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October 2010

Welcome Back!

Bob with Oil Palette
Bob with Oil Palette

One of the best perks being a painter is... painting. We can choose any medium and go paint with it. I paint all the time and choose any medium to explore and goof around with. I love oil, acrylic and watercolor paints. Specifically, for me, painting in oils is a luxury. I love the lore, the history, the alchemy and of course, the aroma! I’m teaching an oil painting workshop next month at the San Luis Obispo Museum of Art, so my odiferous studio has stacks of wet canvases waiting to dry. This week in the studio has been exhilarating and scary (after all, it’s Halloween!) Oil techniques are a lot different than acrylic techniques. I’m more attentive to mixtures - hoping to get correct mixing ratios and drying accelerators, plus keeping a healthy and safe environment. AND making creative, visual excitement on canvas. Keep the challenges coming, I say! Next issue you will read about my latest and current ongoing theme, using oil as my medium.

Rush of Joy
Rush of Joy

I received a truly wonderful gift at my last Studio Mentor Workshop. Robin Walker instigated a secret book project called “Rush of Joy” and invited artists who had been in all of my Studio Mentor Workshops to participate. I was surprised, overcome and very teary! Thank you so much Robin.

If you want to take a look, the book is available from www.blurb.com  Search for the title "Rush of Joy" and you will be directed to it.  It's available at cost in soft or hard cover to anyone who wants it. It's also fully previewable.

In December we will post our schedule for my 2011 Studio Mentor Workshops. Stay tuned.


Speaking of gifts, Kate and I were presented with a great tee shirt at a workshop in Colorado. Virginia Witt and Marti Nelson wrote down all of our “clever” sayings during the week on a personally tie-dyed tee shirt. Hysterical! Thanks so much! Bob says, "This is pitifull!".

Product Spotlight
Great Combo for the Holidays

Bob Painting at Butte College Workshop

Robert Burridge's Workbook & Studio Notes and Travel Size Color Wheel

•The newest and biggest "Robert Burridge's Workbook & Studio Notes" features more creative ideas for loosening up your paintings and your artistic life. 140 pages, color cover, black & white photos and drawings.
•The New Burridge Travel Size Color Wheel is perfect for taking with you to workshops or in the field! 9 inches diameter with a moveable pointer and step-by-step instructions.

Both Only $39.95 + shipping & handling + sales tax (CA residents)
Click HERE for addtional product information.

Workshops in the Spotlight

Bob Painting at Butte CollegBob at the Art of the Carolinase Workshop
Bob at the Art of the Carolinas doing his famous drip trees demo.

Trade Show & Workshops

Art of the Carolinas, Raleigh, North Carolina

November 11-14, 2010

Sponsored by Jerry’s Artarama

Here is Bob’s teaching schedule:
•Thurs 11/11 9am-4pm
Loosen up & Start Abstract Painting Today!
•Fri 11/12 9-12am
Loose Paint Sketches to Warm You up
•Fri 11/12 1-4pm
Wow Your Next Painting with Goof-Proof Color Combos
•Sat 11/13 9-12am
Abstract Florals from Loose, Colorful Splatters
•Sat 11/13 1-4pm
Loose & Juicy Landscapes
•Sun 11/14 9-12am
Loosen up with Dramatic Light and Color
•Sun 11/14 1-4pm
mARTketing: Artists - Get your Share of the Art Market!

(919) 876-6610 for a schedule of this year’s workshops www.jerrysartevents.com


Bob and Sharon DiGuilio of Jerry’s Artarama
Bob and Sharon DiGuilio of Jerry’s Artarama

For more of my workshops all over the county, click HERE to check out my workshop schedule.

Great Trips! - International Workshops
We have some wonderful trips coming up - Please join us!

This January paint with Bob in the Bahamas.
This January paint with Bob in the Bahamas.

Paint with Bob in the Bahamas
January 23-30, 2011

Contact Dillman’s Creative Arts Foundation
(715) 588-3143 or vacations@dillmans.com
Click here for workshop flyer, itinerary and registration info.
It’s Not Too Late - Register Today!

Painting in Tuscany!
September 1-8, 2012

Villa Fattoria Bacio, in the heart of the Tuscan countryside. Between Sienna, Florence and San Gimignano sits the beautiful Villa Fattoria Bacio. The villa is the perfect blend of old world ‘rustica’ and catered comfort, surrounded on all sides by spectacular views of the meandering hills of Tuscany.

