Monday, March 26, 2012

Reflections on Design

   One of the most interesting yet challenging things to me is to get interesting shapes(a good design), when we are working in the workshops we do some things to see what each students particular struggle is, design value or color. We all struggle with one,my real tough one is shapes, color is my easiest. I wish it was reversed, why? Because people see the shapes first, and I have always tried to convince myself, that isn't true. It is amazing how we will avoid the truth, even when we know it. Abad design and the painting will almost always fail.
   If you think you are good at shapes, do some value studies and redesign the shapes several times, try to paint an interesting tree, rock pile, or set of clouds. Make them up if you are used to copying from photos. High level artists seem to paint in shapes from shadow, light and mid tones, so subject matter becomes almost irrelevant, that keeps everything exciting no matter what you are painting. Which keeps you motivated, thus painting, thus you are always getting better.
   Here is a painting I painted a while back. because I love yellow trees.  I would change a few things now( mostly shapes), but I would do that in all my paintings. Be grateful you can see the changes you would make now and don't cringe at your earlier paintings. Revel in your learning. Heading to teach in St Simons, the plein air season really begins, exciting.
   Next time more comparisons of paintings trying to make them better I hope. There is one thing I think would be helpful for sure. Will explain next week after this workshop.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Creativity , Being Loose, Latest Research

Wow, We always try to work hard in our workshops yet, break, play music, and have joy in the workshops, even paint for the trashcan, now the latest research supports all of this, please check out this article in the Wall Street Journal "THE SATURDAY ESSAY March 9, 2012, 7:07 p.m. ET How To Be Creative
The image of the 'creative type' is a myth. Jonah Lehrer on why anyone can innovate—and why a hot shower, a cold beer or a trip to your colleague's desk might be the key to your next big idea."

     I love all my students and some are achieving really great things, and others seem to be really growing, it is important to revel in the learning and not become too frustrated. Here are a few pictures of a few of my workshop classes this past year, sorry I don't have all of you. Check out the Oil Painters of the South, with their fake mustaches. Martha Lynne has great skits and Daly is the one pretending like he is my brother. Gaze at the hysterical painting they said I painted of the Tetons. My very best to ALL my students.
     Two great lines for us all "You are where you are, and you will only get more when you are ready." "Small incremental growth is better than great failure."

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Clouds From Small to Large

     One of the things we try to work on in the Advanced Accelerated Growth Workshops is being able to creatively design , so you can handle moving clouds when outside and rearrange nature into a better design. This is one of the advantages of painting anything moving in plein air. It forces you to leave your photo or any other crutch behind. Eventually you will be able to paint anything while the subject matter is moving.
     I usually try to improve on the larger painting in design, values and color transitions, hopefully these decisions improve the painting.
     The pieces above went from a 12 by 16 to a 24 by 36. You will see I completely redesigned the lower beach, dunes and water. In addition I softened values in the clouds to get them to float better and also redesigned them. The color I lowered the separation between cools and warms to try to create a stronger harmony. Hopefully the painting got better. So you know by now which is the 24 by 36. The smaller piece has a nice home and the larger one heads to a gallery this week.
   I am in the process of preparing for my St. Simons Island Workshop through Andersen Gallery so I am working on lots of skies. My next posts will involve these and some plein air from the workshop and the trip.
   I am also looking at scheduling some mentoring sessions in my studio in Atlanta.
It is important to me to revel in the learning, to make it an enjoyable learning process, I have learned making learning enjoyable is a key to learning more regularly and being more creative, thus growing and stretching. Over stretching creates frustration and under stretching creates boredom.

     My very best, Bill