Saturday, October 12, 2013

Wet Paint in Oklahoma!

The grand opening was, well, a GRAND success!!  Thanks to all of you who came and supported us!! It was so great to see faces we hadn't seen in a really really long time!  Notice how I avoided saying "old faces?"  We were only open a short time and put Wesley in charge of holding the fort down as we headed out to Oklahoma to teach a workshop for the Oklahoma Fine Arts Institute at Quartz Mountain.

We left Tuesday morning and traveled the first 450 miles which took us just past the four-corners area to Farmington, New Mexico.  A short night and we were back on the road, facing 630 miles the next day.  What we failed to factor in was that we also LOST an hour so the 9 hours turned into 10 and I needed to take over the wheel to make up the lost time!  Goooo Mario!!

No worries - we made it in time and in the middle of this flat, but lovely state, is a little mound we call Quartz Mountain.  It's a beautiful resort and the Oklahoma Fine Arts Institute is such a great organization.  They provide full scholarships to bring their public school art educators to come to this lovely resort, Quartz Mountain, to be educated by world-renowned art instructors in all areas of art, such as music, photography, painting, print-making, theater, etc.  It is funded through their state education as well as private donations, which allows them to bring in art instructors to give their public school educators an opportunity to learn new areas of expertise or strengthen their areas of expertise.  We have met some incredible educators and are honored to be here and share in their experience!  Oklahoma has great, great art teachers!!

We arrived the first night and met the other instructors and the OFAI Staff and got settled into our room.  After a ten-hour driving day, we were beat!  The resort is beautiful and our room sits right on the edge of beautiful Lake Altus Lugert.  yeah, I looked that up!  It didn't exactly flow off the tongue!

Our first class met in our pavillion and Doug gave them a little overview and did a quick value study demo in the classroom.

They were anxious to get out painting!  The next morning, we took them out to a place Doug had scouted out to paint.  I think their impression of Doug's choice was "Whaaa???  You kidding me??  We just passed a beautiful lake!!"  But they humored him as he sat up in this dusty weedy parking lot with an old building with some broken-down fences (if you know Doug, you know he paints stuff no one else does!!)  The class sat their stools and chairs around him and he started his magic show!

The class of nearly 20 students was made up of public school art teachers in the Oklahoma public school education system.  What a great program to provide full scholarships to give them this opportunity.  We met some incredible people! 

He starts, as always, with the dark purple color and "draws" in the shapes and does a value study of the darks and the lights.

Value Study then the color added over the top - value still the same, just adding the color.  
Don't mind the horses off to the right, breaking through the fence and meandering their way through, oh, and yeah, the dogs also made their way over to the the group of students as well.  One even decided that one of the stools looked a lot like a fire hydrant.  Yeah, . . . he did.  He pure and simple lifted his leg and peed on it.  WTH?  The dogs in Oklahoma have absolutely NO manners!  bahaha!!

The magic came together and the little painting was a gem!  Because Doug makes this look so easy, the students were excited to get out and do their own painting!

Day 1 Demo Painting - Didn't get quite finished but turned out really great I think!!  
The afternoon took the students out doing their thing and they knocked out some great little paintings.  So proud of them - many of them were first-time painters!  Pretty impressive, folks!!
Kim Heckenkemper, an Art Teacher, loves to paint in her spare time and so loved this experience.  However, her choice of location landed her right smack-dab in the middle of an ant bed.  She had a hard time pulling her coffee cup out of her bag . . . ewwww!  But an awesome painting of some little boats down in the water, Kim!  Totally worth an ant attack!!!  
We had to hustle back after the afternoon painting session because we were going to have a most-impressive "meet the artist" presentation by plein air painter, Doug Braithwaite, from Utah!  We were all pretty anxious to see what the man of few words had to say!  He wowed everyone with his presentation and slides of many of his paintings and his "not-so-few-words!  Whoda thunk?  In fact, Emily, the Director of Programs, sitting in the front row, was holding up her "5 minutes" card . . . then "3 minutes" card . . . then "1 minute left!!" card.  None of which were even noticed by Doug.  I finally had to say "uh, hon - your time is up!!" It was hilarious!

