I guess you could say that I am drawing out the workshop blogging as far as possible, since it did take place in April and I do apologize! But it is kind of fun to break it down into small enough chunks so that I can explain the process of learning to "paint what you see."
Some of us SEE better than others and over the weekend I began to see that this was an area where I was significantly challenged. Look back at my May 7 blog post and check Anne's initial drawing of the Franklin, TN church. Her lines and perspective are spot on. When I tried to lay in my lines and shapes...well.... It definitely takes practice!
In the afternoon of Day 2, Anne sent us into the neighborhood to paint a lovely little scene of quaint houses. Again, I found that my brain was flabby at interpreting what my eyes were seeing. Was the line to the vanishing point angling up or angling down? It was crazy that I couldn't accurately reproduce what I knew I was seeing! Kind of like trying to write with your non dominant hand.
This is the little house I chose to paint (it looked a lot sweeter than the photo shows and then that "Happy Hiller" plumbing truck pulls up and parks? What the....) Wow, did I have struggles with the lines. When the drawing doesn't read correctly to the viewer, well, it's pretty hard to appreciate the painting. In Anne's words, "I see what you're trying to do, but it's all kind of wonky." Once she got me straightened out (with a few quick flicks of her paintbrush) I was able to make some decent progress on the painting.
On Day 3, we were back out in the country, this time painting barns. Oh my goodness, again with the wonkyness. Somehow, after staring at and painting that dang barn for at least an hour, I had somehow elongated it all the way to Alabama. Good grief! Clearly my brain and my paintbrush need to get better connected. Anne very kindly and patiently pointed out that it didn't much look like a Tennessee barn all stretched out like I was painting it, then helped me chop off that back third and raise the roofline. Ta da! Back on track.
You would think a workshop might be discouraging, but it's so stretching and challenging that I come away exhausted, inspired, a lot more conscious and aware of the intricacies of creating good art. Since the workshop, I think my attention and understanding of lines and shapes and their relationship to each other is definitely on the track of improvement.
One nugget Anne taught me was to honestly identify my areas of weakness/deficit and make them my top priority for growth.
My remedy for a challenging, exhausting, ridiculously fun day of painting?....a lovely glass of wine!
Hello! My name is Wendy and I am passionate about oil painting! Whether in the studio or out in Mother Nature, I get lost in the experience of capturing on canvas the moment and the feel of what I am painting. I pour my love and energy into every single piece of artwork and I hope it shows! This blog is a place where I can use words to talk about art, painting, life, faith, things that make me laugh, and things that inspire. I love every response, so don't be shy about leaving a comment...