Friday, December 20, 2013

And...Winter Oil Painting Class!

Also a new session in Oils here in Forsyth County at Fowler Park!! It will be on Thursday mornings this winter from 10 AM to Noon, beginning January 9. You can see the four reference photos for the four oil paintings we'll be working on in January if you click here.

Here are some of my demo paintings from recent sessions which show you the way I paint when I work from reference photos, and this semi-layered technique is how I work in class:

We have lots of fun painting in oil class and you can choose from among several different types of Oil Paints:
I use alkyds (Winsor and Newton "Griffin" fast drying Oil Colors) see the company's info here. Some of my students use water mixable oils like these, and still others use traditional slow drying oils like Winton or Gamblin brands. A list of these types of oils, the colors you might want to bring to class, and other needed supplies can be found here.
 I hope you come and join us, and make it a winter of artistic growth!

You can sign up for any of my classes by calling 770 781-2215.

Winter Watercolor!

Winter Watercolor Session is coming up!! I can't wait, and I've written a doc which has the landscapes we'll be using which you can find here.

I find that things work out best if we focus on some small "mini exercises" in the first hour of class: a piece of fruit, a wood texture, a tree, a mountain ridge...something simple which gives us the steam to do a small landscape painting in the second hour. A mini exercise is like this:

or this:

And a typical painting which we'll do in the second hour of class is like this:
A little more involved: maybe some trees, some sky, some water, a few landscape elements which exist together on a page. We work on concepts like wet-into-wet vs. wet-on-dry, and we practice color mixing, how to handle your brushes, how to use enough paint and enough pigment in your paint, all of the basics. And, it's a blast! Come join us!
You can call 770 781-2215 to sign up, and you can even just show up and pay $20 at the front desk to join a class. 


Thursday, August 22, 2013

I love this photo!

I am crazy about this photo and feel that it's a good example of how painting from photos can be helpful! 

The main advantage of taking lots of reference photos, for you as an artist, is that so many unplanned but beautiful compositions jump out at you if you browse through them and crop. You limit what you will consider for a composition when you lift your camera to a scene: you've got compositional rules in your head, and you're looking at a favored focal point. But when you flip through - and crop - your photos later on, those ideas will have faded and the flat images themselves will present new and fresh ideas to you.

This particular shot, taken by me, a tourist in London, was not well planned or composed. But not only an interesting crop, but even some water which spilled and spattered this particular print and faded and blended some colors made me look at it in a different way. The colors which faded and ran together made the scene have a very otherworldly, fanciful feeling to me. Tourist shots are already strange, almost voyeuristic in their subject matter, and they have an eerie feeling that interests me. Add the disconnect of time, damage, distance from the experience - and you have inspiration for a thoughtful treatment of a historical treasure. 

It's funny, I did another tourist trip inspired painting which, for me, was an interesting and theatrical subject. It was a painting of part of a statue in London, behind a hedge, looking mysterious. I had to laugh when a friend dug through the time stamps in my photos and nailed down the particular statue which was in my painting. It wasn't a great hero, or a forgotten political leader, but the statue was titled "Commerce." Ach! It didn't work so well. But it was very funny, and now a photo of the friend who later took a picture of himself in the same frame as our statue "Commerce", is tucked in the corner of the framed painting. I'll show it to you later.

So don't rule out any photos for painting inspiration!

Also, if you're interested in my upcoming Oil session or Watercolor session at Parks and Rec, call 770 781-2215 to reserve your spot! The painting which is featured in this ebook , Painting a Pastoral Vista in Oils, will be what we do in our first Oil class. Watercolor will also be fun, with several fun small demos and a larger simple painting every week. 

Check out my website, to see more about my art, and a calendar of my classes! I also have lots of paintings on ebay right now! 

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Painting a Super Easy Hydrangea Painting at Fowler Park!

And another easy workshop for the beginner: I'm painting this painting at Fowler Park in the Multi-Purpose Room this coming Sunday July 28 from 2 PM to 4 PM. Fun! And Simple! I'll walk you through every step, and the best part is, you can just come as you are: all of the supplies are included.

It's best when you come with a friend - and bring a Starbucks and a desire to have a fun afternoon of painting!

Here's a snapshot of the painting:

Some have a blast!

I also offer other classes, more in depth, with different subjects every week. You can see my calendar at


new Pinot's Palette location in Johns Creek! Come Paint!

I hope all of my blog readers will know about this new Pinot's Palette location in John's Creek. I'm having a blast being one of their instructors/assistants, and the type of painting is nothing but fun and relaxation! Don't think fine art, think fun art! Here's a link to their upcoming sessions, I'm teaching the one tomorrow night July 25 "Dance of the Buttercups"...

