Saturday, August 6, 2016

Wet Paint and Eatin' Crow!

Ya ever wake up with a song in your head?  I do every single morning.  I went to bed last night watching a video of John Denver and Cass Elliott singing “Leavin’ on a jet plane . . “ and woke up this morning still humming the tune.  Doug even accused me of singing in my sleep!  I happened to mention it to our gracious hosts, Dan and Gail, and after 10 or 15 minutes, Dan said, “still in my head, but I’m resisting the urge to sing it!” 

Hopefully, like a song in your head, some of the nuggets of painting instruction Doug has given this delightful class, will stick!  He shares all. 

This morning we are here on the corner of Walgreens, Hover Car Wash and Mr. Bean coffee shop!  Seriously, of all the places, he chooses here?  That’s Doug for you . . . painting what no one has painted before.  Roll with it, Jeanette, just roll with it.  I’m pretty sure I’m going to regret those comments!

Yesterday we dodged more rain, I’m certain the rain gods were somewhat afraid of this bunch of tenacious painters so the students painted at Thompson Park in the middle of town.  Trees of green, grass of green, shade of the trees that were even more green.  Doug promised Gail he would share the value of Pthalo Green.  The class kicked out some great studies in the park and visited with several “walkers” who “lapped” the park 4 or 5 times.  Read “Students at Longmont” blog to see them and some of their work!
We grabbed some sub sandwiches and headed back to Gail’s and ate on the front porch as Doug started his demo of the beautiful lake across the street.   Here are some progress paintings from that painting.  It turned out beautiful and completely portrayed the peaceful atmosphere of the day.  Still, no rain, a slight breeze and high seventies.

Back to the corner of 18th and Hover, we gaze at the beauty of the Walgreens across the street . . . the hustle of people going in and out to get their prescriptions.  Prestine, seriously.  Oh, and those people shaking and trembling as they make their way into Mr. Beans coffee, coming back out feeling energized and nerves completely calmed!  Seriously, I will regret this sarcasm . . .

Did I mention our amazing hosts entertained us with their musical talent?  Dan and Gail are a mean guitar-banjo blue-grass duo with voices that mix as smooth as the paint on Doug’s pallet.  Creamy and soothing! 

So here we are with the first steps of the painting and already, I’m starting to recognize the taste of the crow that I have eaten on many occasions and I’m afraid this morning will be no exception.  Getting out my chocolate and maybe some maple syrup to help it go down easier . . .

We have had a blast getting to know past students better and meeting new friends.  Our circle of friends continues to grow every single day and these fun people are no exception.  Dapo Obitayo came to the workshop traveling 12 hours to arrive from Waterloo, Iowa.  He shared that he had been following this blog for 3 years now and decided Colorado would be as close we would get to his stomping grounds so he and his darling family made the sacrifices to get him out here for the workshop.  He joined us for dinner last night at The Good Bird and we learned even more fun and interesting things about him and laughed a LOT.  

About an hour into the demo now.  Here’s where we are now.  Either Doug’s on uneven ground or the 100 mph winds have done their thing on that stop sign!    

See the pole on the corner?   As I ran across the street to get water at Walgreens, I casually strolled up to the pole and struck a pose, maybe, just maybe I’ll get in the painting  but yeah, I think I missed the canvas by THAT much.  I think he did a stroke on the easel instead!  Haha   Thanks babe.  ‘preciate that!  I mean, I am Miss Garfield County, 1980.  When asked if I still had my crown, Doug replied, “Have it?  She WEARS it every day!  It’s currently at the jeweler now getting polished and having more jewels added!” 

Pizza boy just stopped by to see if it was okay if he put his “PIZZA HERE” sign up.  He takes a peak, “Wow!  Dang, that’s good!”  Yeah, we know, he’s a stud.  I think this is really what people remember about Doug—taking the mundane, who-would-ever-think-to-paint-this kind’ve subject matter and making it amazing!  

Doug wow’s the crowd by adding a car . . . Damn, how does he do that?  And the final painting turned out amazing. 

Once again, Braithwaite knocks another one out of the park park-ING lot of Walgreens, and once again, takes my breath away.  

I think I’ll go get my crown and have me some crow. 

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Wet Paint in Longmont Colorado!

Doug and I headed out Tuesday morning for the first half of our driving leg to Longmont Colorado.  We stopped in Grand Junction for the evening and survived the 97 degree weather. 

We arrived Wednesday around 4 welcomed by our wonderful host, Gail Denton.  She was enjoying her lovely front porch as we pulled in.  We got settled in and then she taxied us around Longmont to show us some great ideas for painting places.  Bathrooms.  Check.  Pavilion in case of rain.  Check.  Plenty of parking.  Check.  Wow, what a time saver for us!  And here’s the view right across the street:

Doug and Gail checking out the painting possibilities . . .
We had a relaxing evening with Gail and her husband, Dan, who fixed a great dinner and we thoroughly enjoyed some home-made cheese which Gail makes in all her spare time!  Wow!  This woman is ambitious!  We all checked our weather apps anticipating where we should paint the next morning.  Although the weather showed rain, Dan and Gail nod their heads with a shrug, “eh, we don’t take a five-day forecast very seriously!”  And they were right!  Couldn’t have asked for better weather today.  73 degrees and a little breeze. 

All the students met here at Gail’s at 0800!  We made introductions, handed out directions to our destination, and away we went.  We were about 7 cars back and Mario (Gail) was in the lead!  Of course, we got caught by a light and away they went.  Doug said “where are we going?”  “Uh, well, funny thing, I handed out all the directions.  Oops.  Google it . . . I’m thinking!  Golden Pond . . . turn here.  Eh, nope.  Wrong side of the pond.  Thankfully a couple of students followed us and re-directed us back to the right place! 

What a great place to paint!  Slight breeze and 70 degrees.  Perfection!  A family or birds had built a nest up inside the rafters of the pavilion we were using and were more than a little vocal about the inconvenience of our being there invading their space.  Hoping no one got “splatted” on sitting below their next!

This bird is a little annoyed at us invading their space!
Doug starts out with sharing his pallet.  Pthalo Green here, Lizerin Crimson there.  If I didn’t know better, I’d think he was talking about a favorite rock band.  Those ARE great names, aren’t they? 

Checking out the set up . . . got it!
We talked “value study” and all shades of purple.  We talked thin paint, thick paint, color matching, rhythm and notes.   Doug does an amazing job of helping everyone understand the logic behind shapes and the darks and lights.  We talked soft edges, hard edges and more thick and thin paint.  So here’s how Doug first blocks in the value study in all shades of purple and then removing paint with a q-tip or paper towel.  

Now color.  Thin is dark, thick is light?  Oh man, I can’t remember!   The light peeks out from behind a cloud only for a minute.  Just long enough to change the color matching.  Hmm, do we stay with the “prior” color or go with the new?  You decide! 

More detail now.  Every stroke counts!  Less detail as you get up close, more “photographic” as you back away.  Below is the final painting.  

Realism and abstraction all in one painting.  Who does it better than Braithwaite?  From my perspective, no one.  Just sayin. 

See you tomorrow!