Thursday, April 19, 2012

Still Life Workshop

I spent most of the day yesterday at the Redeemer Lutheran Church in Jackson at a Mary Rochelle Burnham still life workshop. It was offered by the Jackson Civic Art Association (JCAA), of which I am a member.

What a great facility for a workshop - a huge room with lots of electrical outlets and lots of room. We worked 2 to a table getting together up front to listen and watch demos. Most of the attendees worked in oils, a few in acrylics, and little ole me in watercolor. I got tired of waiting for my layers to dry - you will see in my works that sometimes I thought it was dry and it wasn't - so finished up with Caran d'Ache Neocolor IIs.

I got reacquainted with a couple of women I knew from life sketching class and was pleasantly surprised to find a friend from my teaching days whom I hadn't seen in a very long time. There was fruit, nuts, popcorn, and a variety of breads and bagels provided. I started my "eat only what doesn't need a label" quest the day before, so I subsisted on fruit and nuts for the day.

For our first exercise we had 10 minutes to paint one fruit with a shadow (we brought clip on lamps for that very reason). We did this three times before setting up our arrangement and painting our "real" piece of art.

Here is my practice piece:

I'm afraid I fiddled too much. It is really hard to do this kind of thing with watercolor. What I needed to do was make just a couple of brushstrokes and then leave it alone.

And here is my finished piece:

The final layers were added with the Neocolor IIs and left dry.

My friend, Lorna, sent me a link to a video of Joanne Boon Thomas painting a very loose sunflower and I can't wait to try it for myself. I would really like to learn how to loosen up in watercolor. Here is the link to that youtube video. It is definitely worth a watch. I am also looking forward to an online  class with Vinita Pappas later this month called "Loosening Up in Watercolor". I have watched her on video a couple of times and love her style.

When I got home yesterday I had a package waiting for me from Jerry's Artarama with two quill brushes and a set of 30 Mungyo Soft Pastels. I can't wait to play with them (separately, of course) and share the results with you.

Meanwhile, for this morning I am going to drive into Jackson to Ella Sharp Park to the life drawing class that is offered by JCAA. They now have a nude artist - I've never sketched a real, live nude before and am pretty sure I will feel a bit uncomfortable at first, but I think this is too good an opportunity to pass up. I will share my experience and sketches with you tomorrow. I also hope to work on the water lily and the altered book today.

I have Miss Z, Miss P, and Miss M overnight on Saturday, which I am sure will be great fun. I will try to get pix and let the older two do some art that I can share with you.

I hope you are having a great day today and that you are taking some time for yourself. Thank you to all of you for your support, especially those of you who take the time to leave comments. I know from personal experience that leaving comments through Blogger can be a pain in the *ss, and so really treasure the ones that I get.



  1. You'll love the life drawing, if the model is a good one. Doesn't matter about the sex, or shape of the body or anything, as long as the model knows how to model! it's only awkward for the first minute, because the model is at ease and knows the process, so you soon just get into painting the object in front of you! or drawing, which is what I've done a lot of.

    Usually you start with a series of very fast poses, and that gets you moving and into it, also over the initial shyness. let us know how it goes!

  2. It sounds like an interesting workshop and your pears turned out well. Good luck with the life drawing...I hope you'll post the results!

  3. Nice efforts Vicki.....Watercolour is the hardest medium, you are very brave.

  4. You're doing a stellar job and I can't believe how much progress you've made! Keep going .... you'll be exhibiting in no time! hugs, nancy

  5. Lovely! Great colors and contrasts!

  6. Love life drawing/painting, yes you might feel uncomfortable at first but if you have a good group it won't last, the model becomes just something you are drawing and while you don't forget she/he is nude it doesn't matter.