Friday, August 04, 2006


Okay, I admit, oil is not my forte. I am a watercolorist, I draw with anything, and I love sculpture, especially using natural materials like branches, grasses, birch bark, etc. But oil paint...not my thing. So to challenge myself I took an Impressionist Color workshop with Caroline Jasper in oils. Ohhhhhhhh. It was an evening class and I was already fried from a day with Bob Burridge. I was not a happy camper when we began and I realized I had no clue what I was doing. It felt like I was laying mayonnaise on the canvas! Well, we began with little oil "sketches" on canvas paper and then developed them. I understand the theory of Impressionist color, but damn if I could figure out how to apply it. After a lot of whining and Caroline showing me that my sketch looked great from across the room even if up close it just looked like a mess, I began on the canvas. It helped me to take off my glasses and hold the brush at its very end (farthest away from the brush part); both of these gimmicks made me less controlling and more free. You'd think after a day with Burridges I'd be quite loose, but that old meany fear just slipped in and got the best of me. This piece is surely not great, but then many of the instructors at this event have mentioned: you don't do your best finished work at a workshop. You take risks, learn new stuff, and then go home to your studio to apply it to your daily work. I'm not sure I'll go out and invest in oil paints (for one thing the paintings aren't even tacky and this is 24 hours later, I have no patience for that kind of waiting:-), but I may try some of these brush work techniques and color techniques with acrylics. On this image the water ended up the last area I worked on and I just blended it, a big no no for this technique. I may go back and try working it up with some brushstrokes and color later (if I can mange to get it home in one piece).