Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Our 5 Day workshop began with Jack doing a landscape painting demonstration. In these 2 photos, you can see the start, which was on a prepared, toned paper taped to a board. You can also see his landscape palette, with value/tonal scales organized onto a vertical shelves. The idea of the demo was not to do a finished painting, but to show students how to analyze the scene in terms of planes, values and aerial perspective. We teach students to simplify by working in mass (or value shapes), and to go from the general to the specific. In outdoor landscape painting, things are changing constantly: the light, the wind, the weather, etc. will effect what you are looking at. We have much less control in landscape painting than we do in indoor work (still life, portrait, etc.), but if we can understand underlying universal artistic principles, we can sort through the data choose essential information to create a unified, believable light effect.
As you can see, we have our students making value scales. Here are Lynn and Lester with their scales laid out horizontally. In some of the photos, you will see the palette in a vertical form. The vertical form gives you more room to mix. In the bottom photo, where Jack is giving Lester a lesson in massing, he has 2 palettes: one with the scales and the other to mix.
Our 5 day workshop consisted of landscape painting, still life and one day for head studies. For the landscape portion, we took students to different locations. The locations were chosen for to teach specific problem solving. Some offered long views and others were more enclosed.
I painted a demonstration for the still life portion of the workshop. It was fun to do a really dark background. I created the dark background on the set-up by making a quick makeshift shadowbox.
We worked into a great routine, with outdoor landscape painting in the morning, a break for lunch, and then still life painting in the afternoon. I had several still life arrangements around the room and students could choose to paint what inspired them the most.
On the last day of the workshop, we explored head studies. I painted a morning demo and then the class painted. At lunch, we had a big barbeque. After lunch, I painted another quick demo, and then the class painted.
Monday, December 28, 2009
I took this picture at the SVAC exhibition. The woman in the painting also studied with Frank at the same time that Jack and I studied. It is a beautiful painting with dazzling brushwork, yet the most sensitive and subtle nuances. The model and her husband were at the opening, and it was wonderful to see how a beautiful portrait captures the underlying essence of the person. Although, many years had passed since Frank painted this, the model was instantly recognizable, older, but still lovely.
Here are a few of Frank's portraits. The top one was of a woman who studied with him at the same time we did, and I love the light effect. The bottom painting was one of Frank's self-portraits, and I first saw it in November, 1973, at the National Arts Club, where he was having a huge retrospective. I joined Frank's class at the Art Students League in December 1973.
Frank Mason taught oil painting at the Art Students League of New York from 1951 to 2009. My husband and I were very lucky to have studied with him from 1973-1978. He had a tremendous influence on the way we paint, as well as the way we teach. He taught us to appreciated beauty and to strive to create paintings that excelled in craftsmanship and draftsmanship.
While our 2 - person exhibition was on display in the Entrance Gallery of Southern Vermont Art Center, Frank Mason's solo retrospective exhibit was on display in Gallery I, which was connected to the Entrance. It was an honor to be showing at the same time, and it was wonderful to go from our show to his and see many of his paintings that I knew and loved, as well as ones that were new to me. Our shows opened on June 13, and Frank was in the hospital. He passed away on June 16. He was a great painter and a great teacher who will live on in the many students whose hearts he has touched and whose brushes he has inspired.
I hear him when I paint...."Where's the light effect?"
I am going to post several of his paintings for you to enjoy.
Saturday, December 26, 2009
Our 2 person show opened June 13. The SVAC has 2 floors with several rooms, and each room serves as a "Solo" show (or 2-person). Our show was hung in the Entrance Gallery and grand stairs.
Here are 3 of my paintings: Peonies - 18"x24" oil on panel by Karen Winslow
The Arts - 36"x30" oil on linen by Karen Winslow
A Glimpse of the Sound - 16"x24" oil on linen by Karen Winslow
Here is the big landscape that Jack had been working on. It was the centerpiece for our exhibit at the Southern Vermont Art Center. It is now at M Gallery of Fine Art in Sarasota, FL.
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
When we built our new studio, we made sure that it was handicap accessible. Jamie is an amazing young woman. Because she has very limited movement, she is unable to paint alla prima (one shot). So, I have her painting with a monochromatic underpainting, which she later glazes with color. She is patient beyond words and carefully analyzes her values and works her masses until she is pleased with the way everything looks. When the underpainting is dry, she applies the glazes. She is an inspiration.
Every Thursday, I offer a still life class from 6pm-9pm. Students are free to choose paint from a number of simple (and sometimes not so simple) arrangements. Most of the students are new to painting, or recently returning to painting after a long hiatus.
It has been a while since I've posted anything, so I thought that I would share some photos of classes and workshops, as well as paintings and shows from this past year. I now offer a still life class every Thursday night from 6pm-9pm. I set up several still life arrangements, so that students have a choice. All of the students use a value scale, mixing a series of grays using black and white.
Sunday, May 03, 2009
The new studio is taking on a life of its own. I began hosting an "Open" figure/portrait painting group that meets each Saturday from 1pm-4pm. The group fluctuates, depending on people's schedules, between 5-10 artists. The model takes a repeated pose for 3 hours, and the artists work in whatever medium they wish. Some draw in charcoal, pastel or pen. Some paint in acrylics or oils. It is a wonderful way to share the cost of hiring a model, and it is a great way for artists to connect, encourage one another and share ideas.
Tuesday, March 31, 2009
I love painting head studies. For those of you who know me, the top one is a self portrait, and it is an 8"x10" oil on linen. I started it as a generic head for practice, but it morphed into me, so I added the brush to make it more obvious. The bottom painting is an alla prima study that is a 12"x16" oil on panel. It was done in about 2.5 hours.
I have started an "Open Studio" portrait/figure painting group that meets on Saturdays from 1pm-4pm at the studio. Painting in a group of artists is a great way to support younger artists and learn from more experienced ones. Sharing ideas and encouraging one another helps to improve your skills in observation, as well as technique.
Monday, February 23, 2009
Karen Winslow will be offering oil painting demonstrations from life at the studio in Cambridge. These demonstrations will be held on one Saturday per month, and they will cover still life and portrait painting. The demonstrations are free and open to the public, but the space is limited, so please call for more information and to reserve your spot. Thanks.
I took a picture of my palette before I started the painting. It is basically a cadmium palette with grayscale. I mixed some "flesh" tones as well. The palette is a 12"x16" piece of glass that is painted with a mid-tone gray on the bottom.
After about 2.5 hours of work, Phineus woke up, Ryann had to return to her kids, and the painting session was over. Given a longer amount of time, I am sure I would have developed the painting differently. But, not knowing whether or when I could get the model again, dictates my methods. Learning to work with time constraints gives me an incentive to work quickly, deciding what is essential and what is not. Painting is a journey. I have discovered, along the way, that I must stay true to my own temperament, and painting fast is how I paint.