This morning, we took the students down to the water's edge to watch a demo in the wind!  Yes, breezy, but no rain!  In your face, forecast!   The wind created a comfortable temperature for many, but too cold for some!  Some were bundled up with jackets, blankets and sweatshirts, while others, whose body temperatures said "it's just right!"  Love it!!

We also had a few extra students slip into the class.  Mostly non-paying customers.  One woman in a bathing suit headed down to the beach.  We were bundled in blankets and she was hustling down to the beach!  I told the class Doug's model had showed up right on time!  Also, this little guy slipped in and out of the rocks at lightning speed!!

Also on scholarship!

Here are some progress pictures of the demo.

Ah, and thanks for the sunflowers in the front!  'preciate that!!  I'm going to post a few more pictures tomorrow of some of the rest of the paintings of the students.  They really did some great work.  Hoping some of them will come out to Utah to paint some of our Utah landscape one of these days.  

So far, what a great experience.  Thanks, Oklahoma!  For our first time here, it's been fantastic!  And for Rick Heckenkemper, THIS is a blog, and just from MY perspective!  

To all the new friends I've made here in Oklahoma, big hug and THANKS for your warm hospitality!

Talk soon!!


Thursday, September 19, 2013

Braithwaite Fine Art & Custom Frame

Hi friends and fam!

We have gone non-stop and I haven't blogged for a whole month!  Holy cow - the time has flown by!  So, where should I start?

Well, we came together and made an executive decision and decided, unanimously, that we were going to start a real-live family business and we are jumping in with both feet!  YEE-HAW!  It's something we've wanted to do for many years but the timing never seemed right.  So, ladies and gentlemen, could I get a drum roll please, we present to you Braithwaite Fine Art & Custom Frame.

I mean, we already HAVE the building, it's on a busy street with about 25,000 cars driving by every day, and we already have all the equipment needed to frame.  Add to that the fact that Doug started framing pictures as a teenager in high school.  He's amazing at it.  I want to be able to continue blogging, marketing and promoting his work and classes so, well, Wesley and I are going to go into business together!  So there you go!  With Doug's help in teaching us the "framing ropes," all the stars are aligning and we're ready to take the plunge!   

We started by booting Doug out and moving him back over to his old and original studio (which he was actually thrilled about!) and moving US into the new frame shop (which we're equally thrilled about!).  It was so much work taking his easel apart, moving it piece by piece - thankfully, just two doors over!  
Doug's studio located in our back yard.
We wore out several pairs of shoes making the move and got a few dings and "oops" on the way, but he's finally in and working productively again!  Check out a little "before and after" action!  

 Okay, funny side note:  With all the construction and rebuilding, we easily have made 5-10 trips to Lowes every day for the past month.  The staff at Lowe's kinda know us by name and, well, I'm not sure but I think we're going to be invited to their company Christmas Party this year.  We're kinda like part of the Lowe's fam and I think are paying most of their wages!  I'm almost thinking we're going to be getting some red vests with our name embroidered on them so that we can just check ourselves out when we come and go!  Every morning I wake up singing "Hi Ho, Hi Ho, it's off to Lowes we go" and then I skip and whistle all the way to the shop!   

Anywho, the new space is working beautifully and Doug's got every corner organized and every wall space covered . . . it's all on file for future records on our "My Lowes" card, btw.  The paintings and drawings are some oldies but goodies that he did in high school and a few drawings from college (see the Ninja Turtle "self portrait" above) . . . ah, he's such a cutie . . .  

