Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Acrylic Painting Demos and Lessons!

I often travel to art supply stores to conduct painting demos and lessons using Royal Talens fine artist materials. A couple of weeks ago I worked with their Amsterdam Acrylics in the Hands on Creativity expo at the Plaza Art store in Towson, Maryland. Several art supply companies participate in this annual event, where local artists can come in the store and learn about the latest products and try them out for themselves. 

My table is always busy at these events, with artists of all ages waiting to try out the paints and mediums.

 I barely had time to snap a selfie with my set up before my table was surrounded with artists!

The store was packed all weekend!

I always bring a few painting samples and subjects for artists to use as inspiration at these events, and pumpkins are a favorite with everyone in the Fall season.

This weekend I'll be at Jerry's Artarama's "Art of the Carolinas" in Raleigh, North Carolina. I hope to see you there!

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Sunday, October 29, 2017

More Plein Air!

A few more paintings from last the Brandywine Plein Air festival last week!
Frolic's Ford, 8x10 oil $195. 

Pasture at Big Bend, 8x10 oil $195.

 During the exhibit at Winterthur, I demonstrated plein air painting in the main tent to entertain visitors. Here I am with my half-finished watercolor demo on Saturday. The painting sold before the paint was dry!

On Sunday I demonstrated watercolor painting again, this time using a photo from my recent plein air workshop in Calella de Palafrugell as my reference. Both my demo paintings are on the "Cezanne" 140 lb rough watercolor paper from Hahnemuehle. I was demonstrating alongside my co-organizer of  Plein Air Brandywine, Yvonne Mucci; and I invited my house guest Gerilyn Gaskil to join us. I gave each of them a block of the paper to use, and both of them loved it every bit as much as I do.

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Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Brandywine Plein Air

October is a busy month for me with plein air festivals, demos, classes, and workshops. The Brandywine Valley Plein Air festival kept me on my toes for the last couple of weeks, as I am both a participating artist in it, and I'm also one of the organizers.
A couple of weeks ago, Yvonne Mucci and I demonstrated plein air painting live at our event's patron party, and then raffled off our demo paintings at the end of the night. Here we are with the lucky collectors who got to take our paintings home with them!
I also demonstrated plein air painting live on Saturday and Sunday at Winterthur for visitors to the exhibit. Here I am with the collectors who purchased my demo on Saturday before the paint was dry!
The patron party on Friday night drew all the best people, of course! Here I am with Yvonne, who is also on the plein air planning committee with me, and our wonderful sponsor from Janssen's Market who catered over a hundred lunches for all the artists, volunteers, and staff, every day of our event -- for several years! 

Under the bright lights of the tent at the patron party, with Dave Bart from Jerry's Artarama, Jeanne Bruneau, and Yvonne.
In the four days of painting, I created nine paintings, plus I finished two demo paintings during the weekend exhibit. Five of my paintings sold during the exhibit, same number that have sold every year! This is my 1st painting from Monday at the Wilmington waterfront. There were no boats there that day, just seagulls and geese and a cold and dreary sky. This watercolor painting was the 1st one to sell. 

While at the waterfront I also painted this watercolor on canvas. Wilmington Waterfront, 12x16, $295.

This is my Quick Draw --  the Blacksmith's shop in Marshallton. This 8x10 sold quickly. 
Some of my paintings sold before I had a chance to photograph them, but there are a few others that I will post here next week after I've had a chance to catch my breath. November is a busy month, too, so I have to pace myself and not stay up too late on the computor!

posted by Annie Strack @ 8:59 PM   0 Comments

Thursday, October 12, 2017

the best studio lighting!

I recently got this new task lighting from the Daylight Company for my workbench. The design is so thin and unintrusive that it's almost invisible in this photo. The lamp comes with another clamp as well, which allows it to be mounted on the mast of an easel. This lamp is compact enough to take it with me to classes and workshops, providing optimum lighting anywhere I go. It is goosenecked, dimmable, and the head swivels and turns to cast the light in any direction.
The light is truly colorless, and the lamp produces more light than all my other workbench lamps, combined.
The lamp is perfect for photographing artwork, too.
 When I mentioned to the daylight company how wonderful the lamp was for finishing plein air studies in my studio and providing the perfect lighting conditions for photographing my paintings, their response was something along the lines of "oh yeah? here hold my beer!" and they sent me MORE lamps! This Luminos lamp with the rolling floor stand is the absolute ultimate in studio lighting.

The Luminos lamp puts off a tremendous amount of light, and really creates daylight in the studio. 

The Wafer 2 lightbox is so thin it is really better described as a pad and not a box. That's my old lightbox on the bottom, with the Wafer 2 on top. The Wafer 2 weighs almost nothing, is less than a half inch thin, and is LED sandwiched between acrylic sheets which makes it almost indestructible. 
These products are all available at Daylight Company, and if you order and use coupon code AnnieStrack17 before the end of the year, you will get a 20% discount on your order!

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Saturday, October 7, 2017

Demos and Plein Air next week!

Next weekend I'll be at Plaza Art in Towson , Maryland, to demo paints and mediums for Amsterdam Acrylics during the annual Hands on Creativity event.

 This popular art expo brings together representatives from all the popular brands. Artists can come and check out all the new products, and learn new techniques and skills from seasoned professionals. I hope you'll come out and see me at this event!

