Monday, August 31, 2009

Mini Paintings

Fruit Tart 3"x4", acrylic, $49, and Red Cupcake, 6"x4", acrylic, $89
I just want you to know that little paintings require no small effort -- like I thought they would.

I have added three small sizes of mini paintings to my body of work -- 3"x4", 4"x6" and 6"x8". I decided to do them because I thought it would be a fun way to offer inexpensive art work in my booth so that anyone could take something home. Well, as it turns out, they are inexpensive and they are fun to do. But, I start out on these little adventures with a perfect little plan on how it is going to be. And, then I find myself on a completely different path all together.

I thought I was going to do quick little alla prima paintings. Alla prima means you finish all in one sitting. It means you work "wet into wet" -- you apply the wet paint on your brush into paint that is still wet on the canvas. Alla Prima is Italian for "at once."

These paintings are satisfying for the artist and the result is much expressiveness and color. The downside is that they are really no do-overs. Once the paint is down, its down. But I am used to that. The little fruit tarts, shown here, are done alla prima and they come out great.

Little Carrot Cake, 3"x4", acrylic, $49, and 2 Fruit Tarts, 6"x4", acrylic, $89
But there are other little paintings that take on a life of their own. I have a little carrot cake. It is on the 2-day plan. First day is background, the cake, nut sprinkles and carrots on top. The next day is shading, highlights and shadows. Done.

I added little cupcakes, 6"x4". 2 days minimum. Let's see -- day 1 -- background base, paper cup, chocolate topping, whipped topping -- if I am lucky. Day 2, tone the paper cup, highlight the chocolate topping, add shadows, and work up the background.

A Slice, 3"x4", acrylic, $49
The little berry pie slice (seen on my web site) -- this is the biggy. Would you believe this little 3"x4" painting takes a minimum of 4 days? Here are the days --
Day 1 - Background. It is very textural itself so it cannot be painted over until it is dry, dry. Day 2 - Crust and chocolate layer. That's it. I can go no further until that is set.
Day 3 - Berries.
Day 4 - Highlights and shadows. Done.

And the next size up -- 6"x8" pastry paintings? Don't even get me started.

So as you can see, even though they paintings are little and look very easy, there is no shortage of effort involved.

By the way, mini paintings are available for purchase at my art fairs. Or, you can just email me and I will be happy to ship them to you. Since they are so little, they are easy to pop in the mail.

See my web site for the latest offerings in mini-paintings. I update it whenever a new "batch" of minis are ready.

-- Barb

Art Fairs -- Oak Brook Center and Penrod in Indianapolis

This weekend, I will be at Oakbrook Center Invitational Fine Art Exhibition weekend. My booth will be right in front of Bloomingdale's Home Store. More than 150 artists participate in this outdoor gallery set amidst the park-like grounds of Oakbrook Center. Saturday, Sept 5, from 10 am to 7 pm. Sunday, Sept 6, from 11 am to 6 pm. Maybe you can stop by.

On Saturday, Sept 12, I will be participating in The Penrod Arts Fair in Indianapolis on the grounds of the Indianapolis Museum of Art. Billed as "Indiana's nicest day," there will be 300 artists, 6 stages of entertainment, extensive children's area and plenty of food and beverage. It opens at 9 am and you can enjoy yourself until 5 pm. This is the first time I have been here and I am really looking forward to it.


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-- Barb

Gala Reception at Real People

The weekend of Aug 22, I attended the gala reception for the Real People 2009 exhibition. My husband was nice enough to take this photo. I am standing in front of my 25 little paintings that are gathered together for one display. There are all figure paintings done during my life-drawing workshop. To read more about this event, see the original post.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Mosaic Bande

Mosaic Bande, Acrylic on board, 9”x12”, $300 © B. Sistak Baur

Do you know what Mosaic Bande is?

I didn't (you know that doesn't mean much if you read my post about cupcakes). You see, I am not a baker and I don't know a lot about it. But I do like bakeries and know what looks good enough to paint -- and that is Mosaic Bande. I found this delight in an old-style bakery in Milwaukee.

So, for those of you that don't know, and I wouldn't blame you if you didn't since I can't even find a decent reference for it on the internet, here in one definition I found. Mosaic Bande is layers of chocolate mousses (one chocoloate and one vanilla marscarpone) layered on a dark chocolate sponge and topped with a mosaic of geometric shapes in different shades of chocolate.

What attracted me to this piece was the geometric pattern of the chocolate. I think it appealed to the left side of my brain (that's the logical side, not the art side -- in painting pastries, you don't have too many opportunities for straight lines so I decided to go for it). As soon as I saw it, I knew exactly how I wanted to recreate it. I dreamed about creating broken chocolate shapes and placing them adoringly on the pastry. Well, it turned out to be much more of a puzzle than I anticipated, of course.

If you get a chance to see this painting in person, you will notice that each color is an individual strip of paint. Each strip was created on the palette, allowed to dry, sliced and then placed on the painting. Each piece of Mosaic Bande was "built" from the bottom up. It was an interesting challenge which I may try again in another painting -- when my brain stops hurting.

-- Barb

Real People 2009

"Do you only paint desserts?" I am often asked. The answer is no, I can and do paint many things and practice in many disciplines. One of those is figure drawing. From Fall to Spring, I spend several evenings with my life drawing group. We are a group of artists that get together a couple of times a month and hire a model to sketch, draw or paint. I create little paintings of the models. The interesting part is that each painting is complete in 25 minutes or less because this is as long as the model poses. And some poses are much shorter.

Having accumulated quite a collection of 25-minute paintings (some of which I really like), I decided to enter Real People 2009, a national juried exhibition. I pulled together 25 paintings (each one is 8"x10") and arranged them into one display, shown here. The title of the complete display is 25 in 25 Minutes or Less.
25 in 25 Minutes or Less, acrylic on 8"x10" panels, $2500
Happily, this work has been accepted. Real People 2009 which is sponsored by the Old Court House Figurative Art League, runs from August 6 to September 27. A Gala reception is this Saturday, August 22, from 6 pm to 9:30 pm. It is located in the Old Court House Arts Center, in Woodstock, "on the square."

This show is featuring artists from around the country. The organizers told me that artists drive in from Tennessee, Florida and other states to bring their artwork. It is a wonderfully diverse show of very high quality. Jurors for this show (jurors are the professionals who select the artwork for display) were Michael Vanzeyl, a portrait artist and teacher at the Palette and Chisel in Chicago; and Marion Kryczka, an associate professor at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

See what's featured for sale online right now.

The Sketchbook Project at Brooklyn Art Library (Video)

Update:  I just discovered that there was fire involving the sketchbooks in the Brooklyn Art Library Sketchbook Project in February, 2022 --...