Tuesday, June 20, 2017

"Abundance", 16x20"

I bought a small bunch of peonies from a farm stand last week, brought them home and put them in water.  The next morning, they had exploded into the most beautiful blooms you could imagine.  I couldn't let another minute go by without painting them, so I whisked them up to my studio and put them under lights.  They remained glorious for days while I labored away, trying to capture their beauty without overdoing the details.

After scraping my painting away three times, this is the iteration I was most happy with.  I hope you like it too.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

"Kelly", 9x12", oil on gessoed canvas

I could title this one "Youth and Idealism", since Kelly is leaving soon to study lions and elephants in their habitat in Africa.  I loved spending a few hours with someone so motivated to make the world a better place.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

We Have History

Jen With Glasses, May, 2017

I've been painting portraits from live model sittings for many years now.  Heaven knows I don't do it for fame or fortune; I rarely sell one of these paintings, and I have dozens of them stacked high in my studio.  On the evenings when I get together with my fellow artists to gather around a model, it's often snowing or raining hard, and I don't get home again until around 11:00pm.  

Painting Jen in the Studio

So why do I do it, week after week, year after year?  Because no other subject gives me a thrill the way capturing a person's likeness, and sometimes even their personality on canvas does. I can paint a really wonderful apple or bunch of flowers, or even a sunset and be happy with it, but I'm never as fulfilled as I am after a session with a live, breathing human being in front of me, surrounded by like-minded artists who are my friends.  

We are all after the same thing-- to describe and translate the uniqueness of the person sitting before us onto canvas.  And when we come close, we feel that thrill.

And we will be back next week!

Jen, 2013

Jen, 2016

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

"Fairy Dance", 24x12"

"Fairy Dance", oil on gesso board, 24x12"

You might not believe this but I actually stumbled upon this very scene last summer!  John and I were poking around the shops in Telluride and came outside to see this little group of fairies putting on a performance for their parents in a tiny park.  I couldn't have posed them any better if I had tried.  I loved the way the sunshine lit up their wings.

So often, fairies are idealized in paintings to represent the most beautiful and graceful creatures that we can imagine.  Another reason this scene grabbed my heart was the coltish awkwardness and innocence of the scene.  These fairies were dancing with abandon for those who love them best.  

And what artist could resist painting a scene like that?

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Starting with a Transparent Wash

"Meditation on Joy"
9x12", oil on canvas mounted on hardboard
The Hildt Gallery, Chicago

I thought I'd try a completely different approach with this little floral abstract painting.  Instead of setting up a floral arrangement to paint from, I thought I'd let the painting "create itself" this time.  

I started the painting with a little bit of paint and a whole lot of Gamsol (a paint solvent) to make my oil paint behave similarly to watercolor paint.  I dropped the different colors on the canvas and let them run together and spill right off the bottom.  All the while, I was observing what parts of the painting were speaking to me.  I wanted to develop the areas I liked with just enough detail without ruining the spontaneity of the abstract underneath.

Little by little, I snuck up on the painting, adding small dashes of color wherever I wanted to.  This was a pretty long, drawn out process.  After every few brush strokes, I stepped back about six feet and asked myself what I should do next.  To me, the process of abstract painting is much more intensive and tiring than painting from a reference.  In abstract painting, it's just you and the painting, without any outside guidance from reality.  

After this painting is mounted and framed, it's off to the Hildt Gallery.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Spring Class Dates

"Transparent Wash" Demonstration


I have some new class dates to share with you for the spring and early summer. If you’d like to join us on any of these dates, please send me an email so I can put your name on the class list, and I will confirm with you a week before the class.  Prepayment will confirm your spot.  Classes have waitlists, so to avoid disappointment, please sign up early!

April 7th June 9th
May 5th June 30th
May 26th

We meet in the studio at the Ice House Mall in Barrington.  Class starts at 9:30 with a demo/lecture from me, then everyone works on their own projects, or a project suggested by me.  We break at noon for lunch, then resume at 1:00 until 3:30 for more painting time.  

For the morning only session, the fee is $35.  The whole day fee is $65.  Participants have enjoyed having the entire day to devote to painting, and we get a lot done. I hope you can join us! 

