Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Sold Works at Mary Tomas Gallery

"Wall Cloud" 18x36, Oil on Canvas
Very pleased to share that "Wall Cloud" sold this week at Mary Tomas Gallery.
"The Brook" Oil on Gessobord
Also, my plein air painting I did when I was at the Arboretum sold recently at the gallery to a wonderful woman I have known and loved for many years. In the process of our talking she had me over to her lovely house and has now ordered a 48x24 for her wall! A beautiful Texas sky! I'm so excited to get started on this. Please pray for me to do my best and that it will be heartfelt. I will hopefully be posting about it soon!

It's not too late to see, "Into the Quiet" if you haven't already. If you would like I can meet you down there to give you a personal tour of the show. 
A big thank you to Mary and Alberto Tomas for their faithful work (Mary's paintings are so exquisite. Please don't miss seeing them) and to my heavenly Father who has been my everything. 

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

"Soft" 6x12, Oil on Gessbord

"Soft" 6x12, Oil on Gessobord
I've been listening to Andrew Peterson's song, "Invisible God." I believe that is how I feel when I paint. "All your works are clearly mighty and tender. Oh Lord let me remember. I see you everywhere. Invisible God."
I love the quiet spaces and this rich green tree.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

"Into the Quiet" Opens This Week!

My waterfall piece with Mary's warm landscapes along the wall
I will share more pictures after the reception on Saturday but I just wanted to show you all the entry way into the gallery as a little "teaser" for, "Into the Quiet."
Mary's work is so beautiful the paint looks like it has been breathed on in layer after layer. Very soft and peaceful with lots of strong color.
I have waterfalls, skies and trees in the show (over 25+) works of art from 2013.
Can you tell I'm excited? Well, I am. I feel like a little kid!
Reception for the show is Saturday 6-9 at Mary Tomas Gallery located at: 1110 Dragon St., Bldg. 1080, Dallas, TX 75207.
Gallery hours are: M-F: 10-5, Sat 12-5, or by appointment.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Inspiring Books and Things of 2013

I usually post my "Top 5" or "Top 10" list of books for 2013. I could do that. But I felt I could also share with you some of the most inspiring things I've read, looked at and learned in 2013.

Hope you all had a good 2013. I learned a great deal and most of that through trial and error BUT that's how Dawn learns! I can also say it's been one of the most rewarding and exciting years of my life as far as my art goes. I feel like I'm more Dawn than I've ever been if that makes sense (probably not). What I mean by that is that I am painting what I truly delight in, what I enjoy. I also feel more purposeful in my work.

 I cannot tell you how much working with White Stone Gallery (in particular Susan Hooks) has helped me. She has helped shepherd me in ways that I needed and I have been able to see things more clearly through her wisdom.

I give all my thanks to God for what He has shown me. I have a little 4x6 card hanging up that I wrote to Him here in the studio. It says, "I thank you for every mistake. Everything I haven't learned yet. Because YOU will be faithful."

So here are my favorite "things" of 2013:

7. Naples Yellow and Chromium Oxide Green

Naples Yellow is considered "landscape yellow" by some artists and I can see why now after using it for over 9 months. It has the rusty feel of Yellow Ochre without the brown. The mixture I get with Naples and some of the greens and blues I'm using looks more real to life.

Chromium Oxide Green was recommended to me as the artists' "middle" green. It is not a "cool" or bluer green nor is it a "warm" green that has more yellow. I like it as a base green to start with as I Plein Air because depending on the light I have no idea if it is going to be cool or warm.

6. Gessobord

I have started using the gessobord about as much as I use canvas. I like the smooth tooth on the surface and I like the way the gesso seems to "soak" up the oil paint so that it dries a little quicker than on canvas. I also really appreciate the stiffness that comes with the gessobord. There is no "give" like in canvas and it helps for me when putting on that initial layer to just give it all the gusto in my brush. They cost a little more overall than canvas but it's worth it to me.
5. Oleogel by Rublev and Thomas Kegler, Landscape artist
I found Thomas Kegler through Plein Air Magazine (which I also love but have been reading for a few years so it wasn't new for 2013). I like the way he paints thoughtfully and with respect to the landscape (what I mean is he tries to read the terrain to tell the story). I've watched this instructional video over and over again just writing down all the things he is doing. One of the most influential on me this year was the use of Oleogel. It is a gel medium that thins the oil paint to a glaze. I absolutely love it. It has helped me to layer the clouds and to wet areas that need re-wetting after drying overnight (especially on the very large canvases). I also use it on lightning as I will put down a layer of the glazed paint then come back through with a rubber tipped brush and pull the Oleogel off exposing the bright paint underneath. Oh, and I love the smell of this stuff. Made from linseed oil.
4. Rosemary and Co. Brushes
This is my catalog with a few of the brushes I ordered from her. You can see my little notes I wrote on the cover. I have been using the Masters Choice and Ivory (synthetic) Filberts mostly. Filberts are curved at the top (also called cats tongue). These are hands down my favorite brushes I've ever painted with! So responsive to the paint. I was sold after my first order. I can tell you that after clean up the brushes go back to their shape and don't flay out after several uses.  Even though they are hand-made from England they are still reasonably priced. What a blessing to find someone who is as passionate about paintbrushes as the artist is about painting!
3. Guerrilla Painter 5x7 Pocket Box
I used this so much this year after my surgery. It was small and compact and I could paint with the box on my lap. I got the hinged extension (for the brushes) and I'm glad I did as it gives me some room on the palette. I used this to just sit unnoticed on a bench and paint some trees and I used this in my studio when I could not stand at the big easel. Guerrilla Painter makes some of the neatest boxes for artists. I am currently trying to figure out a way to take this little box with me on a long hiking trip with my hubbie. We want to backpack through the Smokey Mountains in 2014. I'll let you know how it goes...But, this is the box I want to take. Sturdy, compact and holds the paints and Gamsol (cleaning for the oil paints). It won't hold the brushes but I'm working on a way to slip them into the outside of the backpack if they were in a small cylinder.
2. For the Beauty of the Church Edited by W. David O. Taylor

