Friday, August 03, 2007

Lisa Goes to Art Camp

This is the second year in a row this teacher got to go to grown ups Art Camp. Holbein Art Products distributors for North America offices and warehouses are in Burlington, VT area. Each year they throw a big "party" and lots of artists come. Actually, they invite a dozen or so artists to lead workshops over a 5-day period. Artists, or wannabe artists, can sign up for a few as one, or as many as eleven workshops over the 5 days. I took 11 this year....whew! I've got one more to go, but I thought while I had a speedy Internet connection (in the hotel) and time to do so, I'd post a few of my pieces. Remember these are 3-hour workshop works, nothing to frame, but great experiences working in a new medium, or with some new techniques.

The first one is an acrylic floral I did in a Margaret Roseman workshop. Roseman is a Canadian painter known for her loose floral and landscape work in both watercolor and acrylic. Her website is:

I would say her emphasis is on light against dark, dark against light and gradation. Basically, we are talking value. It seems to me this was the big message I got over and over in the workshops I took this past week: pay attention to, and emphasize, value changes. It's pretty easy to just think of art as line and forget the 3-D value of it; form.

Sean Dye - Mixed Media Master Teacher

The next work is in gouache (opaque vs. transparent watercolors). This is the kind of paint kids use in elementary school and is called tempera, but artist quality tempera, or gouache (gwah-sh) is much more refined. The paint is a bit chalky and totally opaque and flat. It is great for painting fast and colorful work. The Shangri-La is a motel in FL I really love, it reminds me of my childhood visit there with my family in the 50's one winter when I was about 12 (by car from NJ) . Professor Sean Dye, University of VT art instructor, is master of many different media. Matter of fact he has written a great book on mixed media in which he talks a lot about his personal techniques for making art. Check out his website at:

Our home in FL is about 3 blocks from the railroad tracks. We hear the train at least 5 times a day (and at night). It is a freight line so great long trains go through with everything from autos, to animals, to produce, to …. sand. This is the sand train. I guess the sand is used in cement and for other building uses and is shipped all over. I love the long line of cars and huge puffy clouds in this scene. I have lots of train photos from FL and suspect a series is percolating in the back of my art mind. This one is in oil pastel, done during a workshop taught by Sean Dye.

Tom Lynch - Watercolor Master

Finally, I took a Tom Lynch watercolor workshop this afternoon. Tom has taught all over the world for 25 years and has authored many books, video, DVD’s and artist’s materials. He is a very savvy marketer of his workshops and art. One thing he does is work with various artist supply companies to use his name on a specific product he designs, or they’ll hire him to teach workshops on their unique products. His latest favorite product is Fredrix Watercolor Canvases. Watercolor CANVAS? you say. Yup, this company has figured out a way to coat a canvas with an emulsion that allows watery media to sit on top without beading up. A regular canvas primed with gesso (acrylic paint) would do just that. This is kind of across between a clayboard and Yupo board. Don’t know what these items are? Google them or go to and click on the name on this page. In Tom’s workshops you follow his lead and paint what he paints. Great for beginners and this is the way the Japanese teach art; follow the master. In this case it is his technique the student is trying to master, not creativity; that comes when you return to your own studio and play with his tricks on your own compositions. See Tom's website at:

A number of other artist's workshops were awesome, although I've talked about them previously I'll mention them again. One is Caroline Jasper, author of Power Color, a fabulous resource for artists on using color in their work. This workshop was in oil and my work is drying in my car at the moment so I don't want to go out in the 95 degree heat and photograph it. Caroline's website is:

Jeanne Carbonetti is an extremely thoughtful and fluid watercolorist. Her book The Zen of Watercolor explains her "tummy jumps" and "heart-mind" approach to painting. She is a master of awareness of her process and her workshops are kind of like art meditations. Jeanne's site is:

Bob Burridge is always fun. He's the wild man of art, encouraging artists to get loose and let their creative juices flow! He's a one man cheerleader for having fun while you make art and his techniques and workshops are super fun and freeing. Bob's site is: You can sign up for his free "artsy fartsy" email newsletter.