Last week I taught a three day workshop in Port Aransas, Texas. I had an enthusiastic group of seven students who worked very hard the three days we were together. Up to this point most of my workshops have been four day affairs, but I think I like the three day format because everyone, including yours truly, seems to stay focused.
Day one was an introduction to painting outdoors which covers all of the basics of equipment, paint choices, a discussion of the various types of easels, and the step-by-step process of choosing a scene then converting that into a painting.
" Channel View" 9' x 12" oil/linen
The first demo, seen above, started off with a hiccup in that I wiped off my first attempt. I'm sure it warmed the hearts of the student to know they spent good money to watch a guy fail miserably. But, in my defense, this scene is actually about two miles from where we were standing so it would be easy to blame it on that. In reality it was one of those scenes with rapidly changing light and I was probably doing more talking than painting and before I knew it, I lost control of the painting. But after wiping my canvas clean I gave it another shot and produced a really nice painting.
(l to r) Suzy Moritz, Karen Krumm, Pam Bell and Carol Morgan
Day two found us in the harbor painting boats. Instead of doing the typical thing of me painting a demo and then the students paint, we all set up to paint the same scene. Then I would paint a bit and explain my process, the students would then paint the same thing until they caught up with me. Once everyone was in the same place I would proceed to the next step and it continued this way until everyone was finished.
While we were at this location the local paper, The South Jetty, sent a reporter over to take pictures and conduct a short interview.
This picture of Suzy Moritz and Pam Bell appeared in The South Jetty the next day.
"Crusier at Rest" 9" x 12" oil/linen
This is the scene everyone painted together. The challenge of doing demos is being able to talk your way through a painting so the audience or students can witness your painting process and get a glimpse into your thinking process as well. Why choose this scene to paint? Why place objects in certain locations on the canvas? Why use that color? How do you control the value or color temperature of your paint?
After a quick lunch we were off to our afternoon painting location.
Lynn Dickey finds a shady spot
The final day was spent in a shipyard where many boats of all types are dry docked and being worked on. Everything from small sailboats to large shrimp boats can be found here. It is one of my favorite spots to paint.
Karen Rike and Carol Morgan hard at work
Jesse Barrera painting a shrimp boat
Workshops are hard work for students and teachers alike. I have been fortunate to make some very good friends and meet people who truly enjoy the art of painting. Then you meet special people with whom there is something extra that goes beyond the art.
(l to r) Karen Rike, Carol Morgan, Me, Suzy Moritz and Pam Bell
These four ladies were a riot. I laughed so hard and so much my jaws ached for three days. They were a blast to be around whether we were painting or sitting on the porch knocking back a beer or two, which explains the photo above. Carol had drawn a tattoo on Pam's arm. Someone came up with the idea of us all having matching tattoos and the rest is history (yes they washed off). What happens in a workshop...stays in a workshop.