Thursday, December 29, 2011

Christmas Mermaids


Well ....what have I been painting?.......Christmas Mermaids for my granddaughters & niece. I am not familiar with arcylics and they have actually been making me crazy, trying to find out which ones I like better, full body, or the more liquid ones, which brushes work the best, what the coverage is like, how fast they dry and also found out you do not want to use a permentt marker on the canvas and try to paint over it, the marker continues to show through- lots of frustration.

I painted 5 small individual paintings for my youngest granddaughter, then mermaids for the older girls, I thought the mermaids may have not been cute enough so I re-did them,....I felt as if I was doing the 12 days of Christmas......1 starfish, 1 seahorse, 1 whale, 1 turtle, 1 mini mermaid, 3 large mermaids, 3 mermaids with dolphins..and a paaarrrrtiged in a pair tree (total of 11 paintings) .. it would have been easier to have just bought presents - which I did that too, because I didn't know how the kids would react to them.

I held off with the larger mermaids and thought maybe I would give them to them when they were older. On Christmas day I brought them into my studio and showed them the mermaids that I was going to put to the side - and the immediately fell in love with them. My nice said I want one, my granddaughter said this one needs a crown. Then to my amazement it all turned into a wonderful Christmas gift, they were able to make them individual and place things where they wanted. I wrote what they wanted down on a piece of tape and they placed it onto the paintings. Orange starfish here, clam there, fish with blue lines, orange fish with white lines, kelp, crown and sparkles. They turned into magical paintings and a beautiful Christmas gift.

Monday, December 26, 2011

"Bonita Springs" & "The Villages in Florida

I have just added "Bonita Springs" & "The Villages to my 2012 schedule in November - should be lots of FUN.

November 7-9, 2012 The Villages FL contact Bev Baugh BBAUG97@aol.com

November 12-16, 2012 Bonita Springs FL
contact Jake Hand Education Director Center for the Arts of Bonita Springs Phone: 239.495.8989 education@artinusa.com

Monday, December 5, 2011

Victoria workshop

Wow we have only had registration open for 4 days for my Victoria workshop and it's full with a wait list. Amazing ! If you are still interested, please add your name to the list you never know. Hope to see you soon. Birgit

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Workshop in Victoria, BC

I have been asked to do workshop in Brentwood Bay Victoria, BC in February 2012 close to Butchart Gardens. I know it is short notice - anyone interested?
Please contact Contact information Sam Boethner sam@samboehner.com 250-652-2827 or send Sam a message on FB Sam L. Boehner

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Article in a Poland

Got some great news, just found out that I have a full page article in a newspaper in Poland about my work and myself, (now if I could only read it). I have the PDF file but have no idea how to find it on the online version. Here is a link to the paper but don't know how to fiind the article. http://www.gazetadobryznak.pl/

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Fall Update


I wanted to let you know In the November 2011 issue of Artist's Magazine. I have been fortunate to have been included, in an article along with 5 other amazing artists on the subject of the rose and how it is viewed as an enduring symbol and make it seem new. The magazine is available on newsstands and can be purchased online

As my 2011 workshops are winding down I am thinking about all of the fun we have had painting, laughing and making new friends. I would like to thank all of my students for making this years workshops so successful and full of new adventures. There were many students that traveled long distances to attend, many from different states, Canada, Hong Kong and Venezuela.

We are all connected sharing our common bond in the world of watercolor.

I have just added the photos of my fall workshops to my Facebook albums in Little Rock AR & La Crosse WI, and Mendocino CA .


Fall Workshop in Mendocino 11/11
Discussing how to create the multiple stamens without using masking or drawing gum with my student Edelmira from Venezuela

News from Birgit O'Connor - Watercolors

News from Birgit O'Connor - Watercolors

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Mid-Southern Watercolor Demonstration in Little Rock, AR

Just did a demo for the Mid-Southern Watercolor Society, had lots of fun. The people are warm and wonderful, I am really enjoying myself.



Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Roses as an Enduring Symbol


I have been fortunate to have been included in the current November 2011 issue of Artist's Magazine along with five other artists in the how we interpret the subject of the rose as an enduring symbol and make it seem new. On sale now.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

My pallet


I still have my pallet set up the way I did when I first started painting, they are separated into families of color, my yellows on the upper left, reds on the right, greens along the sides, browns on the bottom and indigo in the lower left hand corner. If needed I also have other pallets and other color schemes for different subjects.

If I was to do it now, I might have considered following the color wheel and having the complimentary color on the opposite side, to make it easier to make a neutral grey. If I tried to change it now I would simply be fumbling with it and feeling like I was learning to paint all over again.

Should you change your pallet set up when taking a workshop
Many times people ask me if they should change the set up of their pallet for my workshops, I tell them to use what they have and add to it.

Label your color

To keep track of any new colors your using write the name of the color on a piece of artist tape or along the side with a permanent sharpie marker.

