Saturday, May 17, 2014

Share with Me Saturdays - Angela Shimitz Part 2

"How many heads long is this?"

Happy Saturday, everyone! I'm excited to share my dabble session with you this week. Angela and I did a lot more art and a lot less talking at our session back in March.

To catch up, here is her original survey post.

Angela studied art at Northern State University in Aberdeen, South Dakota, though, I was sure she'd continue playing clarinet forever (OK, maybe not). As she was planning her career path, she originally rejected teaching, "I have a whole family of teachers, so I said, no, I'm not going to teach!"

Having declared that to the universe, naturally she's been a K-12 art teacher the past nine(!) years in Ipswich, SD.

She's currently teaching elementary art classes, and leads art club and works on the yearbook for the school. For the high school-ers, she teaches art and photography classes. Recently, her students have been interested in sculpture, so she invites them to come to her classroom during her lesson-planning time to work on projects.

When working on her own art projects, she enjoys photography and painting (particularly using watercolor or acrylic paints, or mixed media projects).

Through May and June, we are celebrating her first solo art show at Presentation College's Wein Gallery in Aberdeen, and I'm a little TOO excited for Ang to share her painting tips with me.

So, we planned to do a painting together.

Photo Credit: Tim Gillespie

I picked out a beautiful photo from the Sloth Sanctuary Costa Rica website as our subject.

Stylistically, we decided we'd try a little expressive/abstract-ness.

Classy: OK! Where do we start?
Angela: We want to make a sketch of what we are painting. First, set the head and set the proportions from there. We'll measure proportions in "how many heads long this is."

We get the head on the paper, and she starts measuring around with her hands. Flipping between the photo and the drawing paper, saying some more words about sketching.

She lets me do some sketching and talks me through the process.

Photo Credit: Tim Gillespie

Angela [laughing]: I'm talking to you like I talk to my students.
Classy: Fine by me!

Once you have a sketch, it's time to start painting!

Classy: OK! Where do we start?
Angela: You'll start with base coat and highlighted [Classy: I think she means the places where the actual figures are in the work, or I just really took a bad note there] areas and work from there.

For the sake of the two hours we had to finish our project, we went straight to the details. We started with our sloth.

Photo Credit: Tim Gillespie

Classy: What's the difference between working with acrylic and watercolor paint?
Angela: Well, acrylic paint is easier to paint over! Watercolors are softer colors, but harder to paint over. Acrylics are also better for creating textures. Oil paint is good for that, too, but you have to wait so long for it to dry.

She stopped to let me work on some of the detail. I'm still pretty afraid of painting.

 Photo Credit: Tim Gillespie

About a second after that picture was taken, we knew she was going to have to finish the sloth, and we made a plan for some background painting I could do while she worked on that.

Photo Credit: Tim Gillespie
I was very excited about this development.

We had been talking about the French Impressionists exhibit I had visited at the museum and how I liked the style, so I think this is what she's having me paint.

So, we trucked along for awhile and then had the realization that our painting was going to stretch out farther than the photo did...and we did not know how a sloth ended.

Photo Credit: Tim Gillespie

 We made a plan and kept going.

Photo Credit: Tim Gillespie
And going.

Photo Credit: Tim Gillespie

And then we stopped.

Angela(or Classy, I can't remember): OK, that butt's not right.
Classy: What can we do to fix it?
Angela: Well, normally, if we had a base coat (and time), we could just paint another layer of base coat over what we were doing and start again.

So, we had to make a decision.

Photo Credit: Tim Gillespie

Angela(after just orange-ing over the extra butt): We can just give him an orange boarder.

Again, we only had two hours. :)

Photo Credit: Tim Gillespie

So, we finished our sloth. Well, as much as we could finish it that day.

She explained that when you are working on a piece, sometimes you just have to set it up somewhere and walk away from it to look at it to see what might still be left to do. "The hardest part of finishing is not to over-work something."

See, I was the one who was insistent that there be blue in the painting. But more at the top. I painted the sloth into some kind of trippy Wonderland place.

Photo Credit: Tim Gillespie
Typically, when you are done with your piece, the final process is some kind of gloss coat or sealer so your artwork will stay put. So, let's pretend we did that, too.

When it was time to go, I let Angela pick out her hat, and I couldn't not pose with the animal heads (we can thank Angela's husband for that opportunity).

Photo Credit: Tim Gillespie

Congrats on your gallery show, and congrats in advance for the new baby that will be arriving this summer. You put up with my crazy flailing and paint spilling everywhere with patience and grace. You'll be a great mom.

-C McG

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