On Saturday, February 4th, I gave an artist talk and demo for the Watertown Art Association. This is a lively art association and one of the oldest in the country. I am one of four presenters in their series Elemental Forces: Earth, Air, Fire & Water funded by the Watertown Cultural Council, a local agency supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency. These demos are free and open to the public. The next demo features encaustic artist Tracy Spadafora on March 4th @ 2PM.
|12x12 value sketch|
It takes a bit of planning on my part as I am not entirely comfortable painting in front of an audience. The week prior my husband and I walked the Minuteman Trail in Concord, MA. There I took a photo of a large house just off the trail. From the photo I did some rough sketches, a value study then a painting sketch.
|12x12 painting sketch|
My goal was to play with the earth shades: yellow ochre, burnt sienna & umber and raw sienna & umber, so I planned out my palette first. These are colors I seldom use yet they are so rich in mass tones and are the colors of a snowless New England landscape.
I found pre-planning my palette a worthwhile exercise. After doing the above warm-ups the composition proved to be a tad boring so I returned to sketching. The house in Concord was the inspiration but the beauty of being an artist is being able to rearrange the landscape.
At the demo I blocked out the big shapes sky vs house & land using ultramarine blue and hansa yellow light. I worked on an 18" x 18" birch panel prepped w/ a few layers of gesso.
I use a lot of medium so there is a bit of glare on these images. Once I got the paint on the panel my nervousness dwindled. The audience asked great questions and were quite engaged in the process. I wore a mike and after a few technical difficulties that turned out to be a plus. Thank you Jodie Wigren for that tip.
My mother-in-law also attended and she gave me a very helpful helpful tip. "Repeat each question so everyone attending can hear. " Thank you Mary Waters!
As you can see from these images the painting went through many transitions.
I continued to simplify the composition from the sketch by removing the trees and reduced it to the essential elements of the house on a hill. A finished painting for now and a fun adventure spending time pushing paint and engaging with other artists on a Saturday afternoon. Many thanks to Jodie Wigren, Dawn Evans Scaltreto and President Donna Gaspar