Technical difficulties

For a brief interval today (6/30/16) e-mails sent to joanna@joannabarnum.com were bouncing back.  The problem has been resolved.  If anyone tried to reach me during that interval regarding an urgent illustration or painting matter, please know that I am alive and well and freelancing and able to be reached ASAP!  Please e-mail me again, or feel free to call me at 410-428-3432.  Sorry for any inconvenience.

Here’s a new painting for your trouble!  A portrait of my greyhound, Zephyr, 22″ x 30″ watercolor on 300 lb cold press Arches paper.

 

Residency and Receptions

Catoctin Mountain National Park

I have been accepted to participate in the National Parks Artist-In-Residence program as a resident artist at Catoctin Mountain National Park near Thurmont, Maryland.  I only found out about two weeks ago, so it has been a bit of a whirlwind preparing!  I will be in residence creating a body of plein air (landscapes painted directly from life) watercolors from May 2-May 14.  I leave in less than a week!  I’ll be presenting a free public program at the Visitor Center on May 8, 1-2pm.  It will be a brief demo and discussion of my plein air painting process.

“What the #!@* is Plein Air Painting”
I am delighted to be one of the 35 artists included in the inaugural exhibit of plein air painting at the brand new Ken Karlic Artist Studio & Gallery on Main Street in Bel Air, MD.  The opening reception is May 6 from 5-8:30pm.  I’ll be making a special trip back from Catoctin to attend.  Stay tuned for more news about workshops, classes, shows, and other events hosted at Ken’s new gallery- I’m sure there are big things ahead, and I’m excited that he is bringing more art to Harford County.

Art, Wine, & Dine in Bedford Springs, PA
I’ll be one of twelve guest plein air painters invited to paint at the “Art, Wine & Dine” weekend on May 20-22 at the beautiful Omni Bedford Springs Resort in PA.  “Wine, fine food and art: the perfect trio for a fabulous time at Omni Bedford Springs Resort. This year, we debut our Art, Wine & Dine event which showcases local artisans, wine purveyors, Resort culinary offerings and even an art auction, all with the lush Allegheny Mountains as the canvas. You’ll leave feeling like an expert. With this package you’ll get the VIP treatment: VIP Reception Friday night, Wine and Food Pairing Class, Wine and Paint Class, and VIP Art Preview Reception.”

Baltimore Watercolor Society Mid-Atlantic Exhibition
My painting “Outer Space” (below) has been juried into the Baltimore Watercolor Society’s Mid-Atlantic Exhibition at the BlackRock Center for the Arts in Germantown, MD.  The show will be on view from June 9-July 16, with a reception on June 26 from 2-4pm.

Personal reflections on teaching watercolor

Last month, I ended a several year long stint teaching watercolor through Carroll Community College to a wonderful group of seniors at the North Carroll Senior Center.  I’d grown quite fond of the group, but the commute from Harford County to Carroll County was wearing on me.  I’m at a crossroads now with my teaching where I’m in the process of working out new classes and workshops in watercolor that I hope to offer here in Harford County, starting in the Fall- either out of my home studio or somewhere else nearby.  I wrote this post on my personal Facebook page with some thoughts I had about my teaching experience so far, and I’ve decided I’d like to share it here so that I can archive it in a more accessible format:

As I teach my last few class meetings in Carroll County, I’ve been doing some philosophical reflection. I’ve found that the following is true of the students who progress the most. It does not necessarily matter how much experience or “talent” they start out with. I think these things are probably true of any skill, not just painting.

Students who progress the most…

-Paint a lot, in and out of class.

-Listen to criticism and process and implement that feedback, rather than arguing with it or making excuses.

-Are not afraid to take risks and “fail” in the short term, while trying out new skills and ways of thinking. They understand that a “failed” painting is experience brought to the next one, and is not a waste.

-Ask questions and have a curious outlook. Research and study from other sources besides me and then share their new discoveries and ask questions about what they’ve read or done elsewhere.

I’ve also learned a few things about teaching.

-My biggest job, aside from the fundamental concepts to be taught, is to help my students learn to be fearless. Some come to me fearless, but many need to learn to be. Fear of failure, ruining the painting, trying something difficult, trying something new and different when they’ve gotten used to doing things one way…fear is a major obstacle.

-I have to take control of the classroom and schedule. I can’t allow myself to feel “bullied” or rushed by students who don’t want to wait their turn, or who have their own ideas about the plan for the day.

-I have to accept that everyone has their own goals and not everyone actually WANTS to improve or be pushed out of their comfort zone. In a community mixed level class, like the one I’ve been teaching, there are some students who are there to get out of the house, be around people, and who don’t care about getting a lot of work done, or who are happy following the same methods they always have…they don’t have goals beyond that and it’s OKAY, as long as it’s not a distraction for other students. I try to leave the door open for them to try more, without making them feel unwelcome by pushing too hard. In some class environments, this might not be appropriate, I have to gauge based on the purpose of the class and the needs of the students.

-Some students need the same ideas repeated over and over again in the same or different ways to really get it.

-Students need help becoming their own best selves as artists- not in-training versions of me.

-I don’t have to pretend to know everything about everything. But if someone asks a question or needs help with something I can’t answer with confidence, we can discover the answer together. I should make sure they know that in many cases, there is not a single right way of doing something, and different artists might have vastly different, equally valid approaches.

A Reception at TruAx Custom Frames, April 2

I hope you can join me at a reception at TruAx Custom Frames this coming Saturday, April 2.  I will be showing still life work all painted this winter from life, both acrylics and watercolors.  I have been experimenting with different modes of observational expression that I might carry over into other series of work. Originals will be for sale in a variety of sizes, and prints will also be available.

I will share the space with glass artist Chris McIntyre.

The reception is Saturday, April 2, from 6-8pm at 4715 Harford Rd., Baltimore, MD in the Hamilton/Lauraville area.

Tam Lin

This Fall, I took a wonderful book illustration class with Jonathon Scott Fuqua at the new Baltimore Academy of Illustration. It was an excellent opportunity to update my picture book portfolio.  I’ve been working on a picture book retelling of the classic Scottish ballad of Tam Lin, which I’ll be pitching to publishers as an author/illustrator.  Meanwhile, I highly recommend BAI to artists at any stage in their careers.  There is something for everyone.

(Click the square thumbnails to view the full images)