Wednesday, May 6, 2009
Oil Painting Class
Groceries are for the body, art is for the soul. I taught a class today in oil painting to a couple who are in their 70's. It is their first attempt at oil painting, so we chose a small 5x7 canvas. My focus for the lesson was self expression while learning to handle the medium. Our photo, generously supplied by my friend, Jan, as the basis for the painting was used as an inspiration only. We tried to focus on what it was about the photo that inspired us to paint it. The old barn was from another era when people made a living off the land. It supplied their food and their money for extra things they couldn't grow on the land. As these buildings slowly decay, so does the way of life they represent. It is a way of life that was good for the people who lived it, but it was a way of life that most of us would not volunteer for. (Our vision of the past, it seems to me, is usually through rose colored glasses. ) The trees that crowd this barn are like the weeds that take over the neglected garden. Without constant vigilance and hard work, the trees and weeds and time will erase all our hard work. Some day, the trees and weeds and time will erase this barn and so many others, our painting will be all that is left. Our first draft or underpaintng, will be done in burnt sienna only as we draw with our brush. The drawing is easy to change at this point, as solvent easily makes the changes of an eraser. Next week we will apply the color. In the mean time, we will have time to look at our work and see if it says what we are trying to express. I love it that each one of us in the class is painitng from the same inspiration and each painting is different....ah art!