High Tide on the Nicomekl River
Acrylic on Canvas 11" x 14"
The weekend workshop hosted by the Federation of Canadian Artists featuring Robert Genn, with guest artist Alan Wylie, was three days full of information, painting exercises, demonstrations and entertainment. Ocean Park Hall in Whiterock was just big enough to hold the 25 enthusiastic artists in attendance. We had the double doors flung wide open, sun streaming into the room and Genn's friendly dog, Dorothy, wandering around amongst us. The dog seemed to have radar for detecting when her master stepped out for even a moment; she would immediately start whining pathetically. Several of us women would go Aaaaah. Genn would re-enter the room and say "Pull yourself together!" I am pretty sure he was talking to Dorothy.
But... the weekend was a roller coaster for me. By attending workshops, we sensitive artists, open ourselves up to the growing pains that come with change and improvement. I laughed and I cried (or felt like it). I embraced change and I balked at it. One afternoon, I felt like my paintings were wonderful and another day I was sure that I do not know how to paint at all. In time, I will digest all the input, decide what is right for me and take a pass the things that don't fit. Here are my take-aways (I do love a good list).
Be generous with the amount of paint you use. If you are worried about cost, buy cheap paint, it works too.
Commit with each stroke with the full knowledge that you can change things. With acrylics, no one will know what mistakes are on the paint layers below.
Let the hand of the artist show in the painting.
Paint the foreground first, get it right, then work back through the other layers.
Try for more than two or three layers in the composition, try four or five or more. Foreground, mid foreground, mid-ground, mid/background, background, sky.
Be free to change things you see to make them work, don't be slavishly bound to the source. Let the painting speak to you.
Three sources for content : what you see, your own references, what you create in your mind.
Let go of the details, simplify, simplify, simplify (Shelley)
When deciding on a gallery to handle your paintings, contact some of the artists whose work is there already and get their scoop.
Three Bonus Take-Aways from Other Artists