Karen LeGault ~Fine Art Blog

April 30, 2012

On Blogging to You

Filed under: Uncategorized — by Karen LeGault @ 04:17

Who are you dear reader?

First of all you wouldn’t be here if you weren’t tripping around the internet in blogosphere-land if you weren’t a cyberspace adventurer to begin with. Or maybe you found your way into this bay of words and pictures by doing a search on my art, found my website, which led you to my blog. Or perhaps a friend sent you a link. Maybe you even found me in person at an Art Festival or Farmer’s market sharing my paintings!

However you found me, you wouldn’t have tarried here if you didn’t enjoy natural places, both cultivated and wild. You enjoy the experience you get from engaging with color and the evocation of scent and energy. You may be attracted to the spirit of the work and feel drawn into the other dimensions my work seems to access.

I don’t expect you to be in a “certain” age bracket, but instead are drawn by the serene and joyful spirit of my paintings, perhaps you are a gardener or are a garden appreciator. You may find a place of calm peace that assuages a hectic lifestyle or that energizes a sedentary one. You may just need some lively color and a sense of life around you to restore your spirit after your day, or year or life; or some inspiration to keep you going when you feel challenged.

Over time, you become friends with these works and find that the thought of living without them is unthinkable.

Where are you coming from dear Reader? Is it a State or is it a state of mind? Please let me know. How does my work speak to you and what do you hear, feel or see?

I am curious to see how writing about my work will help me clarify my relationship with it, and how your relationship with the work lends shaping. Ever looking for ways to connect with my viewers and help you understand what goes into a painting, – experiences, events, compositional intentions, decisions about subjects and color… not to mention things like choosing frames, successes and blunders, the trials and jubilations of exhibiting.

I wonder if I have anything to say, knowing that this life of art has consumed me for most of my life, the question is where to start…. And fear of not being perfectly stated! Yikes! Its time to let go! This blog could be a journey whose future is to unfold here on the page.

Please feel free to comment.


March 21, 2012

Newest Print Release “Red Lotus”

Filed under: Floral/Botanical,Prints — by Karen LeGault @ 02:23

“Red Lotus” pen and ink and watercolor on paper
26 x 40
by Karen LeGault ©2003
fine art giclee print, signed and numbered, 26 x 40

26 x 40 giclee print, limited edition, signed and numbered

Recently a visitor at my studio was taken by this 26 x 40″ watercolor painting and was interested in purchasing it. I explained that it is in my personal collection, to be used as source material for other paintings, and not for sale.

Back in 2001 to 2007 I had the amazing experience of frequenting a Lotus Garden in Northern California, spending whole days there whenever I could, perched on the banks of the small bonds where the flowers are cultivated, with the buzz of dragonflies in the air, busy about the flowers, in the often sweltering summer heat. I was protected by the shade of some nearby willows and pines, drawing and painting, breathing in the fragrant air of the tall (and short) voluptuous flowers and their huge umbrella shaped leaves. The flowers open and turn to follow the sun during the course of the day. The petals of a flower I am looking at may have completely fallen off by the end of the afternoon. I loved the “eep” sound of the small frogs as they would leap into the water from their leaf perches when I walked by them and the sight of them sleeping in the muddy water.

The Lotus Garden is no longer open to the public, closed since 2009. I have at least 20 paintings from my times there. My visitor, Val, undeterred asked me if I had considered making a print from this painting, which was the one she liked the best. Yes, I had considered it, but now, it seemed, the time was right.

I am offering these stunning prints full size, 26 x 40″. The color is beautiful, a very close match, an excellent job by my print maker. They are printed on an acid free watercolor paper with long lasting archival printing inks, signed and numbered.

I will have this print on view at my art festival venues this year, or you can contact me about seeing it sooner. Please stop by and take a look.

November 9, 2011

New Print Recently Published

Filed under: Prints,Still Lifes — by Karen LeGault @ 03:53

22 x 30″ Available as a full size Giclee Print

“Still Life with Persimmons, Figs and Tomatillos” This is a picture of a recently published print now available. Its full size, 22 x 30″ makes an impressive statement in a kitchen or eating area, where people gather. The overall effect is warm, with oranges, yellows and pinks underlined by the rich complementary  cobalt blues and blacks and unified by the stripes of the tableclothh. There is a touch of whimsy in the lively composition with the presence of the cheese grater reflecting the persimmon plate. The partial view of a landscape behind the table gives further dimension along with my reflection and the room behind me   distorted in the surface of the silver teapot.

