Saturday, August 31, 2013

2013 Artisans Road Trip Artist Barb McGee

watercolor - ©Barb McGee

Every artist has their methods of working and dealing with the creative process each day.  Here we visit 2013 A.R.T. artist Barb McGee dealing with the daunting process of "revisiting" a painting she had set aside at some point in time - and come out with positive results!

"I was digging through a pile of old painting the other day and stumbled upon this one.  I call this pile my bone pile, you know when a painting just didn’t make me happy when I was done with it that is where it goes.  Well, for some reason I pulled this one out of the pile.  I took it to my painting table and tweaked on it for about two hours.  Most artists know what it means to tweak.  It means to go in and enhance some areas and maybe soften some others.  I this case I went in and deepened the color in the throat of the lily and deepened the blue gray shadows on the petals.  After I had finished the flowers I went to the background and totally reworked it.  Because the painting is watercolor I was rather surprised at how easy it was to move the dark green around.  I lifted some of the paint to form leaves and I blotted some of the areas so that it created a dappled look.  Now I have named the painting 'Resurrection!!!' because it was indeed resurrected from the bone pile. "

Thank you for visiting the artists of the 2013 Artisans Road Trip!  Time is beginning to draw near - its only 5 weeks before the A.R.T. weekend!  Be sure and put us in your autumn trip and weekend plans - the 10th Anniversary of the Artisans Road Trip! 

Sunday, August 25, 2013

2013 A.R.T. Artist Glenda Drennen

Aqua media artist Glenda Drennen will show her work and demonstrate painting at A Piece of Work in Spirit Lake during the October 2013 Artisan Road Trip.  Drennen’s imaginative paintings are often interpretations of simple things, such as sharing a joke with friends over a cup of tea, or walking a dog. “I enjoy inventing a bit of humor related to otherwise ordinary events,” says Drennen, “such as a small dog that has hobbled his master with his leash. My paintings tend to evoke smiles.”

"Tea for One"
watercolor - ©Glenda Drennen

Tea for One is one of two of Drennen’s paintings accepted in the 36th Annual Iowa Watercolor Society Juried Competition  to be held in Ankeny. The exhibition at the Ankeny Art Center will be open to the public Aug. 1 through Sept. 26. with an opening reception Aug. 1 from 5-7 p.m.  Drennen has a long history with IWS. She had her first painting accepted for competition in 1987 and earned signature membership in 1991. To date 19 of her paintings have been selected for the IWS competition.

 "Song Bird Series"
arylic painting  - ©Glenda Drennen

This week Drennen’s LeMars studio is filled with new paintings in her Songbird Series. These acrylic paintings are smaller than her usual watercolors, but every bit as imaginative. Three themes within this series are Birthday Birds, Sing Your Heart Out, and Singing Lessons. Each bird has very long legs, knobby knees, and often, striped stockings. Drennen will introduce several new songbird themes in this series during the A.R.T.
Drennen has been painting about 30 years, earning signature membership status in the Iowa Watercolor Society in 1992 and in the national Watercolor U.S.A., Springfield, MO in 2002.

In addition to preparation for A.R.T. 2013, she is currently creating 25-30 new paintings for a solo show at the University of Iowa Student Memorial Union in Ames in May/June 2014.  

Be sure to stop at A Piece of Work during A.R.T. 2013 to visit with Drennen and see her work.  At other times you can visit her in Watermark Studio in LeMars by appointment or access her website at

Stop by again for more on artists from the 2013 Artisans Road Trip!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

2013 Artisans Road Trip Artist Linda Fries

 watercolor painting
©Linda Fries

This visit to the 2013 Artisans Road Trip posting brings us a few words of insight to the medium of watercolor from watercolor painter Linda Fries-

In music, relationships, and art it has always been the blend. That harmony of elements. The fun of it as it comes together to complete everything. 

Watercolor seems best mixed. Often as another tint is added to a color, even you are surprised as you did it. A mind of it's own. Never dull. We think we know what we want on that sheet of 300 wt unyielding space on the easel, then it changes plans, taking us into parts unknown. How can anyone not love the trip! We put the stroke there, yes and miss the mark too often, but watercolor even corrects that....for the most part....we hope.

I consider myself a painter, not an artist. Obviously it 's hard to take it seriously when it's this entertaining. Maybe some day. Maybe not.

The trees. Joyce Kilmer writes: ".....only God can make a tree.". Then I have to paint it.

- Linda Fries

Thank you Linda!  And thank you for stopping by, please check back again for more about artists from the 2013 Artisans Road Trip!

Friday, August 2, 2013

2013 Artisans Road Trip artist Judy Thompson's "Capturing America's Heartland"

artwork © Judy Thompson

2013 Artisans Road Trip artist Judy Thompson has a solo exhibit coming up very soon - "Capturing America's Heartland"! I'm posting the exhibit's poster here for all the pertinent information - don't miss the artist's reception on Tuesday, August 6 from 5 - 7:00 p.m.

For more information on Judy and her work, visit her web site at -