Friday, January 31, 2014

On painting

works in progress - each 24 x 24 oil on wood panel
'Shape' was the focus yesterday in my Time to Paint  afternoon class.  Training oneself to see figures, buildings, trees etc, primarily as shapes first, and what they actually are as secondary, helps to organize a painting composition into a sound design of abstract elements right from the get go.  It's just way too common to get bogged down into painting details too soon...which usually results in tight overworking.

Everyone works on something of their own interest in my groups.  It's exciting for me to see what inspires each person, and to share some tools that might aid them to find their voice through their painting process.  I don't give a lot of instruction on technique, because I never feel like there is one solution or one rule to be followed.  For me, a painting is a conversation, and you can't tell someone what to say.  How to say it, now that is something that can be learned.

Demonstrations are probably the best way to find out how an artist employs techniques that work for them.   I think when you're learning painting, the best thing you can do is study from a variety of artist teachers.  My experience in taking workshops myself is that you absorb especially the techniques and methods that resonate with you.  You take from it only what's really important to you... perhaps using it and employing it yourself for a while, til you discover what to keep and what to let go.  There will most certainly be techniques and methods that you want to let go of, just as much as there is those you value.  Taking workshops is a good way to build your own handy toolbox of techniques and philosophies to use as you need it.



  1. I am just catching up on your blog Sally, you have been very prolific and creating such beautiful work! These paintings are shaping up wonderfully. I enjoyed your profound observations - you are such a natural teacher Sally,your students must be lapping up your painterly wisdom.
    I love what you did with your rock door stop - very sweet. Your red cardinal painting is glorious!!

  2. Hello Sally!
    Love your works in progress! Wonderful.
    I agree with you about taking many workshops with a variety of different artists!

  3. All I can say is lucky students, getting to learn from someone who paints as beautifully as you do.

    Love what you are showing here.

    XOXOXO Barbara

  4. Hi Wendy! Thanks for checking in on my blog, and leaving me such wonderful comments!

  5. Hey Michael, thanks! Yep workshops are fun.

  6. Thanks Barbara, you're so kind to say so


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