Friday, June 27, 2014

Doug Braithwaite Helper Workshop!

I took the incredible opportunity to be a part of this years Helper workshop with local master painter Doug Braithwaite. (link to his page upper right) The trip started on monday afternoon and went until mid day saturday. Basically just eating, sleeping (very little), painting, talking painting, and more painting! Doug did an awe-inspiring demo just about everyday, each time bestowing a bit more knowledge and example on what we could learn to improve. The main focus being that of painting plein air, specifically the landscape of Helper, Utah (which has too many things that would fit in a great painting, such rugged beauty). This worked out to be the perfect situation, because painting plein air was something I was focusing on this summer already, but having a tough time with a number of things doing it on my own. If you ever have the chance to take a workshop from Doug I wouldn't hesitate one second, as I myself will definitely being doing whatever I can in the future to learn from him. His wealth of knowledge and down to earth pragmatics are priceless.  

All of the paintings posted are mine from the workshop (except the pics above of Doug at his easel doing a demo), and although they are not all close to being real refined, each has it's own special moment of important notes I take away from this workshop. 

Fresh palette day 1.

8x10" oil on panel

First spot, first underpainting.

8x10" oil on panel

Second morning spot. 

This moment was the calm before the storm. Unfortunately the painting from this session cannot be pictured here as it was sand blasted (literally) about 10 min after this photo was taken, when a desert storm rolled through and forced us inside and added some 'grit' to our paints, and our painting spirit.

This gorgeous vista was an especially great spot that I feel like I could spend a whole summer just painting from there and still not capture all of the great compositions and incredible lighting that was happening within the whole 360 degree view.  The time when we were up there painting there was all sorts of desert thunderstorms swirling in the distance. 

8x8"oil on panel

The painting made from this session also didn't make it on the blog, when I was driving back there was a shift of things that scraped the wet paint, and besides it was just a quick 45 min color study anyway.

This was one of my favorite moments of the trip! I had set up in another spot but it started raining, so I improvised a bit and had an absolute blast!

As you can hopefully see from this image, the light allowing me to see what I was doing on my palette was limited....
This is what it looked like in the morning hahaha.

12x12" oil on panel

This was the nocturne from that night, pretty stoked on the notes from this one. 

8x8" oil on panel

8x10"oil on panel

Tough challenge to set up and paint a wall of rock, but fun none the less.

8x10" oil on panel

This was actually the first nocturne I started.  But went back a couple times to get to this finished product. This one holds a lot of 'liner notes'. Also a few good stories, things I couldn't make up, cats, ghosts, brave friends, acknowledgement, schizophrenics, and great fun. Pull me aside in a gallery someday and i'll tell you all about it! 

8x24" oil on panel

 This was the spot that we set up the last two sessions, I chose to do the bigger panel for the sake of the composition I was hoping to capture but also as a sort of 'final' to cap off the week. Pretty stoked on this one too, very different from anything i've done and that is a great thing. I've gained such a momentum from the time spent within this short week down in a great town, with great people. I have noticed that each time I go down there it seems like I come away with a greater love for the action of painting, but also really great friendships made/strengthened.

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