Saturday, July 27, 2013

Capelin and classes

After many thin layers of glazing, I've finished the capelin painting.  Its interesting to build and see the colour in beach rocks that initially seem to have blue/grey only.  Layers of purples, reds, blues and ochres are all present to give depth to the stones.

Its a similar story with the fish, adding layer after layer to reach a point where flesh and skin looks as it should.  If you haven't used glazing, I'd highly recommend it.  Yes, its time consuming, but well worth it for the depth you get with the technique.

For those interested in Painting Realistic Water, I will be holding an 8 week course at my home studio in Flatrock, NL.   This intensive course will provide participants with the knowledge and techniques required to understand and paint water surfaces that have depth.  The classes will be limited to four people to allow lots of one on one guidance.  The first course is scheduled to begin on September 18, 2013 and you can register on my website.  More courses will be scheduled as demanded.

I will also hold an Introduction to Drawing workshop on Saturday, September 21 and 28 from 1 - 5pm.  These classes are for individuals who want to learn the basics of traditional drawing or for those more experienced artists who would like to refresh their drawing skills. 

Sunday, July 21, 2013


 Turmoil - SOLD
22" x 28" oil on canvas

I've been struggling with this painting for the past week or more, but have finally conquered it, though it was winning there for awhile.

Its easy to give up when a painting hasn't yet reached its turning point and we can't quite see the vision that was in our head forming in front of our eyes.  But so often,it just takes a bit more perserverence and a lot of observation and thinking of where to place key strokes that will bring it all together.

Yes, there is an intuitive point where you know the painting is beyond redemption and it is time to scrub and start over, but more often its a matter of pushing through and developing the sections that don't interest you as much to bring the cohesiveness of the elements together.

Abandonment is a trademark of many beginning artists who want instant results without struggle.  There is always struggle to produce something worthwhile, otherwise everyone would be an artist if it were simple.  Practice is the key.  Every day, no matter what.  The best advice I have heard was from Robert Genn"Go to your room." For six months or a year.  Simple but true.  Go to the space where you create art, be alone, and paint. Repeat daily.  Don't spend your time reading art books and taking workshops.  Yes, they may be interesting, but in the end only you can be responsible for what you produce, for developing your own style and that can only be done by putting in the time actually painting.

This jumble of koi at feeding time was challenging as I kept losing track of where I was in the painting and how to separate the fish but keep the flow going.  The saying for carpentry applies to painting as well.  Measure twice,cut once.  For art, observe likely many more times than twice and apply once.