Great space, no??  24 x 30 with 12 foot ceilings. 
We are happy to have him productive and working again.  This is the first painting off the new easel.  A painting for some dear friends of ours, Nyla and David Pilkington.  We sat next to them at the Jazz Games for a couple of seasons and have stayed good friends ever since.  Thrilled to have gotten the chance to paint something for their beautiful home!  Nyla wanted "color" - David wanted "movement!"  I think he nailed it!  

28 x 28
Collection of Nyla and David Pilkington
Back to the old studio and frame shop in progress and yes, back to Lowes for a little of this, and a little of that.  No offense, hon, but dang, bring on the duster, scrub brush, broom and mop!  Lowes has it all, I tell you!  Before long, we are putting a long paint brush in the ol' master's hands and letting him at it again!  And seriously, how many frame shops do you go in to that you get to FIRST, be greeted by a room full of Braithwaite paintings under some gallery lights!  In-Credible!!      

Put a different kind've brush in Doug's hands and said "paint away!"  Jeff Kennedy asked "What, no purple paint as a base first?"  bahaha  Good one!!  
Max using some tape to take on a ninja look.  Great look for you, Max! He seriously thinks he looks cool . . .  

Wesley's favorite is painting the closets.  bahaha!   What a trooper!  Hard little worker and is going to make a fabulous business partner!!  
Carpet layers came (yes, from Lowes) and did a great job laying the carpet EXCEPT for the liberties they took in scratching up my beautiful paint!  grrrr!!  Never fear, Doug gets out the mud (again!) and touches up and before you know it, he's rollin that paint back on and it blends right in and dries beautifully . . . EXCEPT for, uh, "hey hon, isn't that supposed to dry the same color as the rest of the wall?"  WTH??  Doug has some colorful expletives about now . . .  he pulls out the two gallons of paint and, as my Dad would say "well I'll be go-to-hell!  One says "primer!"  Oh, did I forget to mention we used all the light gray paint?  Never fear, Lowes has it on file!  And as Aaaaanold would say, "I'll be back . . . "
So, hanging paintings was so stinkin fun!!  We have a wall in front of the window so we can hang a painting there with a light shining on it at night like the cool galleries do . . . Oh man, we are so legit!!  did that paragraph even make sense?  I feel myself rambling because I'm so excited . . . you just have to come see it I guess!  

So over the years, we have taken some of our favorite paintings that have sold and had them professionally scanned at a very high-resolution so we, and our families, could have the opportunity to enjoy them as a giclee print!  (I'll ALWAYS say "there's nothing like having an original!  but a giclee (pronounced zhee-clay) print is an "okay" second!)  Try not to pronounce it like my friend, Ange Ellsworth . . . gick-lee!! tee hee  

So along with a few original paintings, you also get to see some of these beautiful giclee prints (say it with me again, zhee-clay . . . you're getting it!) in some different sizes (from original size to some post-card and greeting card sizes!) that have turned out so beautiful and we've been thrilled that some of our family and friends have been able to enjoy some "Braithwaites" in their homes and offices!  

We are going to do a "grand opening" that will be on Friday, October 4th, (hey, that's Wesley's 20th birthday!!) and invite you to come see the frame shop, gallery and Doug's new studio!  We'll give you more details very soon!

In the meantime, a few more paintings that have been done in the midst of all this moving and remodeling over the last month or two that I failed to share with you!  

"In Passing"
40 x 30
18 x 24
See you at the opening - or at Lowes.  We usually have lunch in aisle 12!  bahaha!

Find "Braithwaite Fine Art & Custom Frame" on facebook and "like" us for Pete Sake!  Can you tell we're having a blast?  


Jeanette - da boss!!  

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Wet Paint and a Rib Fest in Helper Town!

So we just returned from a fabulous weekend in one of our favorite places!  Good ol' Helper Town!!  We just get to hang out with so many of our favorite people and this weekend was no exception.

