Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Sedona Plein Air Adventures with Michael Chesley Johnson

Starting in February, I will be joining my friend, Michael Chesley Johnson, and his students in some off-road, plein air painting adventures. As part of Michael's workshops, we will venture out to areas only accessible with high clearance or 4-wheel drive vehicles. This is where my Jeep comes in handy.

Along with all the great places to paint in Sedona, like Cathedral Rock and Bear Mountain, we can get to hard to reach locations to paint, such as the "cow pies" up Schnebly Hill Rd

or the some of the remote sites along Dry Creek Rd.

We have a great time and the visitors to Sedona get a taste of that off-road experience which is so much fun and provides for unique painting opportunities.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Bill St George Workshop

A week ago, a few of us in the NVA participated in a workshop led by Walpole/Boston artist, Bill St George. Bill was my first art teacher and I had taken a couple of his workshops so I was looking forward to this one. Bill told us to bring at least 2 18x24 canvases to work on so I knew it would be fun. We loosened up for the day by doing quick, large sketches in charcoal. He encouraged us to draw quickly and fill the whole page. This got our juices flowing and we moved on to our own references or one of his. Although his style is pretty loose, he made points about being accurate with our drawing and how important the use of negative space is.

I used one of his references. The background in the reference was completely dark so he suggested I find another reference to use as a background. I found another reference and worked that into the background. I'm not sold on that background yet and may change it. It is still a work in progress. Here is the 18x24 in its current state.

In the afternoon, we loosened up by painting a quick study using a limited palette of acrylics. This got us to paint from arm's length and not be too concerned with details early in the process.

My afternoon painting was a street scene in Boston. I have a number of my own references of New York (which I couldn't find) but used his scene of Boylston St. I am happy with the start and should be able to post that soon.