Afternoon Critique in Tuscany
Afternoon Critique in Tuscany

Seven nights lodging at the villa, nightly genuine Tuscan meals and fine wine are included. The five day workshop will take place Monday through Friday.

Contact Sedona Art Center (888) 954-4442 or (928) 282-3809

Product Review

Isabey - The Hardest Working Brushes in the Business!
Twenty years ago I started painting and beating up my brushes. I pound them with paint, mistreat them and have left a few for dead. I still have and continue to paint with these very same brushes today.
Isabey brushes have been handmade in Brittany since 1895. They are tough and impeccably made. You know how disrespectful I am with my art stuff; however I clean my brushes with either Murphy Oil Soap or Castile Soap from Citra Solv everyday. Here is a list of my brushes that have lasted all this time.

Bob’s Isabey Brushes
Bob’s Isabey Brushes

1. Series 6088 Filberts - #12, #8 and #6
2. Special 6036 Rounds - #12
3. Isacryl Acrylic Rounds 6512 - #16 and #12
4. Isabey Mongoose Filberts 6159 - #20
5. Isabey Chung King Bristle 2420 - #2-3/4”, #2” and #1-1/8”

These brushes are sold in fine art stores that feature Savoir Faire products. Also, that is where I buy my Fabriano watercolor paper, as well as their Sennelier line of paints. I have been painting for twenty years with these painting products (along with others). Next month, more about why I use Fabriano paper!

Studio Tip
New Products for Bob!

Castile Soap - A Great Brush Cleaner!
Castile Soap - A Great Brush Cleaner!

If you have been in my workshops, you experimented with the liquid cleaner Citra Solv I use in my art. It dissolves the printing ink into patterns on the pages of National Geographic magazines. Also - I’ve discovered the pure Castile Soap from the same company for super-cleaning my dead brushes. It’s a natural, all-purpose liquid soap with organic essential oils. It’s more concentrated than Murphys Oil Soap... a little goes a long way. It works! Now you know why my bruised brushes last so long.

Bob Using Citra Solv During a Workshopop
Bob Using Citra Solv During a Workshop

Go to Citra Solv’s website to see all their products! Don’t forget to check out their artists’ page with creative projects, online shows and an artists’ gallery.

Liquitex Professional Acrylic Ink!hop
Liquitex Professional Acrylic Ink!

Another new product I’ve been using as my “drawing ink” or just making marks into my acrylic paintings is Liquitex Professional Acrylic Ink. I draw using a twig dipped into these acrylic inks. They are permanent, extremely fluid (great for stick drawing) and are available in 30 intense colors. My favorite part is after they dry, my liquid acrylic varnish won’t smear the drawing. There are competitive products with these same features, but for this month, I’m using Liquitex Professional Acrylic Ink.

Painting using Liquitex Drawing Ink
Painting using Liquitex Drawing Ink

We Want to Hear From You!
Keep those Studio Tips and your questions coming! If we use yours in an ArtsyFartsy Newsletter, we will send you a Burridge Permission Mug.

Permission Mug
Permission Mug

From Connie, Calgary, Alberta, Canada:
Hi Bob, I took one of the Calgary workshops with you and have been using the Acrylic Minwax semigloss as a varnish on pieces I have created since the workshop. Most of those have been on the small side but I have a commission for a large (4’ x 4’) Bubble tree painting. I would like to varnish with Minwax. Could you please tell me:
•how to apply it on large pieces to avoid ‘dragging’ dried areas
•if it can it be thinned with water
•do you varnish the sides of large profile canvases

Thanks Connie,
This info is for varnishing my acrylic paintings. I thin the acrylic varnish slightly with water and use a 4" wide soft brush. I make each loaded brush swipe with one long, slow stroke. Repeat again until canvas has been covered with a good, wet coat. Check for puddles - always go in one direction. Let dry. Turn the painting 1/4 turn and repeat. And yes, I varnish the sides, checking for drips.

Varnishing a Larger Painting in one direction.
Varnishing a Larger Painting in One Direction.

CaptiVarnishing - Workshop Demoon
Workshop Demo - Varnishing

Thanks Connie! For your question on acrylic, water-based varnishing, you get a Permission Mug!

