Monday, January 21, 2013

Back from the Beach

"Sunny Dreams" 8x8 oil on linen (collection artist)
How I Spent My Winter Break
Have just returned (reluctantly) from my Dreama Tolle Perry oil painting workshop on sunny Marco Island where I happily traded my boots for sandals.  The beautiful Marco Island Art Center was the perfect place to begin a creative and color filled 2013. 

I don't travel that often out of state for workshops but I just had to take another Dream workshop. (Quick travel painting tip: I mailed most of my heavy and expensive supplies in an insured USPS "fits ships" box to myself and they were there waiting when I arrived.) Not to mention Florida in January was just too tempting. In fact, the day I left Denver it was about 60 degrees warmer there. 

Dreama is one of those artists that you could watch paint everyday. It's no wonder her workshops fill up so quickly. It’s mesmerizing watching her paint alla prima in her opaque over transparent oils method. It’s one of those magical painting approaches where the painting just seems to suddenly appear—and it’s gorgeous—full of luscious glowing color and flying brushstrokes.  It’s a painting method that I plan to continue to practice and incorporate into my own work. Here's a quick recap of the three days--which goes by much too fast...
Dreama starts with a loose energetic paint sketch in transparent oils
Dreama continues to cover her panel with clean transparent oils.

Dream's final painting--a pleasure to watch from start to finish.
Day 1 : Dreama demoed a sunlit sunflower and tulip still life (12x12) painting in three stages. I really enjoyed painting this painting (posted above) since I love florals so much, particularly sunflowers as many of you know. 
Day 2: Today's painting was a more complex shady French garden. This one was a bit trickier—lots going on but I enjoyed the “editing” and “simplification” challenge particularly since I was using an 8x8 linen panel.
Day 3: The morning brought the infamous “musical easel” exercise where all the artists rotate work stations and paint on many paintings in less than an hour. It’s both freeing and terrifying at the same time! Finally, we had the chance to work with our own photo reference.  Just like last year, I enjoyed every minute of it and the time just flies by. It’s also the type of workshop where you can’t wait to paint when you get home.
"Musical Easel" exercise painting 6x6 oil on panel
My thanks again to Dreama and all the talented ladies I met (a few who were also "repeat offenders" from last year as Dreama calls us) for helping to make my winter break so energizing, fun, and memorable. In my next post I’ll share some Florida photos including my first trip to Key West to see the famous 6-toed Hemingway cats and my first manatee sighting!

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