Wow, what a great surprise to open my email yesterday to discover I was awarded the Best Wyoming Artist award at the Watercolor Wyoming 30th Annual National Exhibit this year, which is hanging at Sagebrush Community Art Center in Sheridan. I am thrilled, to say the least. The painting that won the award is titled “Caldera Beauty”, and is a colorful depiction of equally colorful thermal hot springs in Yellowstone National Park. I was playing with some new techniques in this piece, namely watercolor crystals. I use them to add colored texture in appropriate places and paintings. I love the results and this painting in particular benefitted from their application. (Update to this post – the painting was not even in the gallery for 2 weeks before it sold – yay!)
Last weekend the annual Plein Air Festival was held at the National Museum of Wildlife Art here in Jackson Hole,. Conditions were beautiful, but a bit challenging – the sun was bright and the wind was brisk, which dried my puddles of paint to the extent that I changed directions,expectations, and previous planning as the painting progressed. A bug even tried to do the backstroke on my surface, but since my nature and my style is spontaneous, I was pleased with the final result. 4 hours from start to finish, and it sold at the auction following the “paint out”.
Rising Moon over the Refuge:
Please visit the Exhibits and Classes page to learn more about the weekend Splash and Pour workshop I am teaching at Turpin Meadow Ranch in September. I am SOOO looking forward to it! Here I will talk a little about Jackson Hole in the fall. You may know that summer is our “high” season. It is lovely here in the summer, and adventure packed as well. We cram all of our outdoor activities into a few months and proceed at high speed. (Well,that is not entirely true. We do the same in the winter.) But late fall has its own rhythm. More laid back, moodier colors, contemplative, striking contrasts, aspens turning, a wonderful time to tap into your creative side and get serious – about painting. Do think about coming to experience our other season – autumn.
April 23, 2015 I was just asked how I came up with the concept of a layered painting and my honest answer was, “I have no idea!”. Except that I had the various sizes of shikishi boards in the studio and was just playing around. My intention was to convey the feeling of motion. It is not one of my more traditional paintings, but now and again I have to push that envelope. I am certain there will be more layered paintings coming from my studio.
This is the bottom layer of the painting. (I added more cranes after I took this photo):
This is the initial background painting on the vertical shikishi strips:
Removing the paint in order to add the black silhouettes of the sandhill cranes:
Closeup of the strips near the base painting to show context and size relationship:
Finished painting with the vertical shikishi strips in place, permanently attached to the base painting:
I’ve got another Splash and Pour Weekend Workshop penciled in for the last weekend in September 2015, at Turpin Meadow Ranch in Jackson Hole. Watch this great video my friend and filmmaker, Jennifer Tennican of JenTen Productions created about last year’s workshop. This should get you in the mood! I will post more information as it becomes available. I’d love to fill the Ranch with creative and enthusiastic artists for the weekend. Keep in touch, sign up for my “Occasional Newsletter from Kay Stratman’s Studio” on my website. Visit www.turpinmeadowranch.com for a peak at the beautiful setting.
In the meantime, see post below for Friday March 6 evening painting demonstration, also at Turpin Meadow.
Friday evening, March 6 beginning at 4 pm, I will be giving a painting demonstration during cocktail hour at Turpin Meadow Ranch. Come ski the day, and stay for dinner! I will be demonstrating and chatting during cocktail hour and would love to have you join me. I have a special prize for the first person at the event who can identify where on the ski trail the view is in the painting I will demonstrating. Turpin Meadow Ranch is a wonderful guest ranch in the north east end of Jackson Hole. They have wonderful groomed Nordic ski trails, cozy cabins and main lodge. They are open to the public for gourmet dining, lunch and dinner, as well as the bar in front of the fireplace. Call 307-543-2000 for directions (and to inquire about rates for day ski pass, lodging, or dining. Watching me paint is FREE! ) Their website is http://turpinmeadowranch.com/teton-adventures/white-season/
Here is a look inside my studio at a painting in progress, and the finished product. It is called Landing Gear, watercolor and gouache on gold shikishi board, 20″h a 24″w. The initial pouring and blending of color happens all at once. Removing the color from the background and the adding of detail color can be done more slowly, step by step, after the initial pour is dry.
Here are some photos of the weekend workshop at Turpin Meadow Ranch last September. Great fun, great people, great food and accommodations. And boy, did we sling some paint!
September 14, 2014 The annual Jackson Hole Fall Arts Festival has come and gone – 11 days of special events at all arts venues. The Quick Draw draws hundreds of people watching almost 40 artists begin and complete a piece of art in 90 minutes, on the Town Square. The works are framed, and live-auctioned immediately afterward. Here is my finished piece “Sun Rising over Sleeping Indian”. Note the fingertip-less gloves – it was below freezing just before the start. (Warmed up nicely though.) My painting has found a happy home in Jackson.
July 11, 2014 Last month I participated, along with 40 other artists, in the Plein Air Fest at the National Museum of Wildlife Art here in Jackson Hole. 4 hours to splash and pour my way to a finished painting that is immediately framed and entered in the silent auction. The weather was great – too great. It was very warm, dry, sunny and a bit breezy so my watercolor puddles dried very fast – I had to work quickly. I finished one in half the time and started a second, which I was also able to finish. In this case watching paint dry might have been entertaining after all! Here are two photos (taken in the back of my Subaru to avoid the 18 raindrops that fell from a clear sky.) I was pleased with both, which is a rare thing for me indeed. The piece I submitted to the auction, Wind Beneath Their Wings, did sell, I am happy to report. A portion of the sale benefits the Museum.