Sunday, October 16, 2016

Cape Ann Plein Air or CAPA, Oct. 10-16, 2016

This is the first annual event for CAPA.  These events have been held across the nation over the past 10 years or so and are becoming more and more popular as the plein air movement has also been gathering steam, I think, largly because of the efforts of Eric Rhoads and his various publications, mostly Plein Air Magazine.
In any event, I went to Manchester by the Sea on Wednesday to see the Quick Draw event.  I've been reading about these events for years and was thoroughly trilled to see it in person.  It was held in the morning from 10 to noon and then the artists brought their work to the Haskel House to be hung for awards and a reception in the evening.  I hadn't planned to attend the evening event, but as things went I was able to go and how different everything looked indoors and framed.
There were 40 artists invited from across the nation and another group of non-juried artists who participated in this event.  The awards for segregated into the two groups.
Today I went to the Major Exhibition of all the 40 juried artist's work at the Rockport Art Assoc.  I was not prepared for how wonderful it would be.  So many artists who have never been in the part of the country interpreted their impressions of places that have been painted before by so many artists over the past 100 years or more.  I don't know who won the people's choice award, but I'll post it when I find out.  Here are some photos I took of some of my favorites.  Colin Page was the juror who selected the 40, so his work most likely is not considered for a prize.
Jeff Weaver
Thomas Kitts

Chuck Marshall

Jeff Weaver

Add caption

Alan Bull
Colin Page

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Upcoming Stapleton Kearns workshop, end of October

Soon I'll be off again for another workshop.  I wish I could say that I'll have a little time to do some plein air painting between now and then, but it's not going to happen.  I am saddened by the fact that I did a poor job at the previous workshop with Kim English because I haven't been doing much oil painting.  What I have been doing and will continue to do until about Christmas, is mural painting with airbrush and automotive spray guns.  I do a tiny bit of oil painting while my art student is working here on her lessons, which is good, but that studio painting might just be getting in the way of outdoor painting techniques.  I did do one plein air painting recently of sunflowers, and realized again how much difference there is in the colors and darks when you bring it indoors.
I got the supply list today for the Kearns workshop and will need to bring some 16x20"s.  Oh, and a cigar.
Probably not for me. :)
I had arranged for this workshop the minute I heard about it and also booked an Airbnb in that area.
I probably didn't think about the weather when I signed up, and since it's cold and rainy already, I'm keeping my fingers crossed!!

Monday, October 3, 2016

Kim English Workshop - Day 5

Friday.  We started early, Kim was going to do a demo about painting from a photo, but he did that at 2 p.m. instead.  The lesson learned was that there really is a very big difference in the proportions when working from a photo, the camera makes adjustments that are apparent to the eye when comparing the photo to the actual (in this case) model.  I was aware of the color variations, but not so much the proportions.  Of course, we all know it distorts the view, but also the perspective and proportions.
The model today was a female who was very good and posed in pants with red sneakers and barefoot in a black dress and cream colored sweater.  The idea was to paint the model in a scene in 10 to 20 minutes. For me it's hard to work on a figure when it is small, all through this workshop I had trouble with laying paint on and I don't usually have that problem, thank goodness, and suspect that maybe usually I put a stroke down and leave it alone and here I was working more or less in layers and on a wiped off surface, still damp.  Maybe I needed medium.  I don't think it was the boards,
We painted 7 (so the total for the week is about 67) paintings and Kim took ample time doing the critiques at the end.
What he suggested to me was to hire a model and do these quick poses.  Maybe I'll check out my neighboring NAA (Figure Drawing. Wednesday night figure drawing is a twenty-plus year tradition at the NAA - meets weekly - Wednesday Nights 7:00 pm. Live model.) as they have a drawing group, I used to go there, and I can paint there as far as I know.
I bought Kim's demo painting from the day in Manchester.  It's of two houses in the downtown area.  I like it because it will remind me that a good artist can make anything look good no matter what the weather.
There is so much to process after a workshop like this--I'll have to make a list.  I do like working with 2 new colors, permanent rose (he likens to Rose Madder) and cadmium green pale.
My friend, Karen, who has nice paintings of Kims and who took him workshop in Colorado, wanted to come by and say hello to Kim, but Kim left early so Karen and I went to see the show at NSAA and had a snack and drinks--Which I sorely needed!!
Now I'll download my pictures and add some to this blog.  Here is the group photo that Kat sent out today.
I'm in the back row with 1/2 a face.
September 2016, Kim England Workshop
Kim English talking about camera distortion
Third model, painting in a scene.

