Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Day 1 of Southern Utah Tour la Plein Air - Locals & Rain

Everyone arrived safe and sound, leaving all street signs intact and taking the right exit into Helper!  Am I poking fun of myself?  Geez!  It was great having everyone trickle in so we got a chance to visit and break them in!  The interns at the hotel were great hosts and hostesses and showed everyone around. 

Blair Jenkins, David Skidmore, Kitty Brumberg, Shannon Grosko and Scott Shearer watch Doug as he mixes the "infamous" purple paint that he starts most paintings with.
After some chit chat over bagels, yogurt and freshly picked apples, everyone was antsy to get rolling!  Doug helped everyone get their boards prepped and then took us on our first field trip walking a couple of "Helper-sized" blocks to watch a value study demo.  As Doug gets set up and everyone is intently listening to every word, the locals meander by to take a peek.  The jury is still out as to whether they like these "paintin' types" invading their space but they're cordial enough.   I stood back a few feet so the class could continue their instruction while Mr. Local went on to tell me his life story.  I would respond back in a whisper and he would continue on in his bold voice, trying to talk over the passing train.  Gotta love 'em - bless his heart!  

You've seen the progress paintings and know how the paintings, through starting with a dark purple surface, comes to life with q-tips, a paper towel or just the good ol' useful index finger!  Scott Shearer, a University of Utah Art graduate, from Wisconsin, nailed it with "this is magic!"  He was half joking and half serious as, as you've seen Doug's paintings unfold, it really is pretty stinkin magical!!  Good call, Scott!  

Another great observation from the students was Doug's amazing ability of drawing, which is engineered by his training in drawing through triangulation.  Helping place things in their right perspective, kind've like playing the piano and reading notes--if this line note is E, then this one here, must be C, one line down.  If you know where one thing is, you can figure out the rest.  "If this is here, then this must be here," as a dark stroke of paint represents a dark shadow under the overpass and then a stroke of a q-tip removes the paint to represent a light-colored pole. 

The value study magically turns into a "purplish" version of an old black-and-white photo ready to start adding color.

A little break for lunch and a quick nap, the students then tackled a little rain in the parking lot of the "Riverside Motel" at the end of Main Street doing their own value studies.  At first, the sun was bright and reflecting brilliantly off the yellow metal roof, but soon became dull and flat as the sun was chased away by rain clouds.  Ugh, that changes the whole pallet and now we have to add, uh, what color to change the brilliant yellow to something dull and mustardy?  Hmmm, call for help!!

The students were real troupers in sticking through the rain, as they would tip their pallet to let the water run off it and keep on painting.  Plein air painters learn to paint through the elements!!

We ended the day at Balanced Rock in Helper and we shared some great laughs over some great food!

Tomorrow, color demo and then off to Torrey!!  

See you then!!

Jeanette aka Julie McCoy (Loveboat Cruise Director!)
I'm the "fun" director

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