Lately, I have been working out of Richard Schmid’s book Alla Prima II “Everything I Know about Painting” and Katie Swatland’s new book Alla Prima II Companion. These are good reference guides explaining tools, materials and techniques of Richard Schmid. For a self – taught person it is tough to get started off right sometimes and I have found them to be very resourceful. The rest is paint, paint, paint. Other good books if you are in to landscapes is John F. Carlson’s guide to Landscape Painting.
It is good to stock up and buy a bunch of small canvases. I like using large ones and have got so that I am so use them that small ones seem almost harder for me. It will get you off to helping you develop a style of your own. Try not to repeat yourself painting over top of where you were is hard and I am learning to catch myself and stop. I try to find books that fit my style and interests. I have had a few workshops here in Kelowna from Jonn Einerssen and has helped me allot with some confidence and understanding of some of the concepts as well critical thinking in working out your piece as you move along through the painting process. Understanding color and there relationships better by doing charts is good practice. I have been working with color charts building my vocabulary. The books I mentioned are good ones and teaches you allot but there is no better way to learn to paint than paint every day you can. By reading and then doing your best. Recognizing shapes and understanding values creating a composition where the eye flows around the painting. I see how important it is to learn the values and in Richard’s book he has laid out 12 charts to work from. By building your vocabulary you can begin to make your painting come alive. Harmony as explained through Richard is that light is the source of what produces harmony in a subject. Producing the mingling and the play of a group of colors together. Colors that work together in the presence of light is what the artist must figure out when mixing their paints. It comes down to picking up the right color of paint and applying it to where it is suppose to be. I was talking to a lady who was visiting from Australia and she commented on how the color palette of their landscape differs from here in the valley. Perhaps her sense of harmony differs from mine.
In “Dancing Lights” once I laid out my rocks and figured where everything was to be in my painting I focused on establishing my light and working on bringing my vision to life by arranging the colors and then applying them as I saw them. I have found that laying out your colors on a one palette and then using another for mixing them is better. It seems to keep things cleaner that way. Nature inspires me in a way that she offers so much for me to play with. Composing paintings the way I see and feel and what makes sense to me. Conveying an arrangement of paintings on how I see the landscapes through my eyes is what is important me. Cause I have seen the streets long enough to have seen all the things that makes no sense. I use to sit on the rocks off Ogden Point smelling the salty air. Listening and feeling the sound of the waves crashing against my soul. Mother nature unleashing her strength.
In September I had my first show and sale at a small painting sale through the Federation of Canadian Artists of the Central Okanagan Chapter ( FCA-COC). This is going to be a yearly thing and will be again next year. I have a show coming up through My Studio and will be October 17th at the Alternator Gallery in the Rotary Art Center in Kelowna. I am also excited to know that my painting Dancing Lights was selected as the FCA – COC painting of the month for July and August.