“Painting on Black Gesso” demonstration                                                           "Fracturing" demonstration

                                                                      "Painting Glass" demonstration

Friday, January 27, 2017

Red Flowers

I confess that I have a stack of dud paintings in my studio that's about neck-high.  Sometimes I'll pull one out of the pile and have a go at it with fresh paint and a palette knife.  I tell myself that it's ruined anyway, so what have I got to lose?

Here's a photo of the ho-hum painting that I started with.  I used the painting as my guide, and fractured and piled paint right on top of it.  I prefer the newer improved painting so much more.  I'd love to know if you agree!

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Painting With 5 Colors ( A New YouTube)

I gave a demo the other day on how to paint a still life using a limited palette of colors.  I used two reds, two blues, one yellow, and white.  Here's the painting that resulted.

Several people had questions about how to paint with such a limited number of colors, so I decided to make a YouTube video to demonstrate it!  It's 14 minutes long, but you can fast forward through it to get the idea.  Or what the heck, get out a cup of coffee and let me entertain you!

I'd be interested to know if you like these little YouTubes, and if there are other topics you'd like to have me demonstrate.

Click on Ann Feldman YouTube to see the video.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

A New Article

"Mallory", 16x20"
Painted in Carolyn Anderson's workshop

My article for the Oil Painters of America has just been published, titled "A Workshop With Carolyn Anderson: A Personal Discovery".  If you'd like to read the article, click on Ann Feldman OPA.

No matter where I am with my art at any given point, I always find a workshop taught by someone I admire to be invaluable.  Just being able to delve in and concentrate on my goals for several days on end always results in new discoveries and maybe even a jump forward in my growth as an artist.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

"The Wedding Band", 14x11"

Strike up the band-- I'm happy to tell you that "The Wedding Band" is hanging in the Hildt Gallery in Chicago.  Many people know this gallery from its location in the Drake Hotel.  I couldn't be happier to have this new gallery relationship.

I painted this scene after a recent trip to my beloved hometown New Orleans.  On any given weekend in the French Quarter, you can see bands such as this parading through the streets, followed by a dancing bride and groom and all of their wedding guests.  It's impossible not to smile and do a little jig as they pass by.

For purchase information, call the Hildt Gallery at (312) 255-0005

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

New Winter Class Schedule

Ann Feldman in Cooperation with
the Barrington Cultural Arts Center

I hope you can join us in the Ice House Mall Studio in Barrington for my winter classes.  We covered a lot of ground in the fall with topics such as palette knife painting, simplifying landscapes, and painting glass.  Participants try their hands at new techniques, or bring in their own projects to work with a bit of guidance.

My winter schedule will be: 

December 9th, January 13, February 3, February 24, and March 17.

Class starts at 9:30 with a demo or lecture from me, then everyone paints until noon.  We break for lunch and resume from 1:00 to 3:30.  The class fee is $65 for a full day, $35 for a half day.  Send me an email with your preference.  Prepayment will hold your spot— I even accept Paypal! 

Looking forward to seeing you there! 


Monday, October 31, 2016

"Early Snow, Colorado", 9x12"

"Early Snow" is a demo piece I painted for my workshop in Huntley a few weeks ago.  I used this painting to show how to simplify complex scenes into three values (light, middle, and dark)to make the job of painting a bit easier.  It was painted entirely using a palette knife, so simplification was very important!

This painting was purchased by one of the students in the class (thank you Marcie).

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

"Clementines and Blue Jar", 8x10"

This little painting is a demo piece that I did for a class on painting glass last week.  I love painting glass.  It forces me to slow way down and observe what is in front of me, rather than letting my brain say "OK I got this", and painting what I think I see.

For purchase information, please click on Ann Feldman Clementines.

Here are some basic steps I follow when I paint glass.

Here's my reference.

I start by drawing in the basic shapes of the still life, including the shape of the glass object.

I paint in the shadows of the objects, including the shadows showing through the glass.

I look for the turning edges of the glass-- sometimes these edges are lighter and sometimes they are darker than the glass object.  These edges describe the shape and transparency of the object.  The last things to add are the highlights on the glass, typically nearest the light source, such as the highlight on the rim of the bottle.

Glass is a challenge, but it is almost always a rewarding one!

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

"Illinois", 12x9"

Last weekend was misty and damp, but my little group of plein air painters decided to load up our gear and head out into the fields of Veteran's Park in Crystal Lake.  It was worth the effort-- the dampness brought out some beautiful fall color.  

