July 9, 2011

An Art Epiphany

I attended a three-day workshop last week for oil painting by a painter I have followed online for quite some time now - Pat Walker's homepage.
She is a wonderful teacher in many ways. She taught techniques along with words of wisdom during her painting demonstration, she is a little dynamo that has a great sense of humor and doesn't take herself too seriously.  A breath of fresh air!  Then it was our turn. The class was comprised of beginners and established artists, so the finished pieces were all interesting and it was fun to learn about the artists themselves and get to know each other.

During the class, I had an art epiphany. I have idolized the Dutch Masters my whole life and always wanted to know how they painted so beautifully in rich, warm colors with a point of interest that always 'popped' out of the canvas. Pat taught me their technique - chiaroscuro - which means the piece is characterized by strong contrasts between light and dark, usually bold contrasts affecting a whole composition . Needless to say, it is also 'representational' art. There are rich darks and a bright color reserved for the point of interest or center of attention, and voila! That was what I needed! She pointed out that most paintings out there are nothing but middle values and we don't understand why some pieces don't hold our interest. Ah, now I understand.

We all set right to work on our still life's, we each had a black box setup with a light and whatever props we brought with us. This was mine:

"Still Life With a Lemon #1" on canvas 8x10in

I was so stoked the rest of the workshop that I didn't even attempt a landscape along with the class, I started on a portrait and finished it in THREE days, which is incredible for me considering my "God" painting took me six months!

Here is my grandson:

"Wyatt at 18 Months" on canvas board 11x14in

Here is a close up of his face:

Here is the photo I based the painting on:
I have been so excited using what I learned with Pat that I couldn't stop painting once I came home, so I painted my granddaughter:

"Maegan at 2 Years Old"

Here is the photo I based the painting on:

I know it looks like my colors are pretty "out there" but they seem to be exaggerated on the computer monitor.  I wasn't going for realistic skin color, though, I was looking for what the skin colors look like to ME in my head, hence the term 'representational" art.  I still have a lot to learn that can only be learned through practice, practice, practice, just like a musical instrument (I play piano).  My pieces aren't perfect but I wouldn't expect them to be at this point.

I love this new technique.  I have started another portrait and a still life.  I love art epiphany's!  Go create something, we don't have much time!  Run and set up your paints, I'll wait...


ArteDar said...

Lisa, who could be more proud of you then anyone else? Your talent has reached and stretched beyond what was thought possible. OUTSTANDING, and may I say I'm so very proud of you and I truly mean it with all my heart. I'm also very happy for you to find such delight and happiness that comes from within. Keep going darlin', it can only get better with each stroke of the brush.
Peace, Love and many blessings, Dar

LISA B said...

Thank you so much, Dar, you always know what to say to a girl! Hugs!

Dr Sonia S V said...

How talented you are.your grandchildren loo more lovely !

buy rift account said...

WoW! that was really a brilliant masterpiece.=D

Antonio said...

Your Skill at drawning is great, have a nice day.

Polar Bear Periodical said...

love this stuff. you are very talented.

Polar Bear Periodical said...

love your artwork. You are very talented. Hurry up! there's not a lot of time left and you have a lot left to create!

Polar Bear Periodical said...

love your stuff. You are a talented artist, but you have to hurry up! there isn't much time left and you have a lot more art to create

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