Sunday, November 29, 2009


Day 2 - Another lovely day! This time viewing the incredible mirror of the mountians and trees surrounding Sapphire Lake in the still water near Cashiers where a number of participants were staying for the weekend. A bit on the chilly side in the shade, I had to catch the sun's rays several times to thaw...but, what a beautiful lake this was!

Jim is demonstrating "blocking in" with a size 18 brush on a canvas no larger than 11 x 14 and using his basic "gray" palette to create a lovely, harmonious work of art.

What was interesting was that as Jim continued with his demo, the mirror of the lake began to change with the spreading of a gorgeous blue color skiming the surface of the lake from a far penisula heading towards us. The wind had picked up ever so slightly catching the reflection of the blue sky. This same blue "color" happened on this green colored water surface that reflected its trees when two boys threw rocks into the still lake. The ripples revealed the reflection of the blue sky in the circles that initially emerged from where the rock entered the water and the green color was quickly restored as the circles moved further away from the rock's entry point.

Plein air can be extremely difficult, but it makes you "see". Some days you do well, some days...oh, well... my best day was Day 3!!!

Oh..and one more thing...I keep hearing that word, "VALUE". Jim mentioned it every single day, more than once, and I hear it at the school all of the time. Value, value, value...we need to all hear this...AND...composition. Remove things from your subject if it is NOT working. Do not be afraid to move a tree, make a path, add a stream...make the painting work compositionally. (*Read about some design rules below.)

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