Monday, November 26, 2007

Santa Ysabel Mission

Wanted to try a quick 6x8 study at home - something a little different. So, I pulled out a photo I took last spring of the Mission at Santa Ysabel. I liked the colorful aloes and cactus against the stark white walls.

6x8  oil on linen

I did this all with a #6 flat to try and keep it simple - as a study.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Greg LaRock Workshop

I just finished the 3 day Greg LaRock workshop. Greg is a great teacher and I learned a lot.

I took a few notes but not nearly enough! I need to sit down and put as much as I can in writing so I don’t forget. I may do that here instead of starting a separate document.

The first day we meet in Laguna Canyon. Boy, these southern Cal artists really love the laguna Beach / Newport area. The canyon was nice but the traffic was right there and loud! Also, everything is so dead in So. Cal. right now. Not much color anywhere.

Anyhow, Greg started out with a demo painting. He’s a thoughtful teacher and very patient. It's always fun to watch a painting shape up from bare canvas.

This is his demo of a view down the street on a hazy day. Nice!

The second day we meet at the boardwalk at Balboa Island. Greg didn’t do a demo here. He wanted us to complete 3 or 4 small studies using only a #6 flat brush. He wanted us to deal with al of the clutter and variety.

On the third and final day we froze our butts off at the foot of Newport pier. A great setting but the fog was in thick and cold. It never burned off. Greg did another great demo of the pier. I learned a lot more but didn’t stay around after the demo to paint. Too cold! Most of the other attendees bailed as well.

Here is Greg's almost completed Demo:


All n’ all, I really learned a lot over the three days. Greg’s a very good, unpretentious teacher. I’m definitely going to follow up with another workshop from him when he schedules some new ones. During the warmer months!

Here's how it works

OK, I've started keeping track of my attempts by saving a photo and then writing some observations about the results. Kinda like a mini critique. This is mainly to help me sort out what I'm working on and how I can improve.

I'm going to include some of these comments here so that others can spy on my thought processes (such as my addled old brain produces nowadays).

I'll try to keep it constructive and to-the-point. Maybe someone reading these can at least say, "Ahhh, been there - done that".

Wednesday, November 14, 2007


Well, it’s been over a year since I wandered into an art gallery in Bozeman, Mt. and after admiring several beautiful, expensive paintings said, “Hey, I could learn to do that!” Uh huh...

So, I read a lot, looked at countless paintings, spent way too money on supplies, signed up for a painting class and off I went. It’s been an art version of Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride ever since. Needless to say, after the enthusiasm died down, I was left with the realization that it wasn’t as easy as it looked. No surprise there.

I kept at it for a few months and then let it all slide to the back of the table. I probably completed less than a dozed attempts in a four or five month period. Still, while it’s not uncommon for me to get totally into something only to abandon it, there was always something nagging at me. Something that said this was more important to me than most of my other “crazy” hobbies.

So, I’m back at it again. The learning curve is still steep but I’m going to try and jump-start this by taking a few more workshops and getting on a more disciplined schedule of completing paintings and studies. I need to put this all on a goal oriented track or I’ll be hacking at it for another twenty years! I’m starting to understand the saying: The only way to learn to paint is to paint, paint, paint!

So, off I go.....