New “Must Get” Magazine

CapAcrylic Artist Magazinetion
Acrylic Artist Magazinetion

“Acrylic Artist” is a special issue from the folks that bring you The Artists Magazine, Watercolor Artist and The Pastel Journal. Acrylic Artist is their premiere issue they call the “creative guide to the medium.” Indeed it is! Over fifteen different painters demonstrate their “secrets” - and there’s a cool article on those goofy special effects you can only get from acrylics. Find it where you buy your favorite art magazines or download . So if you want to know a lot more about acrylic painting (and I do) get this first edition!

Ask Kate about Art Marketing

ASK KATE! With every newsletter, Kate will post your questions and her responses on the subject of marketing, sales, and promotion. If your question is selected for the newsletter, you will receive a Burridge Permission Mug. If you have a burning question that you would like to have answered -- for your benefit and everyone else's -- email Kate at kate@robertburridge.com

DOs & DON'Ts
Art Festivals and Open Studios!

September and October were busy months for us. Besides traveling to workshops and hosting our own Studio Mentor Workshops, we also had the great fortune of being accepted to exhibit at the Sausalito Art Festival (every Labor Weekend) and the La Jolla Art & Wine Festival. And-- we were home for our county’s Open Studio Tour, sponsored by Arts Obispo.

Bob in Festival Booth
Bob in Festival Booth

We have been doing art festivals for many years - and I am happy to say that we have ALWAYS experienced something positive from participating: Sales, Commissions, Publicity, New Galleries, Meeting Collectors are the ones that come readily to mind. Festivals can be hard work - setting up the booth, breaking down the booth, talking to potential customers and generally “being on!” Here is a short list of “MUST DO’s” when you are in an art festival or open studio to help sell your work:

1) Greet everyone who enters your space with an upbeat and positive attitude.
2) If you sit, use a tall stool or director’s chair so you will be eye-to-eye with your customers.
3) Arrange for a partner or booth-sitter to take your place while you get lunch. (Never eat in your booth - and don’t chew gum!)
4) Let people know you’re the artist - wear a name tag to identify yourself!
5) Have business cards, brochures and a guest book in your space. Please have an easy writing area, preferably a standing desk to make it easy for you and your cusomers.

Booth with High Writing Desk
Booth with High Writing Desk

Burridge Painting of the Month Club
12 month subscription

Bob with Painting of the Month Club Paintings
Bob with Painting of the Month Club Paintings

The paintings are all originals - acrylic on paper or acrylic & combined media on paper. Each painting is completely painted and hand-selected by Robert Burridge, signed and dated. Each month will be a different subject matter, including still lifes, abstract, landscapes, figures, etc. and represents what he is currently working on in his studio. Each month you can expect high quality paint on professional quality watercolor paper. 6x9 inch paintings matted on a 12x16 inch presentation. Bob works in a series for the Painting of the Month Club, so pieces will not be copies - but all similar.

$75 monthly for 12 months (regularly $150 each) - shipping is included. If you live in California, sales tax will be charged. Sorry, no returns or special requests. All images are solely owned by Robert Burridge Studio.

Interested? Questions? Contact Kate@robertburridge.com

Kate your Art Marketing Girl & her Special Helpers!
Kate your Art Marketing Girl & her Special Helpers!

Click HERE for top of page.

The Burridge Goof Proof Color Wheel

Goof Proof Color Wheel
Goof Proof Color Wheel

It has been brought to my attention that my Goof Proof Color Wheel has a warm side and a cool side. Hmmm.... something good to know if you want a cool color and a warm color next to each other. Yikes! Too many things to remember!

I talk about the importance of recognizing the color values in your painting - but the other important ingredient is determining whether your painting is warm or cool. Make these decisions before you squeeze out your entire line of paint supplies.

If you are ambiguous before painting, your painting may be ambiguous as well. Give your work more meaning - more intentions. What this world doesn’t need right now is another “interesting” painting. So, decide on your four colors before squeezing out everything.

Warm Toned Paint Sketch

Cool Tone with Warm Highlight

Or both? Contrasting values or not? Bottom line - decide what you want. then make it happen! It’s a lot easier for me when I actually use my goof proof color wheel and only four colors.

For my Color Comparison Paint Chart of Golden, Lascaux or Nova Colors, click HERE.

For a detailed description of the Burridge Goof Proof Color Wheel, click HERE.

Oh No! Not the Gray Scale!

