Saturday, September 2, 2023
Monday, February 8, 2021
Again, I turn to my sketchbook as a tool for comfort and healing. I’m more comfortable
with writing then I use to be…but images are my first choice of communication. In my sketch I’m able to express myself in ways words won't do.
Last week my mother passed away suddenly in her home. She was 84 years and one day. The cutting reality is, I will never see her again on this earth. I worry my memory will fade. Sketching with pencil, pen or brush is a powerful tool. I find comfort. In a sketch I honor her memory...an act of love…time spent alone with her. My eyes carefully studying every angle and subtlety in her facial features. When I am done her image is forever burned into my mind...and then I find rest.
I found a photo of my mom that felt unposed and real. The photo was taken many years ago before illness and age left its mark and changed her (mentally and physically). Studying her face was comforting. About halfway into my sketch something was off. I tried to find the answer in the photo, but it wasn't there. I wasn't able to capture the essence that was her. Over many days I would glance at my sketch trying to see what I had missed. And then I realized, the answer was in my own face. So, I photographed my face at the same angle. Through my image I was able to finish the sketch. A piece of her is in me. My reflection, my mannerisms…my love of all things creative.
Trying to hang on to someone is like holding onto a rope that was slipping through my hands. The tighter I held on, the more painful it became… so I let go. The process of drawing my mother was healing. I grew in the process of understanding. The realization that part of her remains in me.
Even during these never ending days and months (thanks to COVID-19) I am creative, productive and hopeful for tomorrow. Anything that stops growing begins to die and I'm still growing because I am alive!
Be well and creative,
Sunday, January 17, 2021
It's Finally Here!
Negative painting is the technique explored and demonstrated. It's just like being in one of my workshops...without traveling!
Here’s some of what you’ll discover:
- Developing your composition with layers of color
- Unravel the mystery of paint
- Painting around a subject to find definition
- Apply transparent glazes to create shapes and depth of color
- Develop your skills when painting wet into wet, under-paintings, and wet passages
- Experience Brenda creating paintings that glow — now you’ll know how, too!
- Demystify negative painting (and paint with more confidence!)
- NEVER struggle with color again … you’ll know just what to do!
- Proper design for this type of painting
- Capture light like never before (yes, with watercolor!)
- Create depth and interest (Brenda shows you how!)
- Positively accentuate the negative (negative space that is!)
- Uncover the characteristics of paint (you’ll be surprised at what you DON’T know!)
- Ooops … oh well, find the humor in it and move on…
See a short video, in-depth video description, purchase options: Glowing Watercolors: Available in DVD or Download
Hope you enjoy!
Sunday, January 10, 2021
Saturday, November 7, 2020
Gerald “Jerry” Brommer, enthusiasm for painting and teaching changed my life.
Painting, art shows and students filled his life with joy and energy. Into his 80s he was
still teaching 18 workshops a year. A schedule people half his age couldn’t do. But with Georgia beside him he could do anything. In 2008 Jerry and Georgia decided it was time to stop teaching European workshops. He was 81 years old. But they wanted to visit Europe one more time. No teaching. Just a small group of art friends traveling, sketching and enjoying each others company. For two weeks we traveled from Prague to Berlin. One night during dinner he saw me playing with paper napkin rings fashioning an elaborate caterpillar. The next night he tossed a napkin ring my way and said “no more worms, make me something magnificent”. Never one to back down from a challenge. I proceeded to fashion him a crown of napkin rings and placed it on his head. It read,“ Sir Gerlad the Magnificent” (yes, Gerald is spelled wrong. Read my sketch to find out why). He played along with a giggle and a smile and proceeded to wear the crown through dinner. He never took himself too seriously.
Jerry is one of the greatest people I have known. His contagious enthusiasm for life, teaching and painting guided me. I was a student beyond watercolor. I was a student of his teaching skills as well: how he handled a demo, a class, a person, a critique… his voice still guides me. We honor our teachers not by copying them but sharing their enthusiasm and carrying their message. In my workshops I always talk about him. I hope and pray my actions reflect this dear man: through my paintings, how I teach and in my life.
COVID-19 has taken Jerry from us. Rest well my friend. You have earned it.
Here's a wonderful interview with Jerry on YouTube. Joe Miller (Cheap Joe's) and Jerry were good friends. Video
Friday, June 19, 2020
The first month I had a few low down, miserable days. I lacked energy and focus. That unnerved me. Many artists' I've spoken to have expressed a very similar feeling. I was comforted in knowing I wasn't alone. I learned to be patient with myself and didn't force creativity. I still went to the studio every day and did something no matter how small. Little by little energy and focus returned. Being home for months has given me the opportunity to physically recharge and find new focus in my work. By not adding additional stress to my life I found a new rhythm and joy in the studio. And then the emails, messages and phone calls started coming. People asking, pleading and even telling me what I needed to do (to make confinement easier on them). I was overwhelmed with requests from individual and associations to teach on:, Zoom, Craftsy and Facebook Live. They'd say: It's easy. You can do it. We need you. You owe it to the art community. Gee whiz! That's a lot of pressure to put on somebody. Don't get me wrong. Teaching is one of the greatest joys in my life. But at this moment teaching online is not for me. I might feel differently down the road but right now, the answer is, no thank you.
Last year I taught 15 workshops in 10 months (nationwide and abroad). It was exciting, fast paced, rewarding and admittedly exhausting (at times). The last few months has given me time to recharge and focus. I've been painting more, walking a lot, writing, calling friends and family and cooking more (to my husbands delight). I've started painting outdoors again! I can't tell you how much this is done to lift my spirits. This week I painted the Lavender Fields of Highland Springs Ranch, Cherry Valley, CA. It feels like a blessing and a privilege to be doing what I love. Masks are not required in the field but many people came close to watch me paint. I felt better wearing a mask.
In many ways it's been a busy time for me. I judged an international exhibition, wrote an article for Watercolor Artists' Magazine (June issue), participated in two major exhibitions: Transparent Watercolor Society of America and California Art Club Gold Medal Exhibition, completed numerous larger paintings and even sold three pieces. I also have a really big project in the works! I can't give details, but it involves instructional videos with Creative Catalyst Productions. Pre-release sign up and interview
What does my workshop and show schedule look like in the future? Good question! I update my WEBSITE regularly. Please know my Blog (this site) and Website are two completely different sources of information.
What am I waiting for? To be with those I care about: family, friends, fellow artists' and students. I long to share meals together, attend shows & receptions, teach workshops and travel. But until I feel it's safe for everyone to be gathering again, I'll be waiting.
Be well, Be safe, Be creative,
Sunday, June 7, 2020
Be well, be creative and seek peace,