Tuesday, November 18, 2014

What's Going on?

"Calm Before the Storm"
Nanci Charpentier (c) 2014
"KatKat The Bubbles Girl"
Nanci Charpentier (c) 2014

Well, I've been busy for the last few weeks and it seems like it will continue this way. So glad for it, too!

Here is the link to my latest newsletter which contains all the highlights. If you want to sign up for my newsletter, here's the best way to do that:

Nanci Charpentier | Fine Art 

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I am looking forward to Thanksgiving and then next month, as always, "F3" (a/k/a F Cubed) which is "Forced, Family, Fun" at Christmas with my large and obnoxious and loving family. 

Monday, October 27, 2014

Painting Outside or With the Windows Opened Wide

It's that time of year for sure. If I'm not outside painting I've got the doors and windows opened wide to refresh me and my house. The dogs love it, too. This means that running in big circles in the yard may include the track through the kitchen and back outside again for them.

My painting posse and I have been going out to a new LSU area which is the Research Farm which includes wide open land, sheep, goats, horses, and a dog. Thrown in the mix are several work buildings. The weather has been and continues to be perfect.

My favorite plein air painting activity, however, happened last weekend. FW Gallery on Highland Road set up the event in October after it's owner, Rozlan Fransen, had chatted numerous times with Jodi Armstrong about a plein air paint out. (I incorrectly received credit for this event in Dig Magazine's article titled "Art in the Open". Read it. It's a great article nonetheless.)  Roz made it possible for 30 artists to get together for this inaugural event. There ended up being 17 artists in all that came out. We painted on gallery property and in the beautiful surrounding area. What we ended up with was a wet wall reception and a plein air show for the month of October. Gorgeous.

There were challenges with the moving sun, as always. It was more challenging since I was in a partially shaded area and the cool shadows that enticed me in the first place were constantly changing both shape and color.

What made this special is that this was the first of it's kind on our area. There are paint outs, for sure. We do them all the time. What we don't do is turn it into a fun event with a wet wall reception and show. I was able to meet and talk with painters I had only heard of and seen their work.  I do wish I could have taken the time to sit behind them and watch them work.

Artists included me, Jodi Armstrong, Marylyn Daniel, Dana Mosby, Carol Hallock, Amy Anderson, Paul Neff, Charles Barbier, Mary Monk, Donna Kilbourne, Ben Benson, and more. I wish I could remember everyone's names!!

 I enjoyed the area where we were painting and so went back the next day with Marylyn to paint again. This painting, too, is in the show. Thank you, Roz!

There was also a People's Choice Award which was a close battle between Dana Mosby and Mary Monk. Dana ended up winning the run off battle! She will now have the opportunity for a show with FW Gallery next year.

As you know by now, paintings are better experienced standing right in front of it, so take the time to go by FW Gallery on Highland Road. The show hangs until early November.

"Into The Woods"
11" x 14", Oil on Linen on Board, Framed
Nanci Charpentier
(Can be purchased through FW Gallery)
Didn't even give it a name yet!
11" x 14", Oil on Linen on Board, Framed
Nanci Charpentier
(Can be purchased through FW Gallery)
Carol Hallock, Nanci Charpentier, Marylyn Daniel (l to r)
With our respective paintings on the wall.
Dana Mosby with her finished piece. Winner of the People's Choice Award.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

I'm Pretty Sure I Had A Good Weekend.

KatKat The Bubbles Girl
24" x 24"
Oil on Cradled Panel

Well, I managed to get back on to the radio this past Saturday. I suppose that I didn't mess up too terribly when I was on the show last time because I was invited back on Talk 107.3 this past Saturday on the show Saturday Style with Karen Profita. Okay, I must admit it. I really like talking on the radio and I really wish I could hear myself talk on the radio. And did you know there is this thing called iHeart Radio which has a link to their show? It has links to alot of other radio stations, too, but that's not important right now. LOL! One of my brothers that lives in Houston was able to listen to me on the radio! So 21st century and all that. (I'll try to forgive the other siblings that didn't listen to my show). 

Anyway, I basically took Karen and the listeners through the Artists as Entrepreneur course I took this past spring and talked about our finale to the course, the exhibit #ARTrepreneur 2014. We talked about the local art community and galleries and artists' online presence. Karen Profita is so gracious and kind and does well to keep me centered and not fumble too much when I go on and on about art. Some times I find it's hard to not talk continuously about art! Thank you, Karen, for letting me be a part of your show. (If you want you can follow Karen on Twitter.)