This is such a great read for artists who feel displaced by the church and for clergy who need to beckon artists back into their role in the church. I literally found myself saying "amen" in several chapters (and each chapter is written by a different author some of which are Andy Crouch, Eugene Petterson and Barbara Nicolosi).  My favorite chapter of the book was Barbara Nicolosi's entitled, "The Artist: What Exactly Is an Artist, and How Do We Shepherd Them?" I want to share an excerpt from her portion called, "What Beauty is Not"
"....It's not cute. It's not easy. It's not banal. It's not silly. The beautiful is not sweet or nice. It's not facile. And it's not unthreatening...Call a thing sweet, call it precious, call it pretty. That's fine. There's a place for that. But don't settle for pretty or precious when you have something as magnificently glorious as beauty calling out to you." (page 109)
This book helped me see how I have a calling to beauty. I have been made to do that. It also led to some quickening in my heart for my church. I ended out doing a painting for the baptism area and want to do an even bigger one(s) in 2014.
1.  The Table of Inwardness by Calvin Miller (Nurturing Our Inner Life in Christ)

Just 118 pages long but really is PACKED with so much. I can hardly write about it as I underlined so much in this book. I can truthfully say that it has taught me more clearly HOW to listen to God and the benefit of being SILENT before God. I learned how much I need that time to just shut my mouth and hear my Savior (sometimes not even with words). Miller writes, "I found in Christ a readiness to accept me. I was humbled. I was loved in my unfinished state, and found a new graciousness towards others who also awaited completion."

Our silence is a "door for Him to enter." A door I never knew about in all the busyness of life. Even in prayer where I talk, talk, talk TO God I found I wasn't LISTENING to Him. What was He saying about my life? What was He quickening my heart to? What things was He eager to talk about and I wasn't? Many times we struggle with obedience because we haven't heard what TO do. This book helped me see the Christ in every moment and how He is still shaping me even as He delights in me.

I'm looking forward to setting some goals for 2014. Thank you to everyone who stops by and reads this blog. I pray you are encouraged by my own struggles and attempts. Art and life are a process of discovery of who we are and the beauty that He is.

Happy 2014 to you all!


Thursday, January 2, 2014

Two-Woman Show at Mary Tomas Gallery, "Into the Quiet"




New Works by Dawn Waters Baker and Mary Tomás

Reflections on nature provide stillness and space that will be welcome after the hustle and bustle of the holidays

DALLAS-December 31, 2013-Contemporary painters Dawn Waters Baker and Mary Tomás share artistic similarities as they both find inspiration in nature and their connection to the spiritual world. “Into The Quiet” opens Saturday, January 11, 2014 with an opening reception from 6 – 9 p.m., which is free and open to the public. The artists will unveil a body of work that conjures up the mystery that landscapes bring to the viewer. “Into The Quiet” runs through Saturday, February 15, 2014 at the Gallery located at 1110 Dragon Street, Dallas, Texas, 75207. 

Dawn Waters Baker paints realistic works related to changing weather and in early 2013 her piece “Downburst” was accepted, along with a group of other prestigious artists, in the juried show at The National Weather Center Biennale held at The University of Oklahoma in Norman, Oklahoma. She has been associated with Mary Tomás Gallery since 2012, though she has been painting and exhibiting in Dallas for many years and has won several best of show awards.

Mary Tomás captures the quiet grace of natural forms with metaphorical imagery. In her latest work, she continues to press the boundaries of our perception of what landscape is and can be. Peaceful, meditative and ethereal are terms collectors and viewers often use to describe her work. She is the owner of Mary Tomás Gallery and this is her first large body of work to be shown since 2012. Her work can also be seen at GVG Contemporary in Santa Fe, NM.
For further information on “Into The Quiet”, please call Mary Tomás Gallery at (214) 727-5101 or visit Gallery hours are Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday, noon until 4 p.m. or by appointment.