SF BLOG

September 17, 2017

Discover How To Turn Imagination into Art

We all have an imagination. But, it takes a special skill to hold an image in thought and turn that imagination into art. ©2016 Lori McNee, Summertime, 20×20, encaustic on cradled birch panel Art-making can be a natural gift, a learned skill, or a combination of both. Making art is difficult and it takes perseverance, imagination, and a lot of hard work. Throughout the ages, even the most talented artists have had to work for years to perfect their art. I often get asked how I continue to find fresh ideas and inspiration for my paintings. Most often I am inspired by nature, color, light and shadow, patterns, and design. Sometimes I am inspired by another artist, or an abstract painting. Or, it might be an old Japanese screen or unique vessel that triggers my imagination. I thought you might enjoy discovering how I turn my imagination into art. The paintings in this post are my recent series of works which are on display at Kneeland Gallery in Ketchum/Sun Valley, Idaho. Please contact them for more information. (208) 725-5512 or email me, lori@lorimcnee.com  Discover How To Turn Imagination into Art The Trailing of the Sheep Festival is a popular Americana […]
September 14, 2017

Plein Air Painting Under the Tuscan Sun in Lucca, Italy

Join me and Art Escape Italy this October in for Plein Air Painting Under the Tuscan Sun in Lucca, Italy! Immerse yourself in the beautiful Italian countryside for a week of plein air landscape painting. October 15 – October 21, 2017. My workshop will be based out of beautiful, Casa Berti, a 17th Century Tuscan estate 14km from the beautiful Renaissance city of Lucca. Over 5 days and 6 nights, participants will discover how to observe, study, and interpret the light, color, texture and rhythm of the rich Tuscan landscape. Traditional oil painters, watermixable oil painters, and open acrylic painters of all skill levels are welcome. I am a trained master artist in watermixable, solvent-free oils, so this would be a great opportunity to learn to use them. Click the button below to learn more about Art Escape Italy and this workshop! You will find the workshop itinerary, materials list, accommodation information, what to bring and much more. CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE I will guide you through simplified steps to paint a believable landscape. Each day you will focus on the fundamentals of design, value, edges, color mixing and harmony, as well as brushwork. With plenty of one-on-one attention, I will help you discover how to cultivate familiar and […]
September 7, 2017

Using Japanese Notan Design Principles For Plein Air Painting

Recently, I’ve been reviewing the Japanese design term known as Notan. This ancient Japanese word literally means “light-dark balance.” The Notan is an ideal type of study for finding the shapes and patterns that serve as the foundation of every composition. In one of my favorite art books, Composition by Arthur Wesley Dow, Notan is covered in depth. In plein air, landscape painting, Notan is more than merely depicting light and shadow. Instead, the artist uses every line, light and dark to create a deliberate design. This week, I am taking my workshop students to Giverny, France to plein air paint in Monet’s Garden! Monet’s Garden is a feast for the eyes! However, with all the beautiful bramble of color, textures and patterns, it will be complex for the novice (and advanced!) landscape painter. I plan to introduce my workshop students to the principles of Notan. We will use Notan as a tool to simplify their plein air compositions using thumbnail sketches beginning with only two values. Once they feel comfortable, we will add a tone of gray, midway between the two extremes of black and white. I found a few simple online tools to help me illustrate the use of Two […]
September 4, 2017

Visiting Van Gogh and The Church at Auvers

After a long day of travel from Idaho, I’m finally here in Giverny, France. This week, I’ll be teaching my special painting workshop in Monet’s Garden.  On our way to Giverny, the driver took us on an unexpected detour to visit the grave of Vincent Van Gogh and the Church at Auvers. Auvers is the quant little town which has been made famous because this is where Van Gogh chose to paint and live the final years of his life.  This is also where in 1890, Van Gogh painted the famous oil painting, The Church at Auvers which now hangs in the Musée d’Orsay in Paris, France. I felt humble to stand in the same exact location where Van Gogh painted!  Lori McNee pictured on the left with fellow artist, Shanna Kunz on the right After I posted the above picture to Facebook, my friend James Coulter made an insightful remark saying, “It amazes me how he elevated everything he painted to a higher realm, instead of just trying to “copy” it. To me, that is the measure of a true artist.” Ironically, Vincent and his faithful brother Theo are both buried in the church graveyard. I was actually surprised […]
September 2, 2017

Memories of Giverny and Painting in Monet’s Garden

(*Join me in Monet’s Garden for my “Spectacular Autumn” workshop in Giverny, France. September 5-12, 2018. I’m taking applications here > ART COLONY GIVERNY .) Teaching a workshop and painting in Monet’s Garden at his home in Giverny, France was a dream come true! It all started when I was invited by Art Colony Giverny to teach a special workshop with the highlight of plein air painting in Monet’s Garden without the general public! Caroline of Art Colony Giverny enthusiastically welcomes us with open arms into Monet’s Garden! Upon announcing my workshop, I was honored it quickly filled up with 10 eager students. (please email me lori@lorimcnee.com to be added to my 2018 Giverny workshop waitlist). I was happy to add my good friend and fellow painter Shanna Kunz, as my teaching assistant. Each day, my students and I had the unique experience of painting in Monet’s Garden before opening and after closing hours. Eagerly awaiting our first morning inside Monet’s Garden. Each morning we entered through his big green garage doors. Every morning we were up early to capture the first morning light, and then back each evening to witness the changing skies, and colors of the magical garden. Our special time […]
August 28, 2017