Ryan, our oldest son, was invited by Zach Proctor and Lane Bennion to spend a week in the Studio Group art school with a great group of painters.  Zach and Lane reserved the whole place to do some serious painting!  Ryan loves to draw and "paint" on his iPad but never seriously with the real thing!  Doug was thrilled to set him up with an easel, pallet, paints, brushes, the whole nine yards.  He did great!  Here's a couple of my favorites:

One of Ryan's oil painting studies while in Helper
Ryan's "self portrait" (he's got a great fro as you can see from his shadow!)
He gets his curly hair from his mother!
We took Wesley with us and met Ryan over in Cleveland (Utah!) and said hi to my cowboy brother, Boyd!  He owns a mining supplies company called "Chute Supply" and it's always great to stop in for a little BS'ing with him!  For the short time we were there, several stopped in for a few supplies and also get their daily dose of Boyd Griffin!  He puts a smile on everyone's face that knows him - and he knows almost everyone in Emery and Carbon County!  Because he's 6'3" most know him as "long ass!"

Dinosaur Quarry - Allosaurus!  Rrrarr!!
Since we were out that way, we decided to venture out to the dinosaur quarry.  13 miles . . . ended up being on a dirt and washboardy road (my beautifully clean car was CAKED with dirt!  UGH!!) and after arriving and forking over our $20 entry fee, we ventured around for the 20 minute tour!

RRRaaaarrr!!  See the resemblance?
Wes is really into this!!  
Okay, I'm not gonna lie, it was pretty cool.  So yeah, over 12,000 bones (belonging to over 74 individual dinosaurs) have been excavated from this quarry, AND it contains the densest concentration of carnivorous dinosaur bones found anywhere in the world!  Just a few little tidbits of amazing information I thought you might like to have handy in your hip pocket!  Someday you'll thank me for that bit of knowledge!  

We made our way back the way we came - Mario (Doug) making incredible time on those dirt roads, back through Emery County and back to civilization!  The arts festival was in full swing and we had fun chatting it up with all of our Helper cronies!

Dave Dornan, painter extraordinaire, doing a demo!
Just incredible!!
Sooo much fun to rub shoulders with such amazing artists and great friends who know how to make us feel right at home and laugh till we cry!  Thanks to Dave Dornan and Marilou Kundmueller for accommodations at the Helper Workshops Studio Group building.  Always fun to see them.  It was especially fun to watch Dave do an awesome demo in his studio splattering paint, a little air brush action, wiping off paint and splashing on new color.  It's just an experience you all must have if you love art!

Great to see Wendy and Bryce Chidester, Brian and Sonja Blackham, Charlie and Johanna Snow, Paul and Silvia Davis, Becky Dunham, Ann Jesperson, Brenda and Bob Bosquet, Ben and Melanie Steele and more!  The awesome interns worked hard to hang a great show of paintings all under $500 by students and instructors!  What a compilation of great work at such bargain prices!  Here are some that Doug had for sale - if you're interested in any of these, let me know asap and I'll have them hold it for you!  They're framed with a linen liner and a simple contemporary maple frame.

"Out Back"
8 x 10
8 x 10

8 x 10
"Mountain Melody Mechanics"
10 x 8
"Carbon County Golf Course"
8 x 10

"Empty Spaces"
8 x 10

"Island Park"
8 x 10

"Life Partners"
8 x 10

"Mt. Militia"
10 x 8

8 x 10

"Spring Greens"
8 x 10
Brenda and her darling miniature Schnauzer,
Lily, enjoying a tasty rib!  
We ended the weekend with an amazing RIB FEST hosted by Wendy and Brenda at their studio space there on main street.  Some incredible ribs were done by Charlie, Mike and Bob along with a brisquet cooked to perfection by Marilou and some pulled pork along with side dishes contributed by everyone else!  Probably close to 100 people came to dig their teeth in and "argue" with the ribs, as Doug says "It's gotta argue with you!!"  Lily, Brenda's miniature schnauzer, enjoyed a few bites of ribs as well!!  

