We started at Full Moon Farm; Neil Patterson was our first instructor. He is currently the president of the Oil Painters of America.
“Painting is all about passion,” declares Neil Patterson. “If you respond to the passion that you have inside yourself, that’s when the real painting comes out. Selling your work is a bonus; painting itself is what really matters. It is his ability to paint feelings rather than merely replicating what he sees that makes Patterson’s vibrant, impressionistic oils so appealing."Link to Neil Patterson's work.
Neil's demonstration was in oils starting on a canvas that had been painted black and working from dark to light. I was working in watercolours so this advice was not so useful for me at the time; watercolour is usually painted the other way around with the light, especially the whites coming largely from the paper and working towards the darks. I am trying the technique of starting on a dark background with conte and the results so far are interesting.
He challenged us to set aside 15 minutes every day (he recommended first thing in the morning) to do a painting and to stop after 15 minutes, date the painting and put it aside. He said "Do this every day for a year and you will be a better painter at the end of the year." I may not get to a painting every day but I think it is a good exercise and intend to follow his advice.
|Neil Patterson demonstrating painting technique (above and below)|
|Our group gathered around|
Stan Miller met us at Berry Point and demonstrated in watercolour. A quote from his website:
"Shakespeare said the world is a stage. He directed, gave freedom to, and controlled his characters, the players. The writer directs the word; the musician, the note; the dancer, the step; the painter, the stroke. Each artist struggles at some level to bring together and unify the complexity of his/her creative expression without losing the importance of diversity. Too much unity through sameness, we have monotony. Too much diversity, we have chaos. To express the maximum complexity of thought and feeling, maintain diversity, yet simplicity, and end with unity is not only the goal of every artist, but the goal of every citizen of life and of this world."Link to Stan Miller's work.
Stan talked about getting our creative and logical brains to work in harmony. He had many helpful ideas on choosing a subject, use of light and dark within a painting and the arrangement of objects within our work to create interest and to give the eye an interesting path to follow. He demonstrated in watercolour, I was in my element.
|Stan Miller demonstrating at FCA workshop (above and below)|
|A photograph of his finished painting|
Stan Miller also presented a slide show later in the week on the different ways the right and left brains recognize and interpret visual stimuli. His slide presentation included many famous paintings and gave some valuable insights.
Mark Hobson was our instructor on the third day. We started at Drumbeg Bay, at the south end of the island, but moved when it started to rain. Our "rain" location was a very beautiful house, with a large covered deck, high up on the island with a beautiful view towards Vancouver Island.
From Mark's website:
'A strong advocate for preserving the wilderness he loves to paint, Mark has donated numerous paintings and much of his time to efforts to preserve natural environments.Link to Mark Hobson's work.
Mark's Float house studio is only accessible via a 9 km boat ride from Tofino'
Mark brought quite a few of his works from a recent "en plein air" painting journey. He was demonstrating in acrylics, and chose to start on a dark background, purple in this case, and painted the negative spaces first. There are two kinds of spaces in a composition, the actual subject matter or focus of the painting are the positive shapes, all the rest of the work between and around the positive shapes are the negative spaces.
'Paint what you love and take time to really look at it. Choose a single focus for your painting and use hard edges and intense colours to define it. While you are on site make sure that you get the unique information like the shadows, highlights and direction and flow of sunlight.'He premixes colours that he will use a lot and stores them in sealed containers, then he does not have to take time to do that on location.
|Mark Hobson demonstrating acrylic technique and starting with negative spaces (above and below)|
|Alan Wylie demonstrating (above and below)|
|The painting on display at our "chair" show on the final evening|
I took a lot of photographs; here are pictures of a photo walk along the beach in front of the Haven at low tide.
|An inviting chair|
|A busy tidal pool|
|Interesting rock formations|
|Silhouette of an Inuksuk|
A few more island memories:
|Curious sheep (above and below)|
|Birdhouse among hollyhocks|
|The rocks appeared to have been sculpted|
|Whimsical garden decorations (above and below)|
|Colourful boat at Silva Bay|
|Odd shaped tree trunks|
|Canopy of maple leaves|
|Leaves starting to change|