Last piece of good advice.

Josephine's work, she did a lot.

Kim workshop, Day 2

We started out with 2 minute paintings, trying to pay attention to the warm side and the cool sides.  Today's model is a guy in a long maroon shirt and a red sleeveless shirt and red toe socks. In the afternoon he added a dark jacket. Some of the poses were with a pole for added jesture. We started the day with a nice talk about mixing colors and a neat way to get great colored grays.  Kim did a wonderful demonstration about how various lighting effects affect the model and the subsequent painting.  It makes me want to paint casts and work on the planes of the face again using various lighting conditions. Our 1/2 hour lunches last an hour.  Not good.
I've misplaced my blog notes on this afternoon, but as I recall we did some longer poses, experimenting on lighting angles and trying for a scene rather than just the figure.  We did about 25 paintings.  So between Monday and Tuesday we did about 54 paintings.
Kim painting today's model.
Discussing daylight lighting.

Discussing cool light lighting.

Discussing warm light lighting.

Kim's painting, we did a bunch with chairs in the scene.

As Mark Hayden says, "Camp Mary".
Put out primaries, mix secondaries. 
Then add white in the middle and wipe from center outward.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Heading out to Gloucester

A few of us have been collaborating regarding paint colors.  He uses a couple of colors that aren't generally on the majority of artist's palettes.  One in particular, Cadmium Green Pale, was hard to find and since I didn't pay attention to the workshop list a week ago when I was ordering boards, I had to find a local supplier.  Also, white!  There are a few whites, zinc and titanium and a mixture of both.  The mixture version is what he requests, and I have only a little left in my big tube and, of course, didn't find that one either at most of the local stores.

So I'm packed with clothes and art supplies, and all I need now is a ton of energy.  All this week I've been sidelined with an infection that sapped my strength and I even got a very sore back, I thought perhaps from sleeping so much, but it got so bad I couldn't sit or bend over.  I went to the doctor to be sure it wasn't my kidney and for some possible relief since I'm leaving tomorrow for the workshop, and at this point I probably couldn't go.

I got super strength ibuprofen for inflamation, super strength Tylenol for the pain and a muscle relaxer because it feels like muscle spasms. After 24 hrs I can't believe how good I feel.
On my way to the Kim English Workshop.

Kim English Workshop-Day 4

 First thing I checked the tire and it was the same so I needed to decide to ride it or call AAA to fill it in order to get to the garage--which is what I did.  Saira (Airbnb hostess) called her mechanic and got me in right away.  He was a delightful chap who told me all about his hip replacement and highly recommends Brigham & Women's and to have it done from the front, not the side or the back.
I was on time to meet the group and off we went to Manchester-by-the-Sea to paint.  The weather was a bit milder and the sun even peeked out once or twice.  Kim started to paint almost as soon as he got out of the car and did a nice painting of the intersection near Central Street Gallery where several of my friends show their work.  Again he demonstrated using more or less a notan to start and then continue to use color and refine areas.  His method of brushwork and applying strokes over strokes or cutting in with the negative side works wonders.  We all spread out and worked on a painting.  Mine looked like a second grader did it and Kim was so nice to say, no, probably a third grader. I have to keep in mind that this happens to everyone at every workshop.  Although its tough every time, working outside your comfort zone, using a technique you're not used to or colors also, it's always hard. Kim set up near me facing the other direction and did a great painting (which I bought). He has the amazing ability to create beauty where it more or less doesn't exist.  Surely there are nice subjects, but he can push the colors and sizes and shapes creating beauty--this is what separates the men from the boys, you get my meaning.  This may be what people say when they say you have to picture the finished painting in your head before you begin.
After lunch break, we all went back to work and I made myself paint anything--in other words I didn't see something I wanted to paint so I just painted something.  It was a very busy boat scene.  Just what I should not have done.  Keeping it simple is what it's all about.  I imagined I was doing a Movali!  I was the last to leave and went to the Causeway--a GREAT place for fish and had a friend oyster appetizer.  I asked what is the smallest serving of friend oysters on the menu, and was told the appetizer--it had 20 on it!
Tomorrow we meet at the studio and will probably work from the model, starting early at 8:30 and maybe quitting early.
Kim's first painting of the day.
Two artists painting.

