Sunday, October 13, 2019

What's New News!

Hi there,

I just returned  last Sunday from  teaching a wonderful workshop at Dakota Pastels Art Center- a 3 day workshop with a group of very talented artists, diversified in their skills and mediums. Here are some samplings of their work
Joni Powers- pastel & Acrylics

Louise Hublitz Pastel & Acrylics
Jan Heigh Acrylic / Soft Pastel

Cynthia Esselman Pastel & Acrylics

Liz Layn  Pastel & Acrylics, Watercolor underpainting

At Work

Morning Warm Ups Pastel on Sand paper

Morning Warmups  Pastel on sand paper

I love teaching workshops.  I also now recognize that the energy expenditure requires me about 1 week to re-group and settle back into my being.  Strange, this time I regained my sense of self by cleaning my studio floor and finally doing the windows, inside and out.  Now I can work.  Also what was required was a rebalancing of most of the work hanging in my gallery home studio.  At any rate, I am now settled in New Beginnings.  Cheers!

Friday, September 6, 2019

Mira's Artsy News Notes for Sept.6, 2019

Mira ‘s Artsy News Notes: September 6, 2019

                    Adrift No More      Oil, Cold Wax, Pigment Sticks, Soft Pastel, Graphite, Canvas 36”x72”   © Mira M. White 2019

     This  painting is my way of trying to capture my current feelings about life- a combination of being caught and free, of being influenced, mentored and simultaneously standing alone.

     I want to share with you a bit about my process and this painting, which has been occupying my attention since the beginning of 2019.  It is a large canvas and spans a good chunk of my apartment studio wall.

    I am writing about it precisely because it is difficult. The beauty of visual art is that the viewer brings her/his own impressions and response to the painting. I rarely try to express my art and my intention with words. But this painting is different for me. It originally  began with the intention to express my personal philosophy  within  a familiar traditional format and method of rendering form. In the past, my approach to symbolic imagery was more literal, engaging portraiture and a sense of “cosmic space.”  The first iteration of this work , buried under all these layers, was a portrait head and cascading roses in an atmospheric space.

     I tried to make it work for several months, only to end covering up the whole painting about 3 times because I found it boring, unsatisfying and did not at all represent who I am right now. And I did not  work on it with any regularity.  I decided to let time assist me.  It did.

     Most of my visual art these days has been on the “ abstract spectrum”, rich layers of mark making and multiple media.  This painting needed to be something different for me and I found working with a minimal palette, incorporating my propensity for linear mark making, loose grids, and creating multiple layers, each quite different in figuration, extremely appealing and intriguing to me.

 In a sense this piece is a natural follow up to my large encaustic piece: Webbings and the Red Rectangle. and a couple of smaller encaustic pieces.  I find the superimposition of defined geometric shapes upon more organic,  gestural processes, very compelling.  I do not know about future works; I just felt the need to talk about this one.
 This is also my way of thanking you for all your support for my work.

Sunday, September 1, 2019

Newsnotes on my Mixed Media Class

Mix Those Media

I have this great class beginning on Sept. 9 @ 1-4 pm at Lafayette Studio in Walnut Creek.  It seems appropriate to share with you why I love teaching this class!

1.   I am a materials & media gal- I love layering and structuring and organizing through multiple layers.  Every layer, in fact every time I approach my work, represents a slight shift of impressions and focus. Time and sequence play an important role in the development of a painting.
2.   I try to communicate these ideas through exercises and projects designed to both loosen students up and enrich their work process.
3.   I encourage students to take risks, to find out what their habits are and then work against them.
4.   Painting is a beautiful process that can be both meditative and energizing.
5.   One becomes sensitive to the way every shape and line becomes a reaction to the previous one.

6.   Watercolor, Acrylics, Oil media (pigments, cold wax), powdered pigments all find their way into this class.
7.   We do warm up exercises and individual projects. Regular demonstrations and group discussions are an important part of this class.
8.   The key word here is GROWTH! I hope you will join me!

September 9- November 18             Tuition: $325
Mondays 1-4 pm                               Pre-register:
Lafayette Studio1136K Saranap Ave.
Walnut Creek, CA 94595                   

Experimental, Expressive Drawing

I  have been sending out a couple of statements on my  approach to both drawing and mixed media and wanted to secure them here , for viewers not receiving my newsletters on Mail Chimp. Here is my newest statement on my drawing class and process.

                             EXPERIMENTAL, EXPRESSIVE DRAWING 
                                   September 10- November 19 Tuesday 1-4 pm.
                               Lafayette Studio, 1136K Saranap Ave. Walnut Creek, CA 94595
                               Tuition: $325  Pre-register: 

     It is so exciting for me to record marks- of all kinds and with all tools- on paper or canvas.
I think drawing is very much a visual dance.  One line motivates another- and when does the thinness or thickness of a line become a shape?  Does that line imprison a form or does it set it free?  Whether it is a feather, a toothpick, a stick or a traditional tool I am fascinated by this force that propels us to make marks.  

   1. Drawing, historically,  has been considered an adjunct, a preparation, a think time for working out ideas destined for other mediums.  To many it is about rendering form from what we see, giving it volume and clarity.

2.Drawing can be about giving form to the formless, making the invisible visible.  It can be about recording internal realities, dreams, fantasizes.  It can be about manifesting spirit.

3.Drawing can be about creating order out of chaos; it is about doodling and random mark making.

