It is late January, I’m painting outdoors in winter on the coast of Maine and the weather sort of feels like April. The biggest things that make this winter feel like spring are the warm temperatures and lack of snow. I am happy that we have had so little snow this winter. We have just enough snow for me to paint snow paintings but not so much that I’m shoveling all the time. Last year was the year I nicknamed the the year of mountains of snow as we lived for months with piles of snow everywhere. We were running out of places to put it. We had continuous back to back snow storms for weeks. By the end of February I was maxed out on non stop snow storms. I felt I was constantly being interrupted to go out and shovel snow when all I wanted to do was paint. And I was only moving the small piles! Marcus was snow blowing the large areas. This winter such a nice change. it is so nice to be painting more than I am shoveling snow.
Last week, in between teaching and painting in the studio I was out on the coast painting surf. I am having the best time ever ! I forget how much I love it. I love being outdoors and I love painting crashing surf. Its interesting, I never really know what I am going to do when I head over to paint. I have a pile of different sized panels in my car. I pack extras of everything as I never know what is going to grab me. I choose a location, set up and look around. I sketch a bunch of things. I take my time deciding on the location for my easel. There is always so much to look at. The variety of choices is unlimited. When I set up I do know where the sun is heading so it gives me a little room to take time to design what I am going to focus on. Once I was committed to the view I painted the large rock formations in. By the time I was putting more paint on the panel of course the tide has changed completely. Everything was more exposed or partly submerged or missing completely. Did I care? I sketched them in already so I was all set with my original design. I stuck to it and jumped into painting full steam ahead. What would I do if I ever moved inland? The lakes and rivers never change their water levels. One of the great things about painting tidal water is that it changes the look of everything every 15 minutes . If the arrangement of rocks or the coastline doesn’t look that great, I can sketch for a bit and it will change. Sometimes it will be just what I’m looking for.
This past week on the coast was much mellower than the week before. There were a few chilly days but the weather was calmer. There were no big storms after the nor’easter blizzard that blew through. I’m actually hoping for a few more big storms soon so I can watch more spectacular surf. I can tell I really haven’t had the amount of time I want to hang out and observe big surf. And wouldn’t it be nice if temps were above freezing?
When I wasn’t out painting surf this week I was teaching my classes and experimenting with a variety of techniques with acrylic paint in the studio. I’ve always liked the flow of acrylic paints, it affects the way I handle the paint. I like using different mediums to see how it changes the way I paint. I’m also using some new teaching methods with my classes this year. I’ve noticed over the years that many painters have difficulties in specific areas that make it hard for them to improve their over all painting skills or to “get where they want to go”. I targeted some of the specific areas and designed “a short cut through the woods” teaching modality so that everyone would improve faster. Each student has different challenges, skills and different learning curves. But they seem to be moving fast. They are improving and moving through their challenges. Its a brain, hand, eye, learning combo and it seems to be working nicely. I share class pictures from time to time (if I remember to take them) on my Facebook page.
STARTING FEBRUARY 16THIf you’d like to improve your painting skills before the warm weather arrives you can sign up now for the next session. Classes are small with lots of personal attention.
Be prepared for a lot of painting and a lot of fun!
The next session begins on Tuesday, February 16th.
If you would like to join this studio class please contact me. If you work with oils, watercolors, gouache or acrylics and want to gain some solid skills, comfort in your chosen medium and rapid improvement this is the class for you.
Class is ongoing in 6 week sessions. 6 Week session is $220.
There is one make up class every session for (sick/ice/snow days) if needed.
Class size is limited.
See reports from the field here.
Share good news with friends!
I look forward to seeing you!