Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Acadia Workshop Center - Day 1

After a weekend of hiking in gorgeous fall weather, I'm now giving my annual workshop at the Acadia Workshop Center. This time, however, we've changed it to a mentoring workshop based on the half-day format of my Campobello Island ones. When we're not painting, we'll be talking about advanced painting techniques and the business of art. It's a great opportunity to work in a collegial atmosphere.

Today, one of the things we talked about was going out to paint with a specific purpose. You really don't want to paint without direction, because that's the surest way to go in no direction at all. There are three reasons to go out painting:
  • To create a finished work or a piece that can be finished either in the studio or in one or more additional outdoor sessions;
  • To gather reference material for a studio piece; or
  • To build your painting skills.
The first one requires the most energy and focus. It's almost impossible to do this unless your head is clear, and you have plenty of time (and coffee!) The second can be the most relaxing, since you are painting without critiquing your skills. The third falls somewhere in-between, but it's also relatively pressure-free. Even so, sometimes these last two can give you a real "gem" that can be considered a finished piece.

For this 9x12 pastel, I was most interested in capturing the sense of light. It was a warm, bright morning, and the shadows containing bounced light were almost hot! This is one of the many private piers around Bernard.

"Bernard Pier" 9x12, pastel

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