.

The color wheel yup, that old thing

I can only use oil paint outdoors so this is a great challenge for me. At home I have an outdoor studio! When I carry my paint in my car I keep it in a sealed container. OK on with the show.

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