Author Archives: Lynette Hensley

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Arts North Studio Tour

actor blocksLarry and I had a wonderful studio tour April 30 & May 1, with the Arts North Studio Tour folks.

Larry showed his guitars, and I had my paintings, collages and assemblage sculptures.

Lots of visitors, and it’s wonderful to be a part of this fine group of artists, eleven studios in all.

IMAG3208One of the joys of having a guitar maker as a guest artist (and husband and bandmate) is that there were some wonderful musicians that came to see the guitars, and graced us with some music on the fly. One couple on Sunday came during an otherwise quiet time, which gave us a chance to trade some songs with each other. We’ll keep in touch for sure!

We’ll do it again in September. Guess we’d better get busy with making stuff.

Lynette Hensley

Acrylic Painting

Two Studio Tours in September

1st Ever
Arts North! Studio Tour

Lynette Hensley, the Flying Redhead

Saturday/Sunday September 12 & 13 Please stop by studio 10 and come see the new work I’ve put together for your entertainment, and to take home with you if it strikes your fancy. (What is a “fancy” anyhoo?)

I will be at my own Flying Redhead home studio along with Robin Westbrook, faboolous jewelry maker.
ReversePolkaSpot-500x500

Hours are 10 AM to 5 PM both days. Studio 10 is located at 3009 NE 135th St, Seattle 98125.

The tour map is available on the website along with info about all the other fine artists and studios on the tour! 11 studios, 37 artists!

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Then the following week — (what was I thinking?!! It’s ok, it’ll be two weekends in a row – FUN!!)

10th Annual

Edmonds Art Studio Tour

Saturday/Sunday September 19 & 20. Please stop by studio 14 and say hi! I will be at  fabulous print artist Mona Smiley Fairbanks’ home studio along with Robin Westbrook once again. It’s more fun when you get to spend the weekend with peeps you like!

I’m bringing new work, many smaller sized pieces, and matted studies all for viewing and purchase, as well as some new 3D figures I’ve been having a great time making. It’s all fun, and I’d love to see you!

Parking should be easy enough in both locations, and there will be signs pointing the way. Please download a map of the Edmonds tour here and be sure to check out the other artists on the tour website — there are some fascinating folks!

Hours are 10 AM to 5 PM both days. Studio 14 is located at 8622 202nd St SW, Edmonds 98026.

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Art Walk Edmonds Preview at ART Spot
There will be a little preview of the tour at ART Spot on Thursday September 17 from 5-8PM for the Art Walk Edmonds – AWE. I’ll be there with one of my sculptures along with many of the other artists on the tour. It’s the only time we see each others work!

Oh Oh Oh!
One of the fun things we did last year and this year was artist interviews — here’s a link to mine wherein I answer “What does it mean to be human?” along with other intriguing questions.

Lynette Hensley

6 painting series

6 Paintings, comin’ right up!

I started a 6 painting series, 6 compositions borrowed and cropped from old photos, all will be 16″x20″. They will be collages and paintings, and more colorful than what you see here, but it’s a good start, getting the drawings done and some values in place.

I’m excited to be working on this series, solidifying some methods of working out compositions and textures, and integrating people into an abstracted environment. Starting with cropped photos that move the focus a bit off center, or just outside the golden mean balance point. So then the problem to solve is how to balance the off-balance-ness. I think I can do it by moving other things around, like the colors in the background.

6 painting series 3 6 painting series 2 6 painting series

Poppies

Stories Add Depth

I’ve often thought there was a story behind many of my paintings and collages, but I seldom wrote them down.

I recently read about and purchased a book, Significant Objects, 100 extraordinary stories about ordinary things. The idea behind the book was that narrative adds value. And while they were using monetary value as their metric for determining the “value,” I have always liked the idea of adding narrative to visual art. It’s not that I think the art won’t stand on it’s own without the narrative, but that cross pollination of art forms, writing and visual art, allows for a fuller experience.

So when applying for the Kenmore Art Show coming up in June, there was a space for 200 character description, rather than describing the technical process or materials used, I got started thinking about the the story. 200 characters is a challenging limitation, but also freeing. Here are 4 pieces that got short (nearly microscopic) stories.

LHensley-Friend of the Family - Web

The cat has come to visit our warm fire-lit living room. As a highly domestic cat, she fits right into our highly domestic setting, even as far as curling her tail into our couch’s Greek wave motif.

Hensley_Lynette_GreekChorus

The play’s the thing, and these five were cast as the chorus in a Greek play. I hope it’s a comedy. Remember, there are no small parts, only small actors.

Poppies

Poppies have an attitude. They rise up and stand tall, and then sport their wilty petals — proud and sorta wimpy all at the same time. Sometimes a flower just demands to become a painting.

LHensley_House_of_Fools

Ah the grand parade of people who peer and parade, who scoff and snicker, who look and linger, who query and quickstep along the promenade, and then there are the people who watch.

LHensley_Girl-Couch

The cast: Girl, Daddy, Bird, Couch, Legs, Chair, Door. I was a 3.5 year old girl, dancing and swirling with the artist Joan Miro, who stayed just behind the curtain off stage right. The first in a series. What fun!

