Tuesday, August 30, 2011

September 2011 Classes

Be Inspired

 I hope you can join me for the next set of classes in September!

September 8- Three Square Inches of Inspiration

Copying is a tried and true means of learning how to paint. I want you to explore another artist’s painting that inspires you.

However, in this class, instead of copying an entire painting you will choose 3” square portions to replicate! This gives you the opportunity to examine the colors, strokes, layering, and details the artist chose to use, as well as giving you a look at the underlying abstraction in each small section. It’s fascinating to see how just a small section of a painting can be a work of art in itself.

You will do three different ones in class, all of which may be derived from the same painting. This requires you to find a photograph that’s close to the same scale as the original painting, or you may use a painting from your own personal collection of another artist’s work (or, if you like, you may use one of my original pastel paintings in the classroom.)

I bet you’ll start to look at everyone’s paintings differently after this class! It’s quite inspiring.

September 15- Inspired by the Subject

If the idea of painting something new seems a little daunting, this class is for you!

It may be that you’ve toyed with the idea of painting a still life or an interior. Maybe you’d like to explore another genre of landscape or paint a seascape. Perhaps you want to learn how to paint birds or other animals. In this class you can delve into whatever subject you’d like to explore.

You’ll need to do a little research ahead of time for this class: find paintings by an artist whose subject matter inspires you. This needs to be a range of paintings on the subject you want to explore, not just one. I suggest a minimum of five paintings on the subject. I don’t want you to copy one of the artist’s paintings exactly, I want you to examine the body of work and see what it is you’d like to emulate. 

In class we’ll put your examples (from books, magazines the Internet) on the board and see if together we can figure out what is key—is it the color, gesture, line, detail, contrast, or...? Just what is it the artist did so well that makes you want to imitate the work and what elements are most necessary? Yes, you can translate from one medium to another to some degree. Do your homework on this one!

Then you’ll derive a composition and give it a shot in class. Keep it smaller in scale but not miniature in size. Any subject, any paper, any medium is fine.

September 22- Extract Nature’s Colors

The colors of nature are truly the inspiration for the way we think about and use color, of course. In this class I want you to spend some time making a record of various colors you see together in the natural world.

Bring in photos of places you pass frequently, things right in your own habitat and as current as possible. Perhaps you see a cottonwood tree turning golden, or the grasses in the front yard. Maybe you’re inspired  by  a ristra on your deck or the last of some flowers, weeds that are beautiful (the colors can be!), or the color of the Rio Grande where you walk. Remember—not the pot on the porch, not the paint on the wall—only natural colors!

You need to take good color photos that are fairly current before this class and print them out as inspiration, or make some color studies on location. In class we’ll make a palette of colors from the photos—but the trick is we will NOT paint those references. Instead, I want you to find beautiful harmonies of colors and analyze the proportions of each one, as well as finding dark and light, warm and cool colors and then use them to make a chart, from which you will paint an interesting abstraction in this class.

Don’t like abstracts? Never have them work out? This exercise will give you an formula to use, so that won’t be a problem. Come with an adventurous spirit and see what happens! It’ll be fun and inspiring.

September 29- Critique and Potluck Brunch

Often a critique is the most instructive class of all!

Bring a body of work for us all to look at. We’ll set up all your work on the board and on easels, so be sure the paintings are ready to tape up or show on a piece of foam core/cardboard. No need to mat or frame things, though you may bring framed pieces if they’re instructive (however, they won’t be ‘critiqued’ per se.) Work in progress is fine, too. If you wish to join us for lunch and the critique, but not show your own work, that’s fine too.

Bring a dish to share and we’ll enjoy a day of food and paintings. We have a microwave and a toaster over, if needed. This will be a paper plate meal.

I’d like to put out the word about the critique to other artists in our community, so if you’re a member of any art groups I’d like to let them know. I’ll design a flyer you can use to help promote this class. Let’s spread the word!