Monday, October 3, 2016

Challenges, Inspiration, Growth & Workshops

First... a huge "thank you" to everyone who came to our art show Farm to Table: landscape, still ife and intimate interiors at Muscoot Farm Gallery in September. It was great fun to meet so many art lovers and see many old friends. And it was wonderful to share the space (and the work!) with Leslie Carone, a dedicated artist, cooperative exhibit-mate and supportive friend!

One of the side benefits of holding an art exhibit is that gallery-goers have lots of questions which presents an opportunity to think through what went into making our art.

brass, oil painting, vintage chalkboard, still life
First Bell ©2016 Dorothy Lorenze
And to think about the challenges that allow every painting to become an opportunity for artistic growth.

In my painting, First Bell, the challenge was rendering brass shadows and highlights in a believable way.

Luckily, painting brass is not quite as challenging for Todd Casey, my painting coach. So he did a demo resulting in this beautiful little pitcher and pear. Todd made it feel accessible.
painting Workshop
©2016 Todd M Casey courtesy Rehs Gallery

Brass is "brassy" and it's easy to overdo the shininess. Seeing Todd's depth of color helped me to realize that brass can still be brassy with less overall shine. In fact it's the contrast with the duller, darker colors that helps you see the shine.

I was also reminded that to round the form, the darks on the light side should appear lighter than the lights on the dark side. Word juggling! While it makes your brain hurt to think about it, in a demonstration, you can see it.

Tackling a painting challenge in a workshop with Todd is like doing it with a safety net. Todd has taught me how to see better, how to find the subtlest difference between colors and values. And how accurate drawing creates the structure for representational painting.

He's a master artist and master teacher, sharing all he's learned from experiences at Water Street Atelier, Grand Central Academy, San Francisco's Academy of Art, as well as working with with Warren Chang, Max Ginsburg, Jacob Collins and more.
Todd will be holding a workshop for a small group of serious painters at my studio in Granite Springs October 22-24th. If you are interested let him know right away because space is limited and filling quickly. More information is available here.

The quote below aptly expresses my belief about raising the bar for ourselves with each painting -
"One must have a high opinion of a work of art - not the work one is creating at the moment, but of that which one desires to achieve one day. Without this it is not worthwhile working." Edgar Degas

Painting workshops challenge, inspire and support us in raising our own painting levels. 
And helps us to see.

And just to show that even non-painters "get it" here's a poet and philosopher on the subject -
"It's not what you look at that matters, it's what you see." Henry David Thoreau

Thanks for joining me on my painting journey.

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