EdouardManetFlowers

Edouard Manet’s flowers…why does this painting work?

Breakin’ the composition rules, and still winning. This painting by Edouard Manet has two strong circle shapes side by side, almost centered, which is generally not advised for a great composition. Then add a strong line going off the edge of the canvas — whoosh — eyes are in danger of leaving the picture. Yet a subtle pair of stem snippers at the left pulls eyes both off to the left AND back in, and the even more subtle table top/horizon line brings eyes back to the center and the subtleties of shading in the flowers.

Economy of color, stroke, subject, shadow. It’s big contrasts, and some subtle tricks that make it work.

Yep. He wins.

Easel-review-1

A New Easel for the Studio – A Review

As I sat with a group of artists last night discussing how to market ourselves, the subject came up about costs of doing what we do vs. earnings. For most of us, costs and earnings were about equal. While that’s sad, I bring this up to make the point that while we like to have beautiful tools and equipment, many in our industry can’t afford the most expensive kind. However, the big easel I wanted to replace is a hand made model, sturdy, heavy, and remodeled by my wonderful husband to fit my space. But it  didn’t feel sturdy enough. Between the wobbles and the lack of adjust-ability, I wanted something more.

My quest for an easel was to find a reasonably priced, sturdy model that would hold fairly big canvasses, fit in my small space and be useful for smaller pieces as well as big ones. I also was looking for a very adjustable model that could lay down. What I found was US Art Supply® MALIBU Extra Large 80″ to 139″ Tall Adjustable H-Frame Deluxe Adjustable Wood Studio Easel with Tilt & Casters from TCP Global Corp through Amazon, which seems to fit the small space I have and meets all my criteria for the current need.

It rolls on casters. I can see that they may need to be replaced someday, but for now, it rolls smoothly, and I’m happy about how easy it is to move about the space.

Adjustments for height at the top bracket, at the rack, and at the back braces give it full adjustability, and, as shown in my picture, will also lay flat. I will use that feature for final varnishing, and it’s also useful for watercolorists or other artists that want to work flat. I like it better than trying to set a large canvas on a table surface, especially with bigger canvasses.

Easel-review-2 Easel-review-3 Easel-review-4

It was not hard to put together, though it took a whole evening. Look at the drawings carefully — I did — and still put some parts together backwards, though that was easily remedied. I like a challenge, but not too much of a challenge in assembling things like this. No words, just pictures on the instructions.

All in all a good buy at $150.

Girl & Girl

Merry Christmas 2014

Yesterday was Solstice, and that my dear friends, begins to bring relief to the darkness of winter nights. I choose to live in Seattle, where the light is scarce anyhow, and in the winter, it’s scarcer still. But solstice brings the light around again, and hope for warmer weather in a few months, and I compulsively make plans for the new year, and the next season of art work and shows. But that seems way too practical for me on this first night after solstice.

Tonight I want to pause and be grateful for the dark. In the dark I see less, and don’t get distracted by details. I can stop to thank God for the gift of loving people that surround me. For my mother who noted early on that I had a special art gene and nurtured all creative pursuits throughout my forming years. Mom is in nursing care, so I’m grateful for the nurses that care for her daily. I’m grateful for the chance to travel 5 hours by gas powered car on a smooth road with all the cars going in the same direction so I could see her eyes and make sure she knows I love her.

In the dark I can close my eyes and focus on my husband’s grayer-than-last-year bearded face with the curled mustache that makes him look like he’s permanently smiling. I’m grateful for my husband who always supports our mutual and individual creative pursuits, and participates in wordplay with me when the art is ready for naming.

In the dark I can consider how much light and joy my grandchildren bring to my life. Through the babies, I am reminded to wonder about things, and not just think I already know them. Through the adolescent ones I’m reminded to be passionate and move ahead with confidence, even if I’m mistaken. Most of the time it doesn’t matter anyway, but life is much better with passion.

In the dark I can imagine about the ones that are gone, and I hope that we will see each other once again, in some form, be it solid or ethereal. I imagine we will take the form of something that flies, like a bird or a cloud, but that doesn’t matter either. They are loved, and so am I, and the memories are enough.

Lynette

 

Pinterest board

Morgue File

What is a morgue file?

I used to keep a collection of images, a mini library of cuttings and photos to inspire and inform my costume design work. Standard practice for artists and designers, many fellow designers had impressive collections depending on their interests the projects they had worked on, and the space they had available for storage. When I was costume designing it was not unusual to need to research multiple time periods, locations, economic classes, cultures, and art styles, and of course this was before computers were used to store images and files. My hard copy collection consisted of interesting clothes, bodies in poses useful for rendering costumed characters for dances and plays, makeup ideas, hairstyles, undergarments, clothing for everyone from kings to clergy, and soldiers to peasants. I had sections for colors, fashion periods, hairstyles, weaponry, accessories, poses, animals, art styles, architecture, furniture. Really, anything of interest. As you can imagine, it could easily get out of hand.

