Sunday, December 27, 2009

MSW Show at Fine Arts Center

The Mid-Southern Watercolorists Annual Fall Members Show will be hung at the Fine Arts Center of Hot Springs during the month of January. Although I did not originally enter a painting in the fall show, there were a few extra spaces available at the Fine Arts Center, so I'll be exhibiting my painting Valley Ranch there. This painting is loosely based on a beautiful valley in the Rocky Mountain foothills. There will be a reception at 5 pm on Friday, January 1st, during Hot Springs Gallery Walk.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Yet Another Demo

This seems to be the season of demos for me. Last Thursday, Barb Seibel invited me to do a 2-hour painting demo for her Brush Strokes-sponsored beginner watercolor class. I decided to paint a half-sheet Sound of Silence, which I have painted before. I enjoyed both the painting and the discussion of technique and design principles related to the painting. And the painting (attached) turned out pretty well, which does not always happen with demos.

I've also done a small version of this painting that I plan to offer as part of my Weekly Watercolor project.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Weekly Watercolor Website Launched

My new website, Weekly Watercolor by Jim Oberst at, is now active. It consists of three main pages: the Gallery, which is also the home page, showing all project paintings to date; the Order page, with ordering instructions, and the About page, with information about me and this project. Please visit my new site often. You can sign up for weekly or monthly email updates about my new paintings by clicking links on the Gallery page. It's not quite 2010, but I've decided to jump-start this project now with my first painting, rather than waiting for January 1.

The first painting posted, Early Snow, accompanies this post. It is based on a previous larger painting which was inspired by the many beautiful lake scenes in Arkansas. The snow-covered mountains are my own invention, and are not characteristic of Arkansas, which has gently rolling hills. I'm particularly drawn to the reflections in the water, the color in the trees, and the painting's fresh and spontaneous feel.

I will not be posting all of my weekly watercolor paintings here, but if you subscribe to my new blog you will be notified as each new painting is posted.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Follow me on Facebook

I have established a new Facebook page to provide real-time information about all of my art activities. Clicking on this link - Watercolors by Jim Oberst - will take you directly to this page. To follow me if you are already a Facebook member, just click on the Become a Fan box at the top of the page. If you are not a Facebook member, you can sign up by clicking on the Sign Up box, and you will be able to follow me, as well as share personal and art-related happenings with all of your Facebook friends.

I hope to "see" you on Facebook soon.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Fine Arts Center Member's Holiday Show

The Fine Arts Center of Hot Springs is sponsoring its annual member's Holiday Show during the month of December. I will have two of my paintings of Hot Springs on exhibit: Gallery Walk and Arlington Hotel. Stop in during the month to enjoy the show. The Fine Arts Center is located at 610A Central Avenue, and is open from 11 to 4, Monday through Saturday.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Demo for TAG

Today I gave a painting demonstration to TAG, the Traditional Artists Group of Hot Springs. I chose to repeat the painting Early Snow that I did for Richard Stephens' class about a month ago. This time I only had about 45 minutes, so I did the drawing and prepared the paper before the clock started. The artists at the meeting seemed to enjoy the demo, and several of them told me they learned a few things.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Kimbell Art Museum Commission

I was recently commissioned by Barbara White of Hot Springs Village, Arkansas, to create a painting of the Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth, Texas, where she worked for a number of years. The museum is housed in a unique building designed by architect Louis Kahn which uses natural light to enhance one's experience of the art. The client provided a number of photographs of the building for reference, and participated in selecting the basic viewpoint of the painting, as well as the frame and matting used, and seemed very happy with the result.

My World in Watercolor Exhibit

I will be Featured Artist at the Fine Arts Center of Hot Springs, located at 610A Central Avenue, during the month of November. Please join me at my reception on Friday, November 6, from 5 to 9 pm during Gallery Walk, to enjoy the art and say "Hello".

