8"x10" oil on Belgian linen mounted on museum quality board"Art is a personal commentary on nature..."
- Charles W. Hawthorne
Several of us in Camille's workshop decided to meet up for dinner on Tuesday evening (of last week), and head out to paint the sunset over in St. Michael's. The light changes soooo very fast, so it's a challenge to keep the composition simple, indicate your big shapes, and get them down fast!
While it's wet & unframed:
I promised to share information about the workshop I attended with Camille Przewodek....and I'll try to summarize everything here. First of all- learning to see color is indeed hard! It's more intuitive than intellectual... sort of like developing muscle (for a marathon)! If it were as easy as "opening a hole in your head & pouring in knowledge" wow, wouldn't that just be the easy thing to do. So I'm glad I had some good back-ground from studying with Leif Nilsson last summer. Those lessons were ground-breaking for me. But learning is a continuing necessity - and I've been wanting to see Camille paint for a long time now. Both her & Leif were students of Henry Hensche. Over the past many years I found myself drawn to the work of Hensche's students. So it's been my aim to study with some of them, and learn everything I can about color. Hearing Camille talk about Hensche was so similar to the things Leif had said....I honestly felt like they were both 'channeling' Hensche in their words and paint. When I arrived back home & got the books off the shelf to re-read, it really confirmed it. "Hawthorne on Painting" and "Hensche on Painting" are the two I've been re-reading...and worth your time if you're an artist seeking to learn more about this way of seeing.
So, to go back a few generations, Przewodek & Nilsson, both studied with Hensche in Provincetown, MA. Hensche was student of Charles W. Hawthorne who had founded the Cape School of Art in Cape Cod, MA in 1899. Hawthorne was a contemporary of Monet. As can be seen in the works of American Impressionists of that time, Monet & the European Impressionists had really been a huge influence- opening the perception that nature is infinitely varied. Light effect is different every day!
Now the aim of this workshop is to get the student to understand the value of a strong start. Once this is established, it doesn't take much to bring it to a finish. The 5 day workshop week is broken down into the following tasks:
On Monday and Tuesday we painted colored blocks in bright sunlight, and again in overcast (gray-day) light. Practicing on these simple blocks break the problems down in an easier to solve task...but translate readily to what you will see in landscape or still life. Wednesday of that week we painted in town (Easton, MD where the workshop was held). And of course the building structures are like 'bigger blocks'. Thursday we went out to a local farm to paint landscape (and something more open than what we'd see in town). Friday we painted 'mud-heads' - figures in the sunlight - which I found very helpful! (I'll post these photos in a separate entry today).
Some great reference material, besides Hensche & Hawthorne's books listed above, are:
"Painting the Impressionist Landscape- Lessons in Interpreting Light and Color" by Lois Griffel
also, "Capturing Radiant Color in Oils" by Susan Sarback. Now, I must say, that as much as I've poured through these books over the last many years, there is nothing like having someone else show you what you need to see. For that I thank Leif & Camille for offering lessons/workshops and sharing what they know. But the books are a good starting point (that will probably leave you with many questions, but, hey- it IS a starting point).
Labels: Eastern shore, MD; evening light, MD; St. Michael's, palette knife painting, Roxanne Steed Fine Art, small oil painting, sunset