Walk Way to the Studio
I just got back from an amazing five day Workshop in Dan Gerhartz's Studio.
I bought a couple of his video's about 6 years ago, learning so much from them; and adding to principles I already had in place. Then I took a one day workshop in 2010 at Week End with the Masters from Dan, Carolyn Andersen and Sherry McGraw. That was really an amazing trip, with so many well known artists walking about and milling around. I also met many other attendee's. The workshops and evening programs were amazing but very crowded and lacking in personal attention. Two of the gals that I met had each been to a workshop in Dan's Studio. Both of them said, "Oh, you have to take a workshop from him in his studio. Since then, I have met two other gals who said the same thing. Four people recommending a workshop in his studio. So now here I am doing the same.
I highly recommend taking a workshop with Dan Gerhartz in his Studio!!!
After seeing Her Mothers Locket video so many times, walking up the path and entering the doors was surreal... like, wow, I am finally here. I was very excited, but determined to remain calm and clear thinking. There I met Jennifer, Dan's wife... a wonderful person; and later Dan; also a wonderful person. Then I met the other fellow students. Everyone was so nice, truly good people that we quickly got acquainted and really enjoyed one another during our time together.
What is so different about being at a 5 day workshop rather than learning from a video or one day workshop? For me, it is one thing to know something and another thing to do it... to experience it. As we sat around Dan and watched him paint; he made it look so easy. We were all sure we could paint better than ever. Then reality hits. Now it is me... and the other students each standing in front of a blank canvas and a beautiful model lit up in front of us. We saw the master paint and now it is our turn... our turn to put what he said into practice. I kept thinking of a teaching of Jesus all week as I was painting. He said, "Everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on a rock." Now it was time to put everything I learned from watching Dan into practice and build a solid foundation, one brush stroke at a time.
I have known about squinting, values, and edges for years and I even though I thought I was using them, I had some growing to do. Here's what really helped me. Dan would come by while I was painting and point out on my own work how I need to squint harder to separate the light from the shade. My three hour paintings were not great, but each day I improved. (Except Wednesday... it wasn't so good so I painted over it.) I will do future posts about these pieces and how I was able to work on them at home as well.
Life painting is always an adventure. It has been difficult for me; but I am more encouraged and energized than ever before. This will change my painting and I look forward to the work to come.
See you next time,
Welcome to my blog and website. As you explore this site, you will see that I enjoy painting people, especially young women and children, often set in a landscape. My work has been included in various national shows. Read more in the About the Artist.