Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Another Great Art Workshop

This past weekend, Island Arts Magazine had the pleasure of hosting Nicholas Pearce's "Limited Palette" acrylic painting workshop. With an almost full class of 11 students, our weekend began.

First thing Saturday morning, Nicholas told us that we were going to listen to music, sing and dance while we paint. The idea is that if you are singing, then your brain does not get hung up on every little detail of your painting. The music was cranked up loud as we began gridding our black canvas.

Gridding wasn't new to me, but I just hadn't done it since art school. It was one of those simple techniques that I had forgotten about. I quite enjoyed the process while singing to the tunes.

After lunch, with our 1.5" brush in hand and using our limited palette of 4 colours plus white, we started blocking in colours. Let me tell you, that brought about a lot of moaning and frustration, from myself and the other students. Threats of smuggling in smaller brushes on Sunday ran rampant. At one point Nicholas left the class room to take a call. I said, "Ha, the teacher's gone." Without missing a beat, most of the class replied "Get out the small brushes."

For myself, painting this way was a test in trying to remember how to mix a particular colour, mixing on the canvas and trying to get your darn brush to work properly. I suggested to Nicholas that perhaps my brush was faulty ... and NOT operator error?!

Sunday morning, we came into class with fresh eyes and thought "Wow" these really aren't too bad. Perhaps Nicholas had stayed all night and worked on our pieces? How nice!

We all worked really hard cleaning up our paintings, while getting into our musical groove. Nicholas walked about giving us encouraging direction. By the end of the weekend, we had a group showing of really spectacular work. BRAVO everyone.

I love organizing and participating in workshops. There are always tricks and tips that come about, from the instructor and also from the participants. In this particular class, I was re-united with the process of gridding; a wonderful tool for working big. I was frustrated with a limited palette and realized that I need to work on my colour mixing skills. I love the idea of down-sizing my palette to only a few colours.

Thanks to Nicholas Pearce for providing us with an energetic, thought prevoking and FUN weekend. Special thanks to all the artists who took on the task of working big with a "Limited Palette".

Check our website often for upcoming workshops.

Till Next Time ...
From the Prairies, to the West Coast and Beyond...


Anonymous said...

What were the names of the four colours you used? I think I will have to try this! Thanks, Heather

Susan Schaefer said...

Titanium White
Cadmium Red LIGHT
Cadmium Red DARK
Cadmium Yellow Medium
Phthalo Blue

You can get all sorts of lovely colours from these colours. Trick is to experiment with different combinations. That is what I need to practice.