Saturday, October 25, 2008

Painting with Friends

Painting is such a solitary activity that it's sometimes easy to slip into a sort of hermit mindset. So, when a good friend suggested that several of us meet together once a week at her studio and paint, it seemed like a wonderful idea. Friendship, conversation, and creativity - all good stuff!
The day dawned brilliant and clear, and we decided to head out for some plein air instead of staying in the studio. We were joined on this day by our friend Dave, a painter whose works I admire VERY much, and who is also just a really nice person and fun to be around. The view I was painting happened to be facing the direction where Dave had set up his easel, and when I grew frustrated with my painting, I scraped it down, and then saw a perfect opportunity to capture the artist in action. So, while this is a very quick sketch (less than an hour) and I never really developed the background, it was fun trying to paint Dave while he worked. There was an old apple tree right beside me, and I added a bit of shadow as an indication of it to help create a better viewing path into the painting.. The other work was a small, quick field sketch (about 30 min.) of a pond nearby done the next day. I was working on creating a pattern of light and dark, and this little scene was a good opportunity to do that. Enjoy!

Monday, October 20, 2008

weekend workshop

This weekend, I was happy to be able to lead a landscape workshop. The focus of the two days was to concentrate on how to get a "good start" on a painting by understanding some basic value relationships, and then using a 5 step approach to actually getting the major elements down on the canvas. Pictured here are some of the work from participants in the workshop, and I was very pleased with the great results these guys got. It is never easy to "do things differently" and they all tried very hard to follow the plan and "do it right". I think their works turned out really fine, especially since we had to work from photos due to our time and weather constraints.
It was really great fun spending a couple of days with these folks, most of whom are good friends already. I hope it was as valuable for them as it was for me, because as you know, the teacher always gains the most from the instruction.
We'll be doing another short workshop probably after the holidays and that one will likely focus on still life painting, with an emphasis on dramatic light effects and attention (again) to value relationships. What fun!