Sunday, January 16, 2011

Beginner=Not so Still Life

(The first painting on this post is a high school still life I painted age 16 w/ the notorious berries you will read about below, and the second still life shown is my first "real painting" at age 8)

Much of my new years resolutions have to do with being a willing beginner.
So, I've happily signed up for two workshops this spring being taught by two amazingly talented artist friends Melora Kuhn, and Maureen Cummins (which I've included below in case your interested). I am also actively working on a new project, and I mean NEW! I have been working on illustrating a fairy tale I wrote this fall. I decided to just do it, despite my belief that I couldn't because "that's not what I do". The part of me that decides I can't do something has everything to do with fear that I won't be good, because I don't always trust in "my way" as being valid in its difference to others or what I've seen already accepted as good..but every time I have allowed myself the freedom to try something "my way" I have fun and my work expands. To better describe "my way"-it means full of messiness, plenty of mistakes, lots of exploration, and a stubborn ambitious attitude till I get to a good place.
One of the workshops I'm taking is Oil Painting, which is really funny because I am a painter. However, I have actually never learned officially how to paint. (I have only taken 1 full year of college-so far!). I don't know how to traditionally mix oils-I don't know the rules...which the only thing I really like about rules is breaking them. Growing up I knew I loved making art-but somehow I didn't think I would be an artist, and definitely not a fact I didn't even like painting. I didn't like painting because my only experience was a still life in high school-which was sooooo boring and technical. I remember after I was almost finished painting the painting, I just decided to screw it and paint over the branches and just add the berries all over the canvas as I opened and closed my eyes and looked at them. My teacher walked over, and she said with a half grin" Well Dawn, actually I think you may just be a painter" which I laughed at and rolled my eyes because she knew how much I disliked it. That is the same experience I had in my first still life painting, I made when I was 8. It was my first "real painting" on canvas, and I started off trying to paint what I saw, but then I decided to paint outside the lines, and lastly I took my finger and smudged the straight line.
I don't know exactly why I want to take the painting class, since I'm not a fan of still life's. I think its mostly because I want to learn about oil paints, and perhaps its to repeat my history with formal technique as a beginner but with a new sense of artistic self worth.
Beginner=Not so Still Life

Below are the two workshop descriptions and I think there may still be some spaces open?

Dear Poets, Writers, and other Creative Souls,

I'm offering a weekend workshop, Printing for Poets (see enclosed flier) that I taught for years in the city. Students learn how to design, print and bind a simple chapbook. It's fun, dirty hard work and everyone leaves with their own limited edition of poetry, prose or found text.

Class size is extremely limited and spots will be filled on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Please feel free to pass on my email to others who may be interested.

Many thanks,

Maureen Cummins

3 Church Lane

High Falls, NY 12440


Dear friends,

Happy new year! May this one be filled with love, health and prosperity.
In this neighborhood, I am teaching two classes leading into the spring, so come take one!

Enter as a complete beginner, or brush up on your skills.

Introduction to Drawing:

10 Saturdays, Febuary 5-April 19 9am-12pm, $250
Lessons in measurement and proportion, perspective, contour, shading, texture and composition, using pencil, charcoal, contate crayon, ink wash and pen.

Introduction to Oil Painting:

10 Saturdays, Febuary 5-April 19 1pm-5pm, $320
Lessons in stretching and preparation of canvas, color mixing and theory, composition and arrangement, and the use of different mediums and glazing.
Both classes will work from observation; still life and clothed model.

Spread the word. Raise the lanterns. Satisfy that urge you've always had... let me know soon, the space is filling fast...

Big hugs,

(518) 537.5378

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