It’s been a long time since my last post and, in fact a long time since I touched a paint brush. I’m having my studio space expanded now and therefore have no where to paint for a few weeks but I hope to start back painting on a regular basis very soon.
In August I attended a week long workshop on Orcas Island with Jordan Wolfson and a small band of other painters. This workshop was different from others I’ve participated in. Although it was billed as a plein aire painting workshop and we did indeed paint plein aire, we didn’t focus just on capturing form and color as it appears in life. We did start out, as most workshops I’ve done, trying our best to paint what we saw but, as the week progressed, Jordan introduced exercises that encouraged us to be more interpretive of the landscape.
I didn’t really do anything close to a finished piece but several starts of an hour or two.
Most of the paintings are 8″ x 10″ and all are oil on linen panels. Click on them for a larger view.
On the third day of the workshop, we did an exercise in which we did a sort of wire frame of the scene.
Next we did a sort of combination of the first two days work by painting from observation but introducing lines and marks that searched out how the scene was constructed. I found myself thinking about painting, not just the objects in front of me but the air between me and them as well.
On the last day, Jordan encouraged us to be really expressive and experiment with any kind of mark making we could think of.
I’ve admired Jordan’s work for a long time and I was interested in working with him because of his ability to work across a spectrum of realistic to fairly abstract imagery without leaving representation completely. I’ve been trying to move myself in that direction and I enjoyed spending a week with Jordan and other serious painters who were also interested in exploring similar ideas.
This work is very different from what I’ve done in recent years and I enjoyed stepping beyond my comfort zone. I’m looking forward to getting my studio in order and seeing where this leads me.
For more pictures of the workshop and information about Jordan, check out Jordan Wolfson Workshops on Facebook.