I borrowed this phrase from the recently deceased Canadian painter Robert Genn who believed that there is only so much we can learn about how to paint from the many fine instructors and resources available today. The true learning comes from going off on our own and just doing it - Go to your room!

I have had the good fortune to take instruction from outstanding artists in Canada and the USA. I continue to work on my own development ( Going to MY room!) . I share, through this blog and workshops, what I have learned and what others have shared with me.

I created this blog primarily for those attending my workshops to keep in touch and to further share as we grow together. If others are interested in following that would be great.

Enjoy the journey.

Saturday 15 September 2018

Marc Grand Bois Workshop - My Review

There is a boldness and freshness about Marc's work that I have admired. His compositions and his methods for working with acrylics are unique. I was very please when an opportunity to attend one of his workshops became available. The workshop was held in Bracebridge at the Muskoka Arts & Crafts Inc. - a very nice facility. 

The format for the workshop was a bit unusual. Marc did a plein air demo each morning of about 2 hrs, then back to the studio where we painted. Marc is most comfortable working on location - and I would have enjoyed spending my painting time on location with him - but others were not prepared for plein air - and the course description did not indicate it.  Still the afternoon sessions were good with lots of time given by Marc to each participant. 

Marc prefers sitting to work. He has much younger knees than mine.

Mark worked on masonite treated with coats of latex house primer - which he prefers over gesso as the surface is smoother and he feels his paint flows better. His initial plan is sketched using a rigger with a acrylics.  He uses no mediums and seldom sprays his palette. He puts out small amounts of paint as needed and works on a disposable palette paper.  He works with a limited palette working with two pairs of compliments making cool and warm grays. 

He works from back to front. Once his plan is made he quickly builds under layer using a large soft brush. He layers until he gets the feeling he wants then switches to a rigger brush which he uses extensively throughout the painting.  All his final stroke are with the rigger using paint that is quite thick adding texture and character. 

His demos were excellent. Really fun to watch his process. He is able to add comment and answer questions as he works. His teaching in the afternoon was excellent as well - he is gentle and patient but critically honest as needed.  I appreciated the suggestions he had for me. 

Marc's work is full of energy. I love what he does with the rigger - wondering what it might do to add final physical energy to mine.  I made four starts trying to add some of Marc's energy - but unable to control my love for colour. 

I enjoyed this workshop and spending time with Marc. I rate his knowledge and skill as excellent. His teaching style  as well. I recommend his workshops.

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