Sunday, November 6, 2016

Weekend Warrior

When work is all consuming, deadline, product launching madness, it is a guilty godsend that I signed up for a painting workshop a year ago and just had to escape to the Sierra Foothills for a long weekend.

Thank you self for being a planner!

Also incredibly relieved that I actually, physically, can paint right now... Just barely. This is another long story, but I shredded and partially tore my right rotator cuff a couple of months ago and thanks to PT and acupuncture I am finally FINALLY able to move my arm!

So off I went to Murphys.

A terrific little town that has a Gold Rush history and a wine country renaissance. 

The workshop was with Kathleen Dunphy, who has the rare talent for being a terrific painter AND a really good instructor. On the agenda for weekend learnings: painting with a limited palette and using only big brushes.

What's a limited palette? It's a lighter load that's for sure! All those gorgeous colors in tiny tubes back in my studio...they weren't invited. Only Permanent Red, French Ultramarine Blue, Cadmium Yellow Lemon and Titanium White. We could also add dashes of Naples Yellow (to lighten and warm) and cool grey (to tone and neutralize.)

Surprisingly you can create about any color you need with these colors and it requires you really observe your scene/subject matter carefully and make up puddles of color you see BEFORE diving into your painting. This slowed me down in a good way, and then you have your local colors ready to go and can add nuances of light and temperature as your painting progresses. I think I'll stick with it for awhile...

Harder to handle for me was getting used to a #10 brush on an 8x10 panel! You have to really move your arm around to achieve different strokes and line weights, which might normally be fine but when you have a gimpy arm... It was not ideal.

First day of the workshop was a lot of good lecture and learning to mix paints and an indoor still life study of pears.