Saturday, May 24, 2008

May 24 - Lesson Painting in Acrylics - Beginning

How important is the surface on which you paint? Does it have to start out white? I think the surface preparation is very important--equivalent to a foundation on a house. The energy conveyed in the earliest brush marks target the forms that will come later. This canvas was started on location at the Amicalola River a week or so ago, while I was teaching the workshop at Fay's farm near Dawsonville, and I painted it in one standing (vs. "sitting", which I don't do much). It is a 12 x 9 acrylic, and this first pass puts down the masses of the abstract structure of the painting. I'll add many layers of paint to bring it to a finish, coming in three lessons (I think--forgot how many pictures I took!) I'm quite pleased with the painting, sitting right by my computer here. There is a great deal of energy in it. Those brush marks from the get-go have that same energy!

Here is the source material--morning light on the river, with spring leaves on the forest trees. North Georgia is surely beautiful!

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Wednesday, May 21, 2008

May 21 - Another from the Workshops - Mini Lesson

The soft evening light of Georgia plays across one of the many flower beds on Fay's farm becoming the subject of this plein air 7 x 5 acrylic. Using the layering that makes acrylic painting so wonderful allowed me to set up and complete this work with no additional touch-ups later in the workshop.

First placing the large dark shapes of shadows and deep shrub coloration, it was an easy matter to add additional layers, keeping the values close until the final accents were added in the iris blooms and sunlit rock wall.

I used filbert brushes to paint the entire subject. Those brushes allow such flexibility in marks to make the trunks, the broad brushwork on the foreground, and the calligraphic marks of the fence posts. They are Ruby Satins by Silver Brushes, and I really do love them!

This painting is already in the collection of Sam Gullo of Cleveland, Ohio.

Here's another view of the lovely area of the North Georgia Mountains... beautiful! Right before haying season, the fields are lush with new growth. That's one of the farm's hay storage sheds in the distance.

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Tuesday, May 20, 2008

May 20 - Back and Coming to Center Again

Back in California again, and after a couple of days of untangling knots and watering, petting the critters who didn't get to go along, I'm ready to bring out the work that was done in the workshops in Georgia last week and earlier.

As a demonstration of both back light and morning light, I painted this 12 x 9 oil in a 40 minute demonstration to share how the Color System works to depict these attributes in a canvas that's both flat and without luminosity. I

t's hard to compete with Nature, when Nature brings us such beauty! While on Fay's workshop farm, several of us would go out at 7 a.m. and walk the fields and woods, bringing back beautiful source material such as the image below. Those morning walks set the stage for the long hours to follow, filling our eyes with beauty and brightness we would later transfer to canvas.

Having such a gorgeous area for a workshop is one of the reasons I'm so grateful to Fay for opening her heart and farm to the "Boot Campers", many of whom actually staying on the farm for the duration. They would paint well into the night--working hard to settle in the guidelines of the Color System before their five short days were over.

This painting is in the hands of new collector Beth Haislip from South Carolina.

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