This exhibit, My World in Watercolor, comprises twenty-five rural and urban landscape paintings. Rural scenes of barns, covered bridges, and green valleys capture a sense of the peace and serenity of days gone by. A variety of waterscapes include quiet harbors, rushing rivers, and bustling fishing boats amid our coastal waters. There are energetic urban scenes of Hot Springs, Little Rock, and several foreign cities that I have visited. And I will also be showing an engaging abstract as a change of pace.

If you can't make it to Gallery Walk, stop by the Fine Arts Center any time during November to enjoy my exhibit. The Fine Arts Center is open from 11 am to 4 pm Monday through Saturday.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Watercolor Class with Demo

Last Wednesday, Richard Stephens gave me the opportunity to teach one session of his annual Garland County Library watercolor beginners class, as he was unavailable that day. I decided to do a 1-hour demo (although it's difficult for me to paint that fast, and also to paint vertically) and then to have the students try their hand at the same painting. I did the accompanying painting Early Snow in the class. The students had plenty of questions, and seemed to enjoy the demo and the painting exercise. I enjoyed it, too.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

The Springs Magazine Cover

The Springs Magazine is a monthly guide to arts, entertainment, and activities in Hot Springs, Arkansas. My painting Fall Firetrees was chosen for the cover of the November, 2009 issue. Thanks to publisher/editor Sonja Lash for choosing my painting and to Richard Stephens Commercial Art for the cover design.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Paintings of Copenhagen

During August, Jeanette and I took a cruise in Scandinavia that stopped in many cities in that region. The embarkation city was Copenhagen, Denmark, which we found delightful. So far I've painted two scenes from Copenhagen... one of the very picturesque Nyhavn waterfront, and the other of some rowboats for rent on a small lake in beautiful Fredericksberg Park. I'm sure there will be many more paintings based on this trip.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Second Prize at Diamond National Exhibit

My painting Clinton Avenue Looking West was awarded second prize in watercolor on paper at the 2009 Diamond National Exhibit sponsored by the Fine Arts Center of Hot Springs. This painting and one other of mine that was juried into the exhibit will be on display at the Center at 610 Central Avenue, Hot Springs, Arkansas, throughout the month of September.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Featured Artist at Gallery 726

I will be featured artist at Gallery 726, located at 726 Central Avenue in Hot Springs, during the month of September. I'll be exhibiting a variety of watercolor paintings - rural landscapes, seascapes, and urban landscapes - including several new paintings of downtown Hot Springs. Please join me at my reception on Friday, September 4, from 5 to 9 pm during Gallery Walk, to see the art and say "Hello". If you can't make it this coming Friday, stop by Gallery 726 anytime during September to enjoy my exhibit. Gallery 726 is open from 10 am to 5 pm Tuesday through Saturday.

I've had two paintings juried into the 2009 Diamond National Exhibit, and they will be on display at the Fine Arts Center at 610 Central Avenue during the same time period.

I hope to see you at the upcoming Gallery Walk.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Two Paintings Juried Into Diamond Exhibit

The 2009 Diamond National Juried Exhibit sponsored each year by the Fine Arts Center of Hot Springs is coming up in September, and I was recently informed that two of my entries, Clinton Avenue Looking West and High and Dry, were juried in. The awards reception is scheduled for Gallery Walk Evening, September 4, at the Fine Arts Center. The exhibit will be on display there throughout the month of September.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Award at Brush Strokes Woodlands Exhibit

Brush Strokes is holding its major 2009 exhibit  at the Woodlands Auditorium lobby in Hot Springs Village from April 15 through May 31.  At our reception on Friday, April 24, I won the 2nd place prize in the professional category for my full-sheet painting High and Dry.  This painting is based on a scene I came upon at a marina in Maui, Hawaii.  The exhibit was judged by Frank Francese.