Grab a friend, bring a bottle of wine and some snacks, and come paint! 
Pinot's is located between Starbucks and Five Below near the intersection of McGinnis Ferry and Medlock Bridge Road...the address is 11720 Medlock Bridge Road , Suite 175, Duluth, GA 30097 and it's just around the corner from Jason's Deli. 

Thanks you guys!

Friday, June 21, 2013

Finishing up 50 unfinished paintings!

Wow, how to finish so many?
This is one of the stacks that finally has gotten finished and listed:

This painting is one of many which are getting sorted and finished this summer. It's a view of the Oregon coast (thanks for the inspiration, mom!). I'm obsessed with painting, not so much with figuring out what the heck to do with the piles of paintings which result. It took some intervention from my daughter to start to deal with the stacks. So I'm finishing them, she's dealing with them.
If you're an artist like me and have a hard time facing how to finish a painting, maybe you can try some of the things which seem to help me:

Ask yourself: should I add some contrasting colors for more shadows or reflected light? On a peach or yellow tree or flower, this might be petals or boughs on the shaded side of the object which can have beautiful plums or lavenders blended in.  On the blue shaded side of a white wall, some rosy or orange hints can be added to suggest the colored light bouncing around.

Another question: are my darks dark enough? This is the classic "squint your eyes" situation. When you do so, do you see a pleasing composition of darks which stand alone in their own right?

One other favorite question I ask myself: do I have too many sharp edges? Softening and blurring the edges of objects on the far side of a still life, or the distant part of a landscape can help to snap your main subject into focus and give a sense of depth to the scene.
That same daughter I mentioned is photographing some of the paintings which are most presentable and has started listing them on my eBay shop. I'm grateful!    Hope you'll take a peek if you're interested, you can see the eBay link below; the idea is that buyers can feel free to make an offer on any of the listings. It seems more leisurely and sane than an auction format, but some of the same fun, and a bit of a chance to get a bargain if at all possible!


You can visit to see more about my art; there are portfolios of my work, news about upcoming classes, and links to my facebook page, ebay store and etsy store.

Thanks for your interest in and support of my art!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Oh My Gosh, Red Flowers and Glass!

Love love love this photo of mine: the light, the water, the glass, the red of the little flowers! They are the tiny dianthus that my Brian brought me for Mother's Day. We're going to paint a simplified version of this subject matter tomorrow at Fowler Park in Watercolor class! 

A new watercolor session will be starting in June, so sign up if you want to learn a lot about treating this fascinating medium with the boldness, respect and sheer delight that it deserves!!


call 770 781-2215 to inquire or sign up for Susan Kennedy's classes

Painting Rich old Wood on an Ironclad, my latest series!

This painting was my obsession for a few weeks: I loved the surreal surroundings as we walked around the resting place of the U.S.S. Cairo in Vicksburg last year. I wanted to zoom in and focus on the beautiful wood and the dreamy blues and greens bouncing around as well.

It's actually for sale on ebay right now, I thought I'd pay attention to my old ebay store: click here to see it.

The subject itself seemed surreal to me, too: the ironclad was thought impossibly strong and unsinkable in its time, but I guess like all technologies, it had its time, and its time passed. That was the reason for the title "Outliving Ironclad Promises." So it's sitting in a quiet grassy field, with some of the battle sites nearby. None of the drama, the blood, the fear and the anger of that time is left, only worm-eaten wood and curious history buffs. I found the light and the strange situation irresistable as a painter!

During the Civil War the Cairo was one of the Union's hopes for securing areas along the Mississippi, but it was brought down by rebel soldiers who planted explosives along the bank. An unceremonious end: no deaths, no dramatic battle, just an end to the unrealistic dream accompanying a new technology. I find a lesson here, but I don't know what it is!

Some of the timbers at the site are new: the boat was raised, lovingly propped up, preserved, and encased in new wood which supports and rebuilds its massive structure. All of the iron is rusted away,  but cannons still protrude from their slots.

My husband infuriated me by noting that the presence of guns and a flag should make this a popular painting, so I added the text at the bottom: "Ironclad Promises", which I hope asks questions rather than posing an answer. I'm neither a pacifist nor a luddite, but I do enjoy the quiet setting, complete with bird song and wafting breezes, which brings a sense of context and perspective to this once mighty gunboat.


If you'd like to see more about my art, you can go to, and if you want to see all of my ebay items and etsy items for sale, click here (for my art on ebay) and here (for my art on etsy)

Monday, April 1, 2013

Lots of new paintings for Susan's Oil Class and Watercolor Class starting this week!

I'm looking forward to Watercolor and Oil, both new April sessions starting this week! 
Watercolor (Tuesdays in April, starting Apr 2, from 1-3 PM at Old Atlanta Park) will have a few exercises you might enjoy: the leaves, possibly a pansy, mini exercises in working washes, and a quick simplified sketch of the dog in the waves, some of which you can see reference photos for below.

