Thursday, March 20, 2014

Critter Comforts

Carmel Mission  Acrylic  8.5x6.5" Purchase Info

It's nice to be back home. Seems I've been on the road for quite a while. I'm just returning from a great workshop in Cary, North Carolina, we covered a lot of territory. In the beginning of a workshop I ask each person what their goals are, take notes, then check with each person on the last day to make sure their goals were accomplished. Everyone was happy!
    Just as the workshop was ending, I was asked to do a final demo. With only 1/2 hour left, I picked a photo that is a little outside my comfort zone, and told everyone that I was not feeling confident about doing this demo, especially so fast, but I'd do it anyways, since I had asked them to be brave, experimental and non-judgmental about their work and I should do the same. I didn't have time to sketch it out and make sure I got the drawing correct, but at least I did have a small 3-value thumbnail sketch to refer to. I used a 2 inch brush and finished in exactly 35 minutes. I say "finished" but it wasn't, really. Working so fast and not cleaning out my brush much in between colors made for a muddy looking sky and some too-neutralized greens.
     So last night I went to my studio and spent a few minutes cleaning up some of the colors and adjusting some values. I also changed the value of the sky from a light to a middle value, which made emphasized the stucco wall and helped the composition. Below is a photo of the demo painting and the value sketch, and above is the finish, with better color, using some smaller brushes for flowers and vegetation. I like the final painting and feel like I stretched a little. I'm glad I stuck my neck out and tried something I hadn't had time to plan out, especially as a final demo in front of 16 people. The moral of my story is, its essential to move outside your comfort zone if you want to grow. The only risk is not taking one.  I have a lot of favorite sayings about facing fear but one of my very favorites is: "Life begins at the end of your comfort zone."  Now if I could just motivate my critters, who are clearly stuck in theirs!