Thanks to everyone for such a great weekend!  If you haven't experience Helper Arts Festival or been to a Helper Workshop, you haven't lived!  We have been coming to Helper for over 20 years now and it gets better and better!  

Doug's got some wet paint coming off the easel that you'll enjoy!  He enjoyed a "weekend off" which I don't think has happened in quite some time!  Gosh, I can't believe I let him have the weekend off . . . back to work big guy!!  

Hope all is well!  Love hearing from you!  Share the site with your friends!

Thanks much!!  



Friday, August 9, 2013

Wet Paint and Orange Barrels at Taco Time!!

So O-Dark-Thirty rolls around and yeah, it's still dark!  Doug, what are you thinking?  I think he's thinking no one would get up and notice!  But hey, it's early but baby, it's Taco Time!!

Doug, of course, was there at 6:00 and a wonderful friend and fan of ours was there to watch before her 7:00 meeting!!  What a loyal follower!  Bambi Gibson has been a dear friend of ours for many years and has touched our hearts with her heartfelt sentiments about Doug's work.  I will never forget her tell me of her reaction to "Boulders on Boulder Mountain" when she walked into the show at Park City and saw this breathtaking painting clear in the back of the gallery.  She got choked up and told how emotional it was to see that painting even from 25 feet away.  It's so neat that she feels such a connection with Doug's work and is kind enough to share it with us.  So, watching him paint has always been something she's wanted to do so she was thrilled at the opportunity to come watch and ask questions!!
Bambi asking some questions about the set up, paints, and all that good stuff.
William Brison, commented on this picture on facebook and I laughed till I cried!
"Yes ma'am, this kit will make you a world-renowned painter in just three days.  And if
you buy it now, I'll throw in this truck!  Don't mind the paint splatters on the dash or the steering wheel!"
Bahaha!  thanks for that commentary!  And I thought I was the funny one here!  sheesh!!
Waiting for some sun (since it's barely past o-dark thirty) was not really a challenge for this old-time veteran!  He kinda starts 'em all the same anyway!  

oooo . . and I'm loving the . . uh . . .  shadows?  lighting?  hmmm . . . yeah.  Good start, hun!!  
I'm looking at the corner thinking, what's he going to paint?  It was dark enough when we got here that the stores all still had their lights on but right at 7:30, Auto Zone turned their light off (ahhh) and the street lights go off too!  

Angie Ellsworth is another one of our very "artsy" friends with very VERY "artsy" children!  What a grand experience for her to bring her two oldest kids to watch Doug paint!  

The "Audience" all set up - oooo front row seats!  What?  No popcorn?  Lame! 
Closer up . . . super cool!
This was cool watching the "drawing" happen by taking off paint with the paper towel and q-tips!  He has very expensive drawing tools!  
Colors coming together and the sun is starting to peek through the clouds.  Maybe the drab sky will end up having some color, who knows!  

And it's coming along nicely! 
Always love the orange barrels.  Those remind me of, years ago, our little family performing a musical number for a family reunion.  Yes, we heard a song on the Bob and Tom show.  I say "we" but I didn't really listen to Bob and Tom.  I listened to Sports Radio (I'll elaborate on my sports addiction in another blog on another day!)  Doug and the kids listened to Bob and Tom and decided this "Orange Barrels" song would be perfect to learn (since they already knew it!)  Hmmm okay.  I'm sure we had to edit the words and please don't google it, because I'm certain I'll be super embarrassed!  But at least the words I remember were pretty funny!  Gaby, I know you're googling it right now, damn it!  I'm already embarrassed and you're going to be laughing your head off!!  

Painting finished and what's it called?  Taco Time!!  Ahhh, and I'm so sad that this Taco Time is no longer opened.  Just an empty parking lot screaming for artists to come and paint it's beautiful surroundings and orange barrels!

"Taco Time"
8 x 10
For Sale!
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As always, this is just from my perspective . . .