Last weekend in the course of discussion, someone said, "Its time you brought your blog up to date John". So... here we go.
There's something about taking a weekend art school that keeps you on your toes! Especially when it's 11 women, and they are all eager to get started. ( Why are there so few men who wish to learn how to paint? )
To teach the class, I travelled to Balclutha, a small town near the South Otago coast, where I found an enthusiastic group of painters keen to try painting in the great outdoors.
Despite the variable weather, bright sunshine some of the time, but dramatic, threatening clouds and showers in between, we got out there on the beach as the photos show. I think we all agreed that there is something special about painting plein air.
However, it wasn't long after I took these photos that we were all packing up and heading for our cars as the rain started. Back to the art centre to paint pumpkins! I had to repeat several times that still life is one of the best things that you can do to learn to paint better. I think they believed me, and most of them did extremely well at tackling the subject I set up.
As usual, the difficulties common to most people showed up. How to mix various colours, and how to achieve darks and lights that convey depth or aerial recession to the scene.
It's the old story – practice, practice, practice!
"The old hall at Port Molyneux, Catlins Coast, South Otago".
On Sunday, we chose to paint this old building. It was really too far away for us to get a good view but unfortunately, the paddocks between the road and the hall were saturated – almost boggy, so we decided to paint from the road. Not a comfortable place to paint really, as there was not enough parking space and cars were whizzing past at 100 K's!
I did this fairly quick demo painting but realised as I was doing it, that it was a difficult subject for them. However, they all showed tremendous effort with some promising results.
Now that I've done the blog, I can rest up for a day or two to recover!