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Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Participants in MAG Members-Only art Competition

All MAG members are encouraged to enter the non-juried art competition for MAG members in May. Take-in is Saturday, May 4, from 10 AM to Noon at the McDowell Arts Center.

Up to 2 works can be entered for $25. Contact Debbie at if you need the entry form and rules of integrity. Christie Taylor of Hodges Taylor Gallery will be the judge.

Cash awards will be given for First ($300), Second ($200) and Third ($100) Places with gift certificate awards to the 8 Honorable Mentions. In addition, there will be the Mayor's Choice Ribbon Award with Mayor Jim Taylor of Matthews picking his favorite work of art. Thanks Mayor!

All are welcome to the awards reception Saturday, May 11, from 3-5 PM at the MAC gallery. Awards will be announced at 4 PM.

Here is the list of those who will be in MAG's annual art competition for members... so far.

Shirley Bennion
Jennifer Benson
Rita Bowers
Janet Broome
Kevin E Brown
Sally Brown
Sharron Burns
Eric Casaburro
Joyce Fischer
Pam Hancharik
Nena Hartz
Verna Hash
Mona Hearne
Paula Helmsley
Cynthia Howard
Ken Hutchins
Barbara Jimison
Mary Johnson
Johanna Kelly
Gene Lazo
John Lomax
Mary Magee
Martha Manco
Jana Midkiff
Lindy Midkiff
Richard Miles
Judy Mizell
John Moeslein
Marcee Musgrove
Sue Panzarella
Carol Pighin
Cynthia Powers
Amy Schwartz
Laura Small
Barbara Travell
Sandy Wilkinson
Jean Yates

Don't see your name? Contact Debbie and let's correct that!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Plein Air Buds at Rock Hill's Glencairn Gardens

One thing can be said about the Plein Air Buds... we are flexible and so wonderfully unpredictable! We changed our minds about painting the uptown area and after lunch went to the Glencairn Gardens. The sun popped out and exposed all the beautiful flowers and streams along the walkways and bridges. We know there are plenty who hated missing this one.

Lovely Azaleas in bloom

Streams along the walkway

Jen, Kathy and Connie setting up easels

Jennifer Spaker's work in progress

Carol Pighin Will Demo Alcohol Inks at 5/14/13 MAG Meeting

Matthews Artists Guild 

invites members and nonmembers interested in fine arts
to our May meeting when 
Carol Pighin
will demonstrate 
Oil over an Alcohol Ink Underpainting
Tuesday, May 14, 2013 

6:30 PM social   7 PM meeting 
at McDowell Arts Center
Downstairs Studio
123 McDowell Street East
Matthews, NC 28105

Matthews Artists Guild is excited to have Carol Pighin as Presenter at our May 14th meeting. 
Carol will present a demonstration of an abstract landscape with a remarkable technique of transparent layers of oil over an alcohol ink underpainting. First she uses alcohol inks and pours them on her canvas. Then she protects the ink with a coat of clear gesso.  These steps will be prepared prior to the meeting. Next she begins adding translucent oil paint to let some of the alcohol ink show through. 
After telling us how she prepared for this demo, Carol will take us through the remaining steps of this fascinating technique. 

Until the meeting. get to know Carol by reading her bio and visiting links she provided...
Carol Pighin's links...
My blog link is:
My website link is:

CAROL'S BIOCarol Pighin is a native Californian and a graduate of San Francisco State University. Carol and her family moved to Charlotte, North Carolina in 1995. Shortly after moving to Charlotte, Carol began taking design, drawing, and oil painting classes at CPCC. Oil painting became her passion and a way to express the beauty that she had seen throughout the world while working as a TWA Flight Attendant. She has studied art under Elizabeth Ross and Isaac Payne, Eleanor Rufty (through the Virginia Museum of Fine Art), and Andy Braitman at Braitman Studios. Carol has taken many workshops with artists, like Andy Braitman, Kelley Stanford, Judy Greenwood, Margaret Hoyback, Leslie Saeta and the Ringing School of Art.
Carol is also a blogger and started blogging in 2010. She posts current artwork and talks about interesting techniques and social media. Carol was inspired to start a blog by Kelley Stanford and Blog Talk radio, “Artists Helping Artists”.

