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Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Deconstructing the Landscape Workshop

I just returned from teaching a three-day oil painting workshop in Carthage, MO. The "Deconstructing the Landscape" workshop was successful because each of the participants were enthusiastic and willing to move out of their comfort zones.

Carthage, MO oil painting workshop students
L>R (standing): Larry Clingman, Jason Inman, Kristin Huke, John Mills, Jeffrey Jones, Cherry Babcock, Helen Kunze, Ron Lipe
L>R (seated): Cleda Curtis-Neal, Becky Golubski, Crystal Manning

Class members were encouraged to bring a landscape painting that they were struggling with and felt could be improved. 
Daily lectures and demonstrations dealt with selecting a concept for the painting, choosing the appropriate proportioned canvas...and organizing the subject matter elements on the canvas so that the concept was clearly communicated. We also addressed the importance of drawing, primarily focusing our attention on accurate representation of objects in perspective. We established and proved that the value structure of a painting determines and sets the mood...and finally, lessons in color helped each participant simplify (while also expanding) their knowledge and use of color.

Each lecture was backed up with examples or a demonstration. Class members then applied lessons learned in the creation of a totally new work, or a revision of their original. 

Some comments from workshop participants:

"The workshop was exceptional. It was rich in content and it seems the information will be life changing in my art journey. It's sparked a new excitement in me."

"You share your knowledge generously and with kindness. That puts your students at ease."

"This was the best changing on how to approach my next painting. Honest and constructive critiques. Very easy to understand - excellent teacher."

"Thanks, John, I appreciate how well prepared and well thought out your presentation was. Stressing the basics was not only a good workshop, but taking a painting, which I found to be a failure, and making an improvement, taught me a great deal. Thanks."

Special recognition and thanks go to Cherry Babcock, of Cherry's Custom Framing and Art Gallery, for organizing the workshop...and to Precious Moments for hosting it. Thank you.

...and thank you to The Carthage Press for their front page report of the event.

If you would like to see what these workshops participants are talking about, here's your chance. 
3-5 May - "Deconstructing the Landscape"
The Art School at Sandy Springs, Atlanta, GA

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Blogger Tony A. said...

Great way to handle learning landscape John. When your students produced a new painting, was that with their own reference material or did you provide them with some of that? I've been trying to get my students to bring their own reference more and more. it's not easy.

April 16, 2013 at 12:14 AM  
Blogger john pototschnik said...

Tony,I do not like to provide any reference. One of the principle things I teach is Concept. I do not want to provide or have any influence on their concept for a painting. I try to get them to think about what they want to communicate. They must be deeply motivated about their subject in order to bring something of themselves to it. They may have zero interest in my reference materials.
In the case of the workshop, each student brought one of their paintings. I taught the foundational blocks for creating good work, had them apply that teaching to their painting. They rethought and corrected weak areas and created a new painting based on the original...only better.

April 16, 2013 at 10:04 PM  

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