February 29, 2012

The Art of Believing Your Eyes

This last four days I had the privilege of working with a keen group of painters, teaching a workshop that is a new one in my portfolio..."Speed Painting from the Model".  We did quick sketch with oil paint - one, two, five,  twenty minutes.  Most paintings were wiped off immediately after the timer beeped.  Wiped off not necessarily because they didn't turn out, but because the emphasis was on process rather than product.

The students found it extremely challenging to paint from the live model.  I reminded them that I found painting from the model challenging as well;  and that most painters I know, even those that make a living from their painting, find this process stretches them on every level, like push ups for the perceptual skills. 

I am happy to report that there was steady improvement and total engagement throughout the workshop.  It was quiet enough to hear a pin drop for the most part.  Eyes were being trained. At one point I thought I saw smoke coming out of student's ears,  and yet everyone left with a smile, exhausted but exhilarated.

Rest assured, I will be teaching this workshop again.

Happy happy painting,

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