Welcome to my world!!

I’m Erma, your fabulous hostess with the mostess, here to guide you when you need it, offer moral support, and when it’s called for, offer wine and commiseration.

I will be here answering any questions you have regarding painting, color mixing, where to find special supplies, how to annoy the instructors, and give you tips to make your paintings better.

I’m named after the famous Erma Bombeck. That’s some writing to live up to! I’m up to the challenge though!

December 2019

Hello fellow painting enthusiasts!

I know all you all are preoccupied with the holidays so I’m not going to give you a painting tip this month. You’d probably just wrap it up and give it to your cousin Sue anyway! Haha!

Instead I’m going to ask that you consider adopting a family from the Foothills Food Bank. They are a group of wonderful people trying to brighten the holiday season for children, families and seniors in the northern Arizona foothills community. They have 85 more families than they did last year and 125 individuals that are ready for adoption. They need more fine souls who are willing to share their good fortune with others. The last day to sign up as a donor is December 6th.  Follow this link for more information https://www.foothillsfoodbank.com/adopt-a-family/.

Happy Holidays! Keep on painting!!

November 2019

Greetings fellow artists!! I hope you had as wonderful a Halloween as I did! I caught up with cousins and siblings I haven’t seen in centuries. My Aunt Apparition had some particularly good stories. She had been off haunting a pirate ship since 1823 but she accidentally sunk it this past spring when she got carried away rattling her chains and put a hole in the side. Oops…

Anyhow, this month I’m here to talk about painting with a friend or in groups and how this can give you a fresh perspective. If you find a good group or a supportive friend it will inspire you not to fall into a rut.

Open studios and conversations with other artists are great for your progress. Stand back and look at what you have done with them, do not get complacent! Keep those canvases fresh and new all the time!

Here at Ciolim we have open studio every Thursday. We have a great group of artists to bounce ideas off of and I’m always happy to look too.

Try to give that canvas at least a couple of days of the week of good concentration. It will pay off!!

October 2019

Everyone’s a critic. Am I right or am I right? Sometimes though seeking out constructive criticism can be the very best thing you can do for your painting.

No surprise then that I’m here to talk about critiques this month. If you are holding off taking a painting for a critique, now is the time to bite the bullet and get it done! A proper critique should be one of the best tools you have for helping you through glitches. When you reach a point where you’re not sure which direction to go a good critique will point out the good as well as the bad and give you direction as to what can be improved on.

If you encounter anything less, the person doing the critique is at fault. Don’t take it personally! Just move on and find someone else you can work with. Keep it positive folks!

September 2019

Sup peeps? It’s getting closer to my favorite time of the year! Pumpkin spice everything, black cats and some of my relatives even come out for a visit. I can’t wait!

In the meantime lets talk about value. Do you know how to find value? And no, I’m not talking about shopping at Target.

Why do we have so much trouble finding three values?

It’s such a simple thing when you stop and think about it. Mix the darkest value you need and then lighten it three values. Repeat once more and voila! You have a round post, pot, hand or anything else you are painting. If you keep this system in mind, everything you paint, even your clouds, will come alive.

Erma tip of the month – Find the piece that is your focal point and take it up three more value, mix them to six or eight and right away that piece will stand out from all the rest.

Happy Painting!!

August 2019

Hola fellow artists extraordinaire! I hope you’re finding creative ways to stay cool this summer. I spent all day last Saturday at the mall, in the air conditioning and picking up a few new pieces for fall. You like?? I think the sales person at Neiman’s might have gotten me to buy a few more things than I actually need. Oh well, it’s only money and I can’t take it with me!! 

I’m going to talk a little about creativity and originality this month. Do you get out and photograph your own subjects or do you copy other art? Copying other art when you’re a beginner is ok and great to learn from as long as you don’t sell it.  It’s only for practice; and you should always give credit to the artist you used for a reference as a courtesy.

However, the sooner you begin to use your own reference material you’ll get better faster. So go for it! Get out there, with a big bottle of water, and get photographing!!!

Adios! I’ll be back in September, and as always, if you have questions, email them to victoria@ciolim.com.

July 2019

Cleaning Your Brushes.

Most of you slack on the cleaning sometimes. If I could give you an eye roll I would but my eyes are long gone and no one seems to be able to find me a donor! Anyone know where I can get some baby blues?

I digress.

I bet after this summer of sitting around in jars or laying in a box while you were traveling, your brushes have hardened up a bit. A good soaking in Turpenoid Natural for oil brushes or plain old alcohol (unless you prefer a fancy designer alcohol) for acrylic brushes will do the job. Soak them at least overnight and then give them a good scrubbing with mild soap and water. If this doesn’t work and the brushes are still brittle, it might be time for new brushes. They don’t have to be expensive but nothing gets the creative juices flowing like a new, fresh brush!

Adios! I’ll be back in a month. If you have questions, email them to victoria@ciolim.com.