In the Studio Today... Inspiration at Draper Farm

I have been shopping for frames for my paintings this week, and gathering lots of amazing reference imagery and inspiration for my next "Art on the Farm" paintings. Our show is coming up on October 19th, and I am full of ideas of things to paint, but running out of time. This Saturday, I attended a wonderful event and talk about Bees at Draper Farm in San Anselmo, CA. Mia Draper gave an incredibly educational slide show talk to a group through Marin Organic. It was a fundraising event, including a honey tasting of more than 15 types of honey, and a tour of their CSA farm. I took a series of photos in their greenhouse of "Bo" Draper, the 1st generation farmer, caring for seedlings, and a young boy walking through the greenhouse. I am determined to paint this one. I really love it because it speaks to me about the value of sustainability, the dedication involved by farmers, and the education necessary to teach current generations.

To view more photos from this event, click here...

In the Studio Today...Sunflowers at Ode to Marin

Hybrid Sunflowers, originally uploaded by cproppe.

I was able to take some photos this weekend at Marin Organic's "Ode to Marin" event at Stubbs Vineyard in Petaluma, CA. This vase of Hybrid Sunflowers was worthy of painting and photographing. The Art on the Farm group of painters visits Stubbs Vineyard this coming weekend, but I won't be able to attend. I was glad to be able to volunteer for Marin Organic and get to take some reference photos for future paintings. To view the photos from this trip, click on the sunflowers!

In the Studio Today... Art on the Farm Postcards

Saturday, September 13, 2008
These are the postcards that will be available 9/16 for the "Art on the Farm" group show on October 19th, in Point Reyes Station. These cards were ordered before our poster was finalized, so a bit of the information is not updated, including the fact that we will have 46 artists on display, and locally grown grapes, not organic wine(my error on the type, not false advertising!). All other information on the card is correct. These cards are blank on the backside, and artists involved, if you wish to get some from me, please email me. If you are a patron or would like to visit our show, I am happy to email you a postcard to the event, so please email me also! Thank you! -Colleen

Plein Air Today... Rodeo Beach Paint Out

Sunday, September 7, 2008
I went to meet a new painting friend at Rodeo Beach in Sausalito today. She was painting in the Califoria Art Club SF Bay Area Quarterly Paint Out. I showed up with family in tow around 3pm and painted for a little over an hour. As I was leaving, I saw artist, Christin Coy and several others taking shelter from the wind, painting in the parking lot near the headlands. Here is what I started today. I was hiding behind this pile of wood that doubled as a kid's fort.

In the Studio Today... Clark Summit Farm; Day #2

Saturday, September 6, 2008
"Truck Stop" 14" x 18" o/c. Started as a plein air painting at Clark Summit Farm in Tomales, CA a couple weeks ago, as part of Art on the Farm. This is the second session, in my home studio today. I wanted to give the feeling of the chickens dancing by me as I was painting, so I painted them loosely with varied brush strokes. It was a really unique scene, with the bright blue tub, and I like the way some of the chickens turned out. To see the start of this painting, click here to see the previous session.

In the Studio Today... Poster for Art on the Farm

Thursday, September 4, 2008
This is a mock-up of a poster design for the Art on the Farm group show of paintings and photography, that will take place in a little over a month in West Marin, at the Pt. Reyes Winery. For more information, please visit the website. I maintain a blog for this group that talks about our trips to the different Marin Organic farms.

In the Studio Today... Art of the Word; "Wordle"

Wednesday, September 3, 2008
About 2 weeks ago, I decided to poke around with Twitter, Flickr, and some Web 2.0 apps. online to see what I have been missing the last couple years... I picked a few smart folks to follow around the internet, who are educators, technology entrepreneurs, and power diggers. I can not tell you how quickly I have been able to pick up on a few unique and interesting threads, learning about all kinds of things, from smartboards in the classroom, to the amazing things you can forage in nature and turn into a photogenic salad, and just tonight, beautiful "Word Clouds" of any text you paste into an online application called Wordle.

The art of the word was a focus of a recent exhibit in San Rafael, at the Artisan's Gallery. At the time, I thought I had nothing significant enough to possibly share in such an exhibit, but Wordle is giving me a fresh outlook on the possibility of art and words. I have been envisioning a project to excavate photos from my past, and turn them into some sort of art. I now see that Wordle has a way of allowing me to creatively include the words that most matter to me now; some memories, and some feelings I am still very much feeling as I move through life, missing a friend from my past, but being forced to move forward in a positive way each day despite the sadness I have felt for so long. I imagine finding a way to combine these word clouds with my photos and images from my past in a new project.

At the top of this post is a word cloud created in Wordle. I just pasted the text of a "letter" to my friend into Wordle, and it generated the imagery above. Another example, below, is a word cloud that shows the text from Martin Luther King's, "I have a dream" speech.If you want to make a Wordle "word cloud", go here.... Wordle.

In the Studio Today... Oyster Photography

Oyster Shell Shadow 02, originally uploaded by cproppe.

I bumped into the Art on the Farm group of painters on Sunday, while picking up oysters at Drake's Bay Family Farms, to celebrate a friend's birthday in Marin. Kevin Lunny gave a talk and tour to the painters, and they were welcome to paint at the oyster farm or on his ranch. I was able to take some photos of a few of the left-over oysters I had from after the party here at home today, and perhaps a painting or two will come from these intimate, oyster portraits. The cherry tomatoes are from our backyard garden, as well as the Common Blue Borage flower, an edible and medicinal plant, most uniquely known for curing hangovers in Roman times. To view more of the photos from today, click on the photo, above.