Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Color Sketching Workshop

My unique no fuss, no muss, one brush method of sketching strengthens the intuitive use of the three value system in all other areas of my work as well as honing the ability to work quickly and capture gesture effectively. Below are examples from my various sketchbooks. YOU CAN DO THIS TOO.

Color sketching is my favorite way to accumulate knowledge of subjects and understand color mixing while keeping up my drawing skills. I decided to offer a color sketching workshop out of my Williamston, MI studio on July 8/9, 2010 to help other artists learn the simplistic approach to color sketching that I've developed over the years. This workshop is of great value for all artists...not just watercolorists. Because of the simplicitiy of technique, it is especially helpful to those folks who have little time to devote to their painting and especially helpful on vacations when time to create is limited.

All sketches show here are approximately 5x8" or smaller.

Contact Sharon Griffes Tarr for workshop info via www.SGTarr.com

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

What's Happening with Your Process?

It occurred to me today that I've been writing this blog now for six months and have received precious little input by way of "comments" from my readers. Why is that? I wondered this aloud to myself then went back and re-read some of my earlier posts. Well.....it seems I've been so busy talking about me and my experience(s) and haven't clearly indicated that I'm really, sincerely, dyingly (I think this is a great word and should be in the dictionary) interested in gaining some insight into YOUR experience(s) as well. After all, give and take is a great and better way to spend a life. Don't you think?

So......"Painting in Progress vs. Progress in Painting", posted below on June 12th tells about my processes in painting in the studio vs. painting en plein air. The big question is...how about you? What is your process and does it or does it not work well for you? Does reading about my process help or hinder you? Are you even an artist or are you a non-artist interested in art? Does knowing my process help you understand how artists think, see and plot our destinies? What are you doing to find/help/hinder your own?

HELP, help, help! I'd like to know what you think about "process".

Boy! Do I feel better now? You bet I do, but I'll feel even better as soon as I read your comments about the joys of and/or frustrated lack of a process.

Have a great day and don't forget to click on the envelope below so you can email/post your thoughts and ideas for me to read. I'm waiting with bated breath and heart racing.....

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Paintings in Progress vs. Progress in Painting

I believe the beginning of a painting is the most important creative phase whether an artist jumps directly into his/her known rhythm to "find" a subject, or carefully plans with thumbs. Personally, I feel so strongly about this that I set a time to start when there will be no interruptions...sometimes even in the middle of the night. I've come to know that if the painting doesn't connect for me at this point then it never will and there is no point in continuing.

"Sound of Water" (a work in progress)
30x40", oil on canvas

The "Sound of Water" is a work in progress that is currently on the easel. My studio work has evolved over time into applications of light filled opaque passages over the all important initial transparent layers to evoke contrasts in texture, color and depth. Notice the transparency of blocked-in passages. These strong transparent passages are super important to the opaque layers to come. This method of painting takes longer and is in direct opposition to how I paint en plein air.

"Kate and John Exploring", shown here in progress...see finished painting on website.

When painting outside on location, I usually work alla prima which means "all at once". This is due to light changes caused by the traverse of the sun throughout the day. "Kate and John Exploring" is an example of this approach. Somewhat unusual for me, this particular painting was created alla prima, in the studio, simply because I felt it was the best approach for the fresh and crisp feeling I wanted to achieve for the children. Never-the-less, it is a good block-in example of all prima. Each brush stroke of color is placed with the knowledge that it will stand on its own and will not be covered with subsequent layers of paint as in the studio approach. See the difference?

As an artist, my work and procedure of painting continually evolves. These two approaches have, over time, become more separated in my working methods to the point that today I clearly utilize each to the advantage where they work best for me. By in large, I've come to separate what I do outdoors from what I do indoors in the studio and am finding more consistency in my work because of it. Sorting this out has taken time but it has certainly been a wonderful and satisfying experience.