Monday, April 18, 2011

Art Workshop Pictures

Here are the pictures from the art workshop I attended in Berea, Kentucky at Mitchell Tolle's Gallery and Studio. It was a five-day watercolor portrait workshop. We all painted Mitchell's grandson so everyone's problems would help the entire class, instead of all doing a separate work and having so many different issues to resolve. This is the first time he did a class this way, and I think it really went well...he did a line drawing and printed it very faintly on the watercolor papers we all had brought- 300lb 100% rag. His reason for this was that it usually takes at least one or two days for everyone to get their drawing just right, and this way we would be able to start painting on the very first day. It was so interesting to see all the different ways the same picture was rendered! Some had a very light touch, some took a very realistic approach, and others did a more impressionistic take on the details.
Here we are on the last day, out on the front porch of the gallery. I am on the second row on the end in the teal blue shirt. Morgan on the front row in pink shirt took the pictures labeled with her name. She is a wonderful artist! Here is a link to her website-

This is me with my new friend Pat- one day she came in bringing me a gift of a brush I needed, and a larger palette for me to work with! She has been all over the world, just lately to paint in The Louvre last fall I think. I was the only one in the class with no previous watercolor experience! The very first day, by the end of the day I was so frustrated I went home and cried! But the second day I started making progress...a lot to learn for a beginner in a class where everyone was so much more advanced! But that really was a good thing because they could all help me and I could watch the way everyone approached the process differently.

Here I am, hard at work...My biggest difficulty was not knowing anything about how to mix color. Now that I am back home, I've got a little color wheel to study and learn from, although we did a little of this in the class. One exercise we did was to create a value chart of red, and Mitchell told us we needed to do a chart of all the colors.

These are the paintings from the class, all in varying degrees of completion. Some are totally finished, others still have a ways to go. Mine is on the bottom with the suspenders still white. My background here is also not finished, nor the top of the hat. I am practically finished now, still have the top of the hat to complete. See how different they all look?! This photo makes them look small; actually my paper measures 22" by 16".

My good friends Dan and Angela put me up in their home for the week- I am indebted to them for so much! We had good times in the evenings with good conversation- we played games with their son Darren too. The drive to Berea took 40 minutes on  winding Kentucky hilly roads- such beautiful scenery! Really a joy to travel back and forth everyday...past old tobacco barns, some practically on the road! No shoulders on most of the roads, mailboxes so close to the road it's a wonder they are not hit more often than they are...these are definitely roads where you cannot text and drive  at the same time! The stone "slave fences" were a neat thing to see- here's some photos of one.

The weather was typically early spring- cold one day and warm another! We were able to eat supper outside one evening on their new picnic table. Angela always had a nice supper for us everyday.

All in all it was a very enjoyable week for me. My host and hostess were so kind and hospitable- there is no way I can repay them for their hospitality. Except to give them my love! Being able to watch Mitchell Tolle at work and learn from him was an invaluable, wonderful experience. I am so grateful to God and my husband and these dear friends for making it possible for me to attend his workshop.Here's a website link 

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