Frank Francese Workshop

This past week, I participated in a three-day Frank Francese watercolor workshop. Frank is a teriffic teacher... he teaches an approach to painting that helps one loosen up, and is a really fine, down-to-earth human being. I've posted one of the six paintings I finished at the workshop... this one in about an hour, with no pencil drawing at all on the watercolor paper! Frank finished up his week with a fantastic program for Brush Strokes, including two full-sheet painting demos. He then judged our Woodlands painting exhibit. I would recommend Frank's workshop to every watercolor organization without reservation.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Featured Artist and Gallery Changes

I will be featured artist, along with Marlene Gremillion, at Artists Workshop Gallery at 810A Central Avenue in Hot Springs during the month of May. My paintings will include rural landscapes, inland and coastal seascapes, and urban landscapes. Please join me at my reception on Friday, May 1 from 5 to 9 pm during Gallery Walk, and say "Hello"

I have left ArtChurch Studio, and am now represented at the newest Hot Springs gallery, Gallery 726, located at 726 Central Avenue. Its grand opening is also during Gallery Walk on May 1.

And I have a painting on display at the Celebrating Women exhibit at the Mountain Spring Water Company during this same Gallery Walk.

I hope you can attend Gallery Walk on Friday, May 1, and enjoy the evening's art activities.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

MSW Website Coordinator

I've recently taken on the job of Mid-Southern Watercolorists website coordinator.  I don't actually maintain the website itself; my job is to interface between MSW and the website administrator to ensure that the data on the website is up to date.  We've just gone through a large update process for members and the annual exhibit images, but there are always small changes to be posted.  Take a look at the website at

Thursday, February 26, 2009

John Salminen Abstract Workshop

Last week I attended a 4-day workshop sponsored by Mid-Southern Watercolorists given by John Salminen, built around creating a full-sheet abstract watercolor.  I'd never tried to paint my own abstract, so I thought this might be a worthwhile new experience.  In addition, the workshop got very high marks by others who had taken it.  Using some of John's methods, we designed an interesting white space, and then enhanced the overall design with brushed watercolor, watercolor sprayed from a mouth atomizer, collage, and acrylic.  John and his wife Cathy helped us continually apply design principles as we developed our paintings.  The step-by-step approach resulted in striking paintings by everyone in the class.  I've posted an image of mine here.

Friday, February 13, 2009

EPCOT World Showcase

In January, we spent a few weeks in Florida - Orlando and Sarasota - to remind ourselves what warm weather is like.  One day we went to EPCOT, and I took some photos of some of the "country areas" there.  I'm always on the lookout for new urban type scenes to paint, and EPCOT provided several picturesque settings with plenty of pedestrians.  In the last two weeks I painted two of them, Morocco and France, which are shown here.  Next week I'll be attending the John Salminen workshop at Mid-Southern Watercolorists, and I'll probably be painting another urban scene or two.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

President of Brush Strokes

I have been elected president of Brush Strokes for 2009.  During December, I worked to staff all of the positions we need to manage exhibits, workshops, publicity, etc., and the members came through and filled all of the defined openings.  We had our first meeting of 2009 last Friday, and it started off in mass confusion... the Coronado Center said that "someone" had called and cancelled the meeting, so as members arrived, all of the room setup still had to be done.  The Coronado Center folks did a great job recovering.  We had our first Painting of the Month vote, and it was a big hit.  Don Pohlman won with a great abstract dyptic in acrylic, which is hanging in Coronado Center until February 13.  In all, the meeting was hectic, but fun.  I've attached a photo of (left to right) June Harris, our secretary, me, and Marlene Gremillion, our vice-president, who is also responsible for our meeting programs.  Our treasurer John Keller missed the photo-op.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Exhibit at Woodlands Auditorium

Just this week, I received an unplanned opportunity to exhibit paintings in the Woodlands Auditorium lobby at Ponce deLeon Center in Hot Springs Village with friend and fellow artist John Keller.  The two of us hung over 50 paintings on short notice, and they'll be there until the end of February.  I have already had several people tell me that it's an impressive show, so if you have a chance to stop by and see it, please do so.  I think you will find it worthwhile.