Another One For the Books
Last week was another Anne Blair Brown plein air workshop for the books! Not only are her paintings solid, simple and fresh, but she openly shares every concept and method she's learned along the way. She invites her students to explore these ideas while continuing to develop our own style of painting.
Charleston en plein air never disappoints, but it was extra special having the Queen of Value and Brushwork; the Julia Roberts of Impressionism around for demos and critiques.
Day 1, Anne did a demo of a Charleston store front - the store I just so happened to live above in college !!!! - sharing so much about planning a painting with an interesting composition and "readable" values. We then hit the streets (Chalmers and Church Street area) to PLAN, PLAN, PLAN using Notan thumbnail sketches and value washes on our panels before ever allowing our right brains to dance with color and brushwork.
I mean, I'm crushing on her value wash as is!!!
I lived on the third story of this building in college for 3 years! Talk about an exciting demo to watch!! I couldn't decide if I was about to pee my pants out of excitement or tear up because of the emotional connection to this building/the fact that she chose it among many other interesting downtown Charleston architecture!!
My value wash of a building on Chalmers Street (one of 6 remaining cobblestone streets - thanks Carriage Tour Guide passer by).
I had fun with the palm shadows on this building which is great because that's what drew me to this subject in the first place.
Day 2, we met out at Shem Creek in Mt Pleasant where Anne did a 40 brushstroke demo. Her challenge for us was to fill the big shapes of the composition, finishing with confident and decisive marks that would help tell our "story" all in 40 brushstrokes or less. (An over-worker's best exercise!)
Anne's 40 brushstroke demo - just WOW
I was pleased with my value wash sketch thanks to my composition and striking values (bummed I forgot to take an "after" pic out on site)
Day 3, was by far the most special treat. We met out at Betty Anglin Smith's studio home in Meggett, SC with jaw dropping marsh views out beyond the drapery of Spanish Moss. Anne paints with a limited palette en plein air and in her studio (about 8 colors plus white), but on this day she worked with a super duper limited palette: Ultramarine Blue, Cadmium Red and Cadmium Lemon plus Titanium White. Whereas Day 2 had a strong emphasis on brushwork, Day 3 was a color mixing challenge.It's amazing what you can get with the 3 primaries plus white!
Anne showing her color mixes from 2 different super duper limited palettes - each with Ultramarine Blue, Titanium White and a cool Red and warm Yellow (or vise versa)
Anne's 3 color demo in Meggett SC
Anne's completed 3 color demo
I am so grateful for the opportunities I've had to work with this brilliant painter and instructor. She has had one of the biggest influences on my artistic direction and I can't wait for my next experience under her influence and guidance.