Karen Profita (left)  and Me
Talk 107.3
Saturday Style with Karen Profita

Our ARTrepreneur Show opening and reception was held on Friday, August 8th. I had a blast with KatKat (see the first photo above). Oh yeah, the rest of her family came, too. I did manage to get a photo of her with her mom but not the rest of the family (so sad). KatKat's little sister is an aspiring artist herself and I can not wait to paint her cute, funny face one day.

When I got to the reception I basically ran around the room taking pictures of most of the works on the walls. It wasn't until the end of the reception when people were thinning out that I really was able to take a good look at the pieces of art. What a wide range of art this group from Artists as Entrepreneurs put together. We had digital art both on prints and aluminum; altar pieces of wood, copper, beading and more; an introspective bear - a pink bear, I mean, why not; wood cut print pieces with a Louisiana cultural theme to them; abstractions inspired by nature's clouds and, oh yeah, my oil paintings. It was such a unique collection.

The show will hang at the Firehouse Gallery at the Arts Council located on Laurel Street in downtown Baton Rouge until the first part of September. Take time during your lunch hour or any other time during the day to check out our show. You may decide to bring home one piece for your own home. "KatKat The Bubbles Girl" actually sold right before the show and I know another Erin Stephens of KB Photography sold one of her photos as well.

When Sunday finally rolled around, I had to stepped back in to momma mode and step away from artist mode. But such is the balance of my life. I am forever grateful for both parts, the family and the art work. I am also grateful to those of you, friends and family, that helped me have a pretty good weekend.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

"Success is in the eyes of the beholder"

Well, it's been a little while since my last blog entry. It isn't because I didn't want to write, it's because I haven't have the time to write. I decided back in March that come April I was going to take a class through the local arts council and that decision has managed to have positive side effects. One of those is the lack of time. I know normally this is a bad thing, however, in this case, it is good and I am grateful for it.

The Arts Council of New Orleans has had a program for a long time called Artists as Entrepreneurs. I found out about it a while back and wanted to take it. The problem with that is I live in Baton Rouge. Not convenient although I was determined that I would try to make it work if I could. Lucky for me, the Arts Council of Greater Baton Rouge was already working with Gene Meneray of the Arts Council of Greater New Orleans to bring that class to BR.  Bingo, I signed up. This is an 8-week course and we met on Tuesdays from mid-April through the first of June from 4:30-6:30 pm.  A hard thing to manage between soccer season practices, swim practices, final exam prep time, and regular homework. I managed to only miss 2 of the 8 so I am calling success on that.

The classes covered a variety of the aspects of the business of art some of which included business goals, self promotion, marketing and social media, branding, galleries and venues, business plans and financing, and career planning. My goal was to try and make sure I was on the right path with my work and hope to get a couple of good things out of the program. I got so much more. I went into this thinking I had covered everything that I could possibly cover within my means of time, money, involvement. I was wrong. There are so many more things to think about with our art. Plus, I managed to meet artists that work in media that is so different from what I do. We all have different visions of art. We are all creative beings. We all came together looking for different things out of this program and I am sure that what the other 15 participants managed to take away with them is different than what I got out of it. And, I believe, that was part of the success of the class.

One of the most important things I discovered in this class is who I am and what I can do right now. I know my limitations and that is very important.  I know what I can do right now and what I don't have to do. I can listen to what others want from me or do what I want and help others to see that what I am doing is what they want from me. My focus has shifted a little.  

One of things that struck a cord with me is something a rep from one of the local galleries said.  She discussed the point "how do you know you are ready for gallery representation". She said that an important aspect of the artists they work with regularly is that they are the ones that make the time commitment to the work. They need to paint. This is what they want and they do it all the time. They are committed and consistent in their work. They also can show progression in their work, meaning it is growing and developing over time. She is right. Painting consistently is a priority. So is showing up at the easel to paint.

There was so much more in this program other than these few things but too much to put down here.  I've learned so much and I've started putting these things into practice in a more dedicated and consistent approach.  

