Thursday, April 17, 2008

More Art Fest classes

On Friday I took Tiphoni's color theory/mixing class. I have been looking forward to this with great anticipation, having heard many good things about her teaching at last year's Art Fest. Also, she gave a very brief demo at PLAY: the retreat in February, so I was really ready!

Our supply list said only six paints plus white. We learned about cool vs. warm colors, and had a cool and warm of each of the primary colors. Tiphoni taught us a little about the color wheel, and introduced us to saturation, hue and value. We learned to mix colors by looking at a color and deciding what was the main color in it, and then thinking about what other color might be in it. We also had to think about whether it was a cool or warm color.

I loved doing this, though there was a learning curve, and always will be. It was really fun to mix a color that actually "matched" the color I was looking at. In the afternoon, we were given small gesso boards, about 5 X7, and could do a composition of our choosing. Some did something representational, and some did something more abstract.

We were to use some of the color theory we had learned, and make a balanced composition, color-wise. I chose to do blocks of color, so I wouldn't worry if it was "good" or not. I started with non-saturated colors in the gray family, but they were too dull, and really not my favorite colors.

Tiphoni encouraged me to add a color I liked, and go from there. Then things got really fun, as I covered the whole piece with color. I covered some sections several times, trying to get a color I wanted, and in the right relationship to the colors around it.

This photo is not the best, to say the least, and the right side of the painting is not as dark as it seems, but I did have darker values on that side.

Tiphoni is a great teacher, she wandered around to everyone, and gave encouraging advice and lots of praise. I want to take her watercolor portrait class next year, if she teaches it again. I really want to do more painting, and not being sure about how to mix color has been holding me back. I feel confident now, and know that even if it takes me a few trys to get the color right, I will have a great time doing it! On Saturday, I had a class from Anne Bagby, an artist whose work I have admired for years. The class was wonderful and exciting. I was a little disappointed in the color palette I chose for myself, but I learned a ton about creating "Beautiful Papers", the name of the class.

The class was very fast-paced, Anne is a bundle of energy and we hit the ground running. Those who were a teeny bit late to class were playing catch-up! We had our own plain paper, and she wanted us to work on at least ten papers at once, letting some dry while we worked on others.

I love to work fast in a class, because then my right brain can be in charge, and I don't think about how to do it perfectly. Far from it. Anne encouraged us to just keep working, not to throw anything away, and as we were layering, the ones we thought were ugly might turn out great. It happened over and over.

We used some of her large, and beautiful hand-carved stamps, as well as stencils, glaze, and more stamping and stenciling. She showed us a great way to get beautiful edges on our papers, everything was great. I really tried not to think about what the outcome would be like, but I felt stumped by my choice of colors frequently. This after a day of color mixing...., maybe I DO have more to learn in that department...

Some people had given a lot of thought to their color choices, and it showed in their work. There were papers produced in that class that could be sent straight to a printer and sold in stores. The next time that I make papers this way (and I will), I am going to think more about what colors I want to work with.


This is an array of the papers I made. Some I like better, now that it has been over a week since I made them, and I will probably add to some of them. They actually get better as you produce more layers, up to a point.

Anne's class was great, and I would love to take more classes from her. She gave us a homework assignment to do between now and next year's Art Fest. We are to make small collages from our papers, 5X 5, or 6 X 6. We can use other paper, too, but primarily the papers we made, and do one every day, 5 days a week.

She said (and I SO agree) that we get this big rush before AF and for a couple of weeks after, but then we don't do much the rest of the year. This way, we spend a little time every day, and on the weekend we will be primed to do more. Even if we don't do more on the weekend, we will be way ahead by the time next year's AF rolls around.

I must confess, I haven't started yet, but I will, and now I HAVE to, because I wrote it here, and some one will ask me about it! Besides, I want to.

And, speaking of being accountable, I lost 6 lbs the week I went to AF, I gained a little back the next week, but I have been writing everything down, and planning meals, so I am back on track this week.

Sorry for such a long post...

3 comments:

celeste said...

gwen!
glorious artwork.
i so love all the beautiful papers that i saw. that class is definitely on my list for next year (and so is tiphoni's portrait class)
yippee. maybe you might even share a bit of your beautiful papers in the circle journals .... i'm thrilled that you are participating!

Anonymous said...

Your papers are beautiful! Binky

Frivolitea said...

Gorgeous papers!