What I am looking for in a Pallet
One with shallow wells so water does not continue to accumulate in the bottom because that really dilute the color. I always add fresh color when painting - about a Lima bean size. I don't like to fill my well with color and let it dry, I like the creamy constancy of new color and there should be a large area in the center where you can do mixing.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Registration for my Sedona Workshop is Now Open

March 26-30, 2012 To register Follow this link to the NAWS Northern Arizona Watercolor Society



In this workshop Birgit guides you step-by-step through the painting process and shares her techniques of how to simplify a flower and find the WOW factor that creates dramatic paintings. Learn how to blend and mix color to give the illusion of depth by using a limited pallet. The techniques learned in this class are the same ones she uses for her larger 60"x120" triptychs, but for class purposes you will be using 1/2 sheets for the workshop a more manageable size.

You will start with a new composition everyday for the first few days, learn how to do large White then Red flowers then expand into more complicated compositions. The final compositions will be after Birgit evaluates the class and as time permits. Sketches and reference photos are provided to help you during the learning process so you can easily follow along with each painting demonstration. You are welcome to bring your own reference photos and work from those if you prefer rather then the sketches provided. Birgit will discuss what makes a striking painting and suggests that you bring a few of your own photos for the class to look at and learn from to see how by doing a few simple things can make the composition more interesting. This class is open to all skill levels but knowledge of watercolor is helpful but beginners are welcome and are encouraged not to be afraid.

Registration for my Calistoga workshop is Now Open


Registration for my workshop in Calistoga March 1-4, 2012 is now open

Course Description
In this workshop Birgit guides you step-by-step through the painting process and shares her techniques of how to simplify a flower and find the WOW factor that creates dramatic paintings. Learn how blend and mix color to give the illusion of depth by using a limited pallet. The techniques learned in this class are the same ones she uses for her larger 60"x120" triptychs, but for class purposes you will be using 1/2 sheets for the workshop a more manageable size.

You will start with a new composition everyday for the first few days, learn how to do large White then Red flowers then expand into more complicated compositions. The final compositions will be after Birgit evaluates the class and as time permits. Sketches and reference photos are provided to help you during the learning process so you can easily follow along with each painting demonstration. You are welcome to bring your own reference photos and work from those if you prefer rather then the sketches provided. Birgit will discuss what makes a striking painting and suggests that you bring a few of your own photos for the class to look at and learn from to see how by doing a few simple things can make the composition more interesting. This class is open to all skill levels but knowledge of watercolor is helpful but beginners are welcome and are encouraged not to be afraid.

Bamboo Hake Brush

Many of you know how much I love my Bamboo Hake Brush (or as some people call it the (Hate brush) Here is a quick fix to prevent it from loosing too many hairs. "First try to remove as many loose hairs as possible. Then apply a little crazy glue along the bottom of the bristles just along the bamboo handle, using a toothpick or needle work the glue deeper into the center, glue should only travel about ¼ inch up the tip just so the glue can penetrate into the center of the hair. Let thoroughly dry before using.



Why I like this brush is because it holds a lot of water (more like a puddle) and it is soft enough not to lift the previous layers of color or leave angular lines when glazing. The bad thing is that is has a tendency to easily loose hair. Many other wash brushes (that may be made better) just don’t seem to apply the amount of water that I like.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

2012 Workshop Schedule

I have just posted my current 2012 workshop schedule on my website, some of the fall workshops are still in the planning stage and final dates will be added later. To view workshop schedule please visit www.birgitoconnor.com

A Few Openings Left



There are still a few openings for my November 4-6, 2011 Flowers Up Close & Personal, in Mendocino CA .....Let’s look deeper into the folds and under the petals of the flower and simpify form. We will release unnecessary details while adding others. For more information and online registration To register call (707) 937-5818 or (800) 653-3328

Monday, September 12, 2011

17th annual ‎"Aqua Areas"

‎"Aqua Areas" is the largest juried Watercolor exhibition in the North Bay. This year, over 120 original paintings are offered for sale from over 57 of the finest Northern California watercolor artists. This is the largest 'all watercolor' showcase in the North Bay, and has developed a faithful following of art lovers over the years. I was lucky to be juried into this lovely show and won the "Jean Schultz" award, I was very happy.





It was a wonderful event and very powerful with the Honor Guard remembering all that had perished in 911.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Group Photos

Here are our group photos of our two workshops "Within the Flower" & "Treasure from the shore"


Mendocino Workshop photos






Great time in Mendocino

We had a great time in Mendocino, one student came all the way from Hong Kong the weather was a little foggy for a good part of the time but by the second part of the workshop we finally got some good weather.



Monday, August 8, 2011

Getting ready for Mendocino

I have been packing for a few days, bringing many more demos than I need...I think it's because I think of Mendocino as my testing ground for new compositions ... I'll have plenty of designs many of the easier oldies but some new ones too. I always think we can do more than we can, I have so much that I want to share. :) Now if I can make sure that I don't overload my car.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Maine Workshop

I just taught a workshop here in Maine at the "Acadia Workshop Center" in Bernard Maine, what a great location for a workshop. The location is inspiring. We had very unusual weather during this time with a big heat wave as did most of the country so we decided to take a break and go down to the beach and dip our toes in the Atlantic Ocean and refresh ourselves. It was wonderful.

