Copyright April M Rimpo

Visit April's website www.amrart.org
Copyright April M Rimpo All Rights Reserved. You may share my work with attribution and a link to this source site, but all other uses are prohibited.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Portrait, Landscape, and other Commissions

A Commission by April M Rimpo
I don't talk a lot about doing commissions since I have so many ideas for my own to painting, but I find when someone approaches me for a commission that it ends up being a great experience. If you have an idea for a commission let me know and we can see if I can create a great memory for you. Most commissions I've done hae been given as gifts to a family member. Consider a gift of art.

I've done portraits of people, as you see here, and also portraits of favorite vacation spots which can be cityscapes or landscapes.  I like trying to get a sense of the people or of the place before I start and it's important for me to understand what the person requesting the painting likes about my artwork (e.g., which are their favorite paintings of mine). This helps me understand what style they are looking for in the painting.  We also talk about color scheme. I evaluate the reference photographs to see if the image quality is sufficient for me to be able to see the details and colors well enough to produce a good painting. 

This painting is in watercolor. I knew I wanted to be able to lift colors in the hair to produce the glint of the sunlight and to have wisps of hair blowing in the breeze. Having been painting more with fluid acrylic than watercolor for the last year I was most concerned about getting the background nice rich browns and burnt orange with touches of blue and turquoise. Watercolor dries lighter than it looks when wet, while fluid acrylic does not fade as much, so you have to adjust for that.

I figured if I could get the background right the rest would be fine.  I know some artists start with the faces because they find those the hardest part. I've painted enough people that I don't worry too much about getting the people right.

I did a practice run of the background on a scrap sheet of paper which came out fine. So I went ahead, masked the edges of the hair, then painted the background using primarily Daniel Smith's Quinacridone Burnt Orange and French Ultramarine Blue. For the lighter browns I incorporated some Quinacridone Coral. To complement the turquoise necklace I used some Pthalo Turquoise and Pthalo Blue. 

Unfortunately, when the background was dry it was lighter than I wanted, so I had to get up the courage to give it a second coat.  I re-wet the paper using a hake brush that I knew would not disturb the first coat of paint, then added more pigment using the same colors from the first coat, less the Quinacridone Coral. It came out just like I wanted, so I could now relax and paint this beautiful woman and her daughters.  

The husband gave the painting as a gift to his wife and daughters, who are now in their late teens. Upon receipt the feedback from the husband was "fantastic", which was great to hear.  I'm looking forward to hearing his family's reaction.

Painting places excites me as much as painting people. Here you can see some of the commissions I've done of places and a portion of a commission of an old family truck. I enjoyed creating each of these.


    Commissioned Paintings


At the top is a DC street scene, next a family at their favorite camping site, a family's '52 Chevy truck, view of San Francisco Bay. All were great projects. The three landscapes were for people that I didn't know before the commission.  Each allowed me to create a special place in their life. What an honor.

You can see the '52 Chevy Truck and learn more about that commission by following this link.

If you're interested in a portrait commission I can do these in a variety of styles. Samples of portraits I've done using different approaches can be seen here.

To read about my commission process take a look at this commission blog.


Interested in learning more about April's art inspirations, tips about her painting process, or art business tidbits? Want to know when her art is in exhibits? Consider joining her friends and collectors by signing up for her twice-monthly email.

Copyright April M Rimpo All Rights Reserved. You may share my work with attribution and a link to this source site, but all other uses are prohibited.

#HoCoArt
#commissionedpaintings

Friday, February 16, 2018

"The Firehouse" 14" X 11" Fluid Acrylic on Aquabord™


The Firehouse by April M Rimpo
The coming of fall is always a time to celebrate in paintings. Fall colors complement the brick and natural stone in Ellicott City.  The yellow building of The Firehouse Museum stands proud in this historic town.

When I decided to paint scenes from Ellicott City there was a wealth of material begging for attention.  The hard part was deciding what to paint first.

