Sunday, July 31, 2011

Painting- the spirit of drawing workshop at Sitka

SITKA ART AND ECOLOGY CENTER north of Lincoln City on the Oregon coast sits in a beautiful setting between the Salmon River estuary and Cascade Head. I was fortunate to have a four day painting workshop with Bill Parks there last week.

BILL PARKS shared his painting techniques and demonstrated how drawing becomes painting. He works in many layers of paint, repaints and paints again adjusting color values and contrasts. I really appreciate how his work with monotypes influences his paintings- the depth of line and value in black and white, ways to soften or distress edges and the effect of wiping away paint. He firmly believes that it's the process that makes painting interesting not the final product.

We worked in Boyden studio. The first day we drew with charcoal and added white acrylic to explore values in black and white.

Then, we added color. The above piece transformed from a fern painting in black and white into a cornstalk. I love the variation and gradation of the background colors.

One afternoon after class, we climbed Cascade Head. The view of the Salmon River estuary on the left and the coastline is spectacular. This is one of my favorite coastal hikes.

Here's an abstract painting that needs more work.

These trees developed after painting over an abstract painting created the previous day- wiping paint away, adding contrasting colors.

I chose to work with drawings of fox glove. It was in full bloom. Both of these paintings have layers and layers of acrylic paint on them. I'm still working on them to get more gradation in color values and variety of textures.

Of the two paintings, I like this one the best. It still needs some work but it's getting there. One thing I learned is not to stop, keep painting and working with a subject. That's when it's spirit is captured.
I highly recommend the Sitka Art Center workshops. The staff is friendly and helpful and a variety of workshops from experienced artists are offered. Check out the Sitka workshop Dayna Collins attended with Lori Latham last week HERE .


Pam said...

Hi Paula, I just stumbled on to your site as I was looking at ideas for my nature journal. I live in Bellingham, WA. Please check out my blog: pamholladay.blogspot

lilylovekin said...

How wonderful to get to spend 3 days with one artist/instructor. I would have loved to have gone on that hike, you were above the clouds it looked amazing.

HeartFire said...

Hi Paula,
Sounds like you had a great time, I really like the foxglove, you can see the layers there... Thanks for mentioning the Sitka Center, I'd never heard of it. Keep on Painting!

Jo Reimer said...

I know just what you mean about working with Bill Parks. What a fine painter he is. I'd rather have taken painting with him instead of the monoprint workshop I had last month but I still learned a lot. I absolutely adore your foxglove painting with all its layered richness.

Gwen said...

I love your paintings! I think I would like taking a class from Bill Parks, too, and also Lori Latham. I hope you keep painting, they are all lovely!

Robin Olsen said...

I really like seeing what you did in class--thanks for sharing that with us. Your last painting is my favorite too--I especially like the lighting in it.

cynthia said...

I'd like to see more flower paintings like the last one you did. The colors just sing!

melinda said...

Your paintings of foxglove are soft and multi- layered. I am inspired to go out and paint flowers today & maybe even try acrylics. Thanks!