Category Archives: Art Cocoon Featured Artists

“At the Pass” by Suzanne Morris

at-the-pass1at-the-pass2

The two small studies are of one of my favorite places to paint…I love rivers, lakes, and marshes…the shapes are amazing. I also love painting reflections on the water… the colors and the abstract nature of the shapes is so interesting.

at-the-pass-finshedThe finished painting. “At the Pass”, will be in the Laguna Plein Air Painters Show ” Less is More”. The show is at the Forest and Ocean Gallery in Laguna Beach, CA, March 7- April 3.

lagunashowinfo

Introducing Featured Artist Victoria Castillo

Artist’s Statement:
“I am a figurative painter. I like the poetry of the human form in light-infused settings.  Sometimes I paint women in bright, sunlit gardens to catch the sparkling light off the planes of their faces and collar bones. Other times I work in cool, quiet interiors where the light is soft and envelopes the model.The marvelous thing about paint is that it can be used to create the illusion of the natural world, while at the same time being obviously paint, with abstract and beautiful qualities all its own.  I never want my paintings to go too far in one direction or the other (either too polished and “realistic” or too abstract) – the tension of that middle ground excites me. I want you to see the brushstrokes and gobs of paint when you get up close to one of my canvasses.Often I dress my models in antique silk kimonos and drop-waisted dresses from the 1920’s.  I use the clothing because it fits my personal aesthetic. I like art deco lines and shapes.  I choose colors and patterns that bounce light and allow me to “riff” (like a jazz artist) with my brushwork, creating beautiful abstract patterns.

The women in my paintings are strong, they are not merely decoration as found in many impressionist paintings of the last century (though they may be dressed in similar clothes). My women own their space. They are in the garden, playing the piano or at the dining table because it gives them pleasure.  They inhabit an inner world that I hint at in each painting.”

Click here to read more about Victoria…


If you’re looking for an efficient, economical, and compact solution for carrying wet paintings, you’ll LOVE Art Cocoon Wet Panel Carriers – they go where you go!Enter our contest for a chance to WIN a FREE CASE of Art Cocoon carriers and become a FEATURED ARTIST!Your images could appear in our e-commerce and print advertising materials, providing new exposure and opportunities!

Tips for new Plein Air Painters from Jeremy Sams

Featured Artist, Jeremy Sams, painting in the water with Art Cocoons!

 

 

 

Jeremy Sams
Tips for New Painters: Part 2 – The Painting Stages Stage One usually begins with lots of excitement as you find a scene that inspires you and you begin to frantically sketch it out on your painting surface.

Stage Two is when you’re blocking in big shapes and color masses…still somewhat excited.

Stage Three is when you have all your shapes and your composition established and you begin the process of turning it into that which inspired you. This is usually when you say to yourself, “What was I thinking???” You battle with all of your insecurities as an artist and wonder if you bit off more than you can chew.

Luckily, Stage Four begins at that point where you actually start to see the big picture coming together…you feel happy again.

Stage five is when you’re done…you’ve narrowed your focus and captured the story with all the final details…you feel great!

Stage 6 occurs when you begin to second guess your decisions and start to overwork the painting. Here’s where we have to be reminded that just because a little of something worked, doesn’t mean that more of it will work better. That’s when we need stage 7.

This is the stage where a friend walks over and kindly pats you on the back with one hand to distract you while the other hand swipes your brushes. Now, you’re really done…and glad someone encouraged you to stop.

It’s a good idea to paint with someone else whenever you can. There’s a couple of benefits to this. First, there is strength in numbers, and you’re safer when you have someone there with you…especially in the urban scene, or when painting a nocturne. Another benefit to painting with someone else, or a group, is that inspiration is easily transferable. It’s as contagious as laughter and lice! Artists can glean so much from one another, whether it’s a fresh perspective in a critique, encouragement to keep going, or just the joy of being around like minded people sharing laughs and experiences.

—Jeremy Sams, Landscape painter, Archdale, NC, 9/8/15

Click here to read more about Jeremy…


If you’re looking for an efficient, economical, and compact solution for carrying wet paintings, you’ll LOVE Art Cocoon Wet Panel Carriers – they go where you go!Enter our contest for a chance to WIN a FREE CASE of Art Cocoon carriers and become a FEATURED ARTIST!

