Wow! Finally something really exciting to post about! Glad to be home, sleeping in my own bed but what a wonderful experience my plein air painting workshop was! I am so in love with the whole process! Why didn’t I try this sooner???! There is way too much information to fit into a blog post, but all in all, a FANTABULOUS experience! It felt really, really good to get outside of my little 10 X 10 studio, away from commercial illustration and my Mac and to paint (or attempt it, anyway) like a “real” artist! I highly recommend taking any workshop in whatever you are interested in, but if it’s plein air painting, Larry Moore’s the guy for you.
Aside from learning the ins and outs of painting in the great outdoors, I gained so much knowledge about basic oil painting with regard to mixing color from a limited palette of red, blue and yellow as well as the three color key components: hue, value and chroma and how it all relates to quick, impressionistic field studies. Working at becoming an artist is just a continuous series of learning experiences, isn’t it? I guess we are never done and why would we want to be?
I was fortunate to know Larry personally so I knew ahead of time that I was really gunna learn sum’pin! Thank you Larry, for all the knowledge and experience you shared - the laughs, and personal, one-on-one attention you gave me, and most of all for teaching me the basics of “Impressionating.” This is a word I made up at breakfast one morning... it just came out and he liked it so much, he used it all week. I wouldn’t be surprised to see it show up on his blog or in future hand-outs!
Larry... you are indeed The Impressionator
As the weekend progressed we all came up with a few other “Larry-isms”... “smurteling” (schmering paint around), “grello” (greyish-yellow), “breen” (a lovely shade of army green), “flabert” (a flattened down version of a filbert and flat brush), “palm-fronder brush” (self explanitory...we were all wishing someone would invent one of these) and last but surely one of my personal favorites, “scogs” (while painting downtown we witnessed several packs of retired-folk zooming by in hog-like gangs, on their scooters!) Good one, Jeff!
I’m not posting any of my little practice paintings for obvious reasons. I will say this, though, I went on this excursion purely to learn the basics, with no expectations of bringing home any masterpieces.... and I was not disappointed!!
Here are a few highlights from our adventures.
This was our first day in the park. By the end of the second day, we were all pretty tired of painting trees and various clusters of green & brown - a difficult subject to make sense of but a great lesson in value and hue. Here are some progressive shots from Larry's first demo. The Impressionator managed to make sense of this blur and pull a great painting out of it!
One more thing... while reviewing Larry’s hand out and recommended reading, a title looked awfully familiar. So I took myself out to my bookshelf and sure enough, I already own this book! “Fill Your Oil Paintings With Light And Color”, by Kevin D. MacPherson. I am sure I bought it at least 15 years ago and this morning I reviewed it once again with my morning coffee only to find that now, after the hands-on-experience of painting plein air, it had taken on a wonderful new meaning! At the very back of the book, in a small yellow box, Kevin states this very true message, “Read art books over and over again. What doesn’t make sense today may make sense down the road when you have more experience.” Good advice to remember.