Tuesday, March 16, 2010

"Love at first sight," does not apply solely to romantic love

Thank you to Andrea Mace at the Cannon Beach Citizen for such a great article.

The expression, "Love at first sight," does not apply solely to romantic love, according to well known painter and illustrator, Michael Orwick. In Orwick's experience, art patrons fall in love with paintings in a similar fashion, feeling an almost visceral connection with certain work.  The formal components that come together in a final painting and cause this magnetic draw to a particular painting will be the focus for Orwicks next painting workshop. http://michaelorwick.com/workshops
     “When a painting from across the room has a magnetic draw, almost like falling in love at first site, this initial impact is most often caused by design and the values or lights and darks in the painting’” Orwick explained.
    “As you wander closer to investigate, it is the colors and temperatures that come into play more. As you get closer yet, wanting to learn more, the brush work comes into action,” Orwick continued. “Many of my students want to first learn brush work, but they are approaching the image making process in reverse, the details may sell the painting, but it is the big picture things that are the real strength and initial cause of the love affair,” Orwick said.
     The weekend long oil painting workshop entitled, Strengthen your Visual Sensitivity and Creative Visual Language, will be taught by Orwick on March 26, 27 and 28 at the Cannon Beach Chamber of Commerce.  The workshop is designed to explore the fundamental reasons behind a painting's success while artists create their own masterpiece under the tutelage of a well established painter.     
   Orwick compared the process of learning how to paint to playing the piano, “No one expects to be able to play music and successfully relate their ideas the first time or even tenth time they try to play.  It takes time and learning the basics.” 
    When he teaches, Orwick believes in stressing the classic fundamentals of design and composition over a narcissistic exercise in self-expression. Often, people overlook the formal training of such modern masters as Picasso or Kandinsky, and want to jump right to the point where they can express themselves without the constraints of learning such basics as how to mix colors to make a complimentary palette or how to render light and shadow to create form.
    “Painting is hard, and all I try to do is make it easier and more fun by helping people learn how to hold a brush and what the paint is capable of when used in an educated way systematic way.  The SELF Expression comes naturally with time and as we get more comfortable with the tools,” Orwick explained.    
   In his experience as an artist, it is a true compliment when a viewer gets so close to a painting that they are nearly kissing it. 
    “That is when the viewer is trying to figure out the what’s and how’s of the mysterious pull the painting has,” Orwick said.  “Then, as they step back and shake their heads in a silent bewilderment they wonder, ‘How do these loose brushstrokes that appear so fragmented come together from just a foot or two back?’  And the answer to that are the big picture things, like design and values.”
  Orwick majored in Illustration at Pacific Northwest College of Art, where he discovered that oil painting and the method of working from dark to light meshes with how he processes visual information.
    "When I'm not illustrating books, I still find my whimsical images and my landscapes to be very illustrative. I love creating art that invites you on a journey, in which you're invited to form a story and explore your world within," Orwick said.
    In his workshops, Orwick takes a hands-on approach, encouraging a lively dialogue amongst his students and making use of step-by-step demonstrations to teach technique and the interrelated components of value, shape and color in oil painting.  Students will also learn how to work with a limited palette to achieve dynamic effects in their compositions.
    Born in Astoria, Oregon in 1975, Orwick has been around the coast all of his life.  Still, he is in awe of the mighty Pacific Ocean and the magestic coast line.  “I feel like I’m still learning how to see like an “Artist” as my eyes become more sensitive and I learn what questions to ask about the beautiful scenes laid out in front of me,”  Orwick said.
  "My daughter has also done so much to help me remember all the simple and utterly perfect childhood joys that can be found by looking through new eyes.  We collect shells, look at the tidal pools, find salamanders in the near by forests and make moss covered fairy homes at the bases of trees," Orwick added. 
    Orwick loves to come to Cannon Beach with his family to walk on the beach, explore the galleries, and eat chowder.  But he also loves to paint, or to take reference photos when the wind threatens to blow his canvas away.
    Those interested in more information about Michael Orwick's Cannon Beach Oil Painting Workshop should contact Dragonfire Gallery on the web at www.dragonfirestudio.com or by phone at 503 436 1533.  Tuition is $250 for all three days and a special reception; for those in town for less time there is an open option of $100 per day.
    In addition, Orwick is extending an open invitation to workshop participants to paint Haystack Rock directly from nature, Plein Air style,  before and after class, weather permitting. 

