Friday, August 25, 2023

Arts in Central Park September 16-17, 2023

 Coming soon. If you wish to volunteer for Barn Colony Artist, Inc. tent sitting, please contact Jeanne Helm ( or Ann Brunson (

If you want to display your art in the tent, also contact Jeanne or Ann. It will be locked on the Southside of the park this year at D-6.

Saturday, July 29, 2023

Results of "Paint Decatur" Plein Air Event

11 people signed up for the event and met at the Millikin Homestead for a demo on use of oil paintinng for Plein Air on Sunday June 25. MH co-sponsored the event with Barn Colony. Anthony Collins demonstrated his approach by using a picture he had taken of a farmer's market. It was good that MH allowed us to do the demo inside the house, as the weather was hot and windy. 9 of the 11 participants then had all week to paint various scenes in and around Decatur. The judging was done on the 3rd floor of the Madden Art Center because July 1 was immediately after the heavy rainstorm that knocked out power and downed a tree at theMH. Annette Russo was the judge and had the participants input to choose the winners. 

!st place was a watercolor of the Commodore Boat Club by Liza Holder--$75

2nd place was another w/c of St. James Episcopal Church by Mike Delany--$50

3rd place was a gouache painting of the Decatur Transfer House by Stephen Gardner--$25

Here are the results that were on diwsplay at Gallery 510 during the month of July:

Monday, April 24, 2023

"Paint Decatur" Plein Air Event June 25-July 1, 2023

 This is an invitation to all Area Artists to join in "Paint Decatur." Here is a short description of the Event and the form to to sign up. Since we are limiting the event to 20 artists, the earlier you sign up the more you are assured you will be among the 20.


SUNDAY, 25 JUNE, TO JULY 1, 2023


This Plein Air Event is in support of Barn Colony Artists, Inc.  and Millikin Homestead who are cosponsoring it. It is a chance to meet other artists and have fun and enjoy the experience of this event. All levels of ability are welcome to participate. You will have a week to complete your work.

Paint the city of Decatur!

Suggested sites include, but are not limited to, Millikin Homestead, Oglesby Mansion, Fairview Park Dreamland Lake, Merchant St, and Central Park (maps will be available).

Artists need to bring their own equipment and medium.  A tent is available on July 1 to display finished art work at 1:00-2:00 p.m.. Judging and critique will be at 2:30-3:30 p.m., followed by a wine and cheese reception at 3:30-5:00 p.m.. Entertainment will be provided by Broken Broque.

Awards will be given for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place.

Questions?: call George Virgil 217-877-1569 or email:

Complete and mail this form and send with $25 entry fee payable to: Millikin Homestead with note “Barn Colony Artists, Inc.”

Mail to: Doug Warren, Millikin Homestead, 125 N Pine St. Decatur, IL 62522

Name:______________________________________ Novice:____; Amateur:____; Experienced:_____


Town/city:_______________________ Medium:____________________

Email:___________________________ Cell Phone:_________________



Plein Air (Outdoor) Painting Event

“Paint Decatur”


Dates: June 25 through July 1, 2023

June 25 -1:00 pm to 2:00 p.m. – Painting demonstration followed          by Millikin Homestead tour—2:00-4:00 p.m.

July 1-1:00 p.m. Hanging finished art; 3:00 pm Judging; 3:30 – 5:00 p.m. social hour/refreshments.

Location: 125 N. Pine St. (Millikin Homestead), Decatur, IL 62522


All artist levels are invited to bringing Decatur area sites to life. Barn Colony Artists, Inc. and Millikin Homestead are co-sponsoring the event.  It begins with Anthony Collins demonstrating oil techniques and approaches for this type of painting. There will be a list of potential interesting sites to consider. Artists will have the whole week to complete their work and then hang them for judging on July 1. On that day there will be entertainment (Broken Broque) and refreshments back at Millikin Homestead. Mediums include Watercolor, Acrylic, Pastel, Oil and Photography.

Entry fee: $25 (Limited to 20 artists)

Contact phone number: 217-877-1569

Artists --18 years+

Reservations required Fill out entry form (Limited Number) available at Millikin Homestead, Madden Art Center, Gallery 510 and Art Farm. It will also be posted on-line at:  or

   Return to address on the entry form by June 25 with entry fee.


Fees will be for Support of Barn Colony Artists, Inc. and Millikin Homestead.



Watercolor Pencil Techniques with Mike Delany 4-5-23

 Mike demonstrate how to use watercolor pencils. He had several colorful pictures to chose from and then concentrated on looking for the value differences to highlight the subjects.

