Sunday, August 1, 2010

I recently completed a Plein Aire workshop with Richard McKinley http://www.mckinleystudio.com/,
in Laconner Washington.  Richard is the featured artists on the cover of the July/Aug. issue of "The Artist" magazine.  The posted picture is of him giving one of his demos while out painting near the bay.  The other is of him showing us how he does his under painting when he works from a Plein Aire sketch and does a painting back in the studio.  As an instructor, all I can do is rave about him.  He gives so much information and explains and shows what he means every step of the way, so that even if you a relative beginner to painting you understand.  He explained the importance of using a " Notan" prior to starting the painting.  A Notan being a value sketch in no more than 3-4 grey values.  He really stressed understanding values and using  a value under painting with burnt sienna on our canvas.  He showed us how to make in oils a full range of greys from dark warm and cools, mid range and light range of those values to use on our palette.  I took the workshop through Dakota Art,  in Laconner,  http://www.dakotapastels.com/pages/index.aspx. Robyn who owns Dakota is extremely helpful getting supplies if you need them or just doing her darnest to get you into the class, which she did in my case. I stayed at the Queen of the Valley Bed and Breakfast, with  my dear friend Wendy Dehart,  http://www.queenofthevalleyinn.com/ and we had the most wonderful breakfasts  made by Shelly, the owner and her assistant Jackie.  I told her she needs to write a breakfast cookbook!
The town of Laconner is delightful and the area is so picturesque, with beautiful farms in the valley, Mt Baker always in view, and the bay right there.  

For me all of it was an incredible learning experience along with a fabulous time.  Richard also does a blog for the Artists Network, where again, even if you aren't a pastel artists he really gives so much more then just the basic information, check it out.  http://pastelpointersblog.artistsnetwork.com/?p_PageAlias=pastelpointers

I did three painting while at the workshop, none worth posting, but that was really stressed by Richard, we weren't there to make a master piece, we were there to learn and to see.  I really thought on the last day I was getting the values correctly.  I used my umbrella so I wasn't painting in the bright sun, which I really had a difficult time doing.  When I brought the painting indoors I was so surprised that I hadn't gotten enough value differences in the piece.  I have to learn to exaggerate them a little more.  I am hoping that I can use what I learned not just for Plein Aire, but also for my studio work.

I am now working on getting my paintings ready for a show in West Linn Oregon, called "Art Festival in the Forest."  http://www.artsfestivalintheforest.com/ 
 I am doing the show with a fellow artists; Sally Hingley.  http://www.petragallery.com/  The show is Aug 14th and 15th. , so if you are in the area please stop by and say hello

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