Would love to keep going on this, but the session is over. Total working time: about 1 hour.
Here's a monochromatic sketch I did last night. It is oil on linen, about 13x16. It used some good ole' Winsor and Newton burnt sienna with a small amount of winsor green (or veridian) to tone down the background underpainting. I really enjoy doing these kind of monochrome studies. It really helps me free up my brushwork and allows me to focus on pure drawing with a brush. They tend to be pretty quick as well, which is an added bonus.
A feature in the Informed Collector newsletter, showcasing my painting, "The Cellist", which will be on display in the upcoming OPA Eastern Regional Exhibit at Walls Fine Art Gallery. Click this link to see the newsletter feature - Informed Collector Recommends: Taaron Parsons.
If you plan on being near Wilmington, NC, stop by the gallery for a great exhibit. Should be a really good show.
Sunday was the final day of the Weekend With the Masters event. And what a great finish it was. I had the opportunity to attend the entire morning session in which I watched with awe and amazement as Nancy Guzik painted a still life. I would have to agree with Kristen Thies of West Wind Fine Art that Nancy is perhaps one of the most prolific and accomplished painters of our time. She paints with with keen deliberation, and refreshing joy and excitement. Her teaching methods follow the same approach. She had a knack for articulating her thought processes as she paints, which is extremely helpful to an artist. Throughout the demo, I never wondered why she made the decisions that she made because it was always abundantly clear. Below are some photos of her work that morning.
Perhaps the highlight of the weekend was the opportunity that my friend Ryan Mellody and I had to spend time receiving critiques from Richard Schmid. His patriarchal artistic wisdom was profoundly simple, just like his centerpiece book Alla Prima, Everything I Know About Painting. I am grateful that he has taken the time to give of what he knows. This and all the other experiences from the Weekend will be ones that will remain ingrained within me. I will do my best to allow it to shape my art as it continues to unfold. I suspect that if I am blessed to one day meet my grandchildren, the Weekend With the Masters will be among my favorite stories to tell them.
Thank you to all of the artists and American Artist staff for making this possible.
Have i mentioned that i'm tired? Operationally, things have settled down into a groove and have begun to come down out of the atmosphere a bit. So, with a deep sigh of relief, I was able to participate much more in the day's events. At the start of the morning sessions, i payed a short visit to Morgan Weistling's workshop on the head study from life. I was really impressed with his teaching as well as with the quality i saw in many of the artists who were participating in that session. I hope i have the opportunity to see more if his workshops tomorrow. Then, after providing some lighting and setup help to Carolyn Anderson, I spent the rest of the morning session sitting in on Dan Gerhartz portrait demo. I really appreciate the passion and ferver with which he paints and teaches. It is truly inspiring. He always maintains such a positive and uplifting attitude.
For the afternoon session, i remained with Dan to continue into a portrait workshop; this time, i was blessed with the opportunity to actually participate. I learned SO much. I learned not to create unrealistically high expectations for myself. I learned not to let my nerves get the best of me and throw off my focus. I learned to stretch myself by painting masses before details. I learned all of this by failing at every single one of them. Which brings me to my last and most important lesson of the day, which Dan so firmly, kindly, and lovingly reminded me of: Failure is an opportunity to learn. And in the arts, perhaps at times, more than success. Don't allow failure to usher in discouragement. Discouragement is not constructive and you do not want to go there. Thank you Dan for your wonderful encouragement and teaching!!! You are truly a blessing.
Despite her extremely busy schedule, Nancy Guzik was kind enough to provide a critique of the painting i did yesterday, mentioned in the "part 2" post. Thank you Nancy! I am so very grateful for that. Here's the still life from day 2; working time - about an hour and a half:
Signing off for now to get some much needed sleep. Another big day tomorrow. Thank you Lord.