Monday, April 7, 2008

Milton Workshop - Day 1

I'm now in Milton, Ontario - not too far from Toronto - and teaching a workshop for Pastel Artists Canada. This is PAC's first annual pastel symposium, and I'm proud to be the pre-symposium workshop instructor. Despite Air Canada losing my luggage for a day and a cold that hit me on Saturday followed by some ear issues, I'm having a great time. The workshop is full (12 students) and they're all fun to be around.

The location for the workshop is the Halton Region Museum, right on the Niagara Escarpment and inside the Kelso Conservation Park. You couldn't ask for a better location. I've never been to this part of Canada, so I didn't know what to expect. As I flew from New Brunswick, Canada looked pretty flat. But I was delighted to see that the Escarpment is delightful terrain with lots of rolling hills, farm fields and the occasional steep cliff.

The Museum, formerly the Alexander Family Farm, was settled in 1836 by Scottish immigrants. Four generations of the Family farmed the land until 1961. The Alexander Farm was one of the first electrically powered farms in Southern Ontario. The Museum features many of the old buildings and all of the wonderful, rolling hills.

Because this is a four-day workshop (the Symposium starts on Friday), I've compressed my usual five-day workshop. Today we jumped right into values and the benefits of doing quick, 5x7 sketches. Below is a 5x7 I did of one of the cliffs, as well as some snapshots. You'll note that we still have a bit of snow here. Even so, it was a beautiful day with lots of fleeting sun.

5x7, pastel, en plein air - Escarpment
(click on image for a bigger picture)

Tomorrow, more painting!

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