Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Month-Long Workshop..continued

Karen's demo and still life set-up  (14"x18" oil on panel)

Demonstration by Karen Winslow 8"x10" oil on panel

Miriam and Kathy with their paintings 

My month-long mentoring workshop included indoor still life painting, as well as the plein air classes.  Teaching students to work from life is challenging, especially when it involves anything from the garden. Flowers tend to turn towards the light or continue to open, and leaves (mostly those lying on the table)  droop or curl.  So, even though still life is relatively still, it still changes.   My goal is to get the artists to simplify what they are looking at into planes of light, and paint decisively.   It is not so much a "copy" of what they see, but an illusion of light, space, form and movement.

I generally paint alongside my students, as well, demonstrating and explaining as I go. The top 2 pictures were demonstrations from the class.   The bottom picture shows Miriam and Kathy with their radish paintings.  We had a few set-ups to choose from, and I painted so that they could see my painting and palette.  It helps to see how and what to mix, as well as how to "key" a painting.

All of my classes are process oriented, not product oriented.  Learning to use artistic principles to create a light effect is more important than "finish".  The more an artist can depict form by drawing with the brush and manipulating the paint to create depth, turn edges and model, the better and more "finished" the painting will become.