4. Ultimately, drawing is about YOU and your personal form of handwriting.  It is about creating your ownworld.

This class embarks on a journey to expand your understanding of drawing to include all of the above processes.  We make a big distinction between descriptive drawing ( documentary) and expressive drawing ( emotion based).  So, how will we go about this?
1. We work with multiple dry media- graphite, charcoal, soft pastel, pigments.
2. We will sometimes work large, explore unusual mark making tools.
3.We do blur the boundary between drawing & painting in our experiments.


Monday, August 19, 2019

Images from My Abstraction inLayers with Oil, Pigment Sticks, Cold Wax 3 day Workshop

My 3 day workshop at Studio 55 in Martinez was very rich!  We were a group of 6 serious artists drawn together by a love for working with multiple media.  Here are samples of the variety of work done.  I apologize for my lack of skill in working with this program...

Mira's work space

Karen Rosen
Karen Rosen

Sarah Neider

Sarah Neider
Sarah Neider

Kathy Birdsong
Kathy Birdsong

Killian Garv
Killian Garvey

Killian Garvey

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Mexico with Jen & Shem!

This workshop was the very first I have ever taken as an art student since the time I began teaching. And it was wonderful!  Shem's process involves considerable work with a variety of papers, lots of layers  and applications- basically lots of addition and then excavation- in this regard very similar to the way I work with multiple materials.  

I wasn't sure if there would be any lasting impact  from this workshop, but, after arriving at mid nite Sat nite June 29, I found myself sanding with my orbital sander  on Sunday morning June 30, chuckling at the fact I had had 4 hours sleep and here I  was again at 8:30-- You will not see any products from this workshop on my site until I have a sense of how I will use them-- However, I have a new respect for newsprint and tissue paper.  In fact, right now is an encaustic in process that just got tissue paper added to it.... Here are snips and snaps from the workshop!
We responded to Jen's timely comment: " Say diarrhea!"
Shem discussing a demo on his process

The Studio
All cleaned up for our last dinner!

Friday nite dinner at Casa De La Note  Served by our gracious host and her wonderful staff!

Thursday, May 2, 2019

A bit more about o my weekly art classes:


I think of the drawing process as a meditation, regardless of the imagery, although I  intend to regard the natural world with awe and amazement when I give myself enough time to really look. My mediums are usually simple, either graphite, colored pencils, pens,  ink.  Papers vary because they offer different effects  and surfaces upon which the tools glide.
Imagery will derive from both the external and our internal environments.
This will be the first time in many years that I offer a class of this sort.  I just feel a need to do so, to offer myself and others in my group a time for quiet and visual contemplation. I hope you will join me.  Beginners are welcome! Contact info:

 June 7, 21, July 5-Aug.9  1-4 pm (8 sessions)
 No class June 14,28
 Lafayette Studio,1136K, Saranap Ave. Walnut Creek
 Tuition: $ 310
 Pre-register: 925 947-5773


Graphite pencils: H- 6B
Graphite powder ( Weber brand in jar)
Sumi Ink
Fine Line Marker pens- Sharpie type
Colored pencils ( oil based  or watercolor)
Traditional dip pens ( optional)
    Pad of Duralar and/or Vellum 9"x12"
    Pad Yupo  9"x12"
    Mixed Media sketch book for pen work
Additional materials will be approached as needed

I offer a mixed media class that includes watercolor, acrylic, soft pastels, sometimes collage and, recently oil, cold wax and pigment sticks. It varies every time I teach it because I get excited about new possibilities. My summer mixed media classes will  take place in 2 locations- one an evening class  in Oakland at Studio One- My other class is an afternoon class in Walnut Creek at Lafayette Studio:Both of these classes , of necessity, are for continuing artists who want to enrich their current practice and expand their visual vocabulary. 

   May 16-June 6      (R $112N/R $142)
  July 11-Aug.22 (R$215N/R$257)
  Thurs. 6:30-9:30pm 
  Studio One Art Center,365 45thSt. Oakland
 Pre-register: 510-597-5027
 Ask for materials list

                 MIX THOSE MEDIA: Focus on Abstraction
                 June 3.10, July1-Aug.5,  Mon. 1-4 PM
                 No class June 17.24  ( 8 sessions)
                 Lafayette Studio,1136K, Saranap Ave. Walnut Creek
                Tuition: $ 310
                 Pre-register: 925 947-5773 Ask for materials list

WATERCOWATERCOLOR  LOOSE & LUMINOUS   I love teaching watercolor! The flow of the water, its luminosity and potential for involved layering , mixing with other media, encompassing both representation and abstraction-  taking a journey with the paint- it engages me in a very contemplative manner.  My classes focus, for beginners, on wash techniques, brush handling and simple color exercises.  As students develop skills in handling materials and methods, more complex projects are presented.    
                       THE  WAY OF WATERCOLOR: LOOSE & LUMINOUS
                June 3,10, July 1-Aug. 5 Mon. 9-12 noon 
                No class June 17, 24
                Lafayette Studio, 1136K Saranap Ave. Walnut Creek
                Tuition: $ 310
                 Pre-register: 925 947-5773/
A              Ask for materials list

                 May 15- June 11 R$125N/R$$155 S/T $100
July J                July 3-Aug.14 R$215N/R$257 S/T $195
               Wed. 6:30-9:30 pm 
               Studio One Art Center, 365 45th St. Oakland, CA 94610
               Pre-register: 510 597-5027 
               Ask for materials list