Fried Oyster Appetizer at the Causeway

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Kim English workshop, Day 3

The group in downtown Gloucester MA
Mary Pyche and Judith Meagher
Kim English painting downtown Gloucester MA
We met downtown Gloucester as previously agreed and set out towards the streets away from the waterfront to paint a street scene. Kim sets up in no time flat and begins to paint.  We all gather around for the first 1/2 hour or so and he is almost finished. It is a cloudy day with intermittent sprinkles and high winds, feels like near freezing, my hands were numb and I was keeping them in my pockets.  I had a hat and a fuzzy hood on and was not inspired or motivated to paint.  A few dedicated souls found some somewhat sheltered spots and painted but I roamed around taking pictures that would have been better if I had my camera with a zoom lens instead of the phone and had a bit of sun shine. 
A couple of nice and crazy guys came around who were from the Good Morning Gloucester Gazette and took some pictures of us.  At noon we met to figure out where to go next.  Imagine a dozen people without a plan, nor any idea of the area for the most part, trying to figure out what to do next. After my lunch of chicken wings, we headed to the public parking lot at Rocky Neck and we then went to the far end where they repair boats. 
Kim set up and painted his third painting of the day and since most of us were happy to watch and learn, we huddled around him.  I roamed around some more taking photos and ended up at Judy Meagher's Gallery for some welcome shelter. 
From there we went to the group dinner at the Azorean, a nice Portuguese restaurant, where Kim ate octopus. I enjoyed our dinner conversation, it kind of worked out that 5 on one end were in a conversation and so were the other five, a couple didn't come.  It was a pleasant dinner and we are to meet at the studio tomorrow morning and probably go out again under the same weather conditions, and Friday we'd get another model.  
When I got back to my cozy Airbnb, I realized that I had almost a flat tire. My hostess will call in the morning to see if her local garage guy is there and I'll get it fixed. You go years without a flat tire but I've had three this past year.

Summary: Kim masses in his shapes with approximate colors and then refines his shapes and colors without getting picky.  He takes care to always clean his brush with every stroke--load and unload. He uses a big brush and a support that is about 10x14".
It was suggested that we buy 10-15 8x10"s and 10-15 9x12"s.  So I bought 10 of each size.  Usually on workshops I get what is suggested and only use a small fraction of the supports.  Well, we did close to 30 the first day and 25 the next day and if the weather had cooperated probably 2 in the morning and 2 in the afternoon each plein air day and then there is one more day. The idea of this workshop is to learn, not to bring home a finished painting, which is all well and good. Other people have blogged about having good quality boards and wiping them off, which is what I did, but some people in this group used the cheap boards or canvas pads and the wipe offs went fine on those as well.  Any that I kept I will eventually paint over as the paint is thin and they cost about $5 each.  Truthfully 60 paintings for this workshop is about right depending on what we do on the last day.
Judith's Movali painting!

Kim's downtown Gloucester street scene painting.

Kim English at Rocky Neck, Gloucester.

Kim's painting at Rocky Neck
The class observing Kim painting.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Kim English workshop, day 1

Everyone arrived by the appointed time and were shown around.  The space which is a unit in an industrial park is excellent.  We are painting the clothed model all day.  We set up arranging ourselves in a big semicircle with the model against the wall.  Kim did a quick lesson on proportion and discussed his pallet, and talked about gesture.