Right after I finish my demos in Towson next Sunday night, I will rush up to West Chester to start painting in the Brandywine Valley Plein Air festival. This is a week long event of intensive painting including a quick-draw and a nocturne, with a gala art opening and sale at Winterthur the following weekend. I'm on the planning committee of this event, and I'm thrilled to be part of the largest plein air festival in the region!

In other news, I'm over the moon to announce that I just received Signature Status in the International Plein Air Painters (IPAP)! This is a huge honor to receive such recognition from the most prestigious plein air society in the world. I've been painting en plein air since before it was even called that, and have taken my paints with me around the world several times. I'm thrilled to have been awarded this special and quite rare designation. It's my tenth Signature (my second one this year!) of my career and I'm proud of each of them, but I'm doubly proud of the international ones.

posted by Annie Strack @ 8:31 PM   0 Comments

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Plein Air Painting Workshop in Pennsylvania

 September proved to be the perfect time to teach a plein air workshop in Pennsylvania! The weather was mild with temps in the 70's and the sky was clear when my students and I gathered at the Community Arts Center in Wallingford, Pennsylvania. The location was perfect, as well. I chose a spot under the canopy of trees where my students could take advantage of the shade and the picnic tables, and had a wonderful view of several compositional subjects to from which to choose.

My students, working hard on their watercolor plein air paintings. 
My demo painting from my plein air workshop.

  The tower that I chose to use for the subject of my workshop is not "made up" -- it's an actual folly in the garden of the Art Center, as you can see in this photo!

 Al of my students use Value Finders. Here, Carol is looking at me to see if I have any values...

 More photos of my workshop students working on their paintings...

My next class at this location begins in January. Be sure to follow my updates to get the latest info.

All of my students worked on these 12x16 blocks of "Cezanne" watercolor paper provided by Hahnemuehle. I love when companies send products to me to try, and I love it even more when they send products to all of my students! I love the paper, and my students all got to try it out for themselves and experience the nice texture, outstanding brightness, and perfect sizing of this paper first-hand. Thank you, Hahnemuehle!

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Monday, September 18, 2017

Recent Art Classes!

I held classes in my studio for the summer semester and called it Summer School. We explored still life painting, gestural figure painting, sketchbooking, landscapes, seascapes, and plein air painting. Here's a few photos of my happy studio students creating fabulous works of art! 

posted by Annie Strack @ 1:11 PM   0 Comments

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Watercolor Painting Workshop in NJ!

Last weekend I went to New Jersey to teach a watercolor painting workshop at the Rutgers University Ag Center, hosted by the Salem County Art League. This was my second workshop in southern New Jersey in the last few months, and I was thrilled to recognize most of the students from previous workshops and demos! 

I was also pleased that all of my students had brought good, artist grade materials and supplies. It made the lessons so much easier for them and for me, to not have to overcome the disappointments that result from trying to work with student grade materials. 

 We had time to finish two paintings in this workshop, which really helps to strengthen the lessons.
Stormy Beach, 12x16 WC $125.
 Here are my two demonstration paintings from the workshop. My students created paintings that were just as good as mine!
Two Skiffs, 14x20 WC $195.
I've got a ton of workshops and demos coming up in the next couple of months, and adding more constantly! Check out my calendar page on this website to keep up with the latest happenings.

posted by Annie Strack @ 2:11 PM   0 Comments

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

New Shows and Classes

I'm over the moon! I just found out that my painting "Destiny Awaits" was accepted into the Northstar Watercolor Society's annual international juried show! I'll be framing this one up and getting it ready to ship next week.
Destiny Awaits, 14x20 watercolor by Annie Strack

It's been an incredibly busy summer with classes, exhibits, workshops, and other events. This weekend, I'll be in New Jersey at the Salem County Art League teaching a watercolor workshop. The workshop has long since sold out, and I hope you signed up because I'm bringing some free samples of watercolor paper from Legion Paper to give away to my students in that workshop! 

Summer school classes in my studio are a blast this year, and the weather forecast is calling for cool weather this week so I think I might take my classes outside tomorrow for plein air painting in the garden. 

Students in Annie Strack's studio classes
This Fall is gearing up to be even more exciting, with more classes, workshops, plein air competitions, and demos. Be sure to check out the CALENDAR page of this website for the latest updates!

posted by Annie Strack @ 9:00 AM   0 Comments

Sunday, July 30, 2017

free watercolor paper for workshop attendees!

I'm super excited to announce that Hahnemuehle USA is sponsoring my next plein air workshop in Pennsylvania by providing each of my students with a 12x16 block of Hahnemuehle "Cezanne" watercolor paper! Whoo hoo!
This 1-day workshop will be held a the Community Arts Center in Wallingford, PA. The class size is limited and it will fill up fast, so be sure to sign up as soon as registration opens.

In other news, I'll be conducting a hands-on demo with Amsterdam Acrylics at Kennett Copy and More, in Kennett Square, PA! This is a new art supply store that just opened new my studio, and a great place for my students to run out to if they forget something when they come to class!
Come out to my demo, and try out the paints and mediums for yourself!

Also in the news, I reviewed several of the papers manufactured specifically for oil and acrylic painting by Hahnemuehle, and that review is posted on the National Oil and Acrylic Painters Society (NOAPS) blog. These unique papers all performed differently under various mediums -- check out my review to learn which papers are best for you!

Lastly, I just received notification that I was awarded Signature Membership status in the Central New York Watercolor Society! Whoo hoo! This marks my 9th Signature awarded from an Artist Society! Yay!

posted by Annie Strack @ 4:52 PM   0 Comments

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