The Gray Scale
The Gray Scale

Learn it and here’s why. Did you ever wonder why your painting seems flat and sleepy? It just looks uninteresting? You may look at your painting and say, “I’ve got LOTS of color - so why is it so undramatic?” The answer is: ALL THE SAME VALUE.

Soft Values
Soft Effect-Values are Close

Contrasting Values
Dramtic Effect-Contrasting Values

All your different colors may be too close to the same value, thus making a “soft” painting effect. For more drama, try values that are far apart from each other NEXT to each other. You know, more contrast: Dark against Light. Like a checker board.

Checker Board Patterns Add Texture & Intrigue
Checker Board Patterns Add Texture & Intrigue

I suggest making a gray scale chart of your colors starting at #10 (full color) all the way down to #0 (no color). Your midtone is #5.

Gray Scale 1-10
Gray Scale #1, #5 Mid Tone, #10

Suggestion: For drama, use more contrast. For soft effect, use less contrast. This information is so important, most “How to Paint” books feature the gray scale in the very beginning. I start each and every painting by spreading a midtone (#5) of the dominant color over the entire painting. I’m halfway finished already! All that’s left to do is put in my darkest darks and the lightest light and the painting is well on its way towards being finished.

Orange Underpainting
Orange Mid Tone

I need a constant reminder about using contrast as a good tool for creating a successful painting! That’s one of the reasons why I created my Rembrandt Style Lighting Chart for your studio. Use it to help create lighting effects, contrast and softness - all with the help of the gray scale. This Studio Chart hangs in my studio next to my work space.

Rembrandt-Style Lighting Techniques
Rembrandt-Style Lighting Technique Chart

For a detailed description of the Burridge Rembrandt Style Lighting Chart, and how to purchase it click HERE.

Recommended Book

Chuck Close: Life by Christopher Finch
Chuck Close: Life by Christopher Finch

And you thought YOU had a bad day in the studio.

If you’ve attended my Loosen Up Workshops you’ve heard me go on about my modern day painter/hero, Chuck Close. The latest book, Chuck Close: Life by Christopher Finch is an astonishing and inspirational book about his detailed life - how a major, successful, contemporary painter is upended by the traumatic collapse of his spine, leaving him a quadriplegic in seconds.

For most of us, our career would have been finished. But not Close. He continued to paint humongous-sized portraits of his close friends and family. His style and technique was before and still is today to paint “photo realism” (he hated the term) by painting small pixel-type squares of abstract color and designs only inches from his nose. But when you stand back twenty feet, the 10 foot by 15 foot canvas appears exactly like his large format Polaroid® photos that he paints from.

Throughout the book there are so many amazing facts that will make you stop for awhile and just reflect about the events you’ve just read... things like his name “Close.” He can only see a few inches away and he has a medical condition that causes him to be unable to recognize faces. Unbelievable. And yet, he only and has always painted close to the canvas - only portraits - only faces from photographs. Today, he can move only just his hands with an attached brush. The canvas moves up and down - he does not move. And, he is painting his best work ever and continues his exhibitions in museums worldwide. Wow!

P.S. As an aside, interestingly while Chuck Close was going thru rehabilitation at the New Your City Rusk Institute, in the next room and at the same time was a young industrial designer (me) developing the first custom-contoured wheelchair seat for quadriplegics. Gee, I wish I knew how I could meet and talk with him today!

So, if you are interested in what kind of a commitment it takes to be an heroic and risk-taking artist, the true facts are in this favorite artist book of mine.

Chuck Close: Life
by Christopher Finch

Hardcover: 352 pages
Publisher: Prestel USA; First Edition edition (May 1, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 3791336770
ISBN-13: 978-3791336770
Product Dimensions: 10.9 x 7.5 x 1.5 inches
Shipping Weight: 3 pounds
(buy at Amazon)

Recommended DVD

Herb & Dorothy, You don’t have a be a Rockefeller to collect art. A film by Megumi Sasaki
Herb & Dorothy, You don’t have a be a Rockefeller to collect art. A film by Megumi Sasaki

If you are a fan of the early 60s New York art scene, then you already know about Herb and Dorothy Vogel. It’s an exciting documentary of a postal clerk and a librarian who managed to build one of the most important contemporary art collections with very modest means. They devoted all of Herb’s salary to purchase art they liked. The Vogels were truly curatorial visionaries. if you like Warhol, Close and Schnabel-era painters, you must own this DVD.

