Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Kids, pets, and beautiful things

Saturday, August 1st, 2020

When yet another long-anticipated trip was cancelled this summer, a number of my art colleagues and I went virtual with an event called Plein Air Live—something of an oxymoron, since many of the presentations were to be broadcast “live” but online. Yet it was a surprisingly good alternative to painting on location in the open air as we shared information about plein air painting in a variety of different media.

Instead of gathering in person to share our love of art and to bolster our painting skills by encouraging one another, we gathered online, from around the world, through the blessing of technology.

This event, conceived and pulled together by Streamline Publishing, was a wonderful substitute for cancelled conferences and similar long-distance painting excursions. It clearly illustrated that, whatever our backgrounds, wherever we’re from, human interests are similar around the world.

As one of my followers said, when asked what kinds of images appealed to her, “Kids, pets, and beautiful things.” We all similarly seem to want a sense of family, of belonging, of emotional support, and aesthetic appreciation.

"The Shepherd" by Charlotte Mertz (10"x14" watercolor #070603w)

“The Shepherd” by Charlotte Mertz (10″x14″ watercolor #070603w)

So “Beautiful Things” is the theme for my Facebook posts for August.  You may even spot a few kids and critters along the way.

I encourage you to reply to my posts with your own images of kids, pets, and beautiful things (you don’t have to stick to my theme!) and tell us something about them. They may be photos or your own artwork. Or simply comment about what these images say to you. The more you add, the more others will be able to enjoy! So please be generous. We all love beautiful things! And you may wind up providing the theme idea for an upcoming month.

Graduation and Commencement

Friday, May 15th, 2020

While it’s wonderful to celebrate the end of a school year or an entire stage of learning, it’s important to keep in mind that the terms “graduation” and “commencement” don’t refer to the end of something but the beginning of something else. So even if there is no ceremony, we can still forge ahead.

This spring, whether from school or our current stage in life, let us all graduate from wherever we are and commence our journey with a fresh vision, new goals, and renewed purpose.

"Morning Has Broken" by Charlotte Mertz (11"x15" watercolor, #200403w)

“Morning Has Broken” by Charlotte Mertz
(11″x15″ watercolor, #200403w)

I find that I’ve spent so much time trying to learn that I’ve somewhat ignored the purpose for learning, which is to become productive. Oh yes, I’ve produced a lot of work as I sought to develop understanding and skills in specific areas, but without a clear, long-term direction, I tend to lose focus.  In artistic terms, I was painting without having preplanned the composition.  Though an innate painting style gradually emerged, the subject matter, varied approaches to my media, and other aspects of my work lacked a sense of unity.

So even without ceremony or certificate, I’m declaring myself GRADUATED!  Have no fear: For the rest of my life I will continue to learn. But am now commencing a new stage of life with an overarching goal in mind—one of expressing appreciation, encouragement, and hope through my artwork, words, and actions.

This spring I have begun a purposeful series, the theme of which is Faith in Adversity. It draws visual motifs primarily from landscapes of the American Southwest to exemplify Biblical scripture as it relates to our Covid19 situation. These are secular images through which a viewer is encouraged through the title or implied concept to contemplate God’s role as we navigate through these troubled times.

My hope is that these images will encourage viewers to turn their focus from their immediate circumstances to refocus on their faith and the promise of a better future.

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.