Monday, April 23, 2012

Expert Instruction, Hard Work and Results!

Morning Reflection    9x12    oil
I've been out of the studio all of last week, attending a painting workshop with the great California plein air painter, John Cosby.  Take a look at his paintings and see his workshop information.  I highly recommend John's workshop to anyone who wants to push their plein air work to the next level. John does a demo painting at the beginning of each day to illustrate "the lesson for the day" and cumulatively through the week, to re-emphasize the important approach material in each demo.  John has the uncommon gift of being able to speak coherently and to the point about what he's doing and why, as he works his way through the demos.  You get to hear what's going on in the mind of a master painter as he confronts each situation.  I watched him confidently work through various inopportune painting conditions: continually changing light, working with his painting and palette in full sunlight (just so we could all see!), overly complicated subjects, and more.  Without complaining, he used each situation as a basis for teaching and came up with solid, beautiful results.

I took careful notes, set aside some old habits, and practiced the specific techniques he was teaching, although they were uncomfortable at first.

At the end of the week, I left to take part in a juried, invitational paintout competition with over fifty painters, in Marble Falls, Texas.  I arrived in time to do a painting late Friday afternoon, and two more on Saturday before the deadline at 4 p.m..  I intentionally held to the new techniques I had been learning, one of which was painting out of pre-mixed gray value pools that roughly approximate the local colors of the major simple shapes in the composition.  I also kept an awareness of the things John had been emphasizing throughout the week.  I'll be going over the things I learned, for you, in more detail in coming posts.

I was awarded second place, and sold two of my paintings in the public exhibition.  Very affirming experience, and lots of fun!

So, this painting is the one I did in the city park, Saturday morning, that won second place.  Very catchily titled, what else?, "Morning Reflection".  I'll be covering the things I learned, and some of the jewels of painting information that John points out.


  1. Glad you liked John's workshop. He is great as a teacher.Looks like you put it to work already. that is great.

    Love the painting. That is pure composition and design.

  2. Thanks, Jim. Nice of you to stop in and leave me a comment.

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