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Friday, September 27, 2019

Monday, September 2, 2019

New Painting...Deb

My oldest friend Debbie. Big heart and tough as nails. The world is a better place with her in it

Friday, July 26, 2019

Self Portrait Sketch

Monica Vanzant - Self Portrait Sketch - Watercolor

Saturday, May 25, 2019

Artistic Day in Philly

I have visited PAFA before but not like this. Being led on a personal tour by a knowledgeable French docent named Danielle. I was on my way to a gallery when she offered to take me on a tour. How kind she was! There were many new pieces on display and she was an engaging guide. Her subject of the day was “What is an American Artist?” I think we determined by the end of the tour that there was no such thing (or maybe I should say I did because something tells me Danielle already knew this to be the case.) Amazing how many artists – though born and bred in America - studied and/or migrated to other countries. And if that’s the case, does it even matter where they were born if their talent is a culmination of cultures?

Thank you for today Danielle!

Vive la France and God Bless America

“Yellow Earrings” sketched today from Philadelphia Sketch Club

Monday, August 13, 2018

My Pain Is Your Pain

This post is not about art, at least not yet...

My friend Rog is a great writer. Occasionally, I’ll tell him about a dream or an event I experienced thinking he could turn my weirdness into a wonderful work of literary fiction (as if he needs my help). But there is one idea that I told him about that I want to write about myself because it fascinates me. Human beings as a collective have the ability and almost a need to hurt each other both physically and emotionally. Granted, most of the time this is by mistake but sometimes it’s on purpose and it happens every single day to all of us in one way or another. I find it strange because we’re all human beings and we all know what buttons to push, so why do we continuously do this to each other? We’ve all heard of the golden rule and it is so easy to follow, only eleven words for Pete’s sake and almost half of them are under three letters -

"Do unto others as you would have them do unto you"

I believe pain cripples us, changes our opinions and our views on love, laws and sometimes life itself. Maybe there are times this pain never heals which is why sometimes the world seems so imbalanced and those of us who inhabit it seem so fragile. So, I thought wouldn’t it be interesting if everyone who doled out pain could receive that same pain in return (even if it is done unknowingly). I’m not talking about bitterness or payback, far from it. Let me give you an example. Picture a couple having an argument. I think everyone knows how easy it is in the heat of the moment to say something that may hurt the one you love. Let’s say after that first hurtful comment leaves your lips (you know what I mean, the one that, after the words come out of your mouth, you can literally see the hurt on their face. Yeah, that one) you literally feel this physical pain in your heart, or your gut, even in your head (I haven’t decided which yet). If we could feel the feelings we deliver to others, well, that would put a different slant on things wouldn’t it? If that could happen how quickly do you think the tone of arguments would change? Would we be able to take the emotional pain of our own words? Would we be kinder to each other or would we as human beings (with the ingrained self-survival skills we are all born with) become acclimated to accepting the pain we dish out?

Sunday, August 12, 2018

A Word About Color Temperature

One of the most important rules of color temperature is that warm colors protrude (pop forward) and cool colors recede (fade back). So, if you think about the color scale, this would mean that red, yellow and orange would surge forward in a painting as opposed to the cool colors of blue, purple and green which would make things look like they are further away. That is why cool colors are used to signify elements in a distance like trees and houses because it denotes atmosphere between the foreground and the background of a painting.

We won’t go into a lot of detail about value (light and dark) but I will mention that the value scale is also used to show how close or further away something is and that there is a value scale within these temperature groups that will also intensify atmosphere. The closer something is to us the darker and clearer it should look and the further away it is the lighter and more diffused it should be, again signifying more atmosphere. Nothing explains concepts better than examples so let’s look at a painting by Henri Lebasque titled Blue Mountains in Cannes.

Henri Lebasque
Starting at the top of the painting, we see the mountains are painted with cool blues & purples (very gray, meaning lack of color intensity), showing atmosphere and visually telling the viewer that the mountains are far away.

