The first trip was to the Oil Painters of America (OPA) National Exhibition and Convention in Fredericksburg, TX last month. I'm still on cloud nine just knowing that I had work included in this extraordinary show. Plus I had the awesome opportunity to meet many artists I've admired for quite awhile and watch some incredible demos! I don't have as many photos to post as I do with what I discuss below, but this event was certainly just as exciting and inspiring!
|"Afternoon Refuge" proudly hung in the OPA national show.|
Then last week I attended the International Association of Pastel Societies (IAPS) Convention and Exhibition in Albuquerque, NM. This was my second time attending this inspiring week of nonstop pastel EVERYTHING! I watched demos and took workshops from some of my favorite artists, purchased a couple of much needed pastel supply items, and even got in some painting time at some gorgeous locations in the area. I also, again, had the wonderful opportunity to meet many new artist friends.
A couple of other exciting tidbits from IAPS...my painting "December Heat Wave" was awarded an honorable mention by Terri Ford, who judged the Master Circle portion of the IAPS Exhibition, and I also received my Master Circle medallion.
|"December Heat Wave" was awarded honorable mention.|
|This thing is heavy!|
Although I've been an instructor myself for a number of years now, whenever I take a workshop, I always make sure to put myself into "student mode" and turn myself into a sponge, absorbing as much new information as possible. As an instructor, I teach methods that I've found to work best for me, so it's tempting to want to approach any painting I do in a workshop using my own method. But I find that it's a waste of time and money to do this in a workshop taken from another instructor. The reason I set aside time and money to take any workshop is to learn how a certain artist does what he or she does. So I turn off all previous knowledge, I do my best to bring exactly the supplies given on the workshop supply list, and try it totally and completely their way. Even if I don't want to later continue to paint exactly like these particular artists with whom I'm studying, I want to find out how they achieve their unique "look."
My first workshop was with Terri Ford. Her "deeper, darker, richer" approach helped me see that a more intense color can be used rather than a lighter value in order to liven up color that may show up dull, or even nonexistent, in a bad photo. After a few attempts at her approach, I found myself making some exciting new color choices I wouldn't normally use. Loved it!
|One of my paintings from Terri Ford's workshop.|
The other workshop I took was from the amazing Richard McKinley. This was only a one-day workshop, and I sure wish I could have spent more time watching him paint and hearing his comments on my own attempts. I really wanted to better learn his watercolor underpainting approach. So I watched closely, took lots of photos of his demo, and spent lots of time on my attempt. As I mentioned above, I really try to purchase the recommended supplies. I did have a varied supply of the watercolor paint recommended, but I knew going in that I may not have the best quality watercolor paint. They were artist quality, but not the kind Richard uses. I wanted to buy more before the workshop, but it was a budget limitation. This made a difference in the color vibrancy that Richard was able to achieve vs. what I painted.
|Richard McKinley's vibrant underpainting.|
|My much duller underpainting.|
|My finished? painting with pastel added.|
During the convention, I also watched demonstrations by Marla Bagetta, Desmond O'Hagen and Lorenzo Chavez...three of my favs! All were spectacular and a joy to watch!!
I'll end this post with a few pieces I painted on location in Albuquerque among many other incredible artists. All were painted in the beautiful magic hour of the evening light, with the last one at the bottom painted fast and furiously as the light disappeared.