Saturday, September 15, 2007
The flowers are at the end of the season. Autumn is just about here, so this is one of the last offerings from the tired garden. This is another start. I have a light colored backdrop behind the set up to compliment the colors. I like to alternate my backgrounds. It keeps me from falling into a "formula". Actively solving a visual problem takes effort. My studio is crammed with props, panels, canvases, paints and supplies, as you can see.
This is another 1 hour (mayble 1 1/2) alla prima head study. It is an oil on panel. Finding the correct pitch and value relationship was imperative. I painted this one as a demo at 100 Main Street Fine Art (www.visionsofvermont.org) where I am currently showing.
Here I am painting another demo for a plein air landscape class that I taught in CT for Sylvan Gallery (http://www.sylvangallery.com/). Outdoor painting takes a great deal of preparation. I mix a value scale of landscape colors so that I can paint very fast. You can only paint for 2 (maybe 3) hours before the light is so completely different, which of course, changes the whole painting. Most of my paintings are small oil sketches. Painting and explaining why I am using certain colors and principles are very helpful to new artists. It is invaluable to a student to see how an artist works and solves a visual problem. I ask questions so that the students can see what I am trying to solve, so my demos are interactive. Being able to answer the questions is a form of mental painting, and mental painting comes before the physical. It gives you a direction, and by actively being engaged in problem solving, keeps the painting moving forward. The workshop format is intensive. It is for learning how to start and use artistic principles rather than trying to complete a salable painting. All of my classes are process oriented, not project oriented. The student, then, returns home armed with information that they can incorporate into their own work at their own pace.
So, what have I been up to this summer?....lots of demos & lots of teaching. This was a 1 1/2 hour Alla Prima portrait demo that I did at the Southern Vermont Art Center in July. I am teaching a Portrait Painting Clinic there September 21-22 (www.svac.org) and another at the Lyme Art Association October 6-7 (www.lymeartassociation.org). Executing a quick study involves setting down the right "pitch" and manipulating the value scale decisively to create a relative light effect. Here, my brighted note was in the model's hair.