September 30, 2011

My Students are exhibiting at the Rockridge Library Oct. 1 to 29

Filed under: Uncategorized — by Karen LeGault @ 15:53

Instructor’s Statement

Traces of the Brush ~
an Exhibit of Paintings by Students of Karen LeGault

The Adults
This exhibition is a group of paintings done by some of my Painting students over the last four years. The groups of students that I teach tend to be quite dynamic. I am pleased to say that many of my students express delight in the caliber and experience of souls that they find themselves interacting with in the classes. As groups, they have given each other tremendous inspiration and spurred each other onward. I have been Teaching Drawing and Painting since 1993. Over the last 12 years, my ability to look into where a student is with their work and where they would like to go with it, has become more focused. While you can teach a group of people the same techniques or ideas, how they will interpret those ideas, how they will make the techniques their own, what their personal expression will convey, how their images evolve, what their unique interest are, are usually entirely different from one another. It is always an adventure to introduce material and watch what emerges, even after giving very specific instruction. Sometimes material needs to be repeated in many different ways, from many angles, before it is actually understood, received, and bears fruit in their work.

We have covered an amazing breadth of subjects: color theory, perspective, composition, drawing skills, hundreds of exercises in handling the brush in both Asian style and Western, all sorts of plants and flowers – traditional and non-traditional, trees, forests, animals, rocks, water, mountains, abstracts, and materials: water color, ink, pen and ink, colored pencil, pastels. In my classes we typically work on either cotton paper or “rice” papers. (Rice papers can be made out of a variety of materials – mulberry, bamboo, straw to name a few.)

Since these groups have been fairly consistent since 2007, the first few years were devoted to focusing on didactic instruction and getting control of the mediums. In the last year, especially, the students have been following their individual interests, often working on entirely different projects from one another. Periodically, someone comes in with an idea of something to try, and everyone else in the group wants to try that too. Then I create a series of lessons to help break down the material into manageable learning experiences so they can eventually combine all the elements into their paintings. These projects have sometimes gone on for several months.

Over time, their ability to analyze what they need to successfully enter into and complete a project, have gotten to the point that they can more easily and more readily take on the projects that most interest them, with increasing degrees of success.

The Kids
I have taught after-school classes at Chabot elementary School since 2000. In 2009 I had three kids in a kindergarden group, who kept taking my class over and over, for two years, who I have invited to show with my adult students. These kids’ classes also have had some interesting explorations. My aim is to give them the tools to become self-directing in their art making, to have some choices and to be confident that they can create what they like, to know and experience that making art is fun and an imaginative pursuit. Their results are much more varied than what you see here in this exhibit and often quite surprising at the level of skill they achieve.

Early on in my teaching career, I realized that many adults have never had a chance to learn art, or if they had, had learned in a restrictive environment that had dis-empowered them from feeling capable enough to pursue it later.
After creating a program for teaching art to kids in 1993, I began using some of the same ideas and methods to teach adults. I found a huge welcome for this approach and have been gratified to see many students learn the basics that they needed to begin to flourish in their art making experience. Drawing and painting are skills that can be learned by anyone. Whether it becomes “ART” or not, is another matter, but there seems to be a great sense of accomplishment in simply being able to interpret the seen world in a two dimensional image.

Creating Drawing and Paintings requires thought processes on many levels to be integrated into a single experience. By recognizing and breaking down those experiences into manageable bites, a student can gain some confidence. The courage to try something new, to absorb and learn, and then be willing to take a next step, is a critical ingredient.
An Open Mind and a willingness to look and see “what is” are also most important.
I am starting a new group on October 19 on Wed. mornings from 9:30 to 12:30. Please contact me if you are interested in possibly joining.

Karen LeGault, who has always drawn and painted, began her formal training while in High School with two amazing teachers, Ralph Goings and John Kaneko. Starting out as a photo realist, winning several awards, after several years of personal exploration, she began studying Chinese Brush Painting with Lam Po Leong in 1985 and in 1993, began integrating Eastern and Western sensibilities while studying with Bob Bechtle, a photorealist contemporary of Ralph Goings, while studying at San Francisco State University. Along the way she also practiced photography, signmaking, fabric design, graphic design and worked as a draftsperson for 13 years. She taught drawing and painting at UC Berkeley Botanical Garden for 8 years and numerous community art centers in the North Bay and East Bay before taking on private teaching in her studio in Oakland. She also taught Tai Chi for 20 years. She has taught thousands of students. Her work is found in hundreds of collections including some local institutions, the County Clerks Office, Highland Hospital and Summit Hospital. http://www.karenlegault.com

August 13, 2010

New Print “Foxglove” Being Launched

Filed under: Floral/Botanical,Prints — by Karen LeGault @ 05:41

This is an image of my newest Fine Art Giclee Print release.  The image has been a favorite at shows for a while, so I decided to put it into print.