   Carol has been a board member of Guild of Charlotte Artists since 2001. She served two years as president from 2008 to 2010. Carol is also a member Matthews Art Guild, Southern Art Society, Women Painters of the Southeast and Charlotte Plein Air Painters.   
ABOUT THE MEETINGOur meeting is always the second Tuesday of the month and begins with a 6:30 PM social. Come early and bring a snack or hors d'oeuvre if you'd like to add a treat to our table. Enjoy meeting our friendly group, chat with the presenter and preview samples of her artworks. Ask about our other opportunities of weekly figure drawing and plein air painting, monthly critiques, art shows, classes and workshops and MAG at the Movies. At 7 PM we'll have brief announcements followed by the demonstration. 
If you have questions, e-mail Nancy Kennedy, Program Chair, or Curtis Sloop, Asst Program Chair

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Plein Air Buds at Catawba River Boat Ramp near Belmont

Wisteria along Catawba River at boat ramp

The Plein Air Buds painted at the Catawba River boat ramps among fisher people and smell of fish this morning. But the main subject, for most of us, was the Wisteria. It was a challenge bringing out the purplish color from the green background but so beautifully achieved by all who came.

Scott Boyle at his easel and oils

Belinda Churchward with pastels and Yvette in the
background with her oils

Belinda's pastel work completed... lovely!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Critique Night With Russ and Gene Tuesday 4/16

Gentle Critiquers Russ Smith and Gene Lazo

If you are an artist who thinks, "I do not need help. I always know what's right and I do not want to change a thing about my art cause I am through growing,"... then this is definitely NOT for you. BUT who thinks that way! 

Come out to Critique Night and let the gang at the McDowell Arts Center give some fresh eyes to your masterpieces. Some might suggest you aim the cat's head in the another direction. Or maybe that kayak extends too long across the canvas. Or maybe you need to deepen or lighten some values so your focal point pops out. OR maybe you are right on and don't need to do a thing! It's all about exposing your art to possibilities you've never considered and MIGHT want to use!

AND you are welcome to give your opinions too. Russ and Gene monitor the critiques so no one is overwhelmed but all is done with encouragement too. Every work has great things about it and this is always brought out as well. You leave feeling good about your art and armed with ways to bring it to a new level. AND IT IS FREE! Become a part of this band of highly motivated artists. 

This is free and open to any and all artists. MAG membership is NOT required. 

MAG is very fortunate to have volunteers like Gene Lazo and Russ Smith in our membership. Check out their websites: 

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Cynthia Howard Says, "Paint Where You Are Going"

Cynthia Howard is a well-known and loved MAG member and last night we were treated to her demo on painting a water landscape with water-soluble oils. She says she likes to paint places where's she's been or wants to be. As you're painting a landscape, she says you should ask yourself, "Where are you going?"

Cynthia talking about her "precious" which are brushes
she would never use to "smoosh" the paint

Cynthia works with water-soluble oils because it is healthier for her. When she first got into painting, she found the chemicals involved with regular oil paints irritated her. She also is a cancer survivor of 16 years and found while enduring chemo treatments, she had visions of waterfalls. A lot of her works feature waterfalls or moving waters which gives her comfort. Her demo Tuesday night was of a coastal scene.

With the exception of Sap Green, Cynthia
likes to mix her own greens and includes indanthrone blue and 
diarylide yellow in her palette

What did we learn from Cynthia? Here's a sampling of tidbits:

  • Make room in your freezer for your palette. Don't throw away good paint! Freeze it and let it thaw... then use it!
  • "Smooshing" is Cynthia's word for scrumbling. Use it to make background trees and as you come forward into the foreground gradually add more and more detail.
  • Break up the greens with reds, like burnt sienna, cad red and purple-reds.
  • With water-soluble oils, you can lift paint by scrubbing with water and a stiff brush.
  • Use thinners to make the paint into a watery glaze to spread over certain areas.
  • Use a watercolor pencil to draw on the canvas prior to painting. It will dissolve into the paint.
  • "Lay it and leave it"... don't overwork an area with too much painting.
  • She loves how water-soluble oils works on watercolor canvases. Try it!

Cynthia's palette at the end of the demo

Cynthia is also a strong proponent of color charts

MAG's program chair, Nancy Kennedy, is getting together a date and time for a workshop with Cynthia. Be on the lookout for more information. 

Thanks, Cynthia, for a "smooshing" good demo and look forward to doing more with you.

In addition, thanks to Cynthia Powers for some of our photos! And to Eric Casaburro for being our camera operator during the demo. 

Congratulations to MAG member Barbara Jimison!

Barbara Jimison recently was awarded Honorable Mention for her watercolor painting of "Angel Bells" at the 5th Annual Ellen Cook Gaskin Memorial Art Show, " Nature At Its Best".  The show was held at the Falling Rivers Gallery in Albemarle, NC.

"Angel Bells" by Barbara Jimison

Barbara was also awarded 2nd Place for her watercolor painting "Couch Potato" at the Mooresville Artist Guild's Spring ArtFest 2013.

