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 9 May 2020

My Time in Isolation

I know, it has been two years since I last posted.  Probably nobody out there anymore. Just the same, I thought I would share what I have been doing in isolation over the past weeks.

I seem to have a bit more time on my hands now. We are still in Courtenay BC, our winter home. Normally we would be on our way to Collingwood Ontario where we spend our summers. We take our RV and I paint along the way - and often have a workshop booked somewhere. This year we don't know when things will open up and we will be able to travel.

Initially, it was a real shock. All my galleries closed and all my workshops for the entire year cancelled. The same for all of you probably.

Really disappointing was the cancellation and then rescheduling of the Plein Air Convention, initially for Denver in May and now Santa Fe in August. I was an invited presenter for the conference, helping to organize the first acrylic stream of learning. Now it looks like even Santa Fe in August might be threatened.  Also I was invited to participate in the Door County Plein Air competition in July  in Wisconsin which has also been cancelled. I was looking forward to the Publishers Invitational Paint the Adirondacks in June, which has not been cancelled as yet but I doubt that it will go ahead.
So lots of disappointments but still nothing compared to what so many are going through.

So once I got over my disappointment and settled into a routine I started to enjoy this isolation thing. No pressure - no gallery commitments, no workshop commitments. Time to play and learn. Each morning I am doing quick portraits in water-mixable oils and most afternoons I go out and do some plein air sketches ( weather here has been great). Two areas I wanted to spend more time on for years. So that has been good and I can feel a growth of confidence.

For the plein air I am alternating between acrylics and oils trying to finally decide which is more suited to me. On my acrylic days, I am alternating between Golden Open ( slow dry) and regular acrylics. I will share what I have decided in a future post. My goal in plein air is to improve my confidence particularly in doing building and other man made things and interpreting them in a stylized, almost whimsical, way.

It has been years since I played with portraiture. My  interest is to interpret these in a style that shows bold brushwork with a reasonable representation of the reference photo. Forgot how hard this was but after having done about 3 dozen now I am starting to relax and interpret more than copy. Hoping to do a few more.

I have also been spending time daily just absorbing work from others via zoom, on line video learning, DVDs, some great blogs, etc. I have subscribed to New Masters Academy New Masters Academy, to Sentient Academy , to Watts Atelier each with both learnings in landscape and portraiture.

I am also trying to make myself more comfortable with social media - strengthening my presence. I have joined Lori McNees Fine Art Tips and 2020 Club for that purpose.

Finally, I have been asked to do an on-line learning demo for a group from Ottawa .  Trying to get comfortable using Zoom and setting up my studio to make this work.

So isolation it is (almost was)  - but unproductive and without some fun and learning it has not been.

Love to hear how you have spent your time. Hopefully, it was not all negative .

Promise ( hoping) not to be so bad at blogging again.

Cheers and stay well.