After we set up and started painting, we heard a stampede of runners bearing down on us.  Little did we know we had chosen to paint in the path of a cross country competition.  We scurried out of the way, took a deep breath, and started again.  We hardly noticed the wheezing and clomping going on behind us throughout the morning.

Friday, October 14, 2016

"The Road to Somewhere", 10x8"

Last week, I taught a workshop called "Painting Dynamic Landscapes from Photos" at the Pencil and Palette Club in Huntley, Illinois.  "The Road to Somewhere" is a small demo I painted for the group.

Here is my reference photo-- with WAY too much information for me to process into a coherent design.  I needed to simplify this photo into 3 values (light, middle, and dark) to be able to see my way through it.

Have you heard of the Value Viewer App?  It's a super simple app put out by Plein Air Magazine which allows you to download your own photo into the program, and it will simplify it into 3 values for you.  Artists have been creating value studies in charcoal and monochromatic paintings for centuries to guide their painting process.  This little app just makes things easier and quicker, especially if you're outside with limited time!

I love to paint from the 3 value study-- I often put away the original photo until the very end.  This way, I can play with any colors I like (as long as they are in the correct value ranges).  And I often come up with a painting that looks more exciting than my photo.

I think that the most successful landscapes are actually quite simple and strong.  Using a three value "map" allows me to nail down the composition right from the start.

For purchase information, please click on Ann Feldman Road to Somewhere.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

"Summer Windowsill", 9x12"

There's still quite a lot of activity in my garden during these early days of fall, but the light is slanting lower which is my reminder that these days are numbered and fleeting.  I roam about with shears in hand, ready to harvest the most colorful remaining blooms.

I'm on my way to Taos, New Mexico to study with Carolyn Anderson.  A few years back, I took a workshop with her in New Harmony, and she changed the way I see and paint forever.  I felt like it was time for a refresher course, so off I go!  I will share with you new insights and approaches to painting which she shares with us next week.

For purchase information, please click on Ann Feldman Windowsill.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

"Churchladies", 14" x 11"


Last time I was visiting daughter Emily in Boston, I saw this lovely trio headed down a side street.  It was late Sunday morning, and from their white dresses and shoes (not to mention the top hat) I deduced that they were heading home from church.   I tried to capture their dignity and perhaps a bit of fatigue on that morning.

I'm happy to tell you that this painting has been juried into the Oil Painters of America national salon show.  The exhibition will be held at the Castle Gallery in Fort Wayne, Indiana from Sept 30 through October 29, 2016.  If you are in the area, it would be well worth your time to stop by and see 275 spectacular representational oil paintings from all of North America. 

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

"Jack As A Young Man", 12x16"

 "Jack As A Young Man"


In addition to painting en plein air once a week this summer, I am painting from models in Bill Schneider's studio.  I'm considering this time as sort of a mini-camp, to sharpen my observational skills and broaden my horizons.  Everyone in our little group has something to contribute, from a new outdoor vista to try, to introducing a new model to our group.  

Jack is the son of a friend of mine, and when I met him for the first time I thought that I would love to paint him.  He is that wonderful age somewhere between boyhood and manhood, and we all loved the challenge of trying to capture that moment.  Claire is a Barrista at Starbucks, and her coloring and translucent skin were lovely to paint. I told myself not to fuss with her portrait too much, leaving it loose and impressionistic.

Monday, June 27, 2016

"Thunderheads", 14x11"

This summer, I've been trying to get myself out there and paint "en plein air" about once a week. I have a small group of intrepid artist friends who enjoy throwing all their gear into their cars, then strapping it on their backs and hiking around until we find just the right spot.  "Thunderheads" was going quite nicely until we were pelted by hail in an open field.

"The Marsh", 7x5" oil on canvas

"The Marsh" was painted from a rickety bridge which hovered over snapping turtles.  I decided to forgo any art supplies that fell into the water that day.

"The Pond at Horizon Farms", 7x5"

Life and limb were not in jeopardy for this little study, but I thought I'd share it because it shows my equipment and my method of first completing a little black and white sketch before I dive in with paint.  You can see it above the painting in this photo.  These sketches help me map out what I want to accomplish in my painting.  I may decide to create a larger painting of my plein air piece when I get home, or I may just leave well enough alone.

We remain undaunted, and shall continue to paint outdoors, come what may.  

