Sunday, February 7, 2010

Mix and Mingle

God's Gift to us this week

Showing my mini-tonalist painting in progress

Silver teapot with fruit ala Abgott

With Anne Abgott in Sarasota

No, this is not a social get together invitation. This is the concept behind Anne Abgott's watercolor paintings. It is so much fun to discover the local artists in Florida. Anne teaches one day workshops all over the place. I first saw her work in the Florida Suncoast Watercolor Show at Art Center Manatee. The show was up with the traveling American Watercolor Show. Anne is a recent signature member of the National Watercolor Society. She has a book called Daring Color. So when she had an opening for a one day workshop painting silver and fruit, I signed up! I have been painting scenes from Italy in watercolor lately and was curious how I could use the transparent palette that Anne used to get those rich darks in my shadows.

Then came the opportunity to study the luminous landscape with Deborah Paris for a week. Deborah is originally from Florida and now is a Texan. She "went to the dark side" a few years ago switching from plein air pastels for which she was well established, to painting Tonalism landscapes in her studio. Tonalist painters include Inness, Turner, and Whistler. Now why was I interested in Tonalism? Again, it relates to my collection of imagery that I someday want to paint. I have these images of sunsets and sunrises, storm clouds, and fog from Venice to Ringgold that I just wasn't sure where to start. Ah, using the layering of glazes, I just might be able to obtain that subtle shift in color that I was seeing. Deborah has a real emotional connection to her subject matter that comes through for the viewer. It was a lot of work, a lot of art talk, and good company for a week.

I know it appears as if I am a workshop junkie this winter! I have happened upon a few artists that I have interest in their techniques. It is the immature artist who ends up copying the style and subject matter of another more well known artist. Who wants to be an art clone? As an instructor myself, I always pick up ideas about teaching, new materials, books they recommend, and colors that I haven't tried. Sometimes it turns out I learn what NOT to do! But mostly I have great respect for artists who share their knowledge with patience. It is also good to be a student again once in a while. It reminds me to slow down and remember to explain things as I go.

It isn't a Gift, if it isn't shared.

Now, go share with someone and Happy Valentine's Day to all you lovers of art!