UPCOMING WORKSHOPS

Looking forward to some great workshops coming up – Australia, Canada, USA and Italy…

vanazza church

Currumbin Studio Workshop – May 28 – 29 2016

Kelowna, BC, Canada – 2 day workshop on 2nd and 3rd July 2016

Wisconsin USA – 5 day June 12-18 2016

Cinque Terre/San Gimignano – Italy, Sept. 5-17 2016.

WORKSHOP DEMOS

Here are some of the demo paintings from the Tasmanian workshop.

Bicheno bay

Cray Boats moored in the bay at Bicheno – Gesso, Gouach and Phthalo Blue

Bicheno

Further around the bay at Bicheno are rock formations covered in brilliant orange lichen

Coles Bay

Old boat sheds at Coles Bay made a great subject – interrupted briefly by the retrieval of a dozen yellow kayaks paddled into the bay.

cradle mtn

Dove Lake at Cradle Mountain is a spectacular sight. We were lucky to be able to paint it – the mountains are usually blanketed in thick fog.

Hobart

Hobart Waterfront – watercolor, ink, gesso and gouache

Straun

Macquarrie Harbour from the hotel balcony, Strahan.

WEEKEND STUDIO WORKSHOPS

Over the past two weekends I held a couple of 2 day workshops here in my studio. A lot of people, due to work commitments, find it hard to attend the 5 day workshops. We had an enthusiastic group both weekends and managed to do a lot of painting in between chatting, drinking coffee and eating cakes. The demonstration paintings below show a couple from each workshop.

Studio Workshop

junk

This was the first painting we did in one of the workshops. A simple subject, but lots of interesting colors and textures. We used a mixture of watercolor, gouache, ink, charcoal and inktense pencil.

pellestrina

Here I chose a more complicated subject, but broke it down into simple shapes, then went to town with the different colors and textures. The first washes were watercolor over charcoal lines, then gouache, ink and pastel were added. the intense blue of the boat hulls is Ultramarine Gouache.

pellestrina2

Another complicated subject treated in a simple way – playing around with washes while holding on to a clean, high contrast focal area.

window

This was the first demo in the second workshop. Again a simple subject with plenty of color and texture to play around with.

These workshops were a lot of fun and booked out very quickly, so we will run a couple more towards the end of the year. Mean time, there are still a few places left in the 5 day march workshops

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.

LAYERED LEAVES

During the last workshop we experimented with a technique that produces interesting results if it doesn’t drive you mad first. The idea is to start with a background wash, draw the shapes of stones, leaves and twigs onto it, then, with a slightly darker tone fill in all the negative spaces. More leaves, twigs etc are then drawn into the darker negative areas and the negative spaces around the new shapes is made slightly darker. This incremental darkening is done 3-4 times then the shapes are modeled, ink and pastel lines are added, colors splashed on and gesso washes are used to simplify areas.

The process is a lot of fun and often triggers interesting ideas. The example below was done as a demo on aluminium composite panel primed with watercolor gesso. The heavy vertical marks were masked up and painted over the top with more watercolor gesso then the tones were adjusted.

These next images give an idea of the build up using negative shapes.

Once you get the hang of it this can be great fun. The subject can be any reasonably defined object – tools, utensils, paint brushes, pencils – anything that can layer one over the other.

AIX WORKSHOP

After a week in Paris we flew to Marseilles to meet up with the people on our workshop. It was great to catch up with friends from previous workshops and meet up with the new students. A coach took us to our luxury hotel, Le Piggonet, on the outside of the old town of Aix en Provence.

The hotel was a beautiful old building set in magnificent gardens. We could have happily spent a week painting in the gardens, but the town of Aix had a lot to offer so we split our painting time between the hotel and the town.


Le Piggonet


Hotel Gardens


Painting in the Hotel gardens


Dining at Le Piggonet


Flower markets Aix en Provence


Street Markets

We were introduced to some fantastic restaurants in the town. One of our students lived in the country side not far from Aix and had a great knowledge of all the best restaurants. This was one of our favorites – Le Patio, a small family run restaurant with a great atmosphere, good service and fantastic food.

The little town of St. Remy is not far from Aix en Provence. We spent a day there, painting and visiting the Asylum Van Gogh spent time in. We were privileged to paint in the garden of the asylum, where Van Gogh would have often sat and sketched.

Although the asylum surroundings were idealic, life inside must have been horrific. These bath tubs were filled with cold water into which troublesome inmates were immersed and trapped under these wooden boards.

In the town of St. Remy, the main square provided a quiet, spacious area surrounded by ancient stone walls and wooden shutters. We spent an enjoyable afternoon painting there before heading back to our hotel for drinks under the plane trees.

Blue Shutters – St. Remy

Cassis is a small fishing town on the Mediterranean coast not far from Aix. The busy harbour and backdrop of old buildings made a great painting subject. We shared the park across the harbour with the local boules players, cigarette smokers and baguette eaters. Under the shade of a grove of casuarina trees, we painted the changing vista of the harbour.

Cassis Waterfront

Paul Cezanne lived and painted in Aix en Provence. His house and studio have been made into a museum, crammed with his old coats, umbrellas, paint boxes, skulls, bones and still life props that feature in his paintings.

Cezanne had the house built to his design – living area downstairs, large studio upstairs.

The studio ceiling is about 5 metres high and the Northern wall, almost completely glass. The walls are painted a mid tone, neutral gray and there is a 4 meter x .5 meter corner hatch to remove large works from the studio. It’s a fantastic studio, unfortunately no photographs are allowed inside. Below is the front door to the house.

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.