Thank goodness for Pinterest, Evernote and Dropbox now.

Pinterest board

How I use a morgue file now

Now I have a morgue file for painting inspirations in Pinterest and Evernote. I use Pinterest mostly for the visual inspirations, and Evernote for the writing and notes. It’s not that different from my old morgue file, except for the storage space. Here I collect poses, faces, hands, compositions, painting styles, color schemes, concept ideas. In Pinterest I’ve kept some of my boards secret, others are shared. I refuse to steal, but I do participate in the time honored artist practice of responding to the work of other artists whether it’s borrowing a method of applying paint or trying on a composition that worked for someone else. There are trends, after all, and I always offer my own personal spin, colorway, palette, and hand to the project. I find inspiration in other artists, and images, and refer to them from time to time as I’m doing my own work. It’s a natural extension of being a theater designer!

BWsm

Photographing my art – beginner level

Photographing your art

I set out to learn about photographing my art for two reasons:

  • to get better photos for submission to shows
  • to have good enough digital images that can be reproduced as prints

The kind of art work I am photographing is 2 dimensional most of the time, with some 3d.
Up till now I have used my phone, my tablet, and another digital camera with a wide angle lens to take photos of my work. BUT the photos came out with a gold cast from incandescent lights, and I could never get them quite straight, or with high enough resolution to make prints I could sell. So the equipment I had didn’t really allow me to do what I wanted.

I am part of the way along in understanding how to do this for myself.

Here’s what I have set up for photographing so far:

  • A backdrop of very dark blue velvet (I had this on hand — I would prefer black) The velvet absorbs most of the light, and it doesn’t seem to affect the color appreciably.
  • A vertical easel. I once used some hanging grids that  an artist friend had loaned me for another purpose. The grids actually worked better for me, but I own the easel.
  • A Nikon D5200 camera purchased at Sam’s club on sale. I recently got this very nice camera — this was the commitment moment for me. I decided to take this project on and learn how to photograph my own art.
  • The Camera came with two lenses. I use the Nikkor 55-200mm telephoto, and avoid all wide angle lenses for this purpose.
  • A tripod. I read reviews, and picked a Bower telescoping model that seemed substantial enough and would go high enough to photograph larger works.
  • Lighting. Two light stands with reflectors and white umbrellas. There was conflicting info about the need or usefulness of these lights — it’s just the way I chose to go for now.
  • (Something like this: http://www.amazon.com/LimoStudio-Photography-Portrait-Continuous-Umbrella/dp/B00FFJ3QNO/ref=sr_1_14?ie=UTF8&qid=1393116639&sr=8-14&keywords=photo+lights)
  • The camera came with a bluetooth connection that connects to my phone or tablet so that I could take a photo without touching the camera. This has proven to be VERY helpful. I can preview the image on the tablet, which is MUCH bigger than the viewfinder.
  • A polarizing filter – This is to reduce or eliminate specular highlights, those annoying reflections off the highpoints of your painting. I have not figured out how to work this yet.

camera set up

Several concepts I found helpful:

Lighting

  • You are not trying to focus the light, but get a diffused, evenly lit appearance.
  • Do not point the lights directly at the flat surface, but using two lights, set them at angles (I use 45 degrees to the right and left, at the same height as the surface you are photographing.
  • The camera goes between the lights.

Camera set up

  • Camera and image must be level for best results.
  • Fill the camera view finder with the image, leaving a small border for cropping later.
  • Watch for distortions — make the image square in the viewfinder for best results. This can be very challenging.
  • I place a white card in the photo off to the side to give me something to compare for white balance.
  • I set the camera to take a jpg and a raw image for each shot.
  • ISO 100 to 200
  • Aperture 5-6 is the recommended.

Varnishing the painting

  • I varnish my paintings to finish and protect them. I used to use gloss, but have changed to eggshell which seems to help prevent specular highlights, and I like the change.

Challenges

  • I have to read the manual each time I do this, so you can see I’m in the learning stages.
  • I have not figured out how to set the white balance in the camera yet.

I am a fairly experienced Photoshop user, at least for the way I use it.
I know how to balance the colors, fix shapes and minor edits of reflections.
One thing I haven’t learned yet is how to use the white card I’ve placed in a photo to correct color in either the camera or Photoshop.

If you have info that could fill in the blanks, please share. It would be most appreciated.

 

Here’s the article that got me started.
http://dallasartsrevue.com//resources/How-to-Photo-Art.shtml

Lynette

Popplies and Peoplies

NEAT Seattle Studio Tour December 5-7, 2014

Next big show coming up is NEAT Seattle, a studio tour. I will be a guest of Sandy Spear, and Priscilla Peterson will also be with us. Sandy makes glass beads, and jewelry from the beads, and Priscilla makes wearable art clothing. Looking forward to sharing the tour weekend with these two lovely women! December 5-7, 2014

Headstones by Lynette Hensley Headstones

I will bring more of my new 3D figures “The Actors,” the “Headstones,” some smaller paintings and collages and matted prints for gift giving. Great time of the year for purchasing totally unique gifts!

Link to Studio Tour Site