Your images could appear in our e-commerce and print advertising materials, providing new exposure and opportunities!

4 Things to Expect When Painting Outdoors: Tips from Jeremy Sams

Hey Jeremy — why do you paint IN the water?

“When the hot summer sun is blazing down on your shoulders and you’re surrounded by all kinds of rash-inducing foliage, painting IN the water just makes good sense!”

—Jeremy Sams, Landscape painter,
Archdale, NC, 9/28/15

Click here to read more about Jeremy…

1. Expect to be overwhelmed.
One of the biggest struggles is narrowing down my focus to one simple subject. Our tendency is to paint everything we see…the barn, the cow, the fence, the no trespassing sign, the weird tree with the broken limbs, and the cloud that looks like Donald Trump’s bad hair day. I’ve found that by using a view catcher you can isolate a particular view of a scene, and it makes it easier to see a dynamic cropping. Plus, it helps when you’re sketching out your composition.2. Expect to be uncomfortable.
I always advise people to bring bug spray, sunscreen, a light jacket, and an umbrella. There’s nothing more irritating than being unprepared for pestilence and weather when in a perfect scene. Because when you begin to paint you’ll have to swat the mosquitoes as they feed on you…and then, it will begin to rain…the rain will make you cold…you’ll struggle to paint with shivering hands…the sun will come out…you’ll warm up…you’ll get sunburned…and the mosquitoes will continue their lunch. It is a vicious cycle.

3. Expect the light to change.
You may have no more than a couple of hours to capture a particular scene. Large structure shadows will be slower moving while dappled light streaming through the leaves can create fast moving ground shadows. Overcome this painting challenge by finding the shadow patterns and light spots that best serve the painting—and then stick to the plan. Otherwise, you’ll spend all your time adjusting minor matters while the whole concept remains incomplete.

4. Expect panhandlers, con-artists,  spectators.
I usually park as near to my location as possible. If I’m only painting, I’ll leave my valuables locked up in my vehicle. It’s common to have pan-handlers approach. Here’s how I handle them: If they ask for money, I kindly ask them their name, first. Then, I say, “Sir/Maam, I’m sorry, I don’t have any money on me to hand out, but what do you need?” You can detect a con-artist from a person in actual need by asking specific questions. If they say, “I need food”, I’ll tell them to come back when I’m finished and I’ll go buy you some food (assuming I have the funds available). Those who have legitimate needs will be patient and accept whatever I purchase for them when I’m done. This approach may not be for everyone, so let your conscience be your guide. Just remember, don’t leave your painting gear unattended, and it’s good to have a painting buddy with you!

About spectators, I personally see their presence as a good thing, because they may be buyers, so have business cards to hand them. Also, it never fails that when you have established your shapes and composition, your spectators arrive. They usually give you that confused look as they glance at the subject matter, and then to your painting, and ask, “So, are you one of them thar’ abstract painters?” I use this opportunity to explain the benefits of my plein air process. Kindness goes a long way and just being friendly may get you a sale.


If you’re looking for an efficient, economical, and compact solution for carrying wet paintings, you’ll LOVE Art Cocoon Wet Panel Carriers – they go where you go!Enter our contest for a chance to WIN a FREE CASE of Art Cocoon carriers and become a FEATURED ARTIST!

Your images could appear in our e-commerce and print advertising materials, providing new exposure and opportunities!

Featured Artist, Jeremy Sams, painting in the water with Art Cocoons!


