Today I took the second still life workshop offered at Art on the Boulevard in Vancouver, WA with Eric Jacobsen. Just like last week, we discussed expressive still life and Eric did a demonstration. Eric showed us warm and cool relationships that made the painting read properly. His internal dialog is: "is that warm? Is that cool? What is that temperature related to that shape..?" (and so on and so forth...) Eric told us that in order to make a good painting these "incessant" questions are mandatory! He said, "if you don't like to have to ask yourself so many things....WELL. I'd advise you to find something else to do!" (This made us laugh).
When it came time for us to paint I selected a set up that was a large tin bucket filled with a big batch of greenery and white flowers. No one else chose what I did, so I had the opportunity to change the set up physically as much as I wanted. This is the challenge--moving things all around until it seems there is interest. I am pleased with my painting from the workshop--Eric helped me to realize that the initial green backdrop I had would be better changed to blue and he also showed me a bold stroke for the fallen petals. There's no need for timidity--if there is an error, scrape it off the mistake and put it back in with strength.
Lots of Eric's students asked if he'll be doing more weekend workshops--I hope he will too. He is a first rate instructor! (Eric normally conducts outdoor plein air workshops. Contact him here.)
Oil on 12 x 16 canvas panel