"Couch Potato" by Barbara Jimison

Barbara is a member of Charlotte Artists Society, Matthews Artists Guild, Watercolor Society of North Carolina, and The Golden Pallet Society.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Yvette's Garden and CAKE! a Hit for Plein Air Buds

This is the third time the Plein Air Buds have ventured to Yvette Brandell's Waxhaw home and garden. And we'll visit as often as Yvette will let us because her home is always very lovely not matter what time of year. We also appreciate her wonderful hospitality and she made a cake especially for us that morning. Thank you, Yvette! 

There were about 8 of us this time and the weather was awesome! Take a look at what we had to choose from to paint!

Daffodils in the sunlight

Red and Yellow never looked better 

The pots are all distinctive

Chairs and yard art included

Stonework patio with more flowers and pots

View of the backyard... very nice outing!

Friday, April 5, 2013

MAG Members-Only Competition in May

If you are a member of MAG or interested in becoming a member of MAG prior to the competition, then get ready for our annual members-only competition. 

2013 MAG Annual Art Competition 
for Members Only

Show Dates: May 4, 2013 through Saturday, June 1, 2013
Place: McDowell Arts Center
Take-In: Saturday, May 4, 2013, 10 AM - Noon
Entry fee: $25 for up to 2 works
Prizes: Mayor's Choice Ribbon and cash awards: $300 (First Place), $200 (Second Place) and $100 (Third Place) along with Honorable Mention Ribbons with $25 Gift Certificates from Binders and Cheap Joe's
Eligibility: MAG Members only. See Rules of Integrity.
Show Chair: Debbie Yacenda (704) 321.1523 or
Judge: Brian Neher for all awards except Mayor's Choice chosen by Mayor Jim Taylor of Matthews
Reception: Saturday, May 11, 3-5 PM. Winners announced at 4 PM.
Take Down: Saturday, June 1, 2013, 10 AM to Noon

Rules of Integrity

In order to maintain integrity of our judged shows, please adhere to the following:

  • There shall be a non-refundable entry fee for all judged shows, which shall be announced prior to each show and which shall be established by the Board of Directors.
  • Members of the MAG (Matthews Artists Guild) are eligible to enter up to two works of any stated media (Oil, Watercolor, Acrylic, Pastel, Photography, Glass, Sculpture and Pottery). The artist is responsible for proper platforms involving 3-dimensional works and set up.
  • Artwork must be original (subject matter must be your own and not a copy of any other work or picture), not over 2 years old and not previously shown in a Matthews Artists Guild show.  Artwork done within the framework of a class or workshop will not be accepted.  Rework of paintings previously submitted may not be entered. All artwork submitted may be questioned by show chairperson as to source and content.
  • Member Shows are open only to members whose dues have been paid prior to the show.
  • There shall be no computer-generated artwork.
  • All work to be hung must be properly framed and securely wired.  No clip mounting or saw-tooth hangers will be accepted.  Damaged frames or artwork will not be accepted.
  • Once art is hung, it must remain until the close of show.
  • No participant is to be allowed with the Judge during his/her selection of artwork and awards.
  • In the event of anticipated bad weather for a judged show, please contact the show chairperson to check for possible show cancellation.

Board of Directors - Matthews Artists Guild

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Cynthia Howard at next MAG Meeting Tuesday, April 9th

Cynthia Howard won "Best of Show" at Matthews Arts Festival

Cynthia Howard will do a landscape demo using water-based oils at our next MAG meeting, Tuesday, April 9th at 7 PM. There will be social time starting at 6:30 PM for members and guests to meet and talk with Cynthia. We at MAG are very familiar with Cynthia as a member and fantastic artist and teacher with over 30 years of experience. You can learn all about her and her lovely works at her web site:  All our meetings are free and open to the public. Join us!

MAG Meeting with Cynthia Howard Demo
Date: 4/9/13
Time: 6:30 PM social time; 7 PM Meeting begins
Place: McDowell Arts Center at studio space downstairs

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Life Drawing Tonight and Every Wednesday Night

You can count it... Life Drawing every Wednesday night at 7 PM for all artists 18 years old and older. Come to the Matthews Community Center with your supplies and $4-10 to contribute to the model fee (all depends on how many attend). You may want to arrive a little early to get your place and set up. Thanks to Nancy Kennedy for all she does to make this option available to all local artists.

"Tom" by Jack

Monday, April 1, 2013

Plein Air Buds at Col Beatty Park Tu 4/2 at 1 PM

Join the Plein Air Buds for a casual paint out at Col Frances Beatty Park at 4330 Weddington Road in South Charlotte. It is a large park with a lake at the end of the drive. You can either drive to the end of the main road or turn left at the last stop sign and go to the lake front area (where most of us will be). Paint with the group or on your own and we can meet up later. No rules, no fees, no time limitations... and it is free and open to all artists. Join us tomorrow, Tuesday, 4/2 at 1 PM or earlier. Great place for hiking too!

Connie painting by lake last time 
the Plein Air Buds
were at Col Beatty Park