Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Plein Air Workshop: Millheim, Pennsylvania

We are now ensconced in the very comfortable and historic Aaronsburg Inn, just a mile down the road from Millheim, where I am teaching a workshop through the Green Drake Gallery.  As we drove to our destination, we knew we'd found some incredible territory for painting.  Brooks, rolling hills, farm fields, old barns and homes - there's not much this area doesn't have!  We even saw cornfields being cut by the Amish with horse-drawn corn binders.  This evening as I type, I hear a horse clopping by, pulling a carriage.

A cold front is moving in, so today we had a bit of rain, a bit of wind and considerable cloudiness.  After giving an introductory lecture on plein air painting, I followed with an indoor pastel demo.  Once we'd finished with lunch, we headed out to an Amish farm to sketch before a shower appeared.  Tomorrow, the weather is supposed to improve dramatically, and we'll get out to explore more of the landscape.

So what did I cover on my first day?  I talked about why painting from life is better than painting from photographs; how to get a more fulfilling experience by having a goal when you go out painting; showed how four values are all you need to "describe" the landscape; and, since this four-day workshop is a compressed version of my five-day workshop, introduced the topic of color and palette choices.  (Normally I start this on the second day.)  After the demonstration and student painting periods, we headed back to the studio where we share our paintings and talk aboult them.

I'll post a few photos of the area and the workshop over the next few days, and I'll also write about what goes on in one of my workshops.

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