Southwest Landscapes Fall Session

Here is a re-cap of the Southwest Landscape class I taught this fall.  The students created beautiful paintings and I am so excited to share it with you.

Acrylic Painting Demonstration

Southwest Landscape

Painting the southwest is enjoyable and at the same time an opportunity to discover the nuances of acrylic paints.  My demonstration painting (work in progress pictured above) is of Ghost Ranch, the place where Georgia O’Keeffe lived and painted her masterpieces.  Here, we are in the iconic painting studio of The Bemis Art School.  Full of natural light ( sometimes makes it hard to take good photos) and a rich history of instruction and creating within its walls…it is a special place.  Every time I enter this studio I am so inspired to carry on the legacy of teaching and creating art.

At the beginning of class we talk about choosing a subject and how the approach will be to develop an expressive style rather than a photo realistic painting.  Acrylic paints are versatile, and vibrant which makes them the perfect choice for colorful expression.  Take a look at the student palettes…

Just look at these yummy colors!!!

When I teach any painting class, I include the art journal as a tool to begin the design process, record color choices and use the blank pages for paint clean up.  Essentially, any paint left on your palette can be spread across a blank page as the initial layer of creating a journal page.  It serves as a springboard for letting your creativity flow and to begin the process of letting go.  Making art journal pages is not the focus of the painting classes I teach, but I love introducing the concept to students.  Here you can see an example of how a student uses the journal for reference.

Most of the students had some art experience yet considered themselves beginners.  From my perspective, they were a talented group!  As you look at their paintings in progress in this next group of photos you will see for yourself how their paintings reflect excellence.

As an instructor, one of my goals is to encourage students to develop their own style by  experimenting with color and brushstrokes, and to allow their creative intuition to lead the process.  This seems to resonate with creatives and it is evident by their beautiful paintings.  Each student approaches their subject with a personal idea and direction for their painting.  My style of instruction is to enhance their process by making suggestions and giving them clues for color and shape. It is rewarding for me to see their progress and how their confidence grows with each brushstroke.

During a six week class, it is nearly impossible to finish a painting.  Usually students are near completion and only have a few final touches to make.  I always ask them to send me a picture once they are finished.  Here is a completed painting for you to enjoy!

As The Bemis Art School undergoes a transition to a new space, I found myself a bit nostalgic when my class ended.  Perhaps it will be the last time I teach in the painting studio.  Sigh….it has been grand!  And no doubt the new classrooms will have a style and ambience all their own.  I am just thankful to be part of the team, the legacy, the arts, and the school.  Thanks for stopping by my blog and thank you students for the joy you bring to my life.

Soon we will see where the next chapter unfolds! 

Southwest Landscapes Re-Cap

The beauty of a southwest landscape by embracing a sense of place and observing the colors of earth and sky, this was our world for 6 weeks.  A group of students from various backgrounds gathered together and shared the experience of making art in the historic art school we call BEMIS.  A few had painted before, others had not, but with some tools, instruction, and confidence each one set out on a painting journey.

The underpainting was a layer of orange which you can see pictured here.  The range of color in the underpaintings was like a rainbow full of a variety of hues. Such is the beauty of mixing color, any variation in combinations produces something different.  The underpainting produced a glow which worked well with the subject matter and also eliminates the stark white blank canvas.

Students used a variety of photographs and pictures of paintings for inspiration.   By developing soft edges, hard edges, texture, color, perspective, line, and shape the paintings began to reflect each individual’s style.  As an instructor, this is my favorite aspect of the process; encouraging the pursuit of style.  Each artist has an intuition with regard to brush strokes, imagery, color preference, and design.  Mastering skills is secondary to trusting the intuitive process… in my opinion.  Somewhere along our journey, this intuition can shut down because of a critical voice, giving it wings again takes courage, persistence, and experience.  I love encouraging this process in my classes.

Each student completed one painting during the duration of the class.  I also incorporate art journal exercises such as thumbnail sketches, an abstract charcoal line drawing, color wheel, simple landscape paintings and a collage landscape on a trifold black paper using my personal stash of gelatin printed papers and altered National Geographic papers.  Here are my samples of these exercises.

The charcoal line drawing with gesso and tint was inspired by Georgia O’Keeffe and southwest imagery.

And the tri-fold collage landscape exercise, front and back with a little Van Gogh inspired sky!

I suggested words to be added on the back side, maybe a quote, song lyrics, any thought or idea that came to mind…

C L E V E R …a little play on words…(Bemis is the school name)  so Jack came up with this..

get it?   beam us…up scotty   FUNNY!!! 

The best ingredient in any class is the people and this group was full of creativity, and a willingness to learn about acrylic painting.  When the session is over, there is a great sense of accomplishment, just look at their paintings!! And also a sigh…hard to see it come to an end.

That’s a wrap.. Southwest Landscapes..wonderful!   Kudos to all, you did an amazing job.  Until we meet again, keep creating, keep in touch, and enjoy what is NEXT.

EVE

Expressive portrait painting

Eve, mixed media acrylic painting

Women in History

 

Expressive portrait painting

E V E

A mixed media acrylic painting to honor the women who have shaped history by making art…our world is more beautiful because of you.  Some have passed away and others like myself are in the midst of our creative journey.  During this month of honoring women in history let’s remember the artists past and present who are devoted to expression by making art for the world to see.