Friday, August 14, 2009

a new venture

A week or so ago, I learned that one of my paintings was juried into the American Impressionists Society annual exhibition that will take place in Denver, Colorado–my former home. It will be strange to go back after all these years and even more strange to be exhibiting there. All the same, I'm very excited for this opportunity and very much looking forward to spending a week in Colorado.

In conjunction with the exhibition, AIS offers a couple workshops. I've decided to take the Scott Christensen plein air workshop. I wasn't cheap and what was more shocking was the cost of the supply list. The workshop is an OIL painting workshop and I am not an oil painter other than a few times a year when it's too cold or wet to paint outdoors with pastels. Why am I taking an oil painting workshop? Lots of reasons. First, Scott Christensen is an amazing landscape artist and whether or not I continue in oil I'm sure I'll learn many fundamentals of painting that are relevant for any medium. Second, I like a challenge. Scott's palette is different from anything that I've used before with the primaries, white, and eight grays (custom mixed for him by Vasari). It is a beautiful palette and from what I understand an extraordinary paint.

The paint arrived yesterday and I excitedly opened the large shipping box. Inside I find three smaller boxes. Two simple corrugated boxes containing the primaries and white and a larger box with beautiful gold embossed VASARI label. I open it and find eight tubes where the labels are marked with actual paint samples... works of art. Now, those tubes of paint displayed on my workbench and I wonder, "Where do I begin?" Logical as I am I tell myself, "At the beginning, goofy." And, from the bookshelf I retrieve Richard Schmid's Alla Prima. I thumb through the pages until I find what I'm looking for—Color Charts. That's where I'll begin.

With the paints displayed, I begin applying gesso (two coats each side) to 1/4-inch acid-free foam board. When it was dry, I began applying black artists tape (trimmed to 1/4-inch strips, approx.) to create 1-inch squares. I have 11 tubes of paint and I need 12 boards. I'll keep you posted as this project progresses.

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