June 12, 2010

Getting Clear
20" x 20" oil/canvas


This week I facilitated my first painting workshop at the Crystal Lake Art Center (CLAC). Offered to beginning plein air painters, we discussed the challenges of painting outdoors, the need for reliable and streamlined equipment and how to begin a painting that you know you’ll only have 2-3 hours to complete.

I prepped for the workshop by taking spending a session on the beach here in Frankfort, MI the morning before. The last of a heavy fog was drifting out over the lake; the morning light kissed the trees and small dunes. Shown above, this painting conveys a sense of the soft light and serenity of this spot and so many like it along the shore of Lake Michigan.

Live demonstrations form an important part of a painting workshop. It’s not always what you can say about the painting process so much as what you can show your students that helps them learn. It’s a great opportunity for me, an easy talker, to doing some “walking” with my brush in hand. For this workshop, I made a painting based on the piece above. Then the students made their own demos based on this or another of my plein air paintings I had on display.

I love teaching the eager students you often find in painting circles. Like sponges soaking up information, they’re grateful for and appreciative of clues I can offer that help them express their artistic desires. (They did some really nice work too.) I come away from such workshops feeling valued for what I am able to share of my experience and gifts. What a win-win!

With warmest regards,


PS I’ll be opening a show of my recent work at Les Sirenes Galerie D’Art at 338 Main Street in Frankfort on July 8. I met the owner, Terri Haugen, last summer as I was embarking on my Artist In Residence adventure at Sleeping Bear Dunes. (Her nationally acclaimed batik work is really amazing.) The reception is from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. The exhibit will continue through July 21. I hope to see you there and, please, bring a friend.