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.
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!