TASMANIA

Two weeks in Tasmania and not a sign of rain! The workshop was great and all the foul weather plans were unnecessary – talk about lucky. After we all said goodbye in Launceston, Dianne and I found our truck in the car park of Launceston Airport and headed south to explore some more of Tasmania.port arthur

Port Arthur from the cold waters of the bay.

oatlands mill

Oatlands Mill

island of the dead

Island of the Dead – Port Arthur

hells gates

Hells Gate Lighthouse on a rare sunny day.

gulls

Six obedient seagulls – Bruny Island

graves

Long forgotten graves

mountains

Fog towards Cradle Mountain

winter wood

Winter wood – New Norfolk

graves ross

Convict graves – Ross

georgetown lighthouse

Low Head lighthouse

foam

Ripples on the Gordon River

dummy

Shop Dummy – Ross

cradle mt

Painting at Dove Lake – Cradle Mountain

bootmaker otlands

Architectural Minimalness -Oatlands

bicheno

Bichneo fishing boats

zeehan

Architectural Practicalness – Zeehan

tamar banks

Banks of the Tamar

sale

Cheap Beer

rr

Port Arthur get away car

ross church

Archictectural Impressiveness – Ross

rosbury

Architectural Awesomeness – Rosebury

BARCELONA

Everything is extreme in Barcelona – the food,  the fashion, the bars, the music and the architecture.

Antoni Gaudi’s amazing buildings dot the city and have become some of  the city’s major tourist attractions.

DSC04555

DSC04240

DSC04315

DSC04540

DSC04321

Sagrada Familia – still under construction after 120 years.

DSC04323

DSC04338

Barcelona balconies – making a medieval facade look like a Gaudi facade.

DSC04255

Some of the architecture prior to Gaudi was pretty wild and elaborate too.

DSC04607

9:30 at night and the city starts to come alive – bars and restaurants start to fill around 10 or 11 and crowds are heading home as the sun comes up.

DSC04347

Nail Polish pink Vesper.

DSC04232

Man with dog and sidecar.

The Barcelona Maritime Museum had an exhibition of giant puppets used for festival performances in the city. It’s a weird feeling standing next to these huge papier mâché figures, twice the height of an average human.

DSC04367

DSC04381

DSC04382

DSC04386

 

DSC04510

DSC04390

DSC04423

Sailing into Barcelona Harbour.

DSC04441

Tiring work selling candles.

DSC04466

Ham in Spain is an art form. Jamón de bellota, made from acorn-fed black-footed Spanish pigs fetches up around 200 Euro/kg for the best quality. The markets in Barcelona have hams ranging from thirty Euro/kg upwards and the vendors are happy to coax you into purchasing by slicing off tasty samples.

DSC04513

Barcelona’s Maritime museum is housed in beautiful old ship building warehouses near the waterfront.

DSC04398

This is a replica of the Royal Galley which was built in Barcelona in 1568 and was the dominant warship in the Mediterranean up until the 17th Century. The ship was 60 meters long and powered by 59 oarsmen.

DSC04517

Inside the galley is not near as impressive as outside.

DSC04548

Subtle Spanish sneakers.

DSC04613

Barcelona Beach architecture.

VENETIAN BOATS

Boats in Venice are long, skinny and stylish. They vary slightly depending on what function they perform.

Traditional ,cool and stylish

Fast and stylish.

Fast, wooden and stylish.

Yellow Vaporetto.

Airport taxi.

Cool and wooden.

High speed transport

Service station

Italian Cool

Foreign invader

Two men in boat with a pole.

Ugly

Sewerage barge

Work barge

Happy work boat

Black vaporetto.

Goods barge

Courier Barge

Garbage Barge

New Vaporetta

Old Vaporetto

Middle aged vaporetto

Very long boat

Color coordinated delivery barge

Work Barge Figure Head.

VENICE WORKSHOP

Venice has to be one of  the most spectacular painting destinations in Italy. Standing on Rialto bridge and looking down the Grand Canal feels more like watching a bizarre movie than experiencing a thriving city.

We arrived in the afternoon and were rapidly transported to our hotel by water taxi.

Leaving Marco Polo Airport by water taxi is a chaotic experience. 110 Euro from the airport to the city means the drivers are pretty serious about getting the job done quickly.

Churning through the back alleys en route to Accademia Bridge

Painting on the grand canal.

Early morning along the canals

The last gondola workshop in Venice was just around the corner from our hotel … and right opposite a great little bar.

Everything is delivered by barges along the canals

A late afternoon storm blackened the sky behind Santa Maria della Salute making for some great photos.

Evening drinks along the waterfront

Interpreti Veneziana were performing at the San Vidal Church, 5 minutes from our hotel. Italian Baroque played with passion and enthusiasm – a fantastic night.

Burano Houses

Burano is famous for its lace making, but I think this guy is mending a fishing net.

AUGUST STUDIO WORKSHOP

We have just finished two full on weeks of workshops in the studio. Some familiar faces and some new faces. This is the first time we have had a completely new group for the second week, so I thought it would be interesting to repeat some of the demonstrations with some variation.

These two landscapes based on recent photos from Western Queensland were started with transparent washes (Quinacridone Gold, Cobalt Blue and Permanent Rose) Then the trees and other details were added with more opaque mixtures of Ultramarine Blue, Phthalo Blue, Alizarin Crimson and Quinacridone Gold. Graded washes were used on either side to create a band of light through the focal point, then various layers of gesso and White gouache glazes were worked through the sky and distance.

