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Showing posts from July, 2011

FCA Workshop

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Asters and Limes  16 x 12
A couple of weeks ago, I taught a floral workshop in Kelowna, BC for the Federation of Canadian Artists Central Okanagan Chapter. It went really well - to my great relief.
Knowing what I can take for granted when I teach a workshop is the trickiest part. Do the painters know the colour wheel and concepts like complimentary colours? Have the oil painters heard of the "fat over lean" rule? How confident are their drawing skills? Wondering these things invariably keeps me up the night before the workshop, rehashing my lesson plan and painting demos in my mind. For this floral workshop, I spent the wakeful night deciding how many flower forms to include in the bouquet and demonstrations. At the last minute I eliminated some trumpet-shaped tiger lilies as being just too much information and decided to demo only daisies (disk shapes), peonies (half spheres and multiple petal layers), and snap dragons (upright, complex forms).
Between 9:30 and 4:3…

Learning from John Singer Sargent

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After Sargent 20 x 16
I waffle between an allegiance to the colourists and a love of traditional tonal painting.  While I lean towards Sorolla in my colour choices, the work of Sargent is what inspired me to try oil painting in the first place, and I still love his paintings.  So I decided to attempt a copy of one of his most tonal paintings.  This Sargent portrait allowed me to explore several new things: thin paint application, muted palette and a very realistic portrait.  It was quite a learning experience!
What struck me most was the thinness of the paint layer that I had to use.  Like Sargent, I toned the canvas with a thin wash of gray, then I massed the shadows in earth colours.  The pale skin and background were applied with far less paint than I would normally use (I love buttery slabs of paint) and the shawl - in a miracle of minimalism - was created with just a few bluish and cream strokes over a warm underpainting.  I only got to pull out the impasto on her brooch and that se…

AFA Acquisition

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Weeping Birch 32 x 26
Every year the Alberta Foundation for the Arts purchases artworks to add to its collection.  This provincial government-funded organization has been acquiring Alberta artists' works since the '70's and has, according to its website, a $10 million collection.  The works are loaned to galleries and for provincial and national exhibitions.

This year I submitted "Weeping Birch" for the AFA's consideration and was accepted.  The more I ponder this, the prouder I am.  My work will play a part in representing the arts for this province.  How cool is that?