I’m giving a workshop to the Redwood Painters next week. The theme of the workshop is Quillerisms. Stephen Quiller was my first artistic inspiration. I loved his use of colour, his subject matter and his style. Two years ago I took a workshop with him in his studio in Creede, Colorado. It was an incredible experience. Anyway, I very much appreciate being able to revisit that experience and to work on it 2 years down the road. This image is my version of his first demo to us. A scene with aspen. I knew he was well known for his paintings of aspen and I was interested to see how he did it. I was very surprised when he flooded the entire sheet of paper with a beautiful mix of yellows, oranges, blues and violets. He lifted out extensively and created big shapes that were almost back to white paper and used these to create the colourful aspen. I had never seen anyone use this extensive lifting out as such a integral part of his painting process. The benefit to working this way is that when you do the background wash you only have to concentrate on it. You don’t have worry about painting around shapes or using masking fluid. The challenge is that you lose that sparkle of pure white paper. Quiller solved this by adding gouache at the end to bring back some lights.
This image was done in his style, using the same process including adding gouache at the end. I am very pleased with it because it has a great sense of unity to it. I like the colours and I like the way that you’re not quite sure what you’re looking at. You have to move around it a bit to get what’s going on.