Andrea Mace

cute paintingsdance prints
dance prints
dance greeting cards

Saturday, March 13, 2010

add a little fun and humor to your day, This whimsical Gallery show

whimsical paintings


Story Time, by Michael Orwick, 30x40 oils on canvas

March 5 - 28

Playful and Lighthearted Art Show

Art by Wendy Wees

Playful Art

“Whimsy” opens on March 5th.
Spring, if not here already, is fast approaching and nine artists are celebrating the turning of the seasons with lighthearted, playful art.

Get Rid of the Blah's!

This whimsical Gallery show seeks to lift any vestiges of winter blahs and add a little fun and humor to your day. The collection of artwork will range from sculpture and ceramics to graphic images and paintings.

The exhibition opens on Fri., Mar. 5th and runs through Sun., Mar. 28th.

Featured Artists

Participating artists have each interpreted the "whimsy" theme differently. With the following talented artists participating, you're bound to see something that tickles our fancy:

Artist Reception

Be sure to join us and meet the artists at the opening reception Fri., Mar. 5th from 6 to 8p.m.
  • Jim Diem,
  • Chad Mayo,
  • Rachel Harvey,
  • Myah Bailey,
  • Mike Orwick,
  • Bud Egger,
  • Wendy Wees,
  • David Brandt,
  • Todd Smith.


Statue by Bud EggerThe Art You'll See

The sculptures of Troutdale resident Bud Egger focus on elongated human forms and birds. The exaggerated musculature of the figures gives them a levitating and mythical appearance.
Another visiting artist is Wendy Wees, who comes to us from Seattle. Her clever and colorful drawings of everyday objects and animals are positively delightful—you will want to collect the entire series.
Local artist, Jim Diem, will be premiering a new collection of ceramic tea pots with fun, exaggerated forms.
Mosier resident, David Brandt, will present several finely executed drawings aided by computer design that are wonderfully creative.
Another artist using computer sketching techniques isMyah Bailey and she produces dramatic monochromatic drawings.
Children's book illustrator and Beaverton resident, Mike Orwick, will display paintings derived from fantasy.
Chad Mayo of Hood River also creates exquisite fantasy images evoking another world altogether.
Finally, both Rachel Harvey and Todd Smith have painted in oils; a medium often thought of as appropriate for more serious subjects. For this exhibition, their images involve visual punnery.

Let's See You Smile!

We look forward to sharing smiles with you at the Columbia Art Gallery at 215 Cascade Ave. in downtown Hood River.
Regular hours at the Columbia Art Gallery are Wed. – Sun., 11am – 5pm. For more information, visit www.columbiaarts.org.
About Columbia Art Gallery
Columbia Art Gallery, located in the Columbia Center for the Arts, is a non-profit community gallery with the mission to promote an arts-rich environment in the Columbia Gorge. 

Friday, March 12, 2010

strengthen visual sensitivity and creative visual language three-day workshop Article in the Cannon Beach Gazette

Michael Orwick 

This three-day workshop promises to strengthen visual sensitivity and creative visual language through the medium of oil paint.

Haystack Rock by Michael Orwick

"Haystack Rock"

by Theresa Myers

Whether you're completely new to painting or an old hand at the canvas, Michael Orwick's oil painting workshop from March 26 to 28 at the Chamber Community Hall promises to be rejuvenating, fun, and just the break needed to launch into summer with creativity and positive energy.

Orwick, whose work is on display at the Dragonfire Gallery in Cannon Beach, said he knew he was an artist even as a young boy.

"My family was totally supportive," he said. "My dad is a doctor, so for awhile I thought maybe that is the direction I should go. But my parents gave me total support for following a career in art."

That career began as a children's book illustrator, focusing on whimsical scenes. But in the past few years, Orwick has found his true love and artistic calling in landscapes.

"The California Impressionists have influenced me quite a bit," he said. "And that interest led me to the Barbizon school."

Morning LIghtThe early 19th-century Barbizon school movement emphasized realism and the play of light and dark. Its influence can be seen in several of Orwick's recent works, including the painting of Haystack Rock he did for the 2009 Stormy Weather Quick Draw contest. He admits this classical, representational style may not be in vogue everywhere, but because the style is classic, "these paintings can fit into any setting," said Orwick. "If it's a modern room setting or classic beach cottage, a good landscape can fit the space."

