2017.02 February Newsletter

Welcome to PLAG’s February News!

PLAG began the New Year 2017 with a bang of installing and getting ready for the Winter Art Show. The show is beautiful and the Reception on January 13th was well attended. If you missed the reception you can still see the show  through February 25th.
A big thank you to all who volunteered to make this event a great success.

The first 2017 PLAG monthly meeting: 
Saturday,  February 11 at the Mountain Community Mennonite Church starting 0900 with social gathering and snacks, 9:30 business agenda. 

Agenda and Planning: 

Welcome guests and members & new members
Thank you to everyone who brought food today

Sunshine committee
Treasurer’s report

Winter Show update

Fall Craft Fair
Election of officers Report for 2017
Still need President and Vice President

Please come to the meeting and be prepared to give your input to the following questions:

What types of workshops would you like to attend?
In what ways would you be willing to volunteer?
art shows:    coordinate    installation    intake    ribbons   greeter  set up food  anything else
monthly meetings:  bring food   set up chairs   take down chairs & clean up after meeting
What improvements and or changes would be more effective during our meetings?

If you can’t attend the February meeting, please send your answers via reply to this e-mail.

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. . . . .and here ART from Cindy Tafil
 ARTofficial Intelligence • Cindy Tafil

What are Mars colors?

If you answered colors from Mars you would be partially correct. The planet Mars contains lots of iron oxides that give it its rusty appearance. Alien green however is not one of them. The Mars colors are all permanent, opaque and consist of synthetic iron oxides.

The colors are:

Mars Black is faster drying than Ivory Black and is a warm black.

Mars Brown is similar to Burnt Sienna.

Mars Red can be a dull violet or reddish orange gone dull.

Mars Violet is a hint of violet in an Indian Red.

Mars Yellow is lusterless yellow ochre.

There is some confusion about using the color black versus making a dark tone to simulate black.

Black paint matters! Black right out of the tube can be far too dark as a darkening agent for colors and should be used only to help establish the tone of a color. Mixing a dark color with its dark complement such as Alizarin Crimson and Thalo Green or Burnt Umber with Thalo Blue produce a rich dark. Payne’s Gray mixed with a touch of Alizarin and Violet produce a cool tone for shadows.

What’s the difference among Mars Black, Ivory Black and Lamp Black?

Mars Black is opaque with a warm hue.

Lamp Black (a term from the old oil burning lamps) is opaque, somewhat dull and is made of carbon collected from the soot of burning oils and fats. It’s not a friendly black and adjustments are necessary for the hue and tone of warm colors when a cool hue of the color is desired.

Ivory Black is made of carbon that is the result of burning bone. It is permanent and very transparent and not overpowering. A cool gray is produced by mixing White and Ivory Black.
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Announcements from PLAG Members:
Donna Arndt:

I finished a piece last summer, of the father in the parable of the Prodigal Son, named “Welcome Home.”  The first piece went to the pastor of a church I’d attended a while back, as a gift to him from his church for decades of service.  I’m working on another in the edition to this piece, at the request of another group.  An interesting side about these 2 pieces is that I’ve made them of cast aluminum and then (learned how to) apply a bronze patina; it makes them much more affordable than a bronze casting, and a lot lighter to carry around actually!  Both recipients know the metal is aluminum and are happy to not be paying a ‘bronze metal’ price.  It’s an interesting sculpture medium I’m experimenting with.

Congratulations Donna

Lynn Roth:
2017 Visions of Light Photography Show  

70 juried photographs • Jeff Johnson, Show Judge

for more:  pdphotographers.com

Mar 3-24, 2017 at Tri Lakes Center for the Arts, Palmer Lake

 PLAG Winter Show:
Continuous through February 25 at Tri-Lakes Center for the Arts, Tuesday – Saturday 12 – 4pm.John DeFrancesco:

John DeFrancesco will be teaching a new workshop at the Colorado Springs Senior Center, “Oil Painting Techniques.” There will be four 3-hour sessions on Mondays, March 6 though March 27; 12:30 p.m. to 3 p.m.
Cost is $55. Information at www.csseniorcenter.com, or 719-955-3400.
Claudia Russu:

New Batik workshop offered starting February 4th! Attend one or more sessions. Teachers in D11 can earn CDE hours or Credit. 

Irene Pallon:

Pine Forest Spring Show and Sale,Saturday and Sunday May 6th – May 7th, 2017 Irene will bring one hard copy to the February meeting and can share the digital copy to any of those who may be interested in exhibiting in May.  Deadline to participate is Feb 15th, 2017.

Gloria Williams:
Cottonwood Center for the Arts in Colorado Springs presents:


INTAKE: January 26, 2017 – January 28, 2017 | 10 am to 5 pm
OPENING: February 3, 2017 | 5 pm to 8 pm
CLOSING: February 25, 2017
More information see:  www.cottonwoodcenterforthearts.com

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Due to December’s Christmas Luncheon meeting, no minutes are available.

Please remember to send in your announcements for the February Newsletter by the 24th of the month. February has only 28 days. 

2017.01 January Newsletter

Hope everyone enjoyed the Christmas holidays and now to the Happy New Year 2017!

First on the agenda for January/February is the 2017 Winter Show.
The deadline has been extended to Tuesday, January 3rd.  This gives you a few more days to enter the show. The entry form is attached to this e-mail.  Please contact Susie Arnold at
Susie@table-rock.com or Cindy Tafil at artpipescs535@gmail.com. and let them know that you will participate. The art delivery dates remain the same as listed in the entry form.  The entry form and show info is also listed on www.palmerlakeartgroup.com.

Next: There will be no January PLAG Meeting.

