I just spent a fabulous weekend teaching a workshop for the Calgary Chapter of the Federation Of Canadian Artists. I’ve always appreciated the many members of the FCA who are striving to grow as an artist. It made the workshop a joy to teach.
We did a couple of neat watercolour practice paintings. They both explored value and ‘the wash’ . This is a collection of the works produced.
The second practice is mostly about creating a really dark value and lots of it. The one huge benefit of this exercise is that it catapults you right out of your the comfort zone in terms of creating bold values
One of my demos was how to create a crowd scene. I liked the painting when I did it and when I got home I worked on it a little and I like even more.
Three & A Crowd
The demo I did was based on this photo which I’ve had for over a year and it had never caught my attention.
For some reason when I was planning for this workshop I looked at it again and saw something very different. It’s a view from downtown Calgary.
This is the painting I did as the main demo. This was the second workshop in a row in which I’ve done a painting that I’ve never done before so it made the process of doing it more exciting. I got about 70% of it done in the workshop and finished it off in the studio.
Checkin’ It Out
I was so pleased to have had the opportunity to show my urban landscape paintings in Edmonton. It really was the culmination and summation of the past couple of years. This short video clip gives a little glimpse of the show.
I am very excited by this new opportunity that has presented itself to me. That is the opportunity to share my video lessons to a wider audience on line. I have my own video production company and we have produced a number of art instruction DVD’s for other artists. I have also used it to produce my own video lessons for my classes. Now I have the opportunity to combine and expand my interests by, in a sense, teaching through the video lessons. My intention is that the videos be a little more of a stand alone instructional tool with higher production values. At present my videos have been taken by ArtClick.tv and I am most grateful to them for this.
The first video I have produced in this new endeavour is a cityscape from my recent time spent in Edmonton.
Here is a preview of the video lesson.
There is a very enthusiastic group of plein air painters that meet at least once a week to paint on location. I have painted with them on occasion and it’s always a most enjoyable experience. Last Friday, Oct 3, a call went out that CTV wanted to do a human interest piece on this group and more bodies would be welcome.
Painters At The Elbow Falls Boat Launch
Susan, my wife, and I went along. I’ve passed the boat launch many times but never been in so I was very surprised to end up in this beautiful little gorge with large rock cliffs on 3 sides and a bit of a rocky beach on the other side. The Elbow River cuts right through it. It was a little cool but after a while the sun came out and it was transformed into a beautiful warm spot. The feeling of being enclosed by the cliffs lent it an unusual air.
I have painted on location many, many times in the past couple of years and I always enjoy it a great deal but this time, for some reason was special. I looked for a long time at the various possible subjects until one just jumped out at me. The colour was mostly a dark grey with accents of orange in the rock so I knew that I would mostly be using Ultramarine and Burnt Sienna. There was a bit of early snow.
Feeling very comfortable that I had a plan of attack firmly in mind I
Rex painting at the Elbow River Boat Launch
Susan painting at the Elbow River Boat Launch
began painting with total abandon. The only analogy I can use is that my brush ‘danced’ on the paper. I felt completely free and in the moment. It was like I was just the vehicle that enabled this painting to come into being. The paint was flying and as you can see it was dripping all over the place. The painting is very accurate to the actual scene but I think it has a tremendous energy. But for me it’s really the fact that it’s a record of a wonderful, almost spiritual moment.
Rex, the painting, and the Elbow River
Elbow Falls Boat Launch
18 x 24
Winter Sun, Calgary
29 x 21
Winter Sun, Calgary was accepted into XI International Watercolor Biennial in Mexico at the Alfredo Guati Rojo National Watercolor Museum.
Construction Season, Calgary
watercolour & white gouache
18 x 24
Construction Season, Calgary is based on a scene at the end of our street when city crews were installing a new water line. The man leaning into it is cutting a huge concrete structure and the dust and smoke completely obliterated the trees and house. I did a small plein air study then did this in the studio. I used white gouache extensively for all the dust. I wasn’t sure what to make of this painting for quite a while because of it’s unusual subject matter. Over the year that it hung on my wall I came to like it more and more and finally submitted it to the Federation Gallery in Vancouver for the Scenes of Western Canada show. I felt the subject matter particularly appropriate for that show. It felt very satisfying to have them accept it. I think there is a immediacy to it that I like and of course I love the heavy machinery.