Herb & Dorothy, You don’t have a be a Rockefeller to collect art. A film by Megumi Sasaki
Actors: Will Barnet, Robert Barry, Lynda Benglis, Christo and Jeanne-Claude, Chuck Close
Directors: Megumi Sasaki
Format: Color, DVD, NTSC
Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only.
Number of discs: 1
Rated: NR (Not Rated)
DVD Release Date: December 15, 2009
Run Time: 89 minutes
(buy at Amazon)

Music of the Month

More of my favorites! My taste in music goes all over the place! In my studio and during workshops I play many different styles - classical, world, jazz, lounge… This month I wanted to hear some jazz and good electronic beats! Those of you who have been in my workshops probably have heard some of these. Enjoy!

Leftfield - A Final Hit
Leftfield - A Final Hit

Final Hit: The Greatest Hits

• Audio CD (October 10, 2005)
• Original Release Date: 2005
• Number of Discs: 2
• Format: Import
• Label: Sony Bmg Europe
(buy at Amazon)

South Beach by Brian Simpson
South Beach by Brian Simpson

South Beach
Brian Simpson
• Audio CD (August 31, 2010)
• Original Release Date: 2010
• Number of Discs: 1
• Label: Shanachie
• ASIN: B003TTZU04
(buy at Amazon)

What is a Goal?
And How to Develop a Theme.

No Full Disclosure Series
No Full Disclosure Series

Simply put, a goal is a dream... with a deadline. Daily, I write my goals for the day in my studio. Sort of a... bucket list. It gives me a sense of purpose and a sense of daily accomplishment which I happily cross off at the end of the day. Daily goals. I know, it sounds so 80s. And it works for me and my schedule. Otherwise, I’m in my studio, aimless and just moving paint around. Aimless and ambiguous. Which brings me to - developing a theme.

Bird Series
Bird Series

Every painter whom I admire has two things in common:
#1 - They were big risk takers.
#2 - They painted a series or a theme.
Think Monet’s Haystack series, Diebenkorn’s Ocean Park Series, Close’s Friends Faces series, Hockney’s Pool Series and now his Hometown Series. What I’ve noticed about amateur painters is they paint every subject they see in monthly artist magazines, paint multiple styles and display everything they do in their solo exhibition!

For example, one opening I recently attended featured a local painter’s solo exhibition, which as far as I could tell, consisted of a dog portrait, a sailboat at sunset, a floral still life, some kind of abstract thing, a string collage, an artsie photograph of something around the toilet and, I swear this is true, a set of doll clothes she knitted for her cat... all properly framed (of course) in a cacophony of frame styles from barn siding worm wood, barbed wire embedded as a “decorative note” - another had gold leaf cherubs in each corner... and my favorite, a mirrored frame. Truly scary. It looked like a group show! Have a theme. And paint a series of that theme. That is your next show. ‘Nuf said.

CaptRoadside Attractions/The Circus Seriesion
Roadside Attractions/The Circus Series

Themes that I paint are subjects that are interesting to me. I also paint subjects that are significant events in my life. It’s not about ego - it’s about what I know and I love to talk/paint about it. It’s like these events/occurrences are so memorably exciting to me that I want to “tell everybody.” I do that with paint.

Open Space Series
Open Space Series

A theme could also be about feelings (happy, sad), a word (hug, alone) or any personal event (such as Van Gogh’s last years in the asylum). Now here’s another point: All themes have been done before... but not by you. A good theme is anything you are excited about. If you are totally wrapping your head around an idea, you have to paint it! It’s your theme. So, do a series - a variation and a variety of your theme!

How many ways can you paint your theme? Think of Beethoven’s Fifth. The entire symphony is based on the one theme of only four notes (four colors?) da da da DAAAA. The rest are variations of those four notes.

So, how does it come to you? Don’t think it out - write it out. Your theme will magically appear on the written page!

Beach Walk near La Jolla, CA
Chill Time Beach Walk near La Jolla, CA

"Inspiration is for amateurs. The rest of us just show up and get to work." -- Chuck Close (click HERE to read the article)

Robert Burridge

Burridge Workshop for Artists

Copyright ©2010 Robert Burridge. All rights reserved.
If you wish to copy this material to other publications or mail lists, please ask for permission by contacting:
Robert Burridge Studio
Arroyo Grande, California

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