As is usually the case, workshop leaders give you a list of what to bring and after you go to great lengths to find the surfaces and colors, they usually then say substitutions are fine.  Anyway he explained why he had his pallet arranged his way and how he mixed his colors and I liked it.  He tries to keep the mixtures of all his dark tones on the left side and lights on the right.  I've tried to do this before and it makes things easier to find.  We had the most amazing model, as good as those at the Art Students League.  We did 2-3 and five-minute poses and did 21 by lunch break.  We did slightly longer poses after lunch but not so many.  Some people in the group did very good work and photographed each pose so they could work on them later.  We were informed that tipping the model when you took photos was customary.  Kim circulated and made quick comments to everyone.  My plan was to wipe each one and reuse the same panel.  One pose was so tricky I took her photo to try it again. There were only 4 that I kept.  Kim had arranged the light in some spectacular ways to light the model in a dramatic way or for great shadows and colors.  We are able to work 24 hrs here and leave our stuff. 

Tomorrow will be more of the same and if we have good weather later in the week we'll do plein air. 

After class, I ate downtown Gloucester, baked cod, not very good, what a surprise.  Then to the grocery store for sandwiches and snacks for the week and found my Airbnb, a nice quiet home, great bed.  The weather has turned the corner from summer to fall.
Kim's palette

Not my paintings, Jude or Judith's?

Kim's painting.

Kim's painting.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Now I'm scared.

I'm trying to get my stuff together for the Kim English workshop that starts a week from today.  I'm packing up my pack, thinking about the weather and packing clothes.  I'm checking out various blogs of artists who have taken his workshops, and, well, that is why I'm scared.  It is going to be a grueling art boot camp.  OK, I'm going to get myself pumped up for this!  Mostly this workshop will be about painting the figure, but FAST!  One person said she painted 60 paintings the first day.  He does 3 to 5 minute poses, back to back, and you wipe off the first one and go for the second one, etc.
It's a good thing I told my message person that I might be calling her when this workshop is over!
I am really glad I booked a room in the area so I can crash each evening.
Here is an excellent video of Kim talking at the reception of one of his shows.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

What's next? -- Gloucester MA

I've been home about 10 days and finally got rid of the cold I got on the plane.  It was the dizziness that bothered me, the sniffles only lasted a couple of days.
Well, I've booked an Airbnb in Gloucester, MA for my next big adventure:  A workshop with Kim English for 5 days the end of this month!  Why big?  We'll he's one of my favorites and very famous.
Link to his images:
Why am I staying overnight there?  It's 100 miles round trip and doing it everyday is just a little much.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Day 15, travel day home

I loose 6 hours today going west to east.
We left at 3:15, 1 hr. Bus ride to airport and we got there before the desks opened.  My luggage, thankfully, came in 1/2 lb. under the 50 lbs., plane to Rome was fine.  Funny thing happened, I figured I wouldn't be in a rush to deplane so I started a text message and all of a sudden the hostess was there asking me to get off.  It was one of those planes that disembark down an external staircase onto the Tarmac.  When I got there I felt like a star as I was the only one and the bus was waiting with everyone on board waiting with the doors open. OMG.  We drove a ways to the terminal.  Nice how they land planes like in a big parking lot and they drive you to the terminal. From there you progress through the various gates and public areas, quite nicely styled and renovated.  Since I had several hours, it was a nice walk for me. Upon reaching my gate, I wandered around through the shops and food areas, had coffee and croissant, did emails, wrote in my blog and journal,bought a book to read and something in the duty free shop, ate lunch, listened to blog talk radio for a couple of hours, and as I'm writing this now, I have my alarm set to board in 3 more hours, and I'll start to read my book.
I'm sitting here practically in the same seat in the restaurant where my traveling buddy, Carol, and I have sat before on a previous trip.
I did a quick pen drawing of this couple.

Day 14, rest and packing day AND misc people photos

Packing day. 
We had our last regular breakfast since we are getting on our bus at 3:15 for the airport tomorrow. 
Its a day of settling accounts and packing.
After cutting the cheese many purchased some to bring home so it was ready today, vacuum-packed for travel.  It started out hot again so we were "resting", had lunch, the weather started to cool down a bit so I had my last walk-about.  We packed, napped, ate supper where everyone said goodbyes, endless toasts, just like summer camp.
We had our short night of sleep before the journey homeward.
Some of the gang.
Charles' underwear keeps popping up. :) 
Our wonderful host family.
The toast--champagne.