Friday, September 24, 2010

charles reid workshop

Day One: We painted at the Emlen Physick Estate in Cape May. The Physick house is a huge monstrosity; really quite ugly--even Charles Reid had a hard time with it. So I turned my back and painted the little house across the street. I started with a contour drawing--the contour drawing was my favorite part of the workshop. Charles thought this was a little tight, and I agree, but it's not as ugly as the Physick house.

Day Two: We painted indoors from a black-and-white photo Charles supplied. This was a real opportunity to try out not only his "modified contour" drawing--it is fascinating to watch him draw; he clearly enjoys it--but also his method of applying paint: place the paint; modify it while wet, if necessary; then pull the color into adjacent areas.
Day Three: Outdoors again. This time on the grounds of two restored old whaling cottages, which were charming, but I was more interested in the grove of old cherry trees out back. I would really love to be able to paint trees well! Slow contour drawing helped me see the shapes, and I was pleased with the drawing; wish I'd left more of it showing. I suspect I'll be doing a lot more contour drawing, especially of trees: it's a great learning tool.


Day Four: More plein air. We went to St. Mary's by the Sea, a retreat for Catholic nuns at Cape May Point; the nuns who had previously agreed to let us sit on their extensive porches reneged, which forced us to sit out in the blazing sun! Most un-Christian of them.
Shelby and I found a shady spot, but were eaten alive by flies. It was intolerable, so we packed it in and painted at the hotel. I painted this from a photo on my camera's screen.
 
Day Five: We stayed indoors (hurrah!) and painted from old photos. I call this one "The Unhappy Couple (Or, Oh No, What Have I Done?)"
Charles liked it, and thumped me on the back, but I'm not entirely happy with it: I wish I had, a la Charles, lost more edges.

Shelby and I had a great time, for our second week of painting together: painting all day and talking about it all night. What could be more fun?
But now I have a lot of work to catch up on and hope I can manage to find time to paint regularly as well before I forget all I've learned.

PS: Per your requests, more on the teachers and the experience of the two workshops to come!

18 comments:

Charlene Brown said...

I loved all your Reid workshop paintings and the accompanying stories. You've painted some really nice stuff, and I'm looking forward to seeing the work you'll produce to firm up what you've learned.
You certainly got my attention with that description of the Emlen Physick Estate in Cape May, so I Googled it and I can see why it was chosen as a site location of painting -- rather intriguing architecture. But those upper dormers are just wrong, aren't they!

RHCarpenter said...

Thanks for sharing your workshop experience and the paintings each day - love love love the trees and the couple the best :) I do hope you don't let life take too much of your time away from painting. What a great set of paintings - and I agree with you about the nun's reneging on the porch - not very nice of them!

Michael said...

Well, that's some painting adventure. The flies and blazing sun sound torturous. I'm glad you packed it in.

I liked the way Reid fixed mistakes by adding more color in his videos. I still can't push myself to always do that: I reach for tissue and blot.

I like the little house quite a bit more than the Physick Estate and I think your colors sensational. How was it juxtaposing the two teachers? Yin Yang, potatoe potahto?

Carol said...

Wow, Laura! Very good work! If Charles Reid thought your house was too tight, then I'd be in serious trouble lol! I really like your trees. You must have had a wonderful time doing all that painting.

Irina said...

I like so much all four and the text is so juicy).
Amazing color mixings and looseness. And the drawings. Vibrant watercolors!

Penny said...

Now we would like an evaluation of what you got from both teachers and what you liked best from each of them!
Love the Charles Reid stuff, keep on losing edges.

Carol Blackburn said...

Love the little house.....who's he kidding, too tight. It's in the eye of the beholder! :) Sounds like you had a wonderful time.

natividad said...

Cuanta belleza y perfeccion,el color es una alegria para lavista.
UN SALUDO

Barbra Joan said...

Laura, I'm so happy for you to be in your element again... I'm leaving in a few minute. but when I return will devour (and dissect) each and every painting and words.LOL!

Margaret Bednar said...

Fascinating and want to hear more. Please tell me, are watercolors directly over the modified continuous line drawings themselves or where they just for practice? I love your paintings.

Liana Yarckin said...

how wonderful to be in a week long workshop! on the painting of the little house, i was going to say, i wish i could paint as loose as you, only to find out that you thought is was tight. it is all relative. i like the second one, as well. the trees have something interesting going on that make me keep looking at them, but, i don't know what it is.

A Brush with Color said...

Blogger does not seem to want to let me do this--I'll try again, for the 4th time!

These are awesome, Laura--really marvelous--can't wait to see and hear more. Really marvelous!

Joyfulartist said...

Those are really nice paintings. Workshop paintings are great learning tools and I think you did very well. You remind me of why I hate painting plein air; sun, bugs, wind, rain, etc. I think a friend of mine, Marjorie, was in that workshop, too. It'll be fun to hear her account of it when I see her.

Barbara M. said...

Hi Laura,

You are a most generous blogger. I feel like I shared the workshop with you, and what wonderful work you produced in every exercise. Wow! I would pat you on the back too, and give a Whoop! cheer. Super work.

XOBarbara

Teresa said...

Gorgeous paintings! Love the vibrant colors. I like the house... guess some of us like "tight" paintings :-)

knittingdragonflies said...

Wow I love them all! Great vibrant colors!
Vicki

Robin@Library said...

I love this account of the workshop Laura, makes me think and laugh! And your work is lovely, nice job, especially the "oh no what have I done" couple!

Mary Sheehan Winn said...

the nuns reneged??

I was just there and unfortunately it was overcast :(

I envy your studying with Charles Reid. I don't think he's teaching anymore...

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