You can tell the people of Ellicott City love their town. The old town center is beautifully maintained and, as you can see in The Firehouse, American flags fly out front of several shops. 

Now a museum, the firehouse was first built in 1889 and was the first firehouse in Howard County. According to the Howard County website is was used after 1923 as a meeting hall, county office space, and a library. It is located at the intersection of Main Street and Church Road.


The Firehouse
Fluid Acrylic on Aquabord
14" X 11"
$375


Other paintings of Ellicott City can be found here:


Aquabord is a trademark of Ampersand

Thursday, February 8, 2018

"S-Curve Delivery" 16" X 20" Fluid Acrylic

"S-Curve Delivery" by April M Rimpo
We went to the mall to watch the ice skaters at the indoor rink. Looking down from the second floor gave us a great view of skaters young and old doing spins or just trying not to fall down. Then I looked straight down at the food stands and saw this. 

There was food on little plates going for their own spin on a conveyor belt that surrounded their food station and the tables where their customers took in all the options.

I'm not sure if it is the engineer in me that draws me to these or the artist, but I was fascinated by the concept and loved the curves in the conveyor belt that contrasted with all the linear patterns created by the floor tiles, tables, chairs, and counter space. Out came the camera to capture the scene below.

S-Curve Delivery
Fluid Acrylic
16" X 20"
$1120

Click here to Contact April

Interested in learning more about April's art inspirations, tips about her painting process, or art business tidbits? Want to know when her art is in exhibits? Consider joining her friends and collectors by signing up for her twice-monthly email.


Copyright April M Rimpo All Rights Reserved. You may share my work with attribution and a link to this source site, but all other uses are prohibited.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

A Presentation on "The Art and Science of Acceptance into Juried Shows"

A local fine arts association asked me to give a talk on getting into juried exhibitions. Some of their members were aware that my art has been selected into several National and International exhibits in the last several years.  

Many years ago I had taken a one-day workshop on the jurying process which included a panel of jurors who reviewed art provided by those present to select an imaginary exhibition.  Before they provided their selections they explained the jurying process, including the speed with which images are viewed.  Each image is seen only for a couple seconds, two or three times, while the selection is made. They presented the images to the audience just twice at the typical speed and asked us to select just 10 image to be included in a show.  Then each of the five jurors presented their choices.  It was easy to see that several of the jurors had a few of the same images in their selection. I was delighted that I had some of the same images.  This workshop taught me a few things:

  1. The selection process is very subjective (since each juror had different criteria they used to select the show), but most of them were looking for pieces they thought would make a cohesive show.
  2. There are some qualities in artwork that do cause people to pay attention and those pieces had a higher probability of being selected.
I went home feeling much better because I understood how many excellent pieces didn't make the cut and that you should not let a "not selected" decision make you stop entering exhibits.

As I've started to move from entering local exhibits to National and International exhibits, the number of entries and quality of entries has increased. Often jurors speak about their choices while providing some rules of thumb on what they look for. Over the years I've been able to learn what types of things make a difference. What are those qualities that make a piece stand out on the National scene.

Some of these are no surprise:
  • Your ability to technically handle your medium must be excellent. This will not guarantee your work will be selected, but if technique is lacking you will likely not be selected.
  • Your piece needs to have something unique that catches the juror's eye. Design, perspective, color choices, and high value contrast are some of the characteristics that will make a difference.   Every piece doesn't have to have all of these, but some combination that will make the judge think, "Hey that's different and I want to look at that some more."
  • Emotional content in the piece is another attribute that is hard to explain but can make a difference.  What I mean by this is that the painting is not just a pretty picture but it also says something: tells a story or makes a statement about something.
Samples of April M Rimpo paintings
selected for Major Art Exhibitions
Spend some time examining your own work to see which pieces have been selected for shows and which pieces have received awards.  This analysis doesn't have to take a lot of time, but will probably teach you a lot and help you focus on what you enter. If you haven't received awards, then spend some time looking at the pieces that did get awards and try to understand what made them stand out.  You may not like the work, but try to get to the essence of what may have made it special to the judge.  Whenever possible attend receptions to hear the juror speak; it will be informative. This doesn't mean you paint subjects you don't care about or change your style.  You have to paint what you love. 

