Sunday, August 5, 2012

Critique workshop

Here are some examples of "failed" paintings before and after being worked on by everyone. We all agreed there were changes. If the change was for the better or not is up to the viewer!

Katherine's "failed" painting before
My before "failed" painting

Ann's before "failed" painting

Some photos of our critique group work shop July 30th to August 2nd.

Our spacious studio
Lunch on the patio
Ann's birthday cake from Barbara
The birthday girl
Using a handful of markers exercise
A photo from the other side of the room
Our exercise painting on plywood

Last week for four days my critique group held a self led abstract painting workshop at one member's spacious art studio. We had a great time painting together and we all learned new things from each other.

Monday Nikki had us draw a different type of composition from a bucket. We were to use a triad of primary colors plus black and white. Afterwards we all tried to guess which composition they were using. Our guessing was fairly close.

Monday afternoon Katherine set up stations in the room for each of us to try in order to get our creative juices flowing. We did Sumi sketches with Asian brushes and Sumi ink, drew with a fist full of pens, did small Notan sketches, and experimented with an analogous color wheel which is different from any traditional color wheel. Katherine brought several examples of pastel paintings using several of the analogous schemes.

Katherine (and Ann) had hand outs which sure supplemented my sketchy notes.

Other practices to get creativity flowing from Katherine: Sketch or doodle while watching TV, pick a word and sketch it, sketch to unfamiliar music, look at other artist's blogs, begin an idea book, look at books and magazines and read about artists we admire. The two main things that are very helpful are to be bold and fearless plus SHOW UP to the work.

Several of us brought books we especially liked and I see some time spent on Amazon very soon.

Tuesday morning I did a class on how to gild using composition gold leaf. Mainly use a glue that stays tacky and seal with a solvent based spray so the leaf won't tarnish.

Wednesday morning Collin brought several pieces of cut up plywood for us to work on with her technique. Wet down the board with a very wet sponge and using acrylic paint sort of tint various parts and wipe off with the sponge and keep going from very light to darker. Can finish with oil pastels. In the afternoon Bonnie requested we each bring a "failed" painting and let each of us work on them. I planned on being very organized and show the various stages and the changes on everyone's pieces. That would be six paintings changed by five artists. I've posted some photos at the top of this post but it won't be every piece and every change. We had fun working with abandon at the beginning. As time went on we became more cautious and some of us stopped sooner since we liked what had been done previously and didn't feel we could improve it too much. We had a great time and saw new possibilities in what others had done to our paintings.

Thursday morning Ann showed us her process using texture and pattern. Ann likes to concentrate on ways to do layers with color and texture. She had many examples and had made up pieces of various textures for us to experiment on using various colors. I especially liked the veiling one can do with Winsor and Newton clear gesso. It works especially well on a dark background and Ann had some samples on black board for us to use.

We all learned so much from each other! We brought our lunches and ate on the back
patio. Katherine's neighbor Barbara baked a beautiful chocolate cake for us which lasted for two lunches. She is now officially known as the Pastry Goddess.

The main thing we took away was the rare luxury of working together and spending several hours at a time together over the four days. Usually we meet once a month for three or four hours.

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