Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Painting Primroses

For the April Art Walk in Paris, KY, I was invited to be the featured artist at White Horse Gallery.  Roz suggested that it would be good to be actively demonstrating the art of painting during this event.  I had a bit of trepidation about painting for an audience--but it turned out to be a great experience! Folks are genuinely curious about how artists approach their work. And they certainly apologize a lot for not being stellar artists themselves, which I find rather curious. Usually, they say they can't draw a straight line, which is funny because that is the hardest thing to draw!  After six or seven people announced that they had no gifts in the art department, I invited Cathy to add some strokes to the my painting of the bluff with primroses.  This was fun.  I knew that I could riff on her contribution. In fact, next time I am involved with such a demonstration, I am going to have a panel devoted to making a group painting, inviting all so inclined to take part.

     To prepare the two panels for the demonstration, I painted a layer of transparent burnt umber.  A composition was suggested with brush strokes.  I wanted to have my thoughts gathered before painting in public.  My choice of medium was also determined by the setting.  I chose acrylic over watercolor, as watercolor takes a lot strategic thinking; not possible when working the crowd!  But, it was interesting that the openness to an ever changing cast of characters, also opened my mind to new ways of approaching the paintings.  So, these paintings are a little different from what I have created before.
I was not able to complete both paintings during the Art Walk.  In fact, I did very little on the square primrose painting at the top, left. I simply used up some paint on my brush to quickly start on the leaves. I finished both paintings in my studio.  I took what I learned in community with me.  Now I have souvenirs of my visit to the beaches of Normandy and an interesting evening of living the artist's life.

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You can read more about Wild Primroses in my April 6th posting.

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