In my talk I'll expand on these concepts and use my work to illustrate my point. I'll also discuss other aspects of entering exhibitions that might help you figure out the right exhibits for your work. Costs and time commitments will also be covered.  

Update: There was a great turnout at this program with lots of good interaction through questions and comments.  I think everyone was surprised that I had them be the jurors of a simulated show. I presented 20 slides of art. Each slide was shown 3 times for 3 seconds each time.  Their job was to familiarize themselves with the entries on the first pass; eliminate half on the second pass; and downselected to 3 images on the last pass.  The top 3 most-voted-on images were then discussed in terms of how they corresponded to typical jurying criteria. 

Comments like, "I spent months working on a piece and the juror looks at it for 10 seconds?" told me the message got through.  No one should every feel pain from rejection since your time in from of the juror is very short and extremely subject.  I did elaborate on tips that might help their chances of being selected.



Click here to Contact April

Interested in learning more about April's art inspirations, tips about her painting process, or art business tidbits? Want to know when her art is in exhibits? Consider joining her friends and collectors by signing up for her twice-monthly email.


Copyright April M Rimpo All Rights Reserved. You may share my work with attribution and a link to this source site, but all other uses are prohibited.

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Dancers II " 9" X 12" mixed media

Dancers II, 9" X 12" X 1.5", $250
Dancers II
Mixed Media
9" X 12" on a 1.5" deep Wood Cradle

$325



Click here to Contact April

Interested in learning more about April's art inspirations, tips about her painting process, or art business tidbits? Want to know when her art is in exhibits? Consider joining her friends and collectors by signing up for her twice-monthly email.

Copyright April M Rimpo All Rights Reserved. You may share my work with attribution and a link to this source site, but all other uses are prohibited.

Friday, February 2, 2018

"Dancers" 6" X 6" Mixed Media

Dancers by April M Rimpo
Dancers
Mixed Media
6" X 6" X 1.5" wood cradle
$100 shipped within U.S.


In Dancers I decided to create a mixed media painting starting from a sheet of watercolor I had prepared during the January 30 paintings in 30 days challenge. I hadn't included any of my fused glass in a painting in a long time but I was feeling a need for a change of pace, so I fired up my small kiln and created a few items that I thought I could used on some small mixed media paintings. 

The fused glass included here is of a woman dancing with a child. When I started the painting I wasn't sure where I was headed for a background, thinking some non-objected abstract should work well. However, toward the beginning of the painting I noticed I had unintentionally created the shape of the tall woman on the left and decided immediately that she too should be dancing with a little girl. I added some strokes to give the feel of motion and swirling skirts. 

The next day I decided I needed to emphasize the torsos and immediately thought to add some sheet music collage elements, similar to what I did in my "Rhythm" series. So the collage elements were added along with some darker strokes to continue to emphasize the flow and shape of the woman and child.

I always like to add some linear elements to a painting that has a lot of curves to break up the flow and introduce places to stop your eye from wandering aimlessly. Adding some dots I felt would beckon back to the sheet music.  Now that the painting is done it seems to me the woman might be playing an instrument with a bow. I'll let you decide.  

Enjoy this playful painting.

Click here to Contact April

Interested in learning more about April's art inspirations, tips about her painting process, or art business tidbits? Want to know when her art is in exhibits? Consider joining her friends and collectors by signing up for her twice-monthly email.

Copyright April M Rimpo All Rights Reserved. You may share my work with attribution and a link to this source site, but all other uses are prohibited.

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