I have painted this Old house on Sydney Harbour from various angles and thought it would be a good workshop subject, having problems of symmetry and conflicting focal points to be sorted out.

I was surprised when we started drawing, to find that one of the students had lived in the flat behind the house back in the 70’s – when Brett Whitely lived and painted a little further around the bay.

These paintings were done with the same simple palette of Quinacridone Gold, Alizarin Crimson, French Ultramarine Blue, Phthalo Blue and Permanent Rose. I also used Charcoal pencil, White Gouache, Gesso and Burnt Sienna Ink. The vibrant blue window in the top painting was painted with Ultramarine Gouache.

Not far from Venice is the small fishing port of Chioggia. These weather beaten trawlers make an interesting subject with their confusion of masts and rigging and the complicated backdrop of ancient buildings. The idea here was to suggest all the complicated detail without trying to carefully render it. We started with under washes of Permanent Rose and Aureolin and gradually built up detail over the tinted paper.

A different subject using the same transparent under wash technique. This time graded washes of Cobalt Blue and Permanent Rose formed the under wash.

Painting these Lorrikets was a lot of fun – balancing sharp detail with loose suggestion. The wings and much of the body were roughly washed in with an old 1/2″ bristle brush. Detail was built up around the head and body with a 1/4″ flat brush and a #1 rigger. Finally the wings were attacked with gesso and a white charcoal pencil to get a feeling of movement.

Everyone enjoyed painting these rocks and sapplings. The purpose was to shuffle around the source material to create an interesting composition, then to build up textures and depth with watercolor, gouache, ink, charcoal pencil and Gesso. We used a number of techniques – splashing, splattering and spraying to build up the textures and gesso glazes to soften and push back the distance.

Another exercise in rearranging  the subject. This time a soft abstract foreground to lead the eye into the focal point of trees and buildings.

So thanks to everyone that attended the workshops and thanks to Dianne for the mighty cakes – back to dry biscuits now!

BEND WORKSHOP

As usual the Bend workshop was a lot of fun. It was great to catch up with friends from our previous Oregon workshops, and to finally meet people we had only spoken to via email. Tracy, Jan and Cindy did a fantastic job keeping things running smoothly and Tracy’s husband, Bob, drove up from Depot Bay one day to treat us to a feast of Dungeness crab and fresh fish –  Yum – fantastic! We had students from as far away as Florida, Hawaii, Canada and even Russia

The big studio at the Pheonix Inn is well set up with an overhead camera for demos and large tables for all students

Two color demo using Indigo and a transparent, Burnt Sienna like color mixed from Quinaceradone Gold, Alizarin and a touch of Ultramarine

Making sense of a complicated subject

A simple subject made interesting by shifting the emphasis away from formal symmetry to a more dynamic diagonal thrust.

A workshop in Bend, Oregon wouldn’t be right without a painting of Mirror Pond.

Cheese cloth, rice paper, pastel, ink and gesso were used to build up the interesting textures of this Italian Hilltop Village.

In this painting of Monterey Wharf, Ultramarine Blue gouache was used to give maximum impact to the focal point.

This simple subject is a lot of fun to paint and a great way to work with positive and negative shapes.

We are looking forward to coming back to the US for more workshops in the not too distant future.

NZ CRUISING WORKSHOP

On Feb. 7, Artists Greg Allan and Amanda Hyatt joined me on board the Sun Princess to take 60 painters on a cruising workshop around New Zealand.

I had never been on a cruise ship before and could not believe the scale and efficiency of this floating giant. With 2000 guests and 900 staff, I imagined long cues for everything , but I’d never seen anything run so smoothly!

We sailed from Sydney to the Bay of Islands then hopped our way down the East Coast of New Zealand, stopping at all the major ports.


Anchored in the Bay of Islands, we were ferried ashore by the ships tenders


Our first day painting ashore was in the small town of Russell in the Bay Of Islands. A sunny day under a shady tree with cafes and bakeries close by – what luxury!


Painting on board was in the large, plastic wrapped disco with panoramic ocean views.


On board demos took students through a number of techniques we would use once ashore.


On board Hawkesbury River demo, showing how to simplify a complex subject.


We found a busy boatyard on Auckland Harbor and spent a day painting there. They say Auckland has more boats per head of population than any other city in the world.


Napier was an interesting town – destroyed by earthquake in 1931 then completely rebuilt in the Art Deco style. It has been proudly maintained in that style ever since

We spent an afternoon painting in the central park, the interesting architecture and tall palms making great subjects

A warm sunny day greeted us in the beautiful city of Christchurch. This is the side door to Christchurch cathedral. It is hard to believe, just a week later the city was hit by a devastating earthquake. The cathedral spire crashing to the ground where we painted.


One of the few bad weather days on the workshop. Dunedin was overcast, cold and windy, but it somehow added to the character of this old tug and the jetty below.

Fiordland on the southern tip of New Zealand was spectacular in the early morning mist. Later in the day we sailed into Milford Sound. The clouds had lifted and the sun was shining. It looked amazing, but I cant help wondering what it would have looked like through mist and rain. Some things need lousy weather to look their best.

Milford Sound

For our final demo Greg, Amanda and I worked simultaneously on this large, three sheet painting. The finished work was auctioned for charity and the winning bidder kindly donated it to be hung on board the Sun Princess.

Life on board a cruise ship is pretty luxurious, good food, amazing service, lots of entertainment, bars and restaurants everywhere. Would I do another cruising workshop? You bet!