Here's a list of the materials we use, but if you don't have them yet, you can come anyway for the first session and use some of mine.

supply list

The first Oil class will be the Edisto Marshy inlet scene you see a reference photo for below:

Oil Class will be from 1-3 PM Thursdays in April at Fowler Park (provided there are signups)

Just join us, even at the last minute, for watercolor; they'll let you sign up at the last minute at the front desk on your way in. As far as Oil class, it will proceed as long as there are three or four signups, and I'm not sure whether we have that yet, so call right away!

The Parks number is 770 781-2215 or you can stop by any Parks and Rec location that has a front desk.

Also, there's a new 4-week May session (both Watercolor and Oil) coming up right after April's session, so if you want to dig in to painting for 8 weeks running, you'll be able to do that straight through from April to May!

See you there!!
If you want to see more about my art, you can check out

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

New Watercolor Painting Ebook with Printable Art Files for Greeting Cards

I'm so excited to finally start publishing my various painting ebooks on Amazon! Here's the first , and it's packed with step by step photos of this advanced level watercolor still life project. When it's sized to 8.5 x 11, it's 22 pages, not sure what that turns in to on an ereader.

It's not so much intended as a tutorial for you to duplicate this painting, but a discussion of how I tackled a complex subject which included flowers and china.

There's even a link to a 29 minute video of me painting this watercolor! (If you'd like to see my little youtube painting videos, click here for my channel).

Also, with each of the art ebooklets I publish, I'm including downloadable files (5" x 7" and 300 dpi jpg's) of my art, so that you can print out mini prints, greeting cards, or notecards (you can see the ones which are included in the little box on the cover art).

It's so inspiring talking with people about watercolor, and incidentally I'm starting up a new watercolor class which begins on March 7 1-3 PM at Fowler Park in Forsyth County (near Atlanta). Four two hour sessions are included in the four week class, and we have a good time exploring the medium! Beginner to intermediate levels are the norm for this class.

Thanks for checking out my art, and you can find out more at . 

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Come Paint a Colorful Tree!

Come and Paint this tree (above) with us at the Parks and Rec multipurpose room at Foster Park! On Monday evening, Feb 25! 
This mini workshop focuses on painting this colorful and cheerful tree on a hilltop. We paint it in acrylics on canvas, and the technique is not very layered: you'll sketch it out (with help if you wish), lay in the sky, then trunk and purply-rusty shadows, then what a blast: put in those golden-greeny highlights and soft and pretty details and shadows in lavernder, pink, gold!
sign up by calling Parks and Rec at 770 781-2215, and you can pay at any parks and rec front desk. The workshop will be held Monday, February 25 from 7-9 PM at Fowler Park's Multipurpose room (click here for map and directions
I'm so excited to be painting new and fun subjects! Read on for more:
My upcoming classes include continuing Oil Landscape sessions and continuing Watercolor for beginners and intermediate painters:
Oils (ages 18 and up)
Four Week Session  $80
Tuesdays 1-3 PM at Old Atlanta Park Feb 26 through March 19

Watercolor (ages 18 and up)  
 Four Week Session $80
Thursdays 1-3 PM at Fowler Park Mar 7 through March 28


Click here for my supply list for both Oils and Watercolors. 

Thanks for checking out my classes and let me know if you have any questions!!!

You can go to my etsy art store to see more of my paintings and to find out more about my work. 

Saturday, January 5, 2013

New Oil Painting Classes for 2013 - A Lake Scene to Paint!

I'm thinking that this will be the painting new students will work on with me for the first class of 2013, which is January 10 ( a four week session running on Thursdays from 1-3 PM at Fowler Park in Forsyth County, Ga. You can call 770 781-2215 to sign up)

We've painted this one before in class, so it will be an option among two or three, so returning students will have something new to paint. But...a little water, a lot of sky, some trees: I'm thinking a lake or river scene. Just got some super photos at the Amicalola River walkway, so one of those will definitely be on the menu. I bring reference photos for my students, which are theirs to keep.

Watery scenes always are the ones that make everyone happiest! Not too much layering, just a bit. It's hard to paint in any manner other that "alla prima" (all at once, or direct painting) in class because of the difficulty of painting wet-into-wet with oils. So most of the time your brush will be hitting the white (or primed, if you wish!) canvas with what's close to your final colors.

We'll be scrubbing in a thin layer of straight, unthinned paint for the water area and the tree area, so I guess I should call our approach in class "modified alla prima". A thin, pasty under layer, with highlights placed on top.

We have a blast in class, so come join us! You can even show up at the last minute with your materials (bring a 16 x 20 canvas, or if you like, one a bit smaller). Here's the supply list . Don't worry, if you want to come with just a handful of brushes and a canvas, you can borrow my paints for the first class.

Paint like crazy in the New Year!!!

email me at kennedyartstudio @ if you have any questions (you'll have to take out the spaces)