Friday, September 28, 2012

Plein Air Painting? Get Out!

You notice an artist who is painting along the side of the road and you say, "Could I learn to do that?" It looks fun and it sounds...well, adventurous. Why not try to see if you like it?  Here is your chance.

Beginner's Workshop - Oil Painting en plein air

Sugar House Park 
Saturday, October 13, 2013
9:00 am - 3:00 pm (one-hour break for lunch)
All-day instruction for $50

Learn step-by-step painting in an outdoor landscape. 
Along with the demo and the exercises, you'll receive written information so you don't have to take notes. Imagine how fun it will be to feel the beauty of nature and to be able to take several small paintings home with you! 
  • Compose and block-in a landscape scene
  • Simplify your subject
  • Paint with four basic values (black, white, charcoal and light gray)
  • Paint using full-color
  • Block in local color masses

We limit the class to 8 students. Please call to schedule (801) 455-3551. The workshop fee of $50 must be paid in advance to reserve a spot in the class.
Sugar House Park, in Salt Lake City, Utah, is bordered by 1300 East on the west, by 2100 South on the north, by 1700 East on the east, and by I-80 on the south. There is a traffic light at the 1500 East entrance. Enter the park at the light, turn right and drive until the hill starts to drop down toward the pond. Look for me and my silver VW passat station wagon (just below the top of the hill).

There are several restaurants nearby so you can grab a bite to eat (or you can bring a sack lunch).

Click on the "Classes" tab (above) to view the plein-air painting supply list.
Most of you already have oil painting supplies but check the supply list to be sure you have what you will need. For this particular workshop - you will need at least four small panels (5 x 7" or 6 x 8"). I have these available at the park for $1 each.  

Questions? 801-455-3551


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Monday, September 17, 2012

Upcoming Illustrated Journal Outing!

This weekend on Saturday, September 22, 2012, join Susan N Jarvis Fine Art Studio for another one of our popular Illustrated Journal Outings. All of our Adult Art Workshops are held in beautiful Salt Lake City settings and this occasion is no different. Join us from 10:00AM to 1:00PM as we focus on our sketching and watercolor skills in gorgeous Millcreek Canyon.

Millcreek Canyon is situated in the Wasatch Mountains and is known as one of Salt Lake City’s most popular recreation areas. In our opinion, it is also one of the prettiest places to be in autumn. Here we will work on drawing, leaf stenciling, moving or standing water and painting negative space (seeing shapes).

We will be meeting in the parking lot of Dan’s Grocery (Olympus Cove), which is over by the “Ace Hardware” store at 10:00AM sharp so be sure to have all of your supplies packed and ready to go! For a full list of the supplies that you will need for this Adult Art Workshop, please visit the Workshops page of our website and click the link under the listing for this exciting Illustrated Journal Outing to Millcreek Canyon.

This event only costs $25.  Be sure to contact Susan N Jarvis Fine Art Studio today for more information on this great opportunity! We look forward to seeing you this weekend!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Take Three Days - And Improve Your Artwork!

Let me clue you in on a little secret. Most people are afraid to attend an art workshop. A great way to jump-start your art is to sign up for a weekend class! After all, most of us want to improve ourselves or our lives in some way.  Attending a workshop can introduce new ideas that will bring a fresh look to your work.

Start by selecting an art workshop that is held in an inspiring place. 

Last week I chose a workshop called "Weekend With The Masters," which was held in Rancho Bernardo, California. The surroundings at Rancho Bernardo were lovely! There were small brown rabbits hopping across the grounds and the sound of falling water from several fountains echoed softly through the gardens. 

The setting made me want to sit down and paint!

Along with the beautiful setting, your choice of artistic friends at a workshop is important. I like to select companions who will be an inspiration for me. 

As a matter of fact, during the grueling parts of our workshop, when it would have been easier to quit and walk away, my artist friends were reassuring and encouraging. Later, when they had stressful moments, I was able to provide them with constructive feedback and great support. 

In spite of all the fun times available at an art workshop - it is not for sissies! 

Eating is an important part of a workshop. 

At "Weekend With the Masters," we used meal time as a forum to discuss the new art techniques and philosophies that  we were learning. Whether you rough it on a mountain top with granola bars or dip your fork into the fixings from a luxurious buffet - good food at a workshop equals happy painting!

Although we ate like kings, we burned lots of calories! The paths that wound between the classrooms were long and often hilly. We worked out in the gym and swam laps in the swimming pool. It was immensely helpful to decompress after standing over our easels for six or seven hours. 

Check out the information about your workshop online before you go. There should be adequate facilities and helpful tips to make sure your experience is a good one. 

Our classrooms were spacious and the workshop sponsor, American Artist Magazine, provided the easels for us. The instructors were prepared with models, still life objects, props and lights. There was even an "in-house" store where we could purchase supplies and materials.

One evening we listened to a panel of world-class artists discuss their personal philosophies about painting their passion versus painting what sells:

  • Should an artist paint the harsh reality or should you only paint what is beautiful? 
  • What is beautiful? 
  • Should subjects in paintings be edited so that they are more likely to sell? 
  • Should artists paint what gallery owners want them to paint?

Below, David Laffel instructed us on painting a head shot from a live model.

David Laffel's one-hour block-in.

Sherrie McGraw taught a fabulous class on figure painting.

Sherrie McGraw paints the model.

Sherrie McGraw's two-hour painting.

Rose Frantzen painting "The Prophet."
Rose Frantzen's two-hour painting of "The Prophet."

On the last day of our workshop, our group traveled about 30 minutes to Balboa Park in downtown SanDiego. Everywhere I looked there were beautiful scenes that begged to be painted! 

Jennifer McChristian taught a plein air class in Balboa Park that was truly remarkable!  She had us paint small black and white value studies of different scenes using only four values. We had to eliminate the details of the scene and mass the shapes into single values.  

Jennifer's exercise helped me to realize that I usually paint too many details into my paintings. The simple black and white studies revealed ways in which I could strengthen my composition and understand how to better see the landscape in terms of simpler form and broader color masses. 

This one exercise was worth the entire workshop.

Why not add a little something to your art repertoire?

Find an art workshop that appeals to you. Focus on something you enjoy - like plein air painting or abstract still life. Perhaps you want to strengthen a weak area such as portraiture or figure drawing. Look in popular art magazines or go online to see what is available. Ask local instructors for information about workshops in your area.  Go for it!

You are just a few days away from improving your skills!


Sunday, September 2, 2012

Heigh ho, It's off to work I go...

About once a year I set aside time to enroll myself into an art workshop. This year it's the "Weekend With the Masters" workshop in Rancho Bernardo, California sponsored by the American Artist magazine.  

I'll be studying portrait & figure painting with David Leffel, still life and portrait painting with Sherrie McGraw and plein air landscape painting with Jennifer McChristian.

Best part of my week?

Painting as a student - instead of teaching!