 

 

 

Jeremy Sams
“I used to not worry too much about carrying around wet paintings. I’d snicker a little at all the oil painters trying to be so careful not to end up wearing their buttery colors from their fresh plein air paintings. As for me, I’d just toss mine in the back of the car, and if it landed on its face, it was ok. I’m an acrylic painter. I could get away with that…well, could get away with that…not so much anymore. With experience, and lots of wasted dried up paint, I found the slow drying acrylics to be much friendlier to my plein air adventures. With this friendly new medium, however, I had to think twice before tossing my painting around. So, I found myself researching wet panel carriers.”There’s a whole market of different styles of wet panel carriers out there. I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to test out one of these. It’s called the “Art Cocoon”, a panel carrier designed to cocoon around your wet painting. It was designed by an artist for an artist and is made of a high quality, very stiff and durable cardboard. Your standard sized panel fits into the cocoon and is held in place by a few small strips of tape on the back of the panel. Then, the lid (another cardboard panel with matching space for your panel size) sandwiches your fixed panel. A large rubber band goes around the whole set-up, keeping it sealed. Now, your painting is cocooned.
I wanted to test just how tough this little thing was, so I strapped it to my kayak and headed up the New River in Ashe Co., NC. Luckily, my cocoon came with a sealable bag…which was good for the wet kayak trip, and just my luck…rain! I was pleased when I took the cocoon out and the only thing wet was the outside of the bag! Also, the tie down straps on the kayak didn’t affect its solid exterior, which was pleasing.

“One other thing I noticed and was pleased with, was that even though I had the cocoon in wet weather (although under an umbrella, and sealed when traveling) I didn’t notice any type of adverse effects on the cardboard material. However, I might not have had the same experience had I dropped the panel in the river. But I don’t know…maybe I’ll try that next time and see how well it floats…but only if it’s a bad painting.”

—Jeremy Sams, Landscape painter, Archdale, NC, 9/8/15

Click here to read more about Jeremy…

We’d like you to meet Jeremy Sams

Art Cocoon presents… from the woodland waters of North Carolina…
20 time plein air award winner…featured plein air artist… Jeremy Sams!!!
As a representational artist who works in acrylics, my primary goal is to capture on canvas the wonder and awe of God’s creation along with the scene’s emotional impact. In order to achieve this, it is of utmost importance for me to spend time studying and painting the particular scene on location, en plein air: to experience the sounds, the smells, the cool breeze or the humid air, and the movements of wind and shadows. All of these elements play a role in the emotional reaction we may have to a particular place.
Click here to read more…
“Finding Shelter”, 24″ x 30″ acrylic
This is a studio painting painted from a plein air painting that took 2nd place in the Burnsville Plein Air Competition this past May in Burnsville, NC. It’s a view looking up toward Celo Mountain during a typical summer storm. It has never failed to rain on me while painting in this area.
“Through the Woods at Renolda”, 10″ x 8″ acrylic
Reynolda Village in Winston Salem, NC is a favorite spot of mine in the spring and early summer. This day was spent studying the effects of light on the tree and path with the boat house through the trees.

Selling Paintings Off the Easel by Gloria Chadwick

We asked Gloria how she came to have so much success selling right off her easel.  She sent us the following:

In trying to explore how it was that I had some very recent sales while using the Art Cocoon carriers, I tried to rethink each situation for common patterns. All were in heavy tourist areas during a particular event such as, parade through a park, fairs, etc. In all of them, I quietly set up to the side and not the center of the gatherings. I believe that this filtered out the art lovers vs. the observers and made it easier for people to ask questions. I’m a retired psychiatric RN so listening is what I’m trained to do. So I listen and let people tell me about themselves—not me.

I know that these tourist areas lend to impulsive buying to take home a unique souvenir, a special memory of their visit. I don’t ask names, nor have them sign mailing lists. I don’t like being bombarded with signing lists, while on vacation, so I just don’t do it. I do have cards.

When they tell me how much they like the painting, I tell them they can tuck it away in their luggage and show them how it works and how safe the painting will be in the Art Cocoon. When asked about a price, I tell them how much my wildlife paintings of comparable size are and where I have exhibited. I tell them these plein air paintings are studies and quote the very much lower price. For the one and a half hour of painting that will conjure up happy memories for someone I feel it’s a win-win for both parties. I get the educational value of doing the painting plus some money to pay for my time and gas and they get something that no one else will have. It’s their own unique painting that they can say they watched the artist paint. When they ask to have their picture taken with it and the artist, that’s an added bonus. Then there’s the money collection.  I do carry a Square with me and take cash, check or their credit card with it. Most travelers like that little Square.

Learn more about Gloria Chadwick >>>