I painted it a few years back when I was growing very tall Digitalis in my garden, back when I had a good sunny spot. I literally dug it up out of the ground and posed it on a stool near my worktable. The willowy curve going up is so “Tai Chi”!  Its really elegant. It reminds me of energy going up the spine, similar to Kundalini energy, Notice that none of the flowers is facing the same direction. I think you can really feel the full flowering.

As a print it is available from 30″ up to a full 52″, (that is the size of the original). It is printed on archival watercolor paper and meets the highest industry standards for Giclee prints.

It looks great in vertical gaps between openings.

Let me know what you think. Write to me for pricing.

Thanks for taking a look.

May 11, 2010

Last of Mural Completed!

Filed under: Commissions — by Karen LeGault @ 06:04

This is the last of a group of murals I have been working on since mid-March

. Three fish, a turtle, a frog, two newts and some egg sacs along with a few water lilies, completes the afternoon soiree.  The other mural images have gone through some changes as well, so will post them when I have time, hopefully tomorrow. The murals will be varnished to make them moistureproof.

May 3, 2010

Fish Pond Mural, May 1

Filed under: Commissions — by Karen LeGault @ 05:20

Here is the latest update on the pond mural. That is a mirror there on the right side. Interesting how it makes the mural look bigger. The water was getting a little too dark for the room, so I lightened up the dark water and also stepped up the leaves in the iris about 50%.

April 14, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — by Karen LeGault @ 04:07

Finally! getting going on the second part of the second bathroom mural. after taking some time out to get mostly over a way-too-long-long winded cough and give some attention to Feather River Art Camp.

Painting Pond life has been an interest of mine since 1977, though it wasn’t until the early 90’s that I really began painting them in earnest. Monet has always been a favorite, but a real inspiration was a Chinese woman artist from the 17th century named Yun Bun. Her painting entitled “World Under the Bridge” touched my soul so many years ago and spurned me on to a whole genre of Fish Painting. I enjoy making it look like you can see different layers of the water, the surface where leaves lie, the inside – where fish swim and other creatures move about and some aquatic plants grow, and the bottom – where silt lies and plants grow.

Pond Painting going Swimmingly

I have layed in the main shapes, but as I go along more subordinate shapes could come in to play.

I have an Art Festival in Menlo Park this coming weekend, April 16, 17, 18 and am praying for no-rain. I will be there the whole three days. If you are there and want to find me, call me on my cell phone – 510-601-1619, so I can tell you my booth location.

April 5, 2010

April 3 Mural Progress

Filed under: Uncategorized — by Karen LeGault @ 03:23

Here is  how the mural is shaping up.  I am just about finished, or at least enough to stop working on it for a while and start the side walls behind me.  Its not meant to go to the ceiling, more like a wrap around band at door height. I plan to start the next part on Tuesday. All in all I am pretty pleased with it, and so is Jessie, my bird. (Jessie usually accompanies me to the site, since there are plenty of cockatiels for her to visit with there, along with a dove named Lyle, a couple of lovebirds a canary and a couple of parakeets. Jessie is always appreciative and not too critical.)

March 24, 2010

March 23 garden mural progress at the “Flat of Medici”

Filed under: Commissions,Floral/Botanical — by Karen LeGault @ 03:42

The Garden is growing, several new horsetail ferns, some jack-in-the-pulpit, large ferns and moss filling in….  I am working on how to add some trees or suggestions of trees, without having to go all the way up to the ceiling, which would add to the cost. A trip to the Botanical Garden soon will help to give me some ideas. Much of the art of it is in suggesting changes of plane and mass so that it all seems to fall together and have a kind of earth logic of its own. There are multiple perspectives and places for the eye to move in and around the painting. The eye should be able to feel many textures and changes of temperature. It doesn’t make sense to have all these shade loving plants and no trees, so off onto the tree puzzle.

Regarding the allusion to the “Flat of Medici”, my benefactors and I were joking around about how I would refer to them in this blog, since they prefer to remain un-named.  One suggestion was – “21st century ‘flat of medici’, patron to famous artists” (or artists yet to become famous)

I will be taking a several day break from the mural. I teach all day on Wednesdays and will be getting ready for the Belmont show, which is over the coming weekend, March 26, 27 and 28. The Belmont show will be at Carlmont shopping Center near Alameda de las Puelgas, down the peninsula. I will be showing and selling both framed and unframed paintings, prints and greeting cards.

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