Now, here is something interesting. Balconies are usually high, higher than the landscape below them and in this painting the perspective tells us that the balcony is indeed very high in the air. Which would mean that the possibility of having trees right next to the balcony is not impossible but is improbable. So, let’s focus on the balcony. Look at the first opening to the left. The cool purple makes it look like whatever you are catching a glimpse of is far away but look at the other openings to the right of the figure. The dark green is too dark and not cool enough. Do you see how that green looks like its bursting through the balcony openings? Now, I am not saying that the great Mr. Henri Lebasque did not see that intense green on that bright beautiful day in Cannes, but I AM saying that this is a great example of how temperature is important to denote atmosphere in a painting.

So remember, cool colors recede, warm colors push forward so the next time you look at a painting notice how the artist has used temperature to portray atmosphere and mood. 

Think Creatively!

Saturday, May 5, 2018

Philadelphia Sketch Club May 5, 2018

Philadelphia Sketch Club, April 2018

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Donations to Houston - Check!

A great thanks to @phl2texas for driving this worthy cause for Houston. Special thanks to my buddies Barbara Jenkins, Maureen Schruby & Alicia Anderson who all donated to our Houston sista's.

Bad pic of me but not beautiful Destiny who helped me with my donation @couturebookboutique drop-off today!

Thank you and Bless the citizens of Houston & Florida.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

New Painting!

I love when my rhododendrun blooms in the spring. It is not there for long but it is so pretty for as long as it lasts.

"Spring" by Monica Vanzant

Saturday, June 24, 2017

First Wine Glass Painting Party

Thank you to Flora Maxwell for opening her home to host the first Vanzant Brush painting party! I had a great time with friends painting our beautiful glasses. A donation has been made to one of my favorite charities

Think Creatively!

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Bob Ross "Who Was He" by Simon Whistler

Greetings All! Found this great video about Bob Ross. Have great memories of sitting in front of the TV watching him paint his happy, happy trees. Visit his website for more information. Think Creatively!

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

The Day After Election Day 2016

Well, not much to say right now except tomorrow is another day. God Bless America.

"Lest We Forget" by Monica Vanzant

Monday, September 26, 2016

Book Recommendation 1 - "Creative Workshop" by David Sherwin

I was at my local library and was leaving when I saw the book. I think it caught my eye because it was so colorful. It was called “Creative Workshop” by David Sherwin. I looked at the back cover, scanned through it and was hooked. I checked it out. When I got home, I immediately started reading my new design bible. The author Mr. Sherwin has brilliantly put together 80 design challenges to teach and motivate you into learning about maximum creativity.

 So, first let me tell you what happened and why I think this book is so awesome. I read the first challenge and knew there was no way I was going to be able to complete it within the 30-minute time frame given. I decided to give myself the best advantage by using the tools provided by Mr. Sherwin in the Introduction. Well, long story short - I did it! One of my main challenges is coming up with ideas within a given time frame. There are times I have an idea but it might take days/weeks to flesh it out on paper. So this exercise showed me that with practice I can hone my design skills in all areas of my life and for that I will be forever grateful to this talented author.

Moving on, I got a little busy after the first Challenge and had to renew the book. I worked on Challenge two, finished it and again ran out of time before I could start the next challenge so I decided to do myself a favor and just buy the book. So now I am working on each challenge and having a great time learning new things. One thing that I found particularly helpful were the techniques Mr. Sherwin provided to help with time management and structuring your ideas, such as:

Time Boxing – Allocating a time period for each activity.
Mind Mapping – Using a diagram to visually organize information.
Word Listing – Using words to visually organize information.
Picture Association – Using pictures to visually organize information.
Brute Thinking - Using attributes attached to random words or pictures to find an association.

There is so much more and I hope you enjoy this book as much as I did. This book should be used to teach students how to create and document concepts on the clock and it is not just applicable to art.

Think Creatively!

Lily - "The Icon Prize" Finalist

A huge thank you to Lane Von Herzen, author of "The Unfastened Heart" and the Icon Prize committee for allowing me to be a part of this wonderful project.

Creation of still life "The Two No One Wanted"