Friday, October 3, 2008

Lois Griffel Workshop - Day 5

Our final day dawned clear but brisk and windy. We sought a place protected from the wind and ended up in Somesville, which is at the north end of Somes Sound, the only true fjord in the northeastern US. Somesville has a unique, white bridge next to the Museum, and it's surrounded by some spectacular foliage. Although the bridge is probably one of the most visited spots on Mount Desert Island, we got there long before the first tourists arrived with cameras.

Lois gave us some clues on how to keep the white bridge in shadow and how to make the sunlit accents truly sunny by using complements: violet in the shadows, lemon yellow in the lights. And to keep the foliage spectacular, we used pure color without white. Most of us, though, could have used clues on how to engineer the bridge! I found myself redrawing it time and time again, often doing so right over a good half-hour's worth of painting. Here's my "start":

My bridge didn't come out too badly. Still, beginners often think that this loose, painterly way of applying paint is great for hiding poor drawing skills. Although drawing wasn't the point of this week's workshop, Lois noted - and I whole-heartedly agree - that drawing is a fundamental skill for any painter, Impressionist or otherwise. You simply can't hide poor drawing.

It was a great workshop, and Lois worked us hard. I can't wait for her new book, which will pick up where the old one left off. The book is still in the proposal stage, but I do hope it comes out soon.

So, she's off to Arizona, and I'm taking some R&R by hiking this weekend. I'll be teaching my own workshop here on MDI next week. Stay tuned!

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