Orwick does paint in plein air, but more often works from photographs. He is also not afraid to add elements to the image that may not be in the original scene.

"I believe in doing what the painting needs," he explained. "For me, painting is telling a story. Even if I'm working in plein air, I will add a figure to the scene if that is what it needs to tell the story."

Orwick also believes in starting each work from the basics.
"If a painting is not going well, it's almost always because I haven't paid attention to the fundamentals," said Orwick.
The fundamentals of landscape will be the focus of Orwick's March workshop, starting with an overview of light and dark values on the canvas, then color composition and "temperature." Students will learn about mixing colors from a limited palette to achieve dynamic light and shadow effects with lively color and harmony.

"The last part of a good painting is the texture," said Orwick. "The brush strokes, the finishing lines. Those are the elements that go down last, but they make the painting unique and put the artist's signature style on it."

Orwick says he is looking forward to the workshop. He and his wife, Gabriella, and their 5-year-old daughter, Elena Grace, are frequent visitors to Cannon Beach and the couple have a cottage in town.

"Elena shares the studio with me," he said with a laugh. "She has her 'gallery' at grandma's house."

"I love to teach art," continued Orwick, who currently teaches a class at Clark College in Vancouver, Wash. "I use a limited palette in my classes and keep it pretty simple. But that's how I paint, too. I generally use a small number of brushes and keep plenty of paper towels on hand. Because I keep it simple, participants in the workshop can expect to finish a painting over the course of the three days."

Orwick emphasized that a person does not need to be "artistic" or "gifted" to enjoy painting, or even to be good at it. "Anyone can learn to paint," he said. "It's all about learning the fundamentals and telling a story."

Orwick's paintings have been in galleries in Cannon Beach for the past eight years and are currently in the Dragonfire Gallery. He also has work in galleries in Lincoln City and Seattle.

To obtain more information about Michael Orwick, visit his Web site at michaelorwick.com. To register for the workshop and obtain a supply list, contact the Dragonfire Gallery at (503) 436-1533.

Tuition for all three days is $250, which includes an early evening reception on March 27 at Dragonfire Gallery. The workshop schedule is March 26 through 28, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Acceptance into the 2010 Oil Painters of America's (OPA) National Exhibition

It is from a photo I took on father’s day last year just before going on the boat tour of Jenny Lake I received as a gift from my wife and four year old daughter.

The weather was cold and often stormy and we camped part of the trip in the snow.  I tried to capture the cool light and the turmoil of the constantly changing weather in the reflected clouds and thick active paint.

2010 Oil Painters of America National Exhibition

I've Been Notified of Acceptance into the
2010 Oil Painters of America'sPublish Post
(OPA) National Exhibition 
Scottsdale, Arizona at the Legacy Gallery.

There will be a preview which opens on April 24th. The show will close on May 31st.
Please fix dates and location of show.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Breakfast in the Gallery at Amato Galler

This weekend is Amato Gallery's "Breakfast in the Gallery. A continental-style breakfast will be provided by Beaverton Bakery to visitors, along with concurring demos by Chris Helton and Gretha Lindwood.

Every Saturday morning in March, Amato's Gallery in downtown Beaverton will host "Breakfast in the Gallery," from 9 to 11 a.m. Coffee and continental fare will be provided, along with artists' demonstrations in a variety of media. Mark your calendars and start your Saturdays with a dose of artistic inspiration. Amato's Gallery is located within Amato's Florals, 12320 SW 1st Street, Beaverton.

We celebrated our official opening on February 12, with an artists' reception that was lively and very well attended. I'm exhibiting my work there along with sixteen other award-winning area artists; you can imagine how excited we all are to have a permanent fine art gallery in historic downtown Beaverton.

Stop in Monday through Saturday, 10 to 4, to see sculptures by Joni Mitchell, Joe Pogan and John Wisener; glasswork by Diane Ahrendt; ceramics by Beth O'Mahony; jewelry by Bert Cohen, Sheri Gorman, and Rosie Long; oils by Linda Baker and Michael Orwick; pastels by Brenda Boylan, Gretha Lindwood and Christy Perrine; acrylics by Chris Helton and Annie Salness; and watercolors by me. It's a very talented group and I'm proud to be a part of this exciting venture.

Chris Helton will be "up at the easel" on March 6; she'll be happy to share her process and field your comments and questions.

No need for reservations - just show up. Hope to see you there,