I recently signed up for a workshop with Mary Carole Larson. It was put together by my dear friend Mollie Flack. For some reason, I thought it was a plein-air workshop. Being basically a landscape artist, I thought it would be nice to connect with nature and paint. It has been around 2 years since I have ventured out into the wilderness to paint plein-air. To my surprise (and later) to my delight, I discovered I had signed up for a portrait seminar. Oh boy. So even though I felt hugely uncomfortable and very much unprepared for my weeklong workshop, I showed up toting canvases, paints and a lot of anxiety. It was probably one of the best workshops I have ever attended. When I finally got out of my own head, and out of my own way (with the help of Mary Carole's encouragement, guidance, and maybe a little push to trust myself) I found great growth. I did 3 paintings in the course of 5 days. They are all in varying stages of completion, but I am more than happy with the progress I made. And no matter how much I think I know, there is always something more to learn. Also, I discovered a new process in my approach to art and becoming a better artist myself. As they say, variety is the spice of life. And so it is.
Here are my paintings:
Here are my paintings:
This is the Grape Picker after Bougereau. Almost the entire class started with this piece. It taught me the process of painting portraits. We did it in 2 days. Mine is not quite finished, but it is close. I now have a new passion to paint and learn from the old masters.
This was my 2nd painting. It is my pride and joy. And how could it not be. My reference photo was Christopher's graduation photo into the USMC. Notice the signature at the bottom. It is a finished piece. I am extremely happy to how it turned out. Working from a modern photo has pro and cons. Again, Mary Carole taught me about the subtle changes that moved it to just coping a photo to bringing Christopher's image to life. She is an amazing teacher.
Painting #3. Even though this one is far from done, it does have a title. This is "The Three Faces of Misty". Misty is our old lady dog. She will be 14 at the end of this month (October). She is not doing great physically, so I wanted to paint a homage painting of her. From left to right.... her puppy image, center is pretty much her today, and the far right is her young girl image. She is part golden retriever, and she has that smile they all seem to have. Because Christopher's painting was so tight, I wanted to paint her looser and more playful. Again. Mary Carole to the recure. She encouraged the playfulness while at the same giving me pointers on making these images work together. I worked on these the last 2 days of the workshop as I was giving Christopher's portrait time to tack up. Yes, these are oil paintings.
For more information on Mary Carole Larson, you can go to her web page: email@example.com