Archive for the ‘News’ Category

National Art Exhibition Opens

Friday, February 7th, 2020

I thought I’d throw in an extra blog this month to let my followers know that my painting “Getting to the Point” is appearing in the National Art Exhibition this year.

"Getting to the Point," by Charlotte Mertz  (10"x8" watercolor, #190906w)

“Getting to the Point,” by Charlotte Mertz
(10″x8″ watercolor, #190906w)

The exhibition opens today (February 7) at the Visual Arts Center, Punta Gorda, Florida, and will run through March 24, 2020.

Happy challenges for the new year

Tuesday, January 1st, 2019

A new year seems to beg us to try something different, pursue a new direction, or raise the bar on our current status. What are your goals for the new year?

I am gearing up once again to teach my snowbird watercolor classes, beginning next week.  I look forward to both introducing the pleasures of painting to new group of students, and encouraging the continued exploration and development of others’ painting skills.  I also plan to pursue my own continuing art education.  There’s always so much more to learn!

120518---Brass-Pitcher-withI challenge you in 2019 to pursue some new creative realm that you’ve hoped to do “someday,” follow up on skills you may have allowed to atrophy from disuse, or share your own expertise with others who want to learn from you.

As we look forward into the coming year, I wish you comfort, hope, and a sense of satisfaction in whatever creative projects or challenges you undertake.  Go for it!

Door County Community Mosaic Project

Sunday, July 15th, 2018

Although I am unable to be in Door County, Wisconsin, for their annual Plein Air Festival, July 22-28, this year, I am happy to have been able to participate in the Community Mosaic Project, to which artists of all ages and inclinations are encouraged to contribute in support of the Hardy Gallery, a Door County charity.  The “mosaic” will be on display July 20 through August 26, 2018, concurrently with the popular Collection Invitational Exhibition, at the Hardy Gallery in Ephraim, Wisconsin.

"Well Rooted" by Charlotte Mertz (6"x6" acrylic on canvas, #180601a)

“Well Rooted” by Charlotte Mertz (6″x6″ acrylic on canvas, #180601a)

Entitled “Well Rooted,” my painting (numbered 118 for the exhibit) was inspired by the intertwined roots at the base of a stand of trees in a shaded park.  They reminded me of the residents of this sylvan area, who anchor, support, and strengthen one another through the vagaries of time, weather, and … well, life in general.

If you’re in the vicinity, I hope you’ll stop in and show your support for this very active and attractive arts community.

 

2018 Watercolor Classes

Monday, January 1st, 2018

A new year marks a good time to take a fresh look at the methods and approach I will be taking in teaching my watercolor classes this year, as well as to redefine my goals for them. I look forward to starting my new 5-session series of beginning watercolor classes next week in both the Verandah and Pelican Preserve communities here in Fort Myers.  I want to give my students more than bragging rights for a “refrigerator magnet” style one-time souvenir.

Instead, I have two goals.  The first is to provide my students with the basic understanding of the medium, technical know-how, and confidence to be able to begin painting in watercolor on their own, from an unlimited choice of subjects, for the rest of their lives.  The second is to instill in them a joy in painting so they want to continue developing their skills and understanding, increasing in both confidence and satisfaction in their ongoing efforts.

"Still Life with Ixora Blossom" by Charlotte Mertz (171207w detail)

“Still Life with Ixora Blossom” by Charlotte Mertz (171207w detail)

As I review my course syllabus, I know the information to be covered in each class session will lay a groundwork upon which any further learning can be based.  But more important than that is the enthusiasm I hope to express as I talk with my students and demonstrate my own joy in painting.  Enthusiasm (or lack of it, unfortunately) is contagious.  So I want my joy to always be apparent both in my own work and in my attitude toward the students and each topic I present, so each group of students bonds into a supportive community, enthusiastic and encouraging toward one another as we learn from both our successes and that inevitable “School of Oops,” from which few of us ever entirely graduate.

Art is one field in which we can never “know it all.”  It’s a wonderful subject for those of us who consider ourselves “lifetime learners,” because it poses a never-ending challenge to exceed whatever our current level of skill and expertise might be.  No matter how innately “talented” we may be even without instruction, or how developed our skills become through extensive education, there is always room to learn more.  But without a sense of enjoyment and satisfaction we will probably feel little impetus to maintain a long-range drive toward excellence.

So that is my primary goal for these beginning classes—not that I necessarily start my students on a road to becoming great artists, but that they feel motivated with an inner sense of pleasure and satisfaction to pursue their budding interest in watercolor painting and carry it as far as they will.

While maintaining an atmosphere of camaraderie and encouragement, my subsequent 5-session series of Continuing and Intermediate classes in both communities will continue to build on the basic skills learned in the Beginning classes.  The Continuing and Intermediate classes will focus more on general artistic principles, which contribute to a sense of perspective and reality.  Although my classes will address how artistic principles can be applied specifically to watercolor work, understanding them can enhance compositional design in any medium.

Will you be joining us as we begin our classes next week?

About FACE

Wednesday, November 15th, 2017

Last week I had the privilege of attending the inaugural Figurative Art Convention & Expo (#FACE17) in Miami.  We were a comparatively small group (350 attendees) but enjoyed a stellar faculty that provided a supportive and inspiring learning experience for all the participants.

Both the conferees and faculty share a deep interest in, and commitment toward, encouraging a resurgence of museum-quality representational artwork, not only in the United States but around the world.  We look forward to increasing the opportunities for training artists in classical methods.  Equally important is reintroducing the public to the inherent beauty of such fine art, and to raise the level of awareness and appreciation for the work and training that goes into it.

We also dream of bringing a high level of realism back and a positive outlook into the contemporary world to displace the negativity so often found in non-representative and “modern” art of the Twentieth Century.

IMG_7280---Daniel-Gerhartz-

Daniel Gerhartz demonstrates and discusses his approach to portraiture.

From the time I rose before 6 o’clock each morning until I collapsed into bed around 11 at night, the days were packed with information and opportunities to make personal, social, and business connections, all in an environment conducive to sharing ideas, encouragement, and enthusiasm with others who have a common passion for uncommon figurative realism.   As word gets out about the success of FACE17, and excitement mounts, next year’s FACE conference is projected to be even larger, with a higher attendance anticipated.

How exciting it was to hear of the rebirth of the atelier – teaching studios in which artists train their students in classical methodology, so they in turn can teach others.  This kind of training has largely been lost during the Twentieth Century, but appears to have made some inroads over the past decade toward a more widespread comeback.

John Coleman at his sculpting demonstration.

John Coleman demonstrates his sculpture techniques.

If you share the vision and desire to see high quality representative art take its rightful place again in museums, art galleries, and schools, there are a few simple ways that you can help.

If you are an artist interested in figurative work, consider attending the next Figurative Art Convention, again expected to be held in Miami, November 7-10, 2018.  Get involved.

Or, even if you are not an artist yourself, invest in an artist who shares that vision, who is reaching for that “unreachable star” of artistic mastery.  As demand for such art increases, galleries will take greater interest in representing those artists, museum curators will more seriously consider acquiring their work, and the movement will increase exponentially.

I’m not suggesting that it necessarily be my work that you acquire (though of course that would be appreciated).  But if you find a high-quality representational painting that moves you, whatever the size, whatever the price, whoever the artist, please give serious consideration to purchasing it for yourself.  The value is not only in your own investment in the painting.  Your investment in that artist will provide encouragement and perhaps financial backing needed to allow him or her to continue.  You will also have acquired a painting that will provide you ongoing pleasure and a continuing reminder of your role in the resurgence of classical art in the new millennium.  And how great is that?