Thursday, September 29, 2011

Month-Long Workshop - plein air studies in watercolor/gouache

Tiny set of watercolors

2 plein air studies in watercolor/gouache

Students by the brook
Students along the path
The month-long workshop consisted of outdoor landscape painting in oils, outdoor landscape painting in watercolor/gouache and indoor still life.  I always paint when I teach, demonstrating and explaining as I go.  For me, the outdoor painting in watercolor/gouache is relaxing.  It is the easiest medium to transport, because it is lightweight, and you can do several studies on a simple hike.  These studies can then act as a catalyst to further composition/color ideas, which in turn can be made into larger (more finished) studio pieces.

I posted a picture of my tiniest set of watercolors.  If you need to go light, this set fits the bill, because it can be tucked into a small bag.  With it, a few brushes, paper and small clipboard, you are all set.  The nice thing about this way of working, is that the painting dries and can be placed in a folder right away without damage.  

The 2 little plein air studies were done as demos during my class.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Month-long Workshop - outdoor landscape painting in oils

Karen Winslow demonstrating

Midday class by the Brewster River

Sunset class from Bryce Road in Cambridge

Morning class in Hyde Park

For the month of June, I taught an interesting workshop on outdoor landscape painting using the prismatic palette, outdoor landscape painting in watercolor/gouache, and indoor still life.  All work was from life, and the classes met 3-4 times a week.  Some of the landscape classes were held early morning, some midday, some at sunset and one for a moonrise.  The workshop was more a mentoring class, where I painted alongside my students, demonstrated, and gave one-on-one and group critiques.  It was informal, but intense, and students made great strides, working independently on days we did not meet together.

These photos are from some of the outdoor oil sessions.  The top photo and third photo shows my palette set-up, with the tonal scales for blues, grays, violets, pinks, greens, and earths.  When I finish a painting session, I mix together a lot of the colors left on the palette and place these new tones on the shelf that is second from the bottom.  These colors often act as a "soup" for other paintings.

A Few More Pictures from the Demo

We took a little break for snacks and coffee/tea

I answered a lot of questions

This is as far as I got before the group departed for their picnic

After about a hour or so of painting  and talking, we had a little coffee break and I answered more questions.   I resumed painting, and the bottom picture is as far as I could go in their alotted time.  

The Essex Art League meets every month during the school year, then takes the summer off. The majority of painters were watercolorist, but artistic principles on value, form and light can be applied in any medium.  I was the last demo of the year, and afterwards was invited to their "End of the Year" luncheon.  They were a great group, very enthusiastic and diverse, and I hope that I imparted a few good ideas as they continue on their personal artistic journeys.

Demonstration for Essex Art League

Here is a picture of my palette before I started the demo.  I premixed some grays and greens to facilitate speed.

The members of the Essex Art League, seated and waiting for the demonstration to start

I began by pitching the background.  Note the clock.
Indicating the rhythms and placement
Explaining a little bit about my scale

Beginning the lights

The big red tulip...

Maintaining my rhythms and simplifying into planes of light 
The Essex Art League of Vermont asked me to do a demonstration for their group in June.  They arrived around 10am and had to leave by noon.  After introductions, tour of my studio and explanations on light, I began painting.  The flowers were picked from my garden and set up beforehand, and my palette was prepared with premixed tonal scales of gray and green, as well as my regular cadmiums, blues and browns.

I love demonstrating and teaching.  My demonstrations are interactive, and I always ask questions to get the viewers to see what I that they can understand color/value relationships, as well as spatial relationships and rhythm.  I try not to be product oriented, but process oriented.  In this way, they can go away with ideas and priciples that they can apply to their own work.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Here is the start...

For watercolors, I sit on the ground and hold a small drawing board in my lap.    My starts are usually somewhat monochromatic.

Then, I add color.

This spider decided that he wanted my brush...  I sure jumped!

Adding more color and detail

Here's what it looked like when I stood up..
Painting outdoors is fun, but it has its hazards.  I am used to the usual...rain, wind, technical issues, etc., but I wasn't expecting this one.   While I was sitting on the ground to paint, I spider decided to join me. He reaalllly liked my paper towel and brush!  When he finally darted off, I found myself constantly checking around me for any other critters.  With my concentration interrupted, I packed up  and headed to the hospital to see my new grandson.

There are many poisonous spiders, and I am not a big spider fan.  At first, I thought this might be a wolf spider or some sort of funnel spider, but after looking up photos of various spiders, I think it is a grass spider which is relatively harmless, but could certainly bite none the less.   Yikes! 

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Here is my watercolor set-up.  I sat on the flat rock and held the board in my lap.

....moving along

adding more detail and color
My 6th grandchild was born a few weeks ago, and I traveled out to MT for his birth, but I managed to do a couple of little watercolors of this incredible part of the country.   I packed very lightly and brought along a small drawing board, paper and watercolors.  Everything fit neatly into a small bag.  This was painted in Paradise Valley.

Family Ties - a group show at the Bryan Gallery

It has been a while since I posted anything...  Here are a few pictures of some of my paintings and my husband's that are on exhibit at the Bryan Memorial Gallery in Jeffersonville, VT.  They are part of a group exhibition called "Family Ties", which features work by husband/wife and parent/child artists.  We have 7 pieces of display, but these 5 were grouped on one wall.