Friday, August 16, 2013

Painting Easton: Day 1

"Green Tractor," oil, 16"h x 12"w, c0pyright Jill Banks 2013
The day's not over ... but while my feet are taking a break (before dinner and meeting up with fellow workshop participants to paint a nocturne), I figured a post was in order. I'm in a three-day workshop led by master plein air painter, Hiu Lai Chong -- and loving every minute of it. She's accumulated a whole slew of awards including the Grand Prize in Plein Air Easton and Best in Show at Mountain Maryland Plein Air in 2012. We'd studied together with Danni Dawson and Robert Liberace at the Art League -- so I also knew her as a dynamo, a thoughtful painter who is also fearless. My kind of painter.

She gave a great presentation, talking about how she approaches her painting subject in these plein air events. She showed photos of various subjects, talked about what portion of them she was drawn to convey, gave examples of different options to consider, then showed the painting that emerged from the scene.

Going With The Flow
One of my favorite parts of the painting demonstration was when she rolled up a paper towel, bringing it to a sharp point, then erased a part of the scene with it.  Then, she used it as a paintbrush quickly putting on a large area of monochromatic color. Hiu Lai had figured out how to use the paper towel as a tool when she had showed up to paint and forgotten her paintbrushes. She ended up creating that whole painting with paper towels and a palette knife. Cool, huh?

The afternoon we set out to paint an industrial area, right near the Easton Studio School. Since I don't know what these buildings house ... the title is "Green Tractor" ... at least for now. I didn't try everything learned today, but did work with Hiu Lai's palette setup -- and liked it, played with texture and some palette knife work and ended up pleased with the result. At the end of the painting session -- of course -- the tractor was driven away and the door to the left  (open and dark in my scene) was shut. Time to go "home" for a rest.

Nocturne Ahead
Tonight we don head lamps and try our hand at painting downtown Easton. Should be fun. Tomorrow will no doubt come early as we head out to St. Michael's and the Maritime Museum.

100 Faces in 100 Days Project
Phone: 703.403.7435

Solo show at the Great Falls Library, 9830 Georgetown Pike, Great Falls, VA. July 1 through August 31. Over 20 original oils. View the exhibit online.

6839 Redmond Drive, McLean, VA 22101
(703) 821-9501
Exhibit of six paintings including "Two Kittens," "Traffic Patterns," "Primary Colors," "Spanish Steps," "Second & Pine Streets," and "Sunlight, Sunflowers and Orange." Through August 25.

Lots are right around the corner ... take a look at the events page on my web site:

Artful August
4 paintings in this juried exhibit, including three award-winners at 1602 Village Market Blvd SE, Leesburg, VA -- August 14 to August 18.

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