And, for our big finale to this course, we have our upcoming art exhibit titled "ARTrepreneur 2014: A group exhibition featuring works by recent Artist as Entrepreneur Alumni" which will hang at the Firehouse Gallery at the Arts Council of Greater Baton Rouge from August 8th through September 5th.  Our reception is Friday, August 8th from 5:30-7:30.  This is a unique opportunity for me both as an artist and as someone who appreciates art. I can't wait to see what the other artists will show and I can't wait to show my new paintings. You are now officially invited to our show. You should come. You must come. You will see cool and wonderful pieces of art. You can meet all the artists, too. And, as always, it's a great opportunity to buy art and make it a part of your life. Success.

One final note. At the last class, I asked Gene Meneray how many artists that had already taken this class were successful. He said it depends on how you define success. There are those that managed to expand their brand and their business by doing everything discussed throughout the course. There are those that decided this was not the path they really wanted and didn't go further. That is success, too, knowing what you want and don't want. There have been those who determined that smaller steps over time work for them while others go by leaps and bounds. I think I have found what works for me and I know this is success. Thank you, Sarah, Gene, and the numerous guest speakers for helping me see that.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Is is true, Charlie Brown? Does it always rain on the unloved?

Sunny Day at Rural Life
12" x 12"
Oil on Linen Panel
Nanci Charpentier © 2014

The last sunny day I've had was on Thursday which I spent out at Rural Life with Marylyn and Jodi. It's been raining ever since last Thursday. Ugh! I know my garden needs the rain but enough is enough right now. I already miss the sun.

My goal for this day was to take a very "green" vista and make it more colorful. I decided that I didn't want to confine myself on the color scheme so I started out with a very bright pink underdrawing. (I like bright pink!) ( Hey - maybe I should start writing in pink!) You can still see it peeking around the tree on the left and in other spots throughout. Then, I came back over trying to find all the various mixes of greens, reds, purples, blues, and yellows that are really in nature in all those "greens" we see.

Not every plein air outing is uneventful for us. And on this day, lucky for me, a tractor and trailer pulled up right in front of me for an informational "hayride" of sorts. So, there we were, trying to ignore the people staring at us while the tour guide was giving them an informational talk. After a while they finally moved on and we were like "whew" they're gone. We don't have to think about them staring at us and we can get on with our painting.

But, nope, that's not how this works for us. As soon as they were gone we were greeted by the lawnmowing guy and his mowing tractor. He showed up to cut the entire area where we were working. Lucky for him he was wearing a face mask because of all the dust. I wish I'd had one. Well, I wish I'd had two. One for me and one for my painting. We kept asking each other if he wanted us to move so he could mow where we were standing. We didn't move. He didn't ask. I'm grateful he didn't because I still had a couple of more hours to spend painting.

And so as sunny as this day was, Friday night brought on a tumultuous downpour of rain. The Hot Art, Cool Nights event I was a part of took place Friday night in Mid-City Baton Rouge. The day itself had been overcast, and we thought for sure that it would not rain on us. Uh, we were wrong. We were very wrong. The deluge of rain began just as we were leaving the house. We braved the pouring rain and flooded streets to get there to meet and greet the throngs of people crazy enough to get out in this weather. Yes, well, that did not happen. What did happen was that a few die hards came into the gallery in between the downpours. The good thing about that was that we got to visit with all of them.

Laurel, PZA, Me, DGQ
My paintings are hanging in the center behind us.
Rue Cou Cou Gallery

Keith Morris (Artist), Greg and Laurel Doucet (Gallery Owners),
and Jovann (Jodi) Armstrong (Artist)
Rue Cou Cou Gallery

My surprise of the night came in the form of friends. I really didn't expect any of them to show up because of the weather. So, when they walked through the door I was so excited! Thanks to Jennifer, Taryn, Taylor, Paula, Donna, Tina, and others that came out to see me. You made my night! They showed me that sometimes Charlie Brown isn't right. And the rest of you, well, I'm not mad that you didn't show. I understand. But, for my next event, you will come see me. Yes. Yes, you will.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

What I Did Before My Spring Break...

Gay Faulkenberry Fine Art
April 2014, Workshop
I always love seeing what other people's paint palettes look like while they're working. To me, it's an artwork in and of itself. I even took photos of her set up for the workshop I was lucky enough to attend. This particular palette belongs to Gay Faulkenberry who led one of her workshops for about 16 of us two weeks ago. Probably not the best time for me to do a workshop - the week before the Easter Bunny arrives, you know, Holy Week. It was a week of lots to do and very little time to do it. But, I embraced the workshop and tried not to think about the real world while I was there. Success and lots of chocolate by Sunday morning!

