Posts

A demo and 2 new workshops

Image
I'm pleased to be getting back to teaching online for the Winslow Art Center in 2021.  Coming up in February I'll be doing a demo that tackles the topic that I get the most questions about: edges.    More than just decoration, edges are integral to the painter's concept and intention.   I'll explain how I make edges, from hard to lost, and, more importantly, how I choose which edge treatment to use in different parts of my paintings. Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about Edges   is a 90 minute demo on Friday, Feb 19 .  If you can't watch on the day, it will be recorded and available for online viewing for a month after that.   Along with the demo, I'll introduce 2 new, 4-week online workshops:  Going Deeper: Color Challenges    begins on Feb 16 and is a continuation of a workshop that continues to be popular "Color and Shape".  Each lesson will contain a different color experiment to expand your understanding of that slippery little devil, color.

In praise of slow painting

Image
  Berry Picker 36 x 36 I've become a slow painter.    When I first started painting, I wanted to finish a piece in a day.  2, if it was a large one.  Now, they can take months to finish to my satisfaction.  The studio is filled with paintings that are "resting", waiting for me to have some ideas that will move them forward - or kill them once and for all.  It can go either way.  This piece has been resting for ages.  There was something good in it, I knew, but it wasn't enough, and I had no idea for how to shift it from its unsatisfactory state.  I'd look at the painting once in a while, hoping for a bit of inspiration, but nothing came to me so I'd put it back against the wall and work on other things.  Yesterday, I decided that I had to tackle that unappealing face and that the piece was just too dark, overall.  Using the reference photo, I did a better job of the face and head size and shape and pushed the skin into a lighter value.  That gave me a way into

Zoom demo October 9: Rescuing a Boring Painting

Image
Rescuing a Boring Painting Online Demo October 9 2:00 - 3:30 pm PDT Like many art instructors , I've taken my teaching online during the past few months, and it's worked amazingly well.    Working with the Winslow Art Center in the US, I've taught several workshops that cover the basics of my approach: colour, alla prima layering, composition, and more.  Because the workshops have private chat rooms, I've been able to interact with students and make comments and suggestions about the work that they upload.  The lessons have been warm and fun - a lot like the old fashioned, in person workshops -  but everyone stayed safely at home. I'm going to continue to work this way for the foreseeable future, even teaching a figure painting workshop in October in which we'll have a model posing for us from her own space.   Coming up next month I'll be taking on a new challenge: an online, 90 minute demo. In it, I'll take something that all painters have in abundan

Online workshop for the Winslow Art Center

Image
Color and Shape:  Elements for Dynamic Paintings Saturdays, July 11 - August 1 10 am - 1 pm PS T I'm very pleased to be teaching a 4 week, online workshop for the Winslow Art Center in July. The workshop will take place on the Zoom platform.  I've been noodling with Zoom over the past week and I'm happy to tell you that it's not difficult to use.   Workshoppers will not only be able to watch my demos but they'll also be able to converse with me and each other via video and text.   And none of us have to leave our home studios!    If you'd like to find out more, check out the Winslow site .  I hope to see you online in July. Happy painting!

Your brushes make all the difference

Image
I taught a limited palette workshop over the weekend and thoroughly enjoyed myself.  The painters were a keen bunch who worked hard, asked good questions and were as excited by the magical effects of hue, value and temperature as I am.  My kind of people! One thing that came up repeatedly - as it does in every workshop - was brushes. I paint in layers, often wet-in-wet and not every bristle type is capable of doing that. To apply the layers of heavy oil paint cleanly, one on top of the other, my brushes have to be strong and flexible.  Soft or floppy brushes just won't work; they won't hold enough paint or release it cleanly on top of a wet paint layer.  Most brushes meant for acrylics fall into the too-soft category when they're pressed into service for oil paint.  They don't have the strength to spring back under the weight of oils and are often ruined by the cleaning solvents. The bristles I use are the most common one among oil painters who like to wo

Last minute openings in Cochrane workshop next weekend

Image
"7 Tubes Are All You Need" A 2-day workshop Jan 18/19 Cochrane, AB Imagine making every colour that you need with just 7 tubes of paint. Now imagine knowing exactly which colour to mix to create the effect that you want, from  glowing passages to receding planes.  Simplifying and understanding colour are the subject of my 2 day workshop in Cochrane, AB  next weekend, January 18 and 19, and there are a couple of last minute spots available.  Hosted by the Cochrane Art Club , the workshop will be held at Beaupre Hall and run from 9:30  - 4:30 on both days.  If you've always felt uncertain about colour and find yourself buying paint with names like  "flesh tone" or "sky blue", this workshop is for you.  For information and registration, contact Rose at the Cochrane Art Club.  I hope to see you there!

Workshop in Kelowna, June 2020

Image
Composition to Completion Workshop Ellis Art Studios June 26 - 28, 2020 Kelowna, BC Last year's Composition to Completion workshop in Kelowna was such a success that I'll be teaching it again in June, 2020.   But, since I don't believe in repeating myself completely, I'm making a significant change. Instead of focusing solely on landscapes as we did last time, this workshop will see the workshoppers tackle at least 2 genres.  They may be figurative, floral, landscape, urban landscape... you name it. My aim is for painters to become comfortable in composing any subject into an interesting painting. What will remain the same is the in-depth exploration of colour and paint application methods.  I especially enjoy seeing the students' excitement on the day that we focus on colour.  They realize that there is a logic to colour and that they can figure out which colours to use for greatest effect in any situation.  If you're interested in more i