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

"The Cottage Garden", 8 x 10"

Last weekend I painted with some friends at the Barrington Country Garden Faire, benefitting the Hands of Hope.  There were so many little scenes to paint, we could stay there for weeks and paint our little hearts out.

I will donate the proceeds from the sale of this painting to the Hands of Hope, benefitting women and children in Africa.  Please drop me a line if you are interested.

Click on Ann Feldman Cottage for purchase information.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

"Michelle", 11x14" oil on gesso board

This painting of Michelle was done from life last week, and I painted it in Bill Schneider's studio in Crystal Lake.  The lighting there was different for me, so I found myself with a final product with colors that look different from most of my work.  I was intrigued by the way that the muted palette made the portrait appear kind of old fashioned, and maybe even a bit timeless.

For information on purchasing this portrait, please click on Ann Feldman, Michelle.

Monday, May 2, 2016

"A Slice of Life", 10 x 8", oil on gessoboard

 "A Slice of Life"

The exhibition at the J. Petter Gallery in Saugatuck was a wonderful success.  A big shout-out to my great friend and fellow artist Barb Benstein who went along with me and supported me in every way. I so enjoyed meeting all that dropped by to say hello, and I even had a chance to paint a little still life that afternoon.  A few paintings were purchased, and a great time was had by all.

Special thanks to Juli, Karen, and all my friends at the J. Petter Gallery for making the afternoon such a success.

For purchase information, please click on Ann Feldman Slice of Life.

 Here I am, getting ready to paint, surrounded by my paintings.
I feel so fortunate to have this gallery exhibiting my work.

"Les Mandarines" found a new home.

If you'll be in the Saugatuck area in the next month, I hope you'll drop by to see the exhibit!

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

"Produce From Limoux" and a Presentation in Saugatuck

"Produce From Limoux",  14x11"  Oil on Linen

I started this painting on a rainy day in France.  The produce stands in Limoux' central square were brimming with the most beautiful fruits and vegetables, so we loaded up our baskets with the intention of painting them when the weather turned inclement.  Luckily, we had a spacious basement with good lighting where we could spread out and paint whenever we wanted.  Some amazing paintings were produced in that basement that week!

For purchase information, please click on Ann Feldman Limoux

Do you have plans on April 16th?  Consider a road trip to Saugatuck, Michigan to visit me as I paint at the J. Petter Gallery from 3 to 6pm.  Enjoy tasting some new wine and meander through the gallery to see all their beautiful new art.  I would love to see you there!  The details are below:

April 2016 Events
Petter Art Gallery & Petter Wine Gallery
One of the largest and oldest fine art galleries in West Michigan with a cozy boutique wine bar and gourmet retail shop.

Sat. April 16th 3 to 6pm - Artist Demo & Reception, Ann Feldman
All Month April 1 to 30 - Art Exhibition, Still Lives in Focus
Sat. April 30 4 to 6pm - Wine School, Spring Sips and Picks

with Ann Feldman
Still Lifes, Landscapes, Portraits

Saturday - April 16th from 3pm to 6pm
We are pleased to invite you to an artist reception and open house for Ann Feldman.  Meet Ann and enjoy delicious refreshments while she paints on site.  Stop in to see how her varying techniques with pallet knife and brush allow her to convey light and shadow.

Featuring art from Philomene Bennett, Ann Feldman and Cindy Peterson
A still life experience.

On exhibition all month - April 1 to 30, 2016
This April we celebrate our artists who live in the moment at our 'Still Lives in Focus'.  Philomene's large scale paintings are splashed with vibrant and bold color.  Ann's work is filled with touches of light and composed of rich beauty.  Cindy creates still life contemporary work with an 'old master' feel.  Join us as we celebrate 'Still Lives in Focus'.


Live in the moment this month at J. Petter Galleries.

Featuring Sommelier Stuart
Spring & Summer Picks

Saturday - April 30, 2016 from 4 to 6pm
It is time for our April Wine School with some exciting wines for the upcoming spring and summer season.  Join us with Sommelier Stuart for a fun and educational afternoon of tasting wines.  Price is $25 per person, includes wine tastes and appetizer pairings.  Take advantage of special pricing on wine school selections. To RSVP phone 269-857-2230 or emailinfo@jpettergalleries.com with name(s) and contact information to save your place at the table.
Cheers wineaux!