Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Ocean Roses 4

Ocean Roses
by Susan Roux
Original oil painting 16x20"

I confess... We have too much fun during painting class. I think we laugh more than we paint! But somehow in the midst of all our silliness we managed to complete our painting last night. I have them all posted. Class, sorry I couldn't adjust the colors correctly. Reds and hot pinks are the hardest...

Note: Everyone's painting looks softer than this shows.

Last week we thought we might finish, but another session was necessary. Everyone's work needed adjusting in different areas. To bring a painting to completion can be tricky. Knowing when to stop is often difficult. Its easier when someone else tells you to. (Paint with a friend, they'll do you the favor.) Looking at one's work objectively interferes with the passion we develop for it while painting. Abandoning your photo reference becomes necessary. At some point, everything that is already captured on canvas dictates what needs to come next. I like to stand back and squint a bit to find little areas that need adjusting.

The big question I put out there is, "What bugs you? What bother's you about your painting? Which spot?"

Those are the areas that need tweaking. Its that magical moment when you take all the energy you put into creating your work and bring it to a final statement. As a teacher, its that final moment of judgement.

"What can I say to this student that will help them enhance their work at this late stage?" Its the point of making it or breaking it.

As you can clearly see, all the students made it!

I was very pleased with the results of their hard work and silliness. Everyone brought some of themselves into their canvases. I always like how even though we use the same image and they follow along closely with me, a uniqueness emerges in every one. We talked about that last night.

The brushes we choose. The way we load the paint on them. Is it thin. Is it thick. How we apply the paint to the canvas. A delicate touch. A hard thrust. All these elements play a part in the "signature" our work takes on. I'm always fascinated that even with a person's first canvas, this signature appears. This one-of-a-kind brushstroke makes its debut right from the start. You can paint for years and really hone your skills, but look back where you began and you'll find similarities in your stroke.

I'd like to present my students work. They did great, don't you think? Remember they're all beginners...




Class, bring a new canvas next week. We're starting another one!

Anyone else care to join us?


  1. You can be proud Susan. You drove your students to a successful conclusion. And i'm sure of that because you're a good teacher. Each had to be satisfied with their work's result after doing so many efforts. it's very difficult to a novice to create, interpret, choose colors, dare to put into the canvas the paint, accept it and correct oneself. They can be very happy with their painting and they must be cheerful to find in them a new happyness.
    Sorry if my english is bad but your paintings are American's works ! Kisses.

  2. Thank you Martine-Alison, for the kind words. Your english is just fine, and you're right. It does take courage to paint something and then correct or adjust it. Thanks for reminding me. It becomes such second nature after years of painting, its easy to forget how difficult that all was. Its a good thing for me to remember as a teacher...



Please share your thoughts. Your comments are always appreciated.