For Beginners and Those Who Want to Begin Again
How do you feel when you look at the canvas and consider the process of painting? Is it possible for you to conceive of a way for that feeling to change and evolve? If so, how might you go about getting your feelings about the painting process to evolve … anywhere from slightly to radically different?
Just like I would never hand over a sewing machine to someone who has never sewn and say “follow your intuition and just sew,” I also think that guidance with paints and related materials is needed to get a person to feel comfortable with the painting process, before we engage our intuitions.
On the first day, I will demonstrate and teach a maximalist approach numerous ways to help you manipulate and apply paint onto a canvas in a maximalist approach so that you can build up layers, causing the canvas to transition from a “young” canvas to a “mature” canvas. The first part of the class will move quickly on purpose, to get you to stop over-thinking and simply try the methods out quickly. Later in this first day, I will also demonstrate a minimalist approach of building up layers where less of the canvas is covered. For the rest of this day, as we start to digest the methods and as we potentially discover new ones together, we will rely more on our intuition as we each make decisions, solve problems, and wrestle with the resounding “what next?” when it comes to building layers on a canvas.
On the second day, we will embark on selecting one of our canvases from the first day to deliberately paint a subject using a photo reference. This reference can be a portrait, a figure, an animal, flowers, landscape … anything you want to paint, we can paint on top of a canvas in ways that will excite you and empower you as a painter. On this day, you may decide to take one of the other canvases to coax out stories or concepts that the canvas may be projecting out, through the marks that were made. As time allows, you may be able to do both.
Overview of tools and materials with principles of best practices in terms of handling paints and caring for tools
Warm-up exercises to get our mindsets into new ways of thinking and seeing and feeling
Demonstration and teaching of how to build layers of paint on a blank canvas using 15+ methods
Discussion of concepts drawn from literature that have applicaions on how to overcome creative barriers during the creative process
Discussion of lifelong journey involving how to make the art we make our own by reaching deep into who we are and allowing who we are to be expressed on our canvases
Principles of solving problems and deciding when a work is finished or finished for the time being
How to look at and discover concepts that the canvas communicates and how to coax such concepts out into distinctive imagery
How to apply representational concepts onto the canvas by working with references and quiet the background, and when appropriate, to add shadows for still life-inspired images
Acrylic paint on stretched canvas
STUDENT SUPPLY LIST
2 stretched canvases: 18x24 inches is a good size or something close to that size
Fluid Acrylic paints by Golden:
Cadmium Red (or pyrrole red)
OPTIONAL: Naples Yellow, Prussian Blue, Green Gold, Teal, Phthalo Green, Fluorescent Pink (heavy body)
Heavy Body acrylics by Holbein
Acrylic inks: Golden High Flow acrylics in black and white
Fineline precision applicators (gauge 20)
Derwent inktense pencil (in ink black)
SUBJECTS: Reference photos of subjects to that you’d like to paint on the second day stored on your smart phone or tablet (like an iPad), devises fully charged. If you have an old family photo, take a photo of that photo and store it onto your devise. Photos with high contrast (lights and darks) is recommended. If you don’t have a photo, I will have many photo references that you can use.
PAINTBRUSHES: I use short flat brushes. They are also called “brights.” Do not bring long flats, which look like short flat/brights. I recommend either the Dick Blick Scholastic OR Robert Simmons Titanium, both available on dickblick.com.
Blick Scholastic Wonder White Brushes (long blue handles)
One size 12
One size 20
Robert Simmons Titanium (long silver handles)
One size 4
One size 12
EASEL: If you have a collapsible table easel (aluminum or wood) please bring it. If you don’t have an easel, bring a large roll of paper towels.
MISC: Paper towels, baby wipes, apron, container for water
KIT FEE: If you bring paints as recommended and use your own paints, there is no kit fee. If you bring paints but don’t bring the ones I recommend and you end up using my paints, the fee will be $10 (to be paid to the instructor by cash or check at time of class)
Most of the required supplies for your classes can be pre-ordered from Collage. They will be ready and waiting for you to pick up when you arrive at the retreat. For further info and to place your order, contact: