Artist Round Table Bi-Monthly Zoom Session Follow-Up Newsletter (10.29.2023)

Greetings, you are receiving this newsletter because you are registered for our Artist Round Table Bi-Monthly Zoom Sessions. We will be sending a follow-up newsletter like this after each session to highlight the key points discussed during the roundtable.

We want to welcome to our group two new members: Paul Beckingham and Ardith Starostka.
Paul Beckingham is a contemporary realism oil painter based in New England. Paul’s work is evolving due to a finer sense of composition, growing confidence in bending the narrative and acquiring skills. He likes his work to present a viewing experience that encourages a closer look.
As an artist, Ardith paints with beautiful realism and tenderness, allowing her paintings to look as though they could breathe, often prompting viewers to lean in closer, wishing they could reach out and touch them. Mixing realism with surrealism, Ardith enjoys building complex compositions and working in painstaking detail.

For more on Paul and Ardith, check out their websites.

Three of Lois Pluskey’s works will be displayed at Mainstreet Galleries, PA, for the 40th Annual International Exhibit of Miniature Art. Her paintings are 3.5 x 4.5 inches, featuring vintage McDonald’s Happy Meal Toys. The show runs from November 12th to December 29th, 2023.

Congratulations to Tanja Gant! Her drawing Wallflower (9x21", Colored Pencil) will be at the Salmagundi Club in NYC between November 6 - November 24, 2023, as part of the American Artists Professional League’s 95th Grand National Exhibition. Please check out the ONLINE SHOW; most works are for sale.

Tanja is dominating the Salmagundi Club this season. Her drawing Queen in Training II (14x21", Graphite) will be in the Catherine Lorillard Wolfe Art Club’s 126th Annual Exhibition hosted by the Salmagundi Club between November 27 - December 9, 2023. Catherine Lorillard Wolfe Art Club is a national organization that shows and promotes works by professional women artists founded in 1896.

Appropriate for Halloween spirit, Debra is participating in the Mystery, Magic & the Macabre show at Deines Cultural Center. This is the 3rd annual Juried Exhibition, and it celebrates talented and innovative artists whose work is thoughtful and imaginative and offers unique portrayals of the dark, the mysterious, and the mystical. Show dates: 10.22.2023 - 11.22.2023

Debra’s painting It’s Complicated (Oil on Panel) is part of the Juried International Guild of Realism Fall Salon. The show is on display from 10.20.2023 to 12.20.2023

Last Sunday, we discussed artistic liberties that artists use to fit their narrative and can get away with “mistakes.” Please check the article by Patrick Cavanagh, Artist as a Neuroscientist, where he explores how artistic license simplifies physics.
Below are a couple of links to “mistakes” that master painters allowed themselves to make:
Portrait of Comtesse d’Haussonville by Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres (where is her right arm coming out from?)
The Milkmaid by Johannes Vermeer (hint: check out the flow of milk into the bowl)
La Grande Odalisque by Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres (does she have extra vertebrae, maybe 5?)
Nighthawks by Edward Hopper (how do you enter or exit this diner?)

Thank you, Johnny Sells, for mentioning Michelangelo’s Pieta.
“If you compare the scale of Mary vs. Jesus by measuring both figures, Mary would tower over Jesus, but Michaelangelo was trying to create a triangular composition, representative of the Trinity and quite commonly used during the Renaissance period. The composition works wonderfully in this example. (Don’t ask them both to stand up).”

For more on Pieta, please check out the article: What Michelangelo’s flawed Pietà teaches us about Mary.

Difficulties in painting water were discussed in the last session. Many of you submitted examples of your waterworks; below is the gallery of those examples. Click on each image to take you to the artist’s website to explore more.
Top image: Lori Pugh - the Queen of Waves! She is pictured next to her painting Big Blue Wave, which is 24’ long and 4’ high.

Thank you, Christine Young, for mentioning the Frans Hals Exhibition at the Rijks Museum, Amsterdam, Netherlands, coming up in Spring 2024.
“Extraordinarily productive, innovative, entertaining, and a little rough around the edges: Frans Hals was one of a few painters who defined the 17th century. His distinctive, freewheeling painting style became so influential that it’s easy to forget that he was its founder. So, after thirty years, it’s high time for a new retrospective. Come admire his finest works at the Rijksmuseum from 16 February 2024.”

Online Alla Prima Challenges 2024.
20 live painting alla prima sessions over 20 weeks (plus an introductory orientation) beginning on January 4th (orientation), 2024! (Registration starts December 5th!) For all my painter pals–I’m once again going to be hosting 20 weekly alla prima challenges via Zoom starting in January 2024. Sessions will be carried out each Thursday at 2 p.m. EST. Each session will last about 1 hour, which includes 30-45 minutes of painting time (depending on the challenge for that week) and 15-20 minutes of discussion about the goals of the exercise and some tips to make the effort more successful. After each session, participants will have one hour to share a photograph of their effort in a shared Dropbox folder that will serve as a private learning gallery for all participants. Links to the folder will be made available in an email like this one that precedes the session.

Prior to the first painting session, I will be hosting an “Orientation” session on January 4th. This will serve as an introduction to the challenges, a walkthrough of the primary goals, what is needed to participate, the role of the Dropbox gallery, and a general Q&A to ensure everyone is ready to go on January 11th!

If you are interested in learning about each challenge ahead of time, you can see the full schedule here: Alla Prima Challenges. Also, if you are interested, Smartermarx has additional info on the general strategies that I often use to approach the alla prima (specifically the SNAG concept – Survey, Notan, Anchors, and Gradations.) If you wish to join us, please sign up today! (You can unsubscribe from the list at any time.) To subscribe, follow the LINK. Please forward any additional questions to Anya Dribas, at

In between our bi-weekly Artist Round Table Sessions feel free to come and join the discussions on Smartermarx.