Thursday, September 30, 2010
Spending time with Nora
Back from another workshop.
Nora Kasten asked me to join her at the Stapleton Kearns workshop. So off I was, for a long weekend on beautiful Mount Desert Island, Maine. You may be familiar with it by other names, such us Bar Harbor or Acadia National Park. We stayed in a lovely Inn on the ocean.
It was hard to take...
Seeing Nora again was wonderful. Our time together will remain precious in my memories. Next week I'll be seeing her again in Boothbay, where I intend to go paint. There is also the possibility of meeting up with English artist, Karl Terry.
The first day of the workshop was dotted with sunshine and we set up on coastal rocks at Otter Cliffs.
Stapleton emphasized the importance of design. His grand message to us was, without good design, no amount of rendering will save your painting. I returned home with ashes in my easel and the echoing thought that the finished "picture" we create is what is important. Not recreating everything that is at our location. Plein air painting is about altering and adjusting elements and values to create a picture which holds the character of the place, but not necessarily documents it as is. Though I know this, it often eludes me while out there chasing the light.
We were a wonderful group of serious artists. Ten of us in all. Its always a pleasure to meet and socialize with others who share our passion. Pictured is James Cook taking close observation to the subtle nuinces in values on Stapleton's unfinished painting. He had worked this demo during the course of two days, to show us a further evolved work. Stapleton didn't find it necessary to produce a finished product in a few hours, that I find typical for plein air artists. It was interesting to see a different, slower approach. For him, its all about the finished painting and he confessed to completing them all in his studio. He doesn't categorize himself as a plein air painter for this reason, though he frequently works on location. Patty Meglio covers the workshop story in greater detail, if you're interested in reading more.
Our weather was mostly gray. Fortunately I found the sun peeking in and out on the morning of my return. I took advantage of a photo shoot before leaving. Gardens and grand porches had been catching my eye as I drove by them, daily. The workshop spanned long hours and with morning fog and late afternoon mist, I never had to opportunity to photograph anything en route. I pleasured in taking my time and absorbing the beauty...
Note: Friday evening I attended the Luka Bloom concert where I presented him with the painting. As you predicted, he was very pleased. He hopped up out of his seat after looking at it with amazement, to give me a grand hug. How can you beat that?