Sunday, September 26, 2010
about the workshops ...
1) Seeing. I thought I was already doing it, but I wasn't--I was rushing through it to get to the fun part, splashing around in the paint. Ted pointed out all the small, unexpected things--the way the light hits the edge of a cuff or reflected light catches a hat's brim--that make a painting a delight and a revelation to look at. Charles emphasized connections and exploration of your subject with your pencil; Ted would call it interpreting; finding the emotion.
2) Applying the paint. Many of us share the optimistic delusion that a certain paint or color or type of paper will do the trick for us. Neither Ted nor Charles seemed very concerned with any of this--though they both had favorite brushes: big soft ones. They apply their paint in completely different ways--Ted in successive light washes; Charles in small bits that he "places" on the paper then pulls and pushes around ... but however you do it, in stages or all in one go, think before you do and while you're doing it.
3) Find your own way. There is a lot you can learn from other painters, past and present, especially perhaps when it comes to design, but ultimately you have to find what you do, how you do it, and commit to that, whatever the subject, method, or materials.
I hate to ruin the simplicity of my little tripartite summary, but I have to add one thing Ted talked about that really struck me: nonattachment to outcome. That's the hard one; the essential one.
I just saved you all a whole lot of money! Just kidding. For me the best part of the workshop is the experience of meeting and painting with other painters, regardless of who the teacher is, though these two were great and I'd recommend both if you have the chance.