May 6th I enjoyed participating in a workshop with Grethe Jensen in her studio with 8 other artists. We were encouraged to use "experienced" canvasses, those that already had paint on. Acrylic paintings are improved by the number of layers of paint underneath the top "picture". We were also discouraged from using more than one or two colors, at least to begin with. This painting started out as a person facing away from us with reddish hair and a hat on a grey background. I wanted to use a greyed down yellow green as a background, so that's how it started out. Then, I quickly added the vase and a few flowers. Then the challenge came. Pass your easel off to another artist who would keep working on your painting. I was lucky enough to get to work on Nick's colorful graphic composition. Lisa took over mine. She added grey and yellow to the flowers and deepened the shadow on the table. Then it was my turn, after some critiques, to improve it. Below is what happened next:
Next up, find another "experienced" canvas and learn a little about portraits. Grethe gave us a quick lesson in how to get general proportions of a face, and using some photos from Now Magazine, and similar papers, we got started. This time, I had a dark background with a boat painted on it. I painted over the boat first, then drew with watercolor pencil a face of La-Vane Kelly, who is in a movie "Unarmed Verses" that is being shown as part of Hot Docs. Here's the original and here's the painting::
We all learned a lot, had fun, and went home with new friends and some finished pieces. Here are some other photos from that day. Wish I had been able to get photos of all the work produced. Whenever you can, take opportunities to learn new things. This class was very inspirational.