Old Ewe, New Dance Tricks

Maybe this ewe can learn some new tricks.
My experience last weekend in Liz Sivertson's
painting workshop at the Grand Marais Art Colony
was fabulous. I rarely come home from a workshop
with truly useful nuggets.
NUGGET 1. Stand up, stand back, and don't get
too picky too soon. The process of painting is a
lot like a dance. I usually prefer to stand up while
painting, but I think I may be learning how to relax
and enjoy the big brushstrokes without tensing up
and forcing the detail to happen too soon. As Liz
said, "It stops holding together if you focus on the
details too soon."
NUGGET 2. As you paint, jump back and forth
between the negative and positive space. The
background and the subjects define each other.
Painting often forms from this push/pull process
of the positive and the negative. Sculpt away at
12" x 30", acrylic on canvas
(not titled yet)
NUGGET 3. Memories are powerful painting tools.
Liz Sivertson explained how having objects, smells,
sounds, textures or tastes that she associates with
certain memories in her studio aide as references
when painting, much more useful than photographs.
Although I didn't have memory-inducing objects as I
painted this alert lamb (below), it was inspired by my
memories of watching childhood lambs grow. The
bony lamb legs formed, and then I was taken back
because it was as if my 11-year-old daughter was
peering at me--such innocence and curious energy.
Little does the lamb know that it is next in line for its
tail to get snipped off. Oh, why do I shatter sweet
moments like that?
12" x 30", acrylic on canvas
(not titled yet)
Liz Sivertson's Paintings: http://www.sivertson.com/artist.php?id=21&catID=6
Grand Marais Art Colony Workshops: http://www.grandmaraisartcolony.org/workshops.cfm

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