The next meeting will  be on February 14.  The February Newsletter will provide more information.

Do you really need all those brushes? by Dan Schultz

Nov 2014

Do you really need all those brushes?  by Dan Schultz

How does one go about choosing brushes for oil painting? Perhaps you’ve noticed that the search can be daunting. One visit to an art supply store or online retailer reveals the almost endless brushes from which to choose. 

I discovered a few things early in my painting journey that have helped me keep my brush choices simple. Perhaps they can help you too. (It should be noted that I prefer to paint wet-into-wet whenever possible, so that has influenced my brush decisions.)

Stiff vs. Soft: One thing I learned is the difference between stiff bristle brushes and softer sable or mongoose brushes. Bristle brushes offer more durability and can put up with a bit of abuse. They’re great for filling in large areas quickly and for scrubbing, scribbling and scumbling. Softer brushes tend to be more fragile and must be treated with more care. They excel in smooth paint application, glazing and softening effects.  

Brush Shapes: I also discovered some things about different brush shapes. And my experience revealed that flat brushes offer a full range of application possibilities without the need for other brush shapes. Using just a flat brush, a painter can make a surprising number of different marks including:

  • filling in large areas with the wide flat side
  • making thin lines with the long narrow side
  • sharply dividing shapes with the narrow flat tip
  • making small detail marks with the corners

You may ask, “Don’t you need other brushes like rounds, filberts and brights?” In my opinion, the detail marks that can be made with the corners of a flat brush eliminate the need for a round brush. I don’t need to buy filberts because my flats eventually turn into filberts as they wear down. And brights simply don’t hold enough paint for me and also lack the bounce of longer flat brushes.

My Brush of Choice: As a result of these discoveries, the flat has become my brush of choice and the majority of my paintings are completed with just two types of flat brushes: the flat hog bristle and the flat mongoose.

The Flat Hog Bristle

The flat hog bristle is quite versatile. It can hold a lot of paint for thick impasto work or be used to paint thin washes. It has a nice springy quality. For years I used this brush exclusively, but at this point I do about 80% of each of my paintings with flat hog bristle brushes. I mainly use sizes 2 – 12 but occasionally use larger sizes for larger paintings (my largest is a size 35!). I’m currently using Creative Mark Pro Stroke Series 77F, but the brand doesn’t really matter as long as the bristles don’t fall out too easily.

 The Flat Mongoose

I’ve since added a flat brush made with mongoose hair by Royal & Langnickel. However, these brushes have been discontinued due to the endangered status of Indian Mongoose. Happily, Rosemary & Co. offers a high-quality replacement made with a blend of badger hair. The softness of these brushes offers the ability to lay down thick paint on top of an already thick stroke without digging into the lower thick stroke the way the stiffer hog bristle would. They’re also great for softening edges and for detail work. I mainly use these for finishing effects as I approach a painting’s completion. I use sizes 2 – 12 in these brushes as well. The remaining 20% of each of my paintings are done with these brushes, as well as a few other tools for special effects.

Special Effects: Occasionally, I employ a brush called an egbert. It’s an extra long filbert that can hold a lot of paint and has an extra measure of bounce. After a lot of use, egberts also develop a ragged character that makes for some fantastic brushwork. I mainly use them for a few final, strategically-placed strokes of thick impasto.

I’ll also occasionally use a palette knife or paper towel for certain effects, but I’m admittedly mostly a brush painter. (Although you’ll often catch me at plein air painting shows touching up paintings with my fingers after I’ve put my brushes away. But I usually end up just getting them out again because I haven’t figured out how to make convincing brush strokes with my fingers.)

THE COLOR BLACK: IS IT ON YOUR PALETTE? By Dan Schultz/ Edited By John DeFrancesco

Aug 2014

By Dan Schultz/ Edited By John DeFrancesco

(NOTE: The following edited article is a post by artist Dan Schultz. See the full article and photos at his web site at www.danschultzfineart.com).

When I teach painting workshops, students are often surprised to discover that I use black as one of my usual palette colors. It seems that some art books have discouraged against using black, but I’ve found it to be a great addition to my palette.

After graduating from college with a degree in commercial art, I still had a lot to learn about fine art painting. Around that time, I bought the brand new book Alla Prima by Richard Schmid. In the book, Schmid lists the palette colors he most often uses. I adopted most of his list and set out to learn how they all worked together. Black wasn’t a color he listed, so I learned to make it by mixing other tube colors together — a valuable lesson.

A few years later, I had the opportunity to watch a live painting demonstration by Scott Burdick. He masterfully painted a portrait from a model outdoors using a limited palette. It was the first time I had ever seen anyone paint with a four-color palette. You may have heard of the four-color “Zorn palette” named for Swedish artist Anders Zorn. Scott used a similar palette that day: Titanium White, Cadmium Yellow, Cadmium Red and Ivory Black.

Scott’s painting blew me away. I had no idea of the range that could be achieved with so few colors, especially with one being black. Afterwards, I set out to experiment with the Zorn palette and other limited palettes myself. I soon added Ivory Black to my regular palette after seeing the range of colors I could make with it. I continue to use it for studio painting as well as plein air painting.

The only danger to be aware of is that any color can become a “crutch” if not used properly. An artist could easily use black as a lazy choice for darkening colors in every situation rather than simply using it as a dark color that is cool in color temperature. (An early crutch of mine was Sap Green. Since it’s such a normal-looking green, I used it to make all the greens in my paintings and didn’t really analyze and mix the exact green I needed. So I replaced it on my palette with Viridian — a much more unusual green which usually requires mixing with other colors to make the exact green I need.)