Tuesday, May 11, 2010

My Demo At S-12 Still Life Workshop

 I thought it was time to establish or to re-establish some bit of credibility with my students so that they would be inclined to listen to what I say.  I have taught as a sub from K through 12th grade during graduate school in Pasadena,  and have taught college level History, Sociology, and Philosophy of Religion at Allen Hancock Junior College in Santa Maria, California.  I am aware of just about all of the blockages that occur when students are summoned to sit and listen to a teacher,  and I try to override these blockages with dirty jokes, hugs, prayers, enlightened content, entertaining antidotes, candy, soft rock....

Anyway I wanted to illustrate some points relating to the "big mass" approach to oil painting.  Specifically the technique of holding off on the final color, final notes and accents, final rendering, and final anything else you can throw in--until the big masses within a painting are correctly placed, unified,  and adjusted for color/value.  Paint the forest before the trees--the dog before the fleas.  Don't shoot too early for final effects,  develop the whole canvas at one time, keep the initial vision alive til the end--so on and so on.....

I don't employ books, charts, templates, recipes, or anything related to abstract answers to the question--"...so, how do you paint."  I point students to sources of oil painting instruction that are universally available.  I  admonish those who look to me for artistic advice to seek God, take serious vows of poverty, let goods and kindred go, get into rehab,  and buy good brushes and paints.  I also show them how I do it through live demonstrations accompanied by all of the above knowledge and techniques--except one!--at least so far.


  1. Hi,
    Intéressant de voir votre composition en cours de réalisation. Je me réjouis de bientôt regarder votre DVD chez mon amie Susan. Elle m'en a longuement parlé dernièrement après sa visualisation.
    J'aurais été ravie d'avoir pu être une de vos élèves, cependant La France est un peu loin pour participer à vos cours... pourtant je ne "pèterais" pas !

  2. Oh the real Hatfield secret remains sealed in stone!

    I must tell you, I'm getting closer and closer to trying the gray mud-thing soon... Will you guide me when it all falls apart???

    So did I talk you into coming to Maine? After Martine-Alison leaves, the guest room will be open...

  3. i'm upset don ... cuz you never told me about the class ... what a treat for the students !

  4. Hi Don! Great to be back reading your posts again! Thank you for reinforcing your video here. As for abstract answers - don't you just hate them? I know I do. Abstract is absolutely no good when you are trying to learn a practical subject. I'm fed up with the amount of times I've asked a tutor a question, and they've come back with an abstract answer. What use is that to me? I want concrete answers, demonstrations, telling me what to do...just initially until I get to grips with it. The language employed is often murky, and I have to wade through the mire just to get a straight answer, which doesn't often come. Why is this? Why can't people just straight talk? Oh dear, I'm whingeing! Thanks for a great post anyway!

    H x