Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Michael Chesley Johnson workshop - Day Two

Today's "plein air to studio" workshop began on the fishing pier at Vilano Beach, guarded by the Bluebird of Happiness.

We gathered first at the pavilion at the beginning of the pier to listen to Michael lecture. He wanted us to choose 2-3 locations of interest and do small color studies of them, concentrating on large blocks of color and no details. But once you found a favorite you should go back and do a more detailed pencil drawing of it.

Michael himself chose the Bluebird of Happiness as his first color study,which he began as a demo for the class.

There were lots of fishermen on the pier going back and forth, occasionally glancing at what we were doing. But it was not only the human fishers who had their eyes on the pier!

But while the bluebird remained happy, nature itself did not. By mid-morning the heavens once again unleashed their powers with heavy rains - causing most of us to run for cover under the big pavilion, where we were able to finish up what we were working on before breaking again at mid-day to head back to the Art Studio for lunch and the afternoon session.

At the studio Michael took his two color studies from the morning and showed us how he enjoyed creating a single-piece "diptych" - so that instead of having two actual images, he combined two, each of which could stand alone, but with something in the center of the painting to join the two.

And we all worked in the studio on trying to rework the images from the morning into different configurations, and when we found something that pleased us to try to work it up into a small finished piece for the day.

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