Sherrie McGraw all this week and it's been fantastic. She's a great teacher and thoughtful painter. She thinks carefully about what she wants to paint -- the model or still life, all the elements, what's driving her to paint that subject. She thinks about every stroke she places on the canvas. She edits constantly, getting rid of one detail after another. Big shapes. Lights and darks. Patterns. Make the painting hold from across the room.
Everything she says is resonating with me. She talked about having a relationship with your subject and the painting itself. When asked if she ever finishes a painting from a photo, she said she couldn't. She just doesn't have a relationship with a photo. Yup.
I'm also learning as a teacher. I love so many of the answers she gives. She is not teaching a technique ... but teaching us about becoming painters.
I'm showing you day two of a little portrait I did. Sherrie gave a demo each morning and part of the workshop participants (me, too) painted the model in the afternoon. Tomorrow morning I paint a different model and then in the afternoon I switch over to painting the still life. Picking what to paint will be a challenge. I pretty much want to paint everything. As usual, but this is worse. Vicki Blum and Tricia Ratliff organized the workshop and brought in the most beautiful flowers and vases and vessels, vegetables and fruits, fabrics and more. The array is breathtaking.
Oh, and we also have had terrific conversations at lunch and during the breaks. It's been fun catching up with fellow artist friends I haven't seen for awhile and talk art.
"Liz in the Orange Turban", oil on Raymar panel, 12"h x 9"w, copyright Jill Banks 2010. (Sorry about the bad photo -- too much glare on wet paint.)