It was a great wet day for the inaugural workshop to raise money for the Thomson Understorey Foundation (TUF). A brave group of artists came with me to look at mosses and lichens and they showed all their colours to us in the soft rain. We collected samples that had fallen from the trees and returned to the studio for tea and cookies. Then set about studying and painting the samples, creating strategies for translating them to images on paper. I could hear the synapses developing! We broke for a hot lunch and then returned for more painting. Below are the pieces I created to get ready for the workshop and another after it (the demonstrations done during the workshop didn't amount to much as I cooked, taught and was generally engaged in things not directly related to creating my own work! The student work though, was fantastic! All these works below are for sale with proceeds being split along CARFAC recommendations between me, as the artist, and the TUF foundation. They are all works on paper and come without frames.
I have been having fun with the weekly studio classes this year. I made a change. Both classes are doing the same subjects, so I experiment (gently and with forethought) on the Tuesday class, take their learning to the Wednesday class and then take the learning from the Wednesday class back to the Tuesday class and everyone is benefiting! This term I arranged a field trip to Swan Lake Nature Sanctuary so we could do drawing of their taxidermies of birds and small mammals which we then worked in class using the background washes we had done the first week during the washes review. Then a few weeks later I share my process of designing a logo and Rob showed the Wednesday group a quick way to do celtic knots, I thought it would be marvellous vehicle for doing small areas of wash that moved from one colour to another and/or one intensity to another, allowing repetition so the lessons would stick. It was also a great vehicle for demonstrating how to do a wash all the way around a shape without getting watermarks so we did that this week. I am looking forward to seeing the finished practices. (some of mine below). There were some exciting variations in knots created during the class.
Next week is another field trip to look at the ocean and beaches, colour and contrast and all that, if the weather is not absolutely prohibitive. Fingers crossed...
After a year or so absence the hunger for pebbles has returned. I have just finished two workshops at Juan de Fuca 55 + in Colwood and have another scheduled for December in Campbell River. I always love teaching pebbles as they offer a great path into doing textures and volume in little bite sized chunks (and they are 'about' the pebble, so don't have to be exact). There were some wonderful paintings started, and some even completed, during the workshop. Here are my demonstration pieces and the one that I finished over the two weeks. You can see that the possibilities are endless. This is a great subject for when you want to paint, but don't know what to paint. When you are working on your brush handling skills, and when you want to practice mixing tertiary colours.
Colour is usually where people start, but colour alone is not enough, you can see from the disc's that don't have shadows and volume that they do not look like pebbles yet. The shadows and volume really help in creating the illusion. Have fun!
At the UVic Beginners watercolour workshop in October I didn't manage to fit in the snowman paintings so I created these direction sheets. I'll share them here as well. They are a bit of recaptured childhood. This example is 4" X 5" but they are wonderful smaller too. Use them for cards, fridge art, Christmas tree decorations (you can paint on both sides of the paper) and just for comic relief. Some students have created family portraits by adding scarves and other recognizable clothing from family members. Have fun.
We have started. Last weekend was the design weekend for the mural and was wonderful that everyone stayed with the process and all the discomfort because we have ended up with a spectacular plan. We will be down in the square painting the mural on the October 16, 17, 18 weekend so come and see us. We won't be able to have volunteers helping, since we are already 6 people working on 4 panels, but would love the moral support and encouragement ( and maybe food... )
Here is a photo of the team in front of the stairwell where the images will be installed.
GRAY WHALE articulation at VIU Deep Bay Marine Station: CTV reporter Gord Kermis visited the Gray whale project on April 24th my second day on the job. This short video will answer some of your questions about what is involved and you will actually see me working! http://vancouverisland.ctvnews.ca/video?clipId=599958
Diane, Nancy and Susan came up last Saturday to help with the painting Here they are in the rib cage
Every time I do a mural I forget how difficult it is physically. But it is a great way to get in shape and have something to show for it. Something that lasts a lot longer than the few lost pounds and tighter abs. This mural is a design by community, for kid appeal and I have had good support from volunteers to do it too!
Joanne Thomson is a watercolorist who works on paper and canvas. She is best known for her images of the BC forest and coast. These strong images are created with a gentle spiritual approach to art making. However, her mason jar images are moving into a prominence that is displacing her earlier work and opening up new avenue for messaging in her art.