Gay has such a great bedside manner about her in teaching us what she does and what she knows and how she applies all these things to her painting. She was taught by Sergei Bongart, a Russian Impressionist artist. How amazing is that? Here's a blog post from Art Contratian on Bongart in case you want to read more about him. And here's the link to Gay's website to see more of her work.

She started out by pulling out her painting set up, telling us what she uses and why. Then she did a still life demo. It was gorgeous. She has a limited palette of colors. What you see around the top and side edges of her palette are all the colors she uses.  She's able to mix so many more combinations with those few. Love these colors.

Demo by Gay Faulkenberry
Do not reproduce or copy.
 Nanci Charpentier © 2014

Demo by Gay Faulkenberry
Do not reproduce or copy.
 Nanci Charpentier © 2014

Demo by Gay Faulkenberry
Do not reproduce or copy.
 Nanci Charpentier © 2014

Demo by Gay Faulkenberry
Do not reproduce or copy.
 Nanci Charpentier © 2014

Demo by Gay Faulkenberry
Do not reproduce or copy.
 Nanci Charpentier © 2014

Demo by Gay Faulkenberry
Do not reproduce or copy.
 Nanci Charpentier © 2014
The next two days were spent at Rural Life Museum.  What beautiful days we had. The first day was sunny and the second day was overcast. I was surprised by how many more colors I could see the second day more than on the first. The sun sometimes blinds you to the beautiful colors in nature. I worked on seeing cools and the warmth in the colors and making them work, along with determining that darkest dark and working back from there. It was a challenge but this time it seemed to make so much more sense to me.

I suppose that's what happens when you get out there week after week and try to see things for yourself. I was lucky enough to have someone come along - Gay - and help me make it all work better. It doesn't happen, I believe, without consistent work, practice, dedication, and love of painting. Thanks, Gay, it was a good week for me.

Thank you, Marylyn, for allowing me to borrow the hat!

30 Minute Sketch
Sunny Day
Nanci Charpentier © 2014
30 Minute Sketch
Sunny Day
Nanci Charpentier © 2014

60 Minute Sketch
Overcast Day
Nanci Charpentier © 2014

Friday, April 4, 2014

Traveling Down Nicholson Drive

"Nicholson Near Bernie Moore Track Stadium"
12" x 12"
Oil on Canvas
Nanci Charpentier © 2014

With spring finally here and the trees and flowers blooming and the pollen dusting every possible surface inside and out, I've been out photographing what I can to capture this fleeting season. I took the reference photo for this painting on my way downtown to have lunch with my husband. It was our anniversary. I just loved the way the light and the shadows were working. The reference photo was taken with my camera phone rather quickly as I was just moving from having stopped at a red light. I was paying attention to the road. Honest.

For those of you that don't live around here, we are lucky to have a very beautiful college campus. Louisiana State University (LSU) is gorgeous.  There are so many live oaks, magnolias, crepe myrtles as well as numerous other plants on campus. The university has really stepped things up since I graduated a "few" years ago and has made our campus a beautiful place.

View on Daily Paintworks here.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Working On Getting Some Vitamin D

Standing on the levee looking north.
My painting perspective for the day.

My vantage point looking back east on River Road to Roberto's.

Marylyn figuring out the best place to set up her easel on the Mississippi River Levee.

River Road going west.

Last week and this week we have been blessed with some beautiful weather. Last week we trekked out to St. Gabriel and River Road. We spent time last week painting out near Roberto's Restaurant. It was gorgeous. Plus, we ended our morning with a delicious lunch at Roberto's. Day well spent.

"River Road Near Roberto's"
9" x 12"
Oil on Cradled Panel
Nanci Charpentier © 2014

This week we moved down the road to St. Gabriel Catholic Church. Lucky for us we met up with the man mowing the grass who let us into the old church. We didn't think we could even go in there. He was very kind and we also found out that he is originally from Bosnia. These are some of the photos I took of the interior of the church.

We all agreed that painting the exterior of the church on this beautiful piece of land was the way to go. Here are photos of us out there this morning. We all agreed this was so much better than painting indoors on days like today. The plan is to get outside as much as possible while the temps are agreeable and the air isn't so thick you can chew it. Health benefit is that we get our much needed Vitamin D.

St. Gabriel Catholic Church

Here's the church with my painting in progress.

Painting selfie!

Betty and Marylyn and Jodi with River Road in the background.

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