Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Winter Still Life Workshop

I recently finished teaching a one-week still life workshop to a group of talented, eager and enthusiastic artists with varying degree of experience.  The workshop is basically a crash course of cramming 2 years of information into five days.  I had set goals for workshop participants.  They had also come with their own expectations.  We met in the middle ground.  Students worked diligently in incorporating what they learned in the workshop with their past training.  I can't praise them, as well as many students in my other classes and workshops, enough for being patiently learning, sorting through and working out the differences between my teaching and their own ways of working.  At the end, they have all made tremendous progress over the period of 5 days.       

The two main goals I set for them were “establishing overall value/color relationships for the painting in its initial stage” and “breaking down the established value/color relationships into smaller ones”.  The key words being “relationship” and "organization". 

Here are a couple examples of their work.  They were the best images I could take with my point and shoot camera under the incandescent light in the studio.  Unfortunately, the images are not showing as correct and  as much information as I'd like.  The paintings range from 3 hours to 3 days.  I'll update and add more images as I receive better and other examples of their work done during the workshop from students.

Alex became sick as a dog in the last day and half of the workshop.

Dale's epiphany - Paint the major color shapes as "big and flat notes of color" regardless of the material (glass or fabric) in the initial stage of the painting. 

Kym painting round objects with well calibrated color and value notes.

 Melody keeping the value relationship in check so all the elements in the painting can sing in harmony.

Patrice pushing her painting further while keeping development of information/detail in the proper hierarchy.

Robin knows that this painting says it all.  She did a wonderful job on it.  I do need a better image (as with all the others images I have here)!


Suzanne does absolutely beautiful batik (a water based medium) paintings on silk.  Oil painting on canvas presents different challenges.  In the beginning of the workshop, she handled the paint carefully.  In the second half of the workshop, she freed herself up to fully explore the characteristics of the medium.  Results are good paint handling combined with beautifully related color/value relationships.   

I wonder if Tim took his frustration out in the selection and arrangement of his painting of "The Cast Iron Frying Pan"?!  He painted the rust on the pan beautifully. 

Forcing a smile out of Andy, our education coordinator, proved to be the hardest task I undertook during the workshop.

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