I spent two weeks in an intensive workshop with Joseph Mann, Portland artist and popular teacher at Portland Community College. I never go into a workshop expecting that I will paint a masterpiece, and I did not paint one this time, but I did paint differently and boldly and I learned many things that will work their way into my work in the days and years ahead.
The first week, we painted the figure in the interior. The space, a warehouse in Northwest Portland, was perfect! We all had enough room to spread out and the models had a protected space for their poses.
In the photo at the top of this post, you see how I am trying to fit the elements together like a puzzle where the figure is one piece among many. My head got the concept right away, my hands and eyes had trouble getting it on to the canvas. Line. Value. Color. Shape. Pattern. Shake well ...
Figure drawing is different from figure painting. We had a chance to do both. Since I have drawn figures longer than I have painted figures, I feel much more ease with drawing. The ease I feel translates to fluidity. With time, I hope to create that same energy in my paintings. Practice. Practice. Practice. I get it.
The second week of the workshop was all about painting the figure in the landscape. Take all of the distraction and overwhelming information of plein air painting and add figures into the mix. Easy to find chaos. In the painting above, I used a device from Japanese woodblock prints and put giant leaves in the foreground to give a sense of peering through the screen of foliage to the figures.
Under the shade of leafy trees at Laurelhurst Park in Portland, we were cool in the nearly 90 degree weather. Line. Value. Color. Shape. Pattern. Bugs. Passersby. Lawnmowers. Shake well ...
Speaking of "shake", here's KC and the Sunshine Band singing "Shake, Shake, Shake."