Here are a few shots of the work in progress.

Monday, April 10, 2023

Book Making w/Don Gruber

 Don brought several new techniques to the session and we all made some small books and learned the process of making larger one. Here a few shots of the process. 

Saturday, March 25, 2023

Quit Art by Brenda Bunch 3-8-23

 Brenda filled in on short notice, as the previous instructor had to cancel. She shared her 25 years of experience in quilting and quilting art. Shad had her sewing machine set up to show how the needle and thread can be used to "paint" or "draw" on cloth. Some very intricate designs/patters were created and it lends itself to a very unique medium with it's own visual effects.

Silk Screen Techniques by David Barista

 David instructed our members on how to make silk screen prints over two sessions. Due to the lack of a large silkscreen frame and space in which to work, he modified the teque to use 10-12" embroidery hoops.

The process was to create negative images in reverse on the bottom of the silk screens using either cut-outs or screen filler. He had all the inks and squeegees to complete the printing process. Members made many creative designs and patterns. Some printed multiple copies for note or Christmas cards and a few tried to print on T-shirts and Handbags. It was great fun and a good learning experience.

Friday, March 3, 2023

Photoshop Instruction and demo by Donna Rutherford

 During the session March 1, Donna Rutherford demonstrated to incredible features of Photoshop software. She showed how to remove unwanted things in a photo  like telephone poles wires, etc.

She also enhanced old photographs that were so faded as to be almost unrecognizable.

This was a very good session.

Spring Art Show

 Barn Colony Artists:

If you are going to show your work at the Spring Show in May you need to pick-up your entry forms and packets soon. They are available at the Madden Art Center in the Ann Lloyd Gallery from the receptionist. They need to be completed by March 29. See the packet for much more information and also the volunteer sheet.

Please let Ann Brunson and Barbara dove know that you intend to have your art in the show and how many pieces. 


Friday, February 17, 2023

Evaluation of our members art work February 15, 2023

 Carol Kessler Handed out an evaluation worksheet for this session and about 15 art works were discussed for things that were good  about them and things that would make them even better.

Here is the evaluation sheet:


Notes by Carol Kessler


There are many sources out there that tell you about art composition from the basics that go into an art work, rules usually to follow, and evaluating the finished product. Not all agree or use the same terms.  


As I look at my work, I try to ask myself many questions as well as have a practicing artist(s) that has the education to also evaluate it before I consider it finished. 


Have I used good practices involving the elements and principles of design, the building blocks of art:



              Line (horizontal, vertical, diagonal, curved, thick, thin)

              Color (color wheel, hue, intensity, value)

              Texture (smooth, rough, soft, hard)

              Shape or Form (round, angular, combination, length, width, depth)

              Space (actual, illusion, placement, detail, color, perspective)



              Balance (symmetrical, asymmetrical, weight)

              Emphasis (centers of interest)

              Harmony (repetition, gradual changes)

              Variety  (diversity and change)

              Movement  (moving the viewer’s eye)

              Rhythm-  (repetition to create a visual tempo or best)

              Unity (overall concept of all working together)



              One, three, five or more

              Asymmetrical balance is more interesting.

              Place center of interest in one intersection of the grid


              Lost and found edges

              No large areas that are not varied



Friday, February 10, 2023

Perspective Drawing February 8, 2023


George Virgil facilitated several warm-up exercises like drawing a box free-hand located at various positions and heights. Then he handed out pictures of buildings and rooms to see if the members could locate the vanishing points, the horizon lines, the ground line, and the station points, He demonstrated how to draw foreshortened circles after a power point presentation. He ended with the challenge of drawing a table setting similar to da Vinci's "Last Supper"

Basic Drawing Skills -- February 1

JD Curce facilitated this session on Basic Drawing Skills and Techniques
He described the basic tools and pencils to use, from 8B to 6H, blending material like cotten Q-tips, floded paper towels, etc. He emphized "layering" the graphite as you progress. We then picked an object to carefully "study" before tring to draw it.

Some "take-aways:"

1. study the object you are drawing.
2. Look at the various values.
3. Look at the "shapes" you see in the object--rectangles, cylinders, cilcles, etc.
4. Start with a sketch of the basic shapes.
5. Identify the darkest, lightest and medium values.
6.Begin to layer in those values and be aware that there is very little "white" in any object.
7. Start ith the medium values, then layer in the darker ones.
8. To lighten the lighter values, use an eraser.


Featured Post

Arts in Central Park September 16-17, 2023

 Coming soon. If you wish to volunteer for Barn Colony Artist, Inc. tent sitting, please contact Jeanne Helm ( or ...