Saturday, October 12, 2013

Wet Paint in Oklahoma!

The grand opening was, well, a GRAND success!!  Thanks to all of you who came and supported us!! It was so great to see faces we hadn't seen in a really really long time!  Notice how I avoided saying "old faces?"  We were only open a short time and put Wesley in charge of holding the fort down as we headed out to Oklahoma to teach a workshop for the Oklahoma Fine Arts Institute at Quartz Mountain.

We left Tuesday morning and traveled the first 450 miles which took us just past the four-corners area to Farmington, New Mexico.  A short night and we were back on the road, facing 630 miles the next day.  What we failed to factor in was that we also LOST an hour so the 9 hours turned into 10 and I needed to take over the wheel to make up the lost time!  Goooo Mario!!

No worries - we made it in time and in the middle of this flat, but lovely state, is a little mound we call Quartz Mountain.  It's a beautiful resort and the Oklahoma Fine Arts Institute is such a great organization.  They provide full scholarships to bring their public school art educators to come to this lovely resort, Quartz Mountain, to be educated by world-renowned art instructors in all areas of art, such as music, photography, painting, print-making, theater, etc.  It is funded through their state education as well as private donations, which allows them to bring in art instructors to give their public school educators an opportunity to learn new areas of expertise or strengthen their areas of expertise.  We have met some incredible educators and are honored to be here and share in their experience!  Oklahoma has great, great art teachers!!

We arrived the first night and met the other instructors and the OFAI Staff and got settled into our room.  After a ten-hour driving day, we were beat!  The resort is beautiful and our room sits right on the edge of beautiful Lake Altus Lugert.  yeah, I looked that up!  It didn't exactly flow off the tongue!

Our first class met in our pavillion and Doug gave them a little overview and did a quick value study demo in the classroom.

They were anxious to get out painting!  The next morning, we took them out to a place Doug had scouted out to paint.  I think their impression of Doug's choice was "Whaaa???  You kidding me??  We just passed a beautiful lake!!"  But they humored him as he sat up in this dusty weedy parking lot with an old building with some broken-down fences (if you know Doug, you know he paints stuff no one else does!!)  The class sat their stools and chairs around him and he started his magic show!

The class of nearly 20 students was made up of public school art teachers in the Oklahoma public school education system.  What a great program to provide full scholarships to give them this opportunity.  We met some incredible people! 

He starts, as always, with the dark purple color and "draws" in the shapes and does a value study of the darks and the lights.

Value Study then the color added over the top - value still the same, just adding the color.  
Don't mind the horses off to the right, breaking through the fence and meandering their way through, oh, and yeah, the dogs also made their way over to the the group of students as well.  One even decided that one of the stools looked a lot like a fire hydrant.  Yeah, . . . he did.  He pure and simple lifted his leg and peed on it.  WTH?  The dogs in Oklahoma have absolutely NO manners!  bahaha!!

The magic came together and the little painting was a gem!  Because Doug makes this look so easy, the students were excited to get out and do their own painting!

Day 1 Demo Painting - Didn't get quite finished but turned out really great I think!!  
The afternoon took the students out doing their thing and they knocked out some great little paintings.  So proud of them - many of them were first-time painters!  Pretty impressive, folks!!
Kim Heckenkemper, an Art Teacher, loves to paint in her spare time and so loved this experience.  However, her choice of location landed her right smack-dab in the middle of an ant bed.  She had a hard time pulling her coffee cup out of her bag . . . ewwww!  But an awesome painting of some little boats down in the water, Kim!  Totally worth an ant attack!!!  
We had to hustle back after the afternoon painting session because we were going to have a most-impressive "meet the artist" presentation by plein air painter, Doug Braithwaite, from Utah!  We were all pretty anxious to see what the man of few words had to say!  He wowed everyone with his presentation and slides of many of his paintings and his "not-so-few-words!  Whoda thunk?  In fact, Emily, the Director of Programs, sitting in the front row, was holding up her "5 minutes" card . . . then "3 minutes" card . . . then "1 minute left!!" card.  None of which were even noticed by Doug.  I finally had to say "uh, hon - your time is up!!" It was hilarious!

This morning, we took the students down to the water's edge to watch a demo in the wind!  Yes, breezy, but no rain!  In your face, forecast!   The wind created a comfortable temperature for many, but too cold for some!  Some were bundled up with jackets, blankets and sweatshirts, while others, whose body temperatures said "it's just right!"  Love it!!

We also had a few extra students slip into the class.  Mostly non-paying customers.  One woman in a bathing suit headed down to the beach.  We were bundled in blankets and she was hustling down to the beach!  I told the class Doug's model had showed up right on time!  Also, this little guy slipped in and out of the rocks at lightning speed!!

Also on scholarship!

Here are some progress pictures of the demo.

Ah, and thanks for the sunflowers in the front!  'preciate that!!  I'm going to post a few more pictures tomorrow of some of the rest of the paintings of the students.  They really did some great work.  Hoping some of them will come out to Utah to paint some of our Utah landscape one of these days.  

So far, what a great experience.  Thanks, Oklahoma!  For our first time here, it's been fantastic!  And for Rick Heckenkemper, THIS is a blog, and just from MY perspective!  

To all the new friends I've made here in Oklahoma, big hug and THANKS for your warm hospitality!

Talk soon!!