Landscape Painting Workshop in Sun Valley, Idaho with Lori McNee

Please join me for my Landscape Painting Workshop in beautiful Sun Valley, Idaho with Lori McNee: July 31 – August 1, 2017. Hosted by Kneeland Gallery 26th Annual Plein Air Exhibition. ©LoriMcNee “Hazy Day on the Gallatin” ©LoriMcNee, “Dandelions and Aspens” “With plenty of one-on-one attention, I will help you discover how to cultivate familiar and habitual techniques while allowing room for your own artistic inspiration and individuality. You will not be taught a formula, but rather an approach that will help you create your own successful paintings. The objective of this workshop is to have fun, relax, come with an open mind, and a willingness to try new things. Oil and Acrylic painters welcome. I will also teaching the benefits of water-mixable oils!” ~Lori July 31 – August 1, 2017 2 Day Workshop, 9am-2pm: $ 300 Contact Kneeland Gallery to enroll (208) 726-5512 We will be painting outdoors in the majestic Northern Rocky Mountains within the Sun Valley/Ketchum area. This is a wonderful and affordable opportunity to paint with me in some of the most beautiful country in the United States. There is so much scenery from which to paint, ranging from running rivers and streams, tall mountains and […]
June 17, 2017

Landscape Painting Workshop in Sun Valley, Idaho with Lori McNee

Please join me for my Landscape Painting Workshop in beautiful Sun Valley, Idaho with Lori McNee: July 31 – August 1, 2017. Hosted by Kneeland Gallery 26th Annual Plein Air Exhibition. ©LoriMcNee “Hazy Day on the Gallatin” ©LoriMcNee, “Dandelions and Aspens” “With plenty of one-on-one attention, I will help you discover how to cultivate familiar and habitual techniques while allowing room for your own artistic inspiration and individuality. You will not be taught a formula, but rather an approach that will help you create your own successful paintings. The objective of this workshop is to have fun, relax, come with an open mind, and a willingness to try new things. Oil and Acrylic painters welcome. I will also teaching the benefits of water-mixable oils!” ~Lori July 31 – August 1, 2017 2 Day Workshop, 9am-2pm: $ 300 Contact Kneeland Gallery to enroll (208) 726-5512 We will be painting outdoors in the majestic Northern Rocky Mountains within the Sun Valley/Ketchum area. This is a wonderful and affordable opportunity to paint with me in some of the most beautiful country in the United States. There is so much scenery from which to paint, ranging from running rivers and streams, tall mountains and […]
May 25, 2017

Memories of Giverny and Painting in Monet’s Garden

Teaching a workshop and painting in Monet’s Garden at his home in Giverny, France was a dream come true! It all started when I was invited by Art Colony Giverny to teach a special workshop with the highlight of plein air painting in Monet’s Garden without the general public! Caroline of Art Colony Giverny enthusiastically welcomes us with open arms into Monet’s Garden! Upon announcing my workshop, I was honored it quickly filled up with 10 eager students. (please email me lori@lorimcnee.com to be added to my 2018 Giverny workshop waitlist). I was happy to add my good friend and fellow painter Shanna Kunz, as my teaching assistant. Each day, my students and I had the unique experience of painting in Monet’s Garden before opening and after closing hours. Eagerly awaiting our first morning inside Monet’s Garden. Each morning we entered through his big green garage doors. Every morning we were up early to capture the first morning light, and then back each evening to witness the changing skies, and colors of the magical garden. Our special time in the garden seemed like a spiritual experience. We were all touched by the beauty and had a deep reverence for the history that surrounded […]
May 10, 2017

Visiting Van Gogh and The Church at Auvers

After a long day of travel from Idaho, I’m finally here in Giverny, France. This week, I’ll be teaching my special painting workshop in Monet’s Garden.  On our way to Giverny, the driver took us on an unexpected detour to visit the grave of Vincent Van Gogh and the Church at Auvers. Auvers is the quant little town which has been made famous because this is where Van Gogh chose to paint and live the final years of his life.  This is also where in 1890, Van Gogh painted the famous oil painting, The Church at Auvers which now hangs in the Musée d’Orsay in Paris, France. I felt humble to stand in the same exact location where Van Gogh painted!  Lori McNee pictured on the left with fellow artist, Shanna Kunz on the right After I posted the above picture to Facebook, my friend James Coulter made an insightful remark saying, “It amazes me how he elevated everything he painted to a higher realm, instead of just trying to “copy” it. To me, that is the measure of a true artist.” Ironically, Vincent and his faithful brother Theo are both buried in the church graveyard. I was actually surprised […]
May 3, 2017

Using Japanese Notan Design Principles For Plein Air Painting

Recently, I’ve been reviewing the Japanese design term known as Notan. This ancient Japanese word literally means “light-dark balance.” The Notan is an ideal type of study for finding the shapes and patterns that serve as the foundation of every composition. In one of my favorite art books, Composition by Arthur Wesley Dow, Notan is covered in depth. In plein air, landscape painting, Notan is more than merely depicting light and shadow. Instead, the artist uses every line, light and dark to create a deliberate design. This week, I am taking my workshop students to Giverny, France to plein air paint in Monet’s Garden! Monet’s Garden is a feast for the eyes! However, with all the beautiful bramble of color, textures and patterns, it will be complex for the novice (and advanced!) landscape painter. I plan to introduce my workshop students to the principles of Notan. We will use Notan as a tool to simplify their plein air compositions using thumbnail sketches beginning with only two values. Once they feel comfortable, we will add a tone of gray, midway between the two extremes of black and white. I found a few simple online tools to help me illustrate the use of Two […]
Central Fine Arts A blog about learning the techniques of classical and contemporary artists and the community of SF.