Maine Workshop



Maine Workshop

I am having a wonderful time here in Maine, it is so inspiring I would love to do other workshops here on Landscapes and my rocks & sand technique along with my flowers and I can't wait to do some abstracts from the formations I found.




One day after the workshop in Bernard ME, I went into Southwest Harbor and happened upon a small gallery opening at the "Salty Dog" where I met a wonderful artist name Phil Steel, he has beautiful work. He honored me with one of his books titled "Net Loss"
Philip is a signature member of the American Society of Marine Artist,(A.S.M.A) and Florida Watercolor Society, and a Fellow Member of the American Artist Professional League. He is published in Marquis Who's Who in American Art.
Here is his Website

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Beauty in every grain of SAND

Here is a wonderful view of the Beauty that is hidden in every grain of SAND.... Viewed at a magnification of over 250 times real life, tiny grains of sand are shown to be delicate, colorful structures as unique as snowflakes. I think we will have to take a closer look next time when were painting the sand at my upcoming workshop in August in Mendocino :) View the Article

Friday, July 1, 2011

Student wins First Prize

Hi, Birgit!......... I wanted you to be the first to know! After I got back
from my wonderful workshop with you at Cheap Joe’s, my local art society was
hosting an art show – the theme of it was Georgia O’Keeffe. So I decided to
use my skills that I had just learned………and my big brushes………..and entered
two paintings. One was a closeup of a rose, and one was a closeup of a
gardenia that grows outside our front door.

Tonight was the reception, and I won FIRST PRIZE for the gardenia!!! I was
so surprised, (and I made a fool of myself by crying!) but I was so
thrilled. And I just wanted you to be the first one to know before I shout
it out to the world! I’ve won ribbons for student art shows before, but this
was the first REAL show that I’ve won anything (and it carried a cash prize
of $100).

So, thank you so much for showing me the way to painting beautiful flowers.
And I’m SO glad I decided to buy your brushes! So, thank you. I’ve attached
a picture that was taken a couple hours ago.

A big hug………. Deb Chilcote FL (in the peanut gallery)



Congratulations !!!!
I LOVE IT... LOVE IT... LOVE IT .. I am sure everyone was touched by your tears of joy :) I just love your story..your choice of the composition & colors - Congratulations!!!!!! I am so proud of you

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

L'Art de l'Aquarelle" June issue, is now available


L'Art de l'Aquarelle" June issue, is now available.
I am honored to be included in this worldwide portfolio along with other US artist's Jeannie McGuire, Steve Rogers, Jeanne Dobie, Grace Swanson, Myrna Wacknov

Sunday, June 19, 2011

My Latest Article "Green's Are Good For you"


Here is my most current article in "Artist's Magazine" in the July / August issue " Green's are Good for you" Tired-and-true tips on how to mix a convincing green in watercolor-whether you're paining leaves or landscapes. If your not able to find the magazine on your local newsstand you can also do a digital download through the North Light Shop

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Copyrights

The other day I had another instance where a student of mine that produce a painting from my step-by-step instruction from a composition that we did in class. She asked if she could use the workshop painting that she did for a poster that would be published to promote an organization that she belonged to.She said they loved her painting, I told them that it was not appropriate. She would need to use her own composition and concept.

This is what happens
If someone recognizes the composition as mine they can think what happened to the quality of my work. The other is that it damages the name and reputation of the person that is trying to pass it on as their own as being a fraud.

I have been speaking to other instructors about this problem and here are some of the other stories I have heard. One said they went in to judge a show and the name of the judge was withheld as to not influence the subjects that were submitted. The entries were all received and then when the judge arrive he was shocked to see that one entry was almost an exact copy. Needless to say that person was released from the show and banned from further competitions.

Another story was where one National instructors was contacted by someone, who saw an instructor in their area offering workshops on the style and EXACT subject matter of the national instructor. The painting that they showed on their web-site was taken directly off the national instructors web-site but his name had been removed. Needless to say he contacted her with a cease and desist order...she was so apologetic etc. and agreed to do so. Only for him to find out later that the only difference she made was to include his name on the paintings on her web-site. This is not ethical.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Copyright infringement

This morning it was brought to my attention of another artist that has replicated my work and is selling it on Etsy. I see that they have already sold three and have two others posted. If your a new artist there are basic copyright laws that means you do not infringe upon another artist's work, reference material or concept -you can take a look at what I mean "here"
.....and if you are an experienced artist you should know better or legal action will be taken...Here is the image of the original


As it turns out after contacting the artist and Etsy they pulled her store immedaitly. So it is no longer visable.

At the same time another student contacted me wondering if she could use the painting that she did in class using my referance photo & sketch for a poster. I would have liked to have said yes but unfortunalty this is unacceptable. If someone reconize the image as mine (which is very likely) and the quality was less than what they expect of my work it is not good for my reputation or for the other artist which can then be known as a fruad.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Absolutely Beautiful

I am starting to think that I should think of doing a plein air workshop it was absolutely beautiful yesterday here in Boone NC




Workshop in Boone NC at Cheap Joe's