Sunday, June 14, 2009

Robyn Williamson "Haiku Michelle"

During a workshop taught by artist Dawn Emerson, I decided to join in and try my hand at drawing the figure. It had been 39 years since I worked from the model. I didn't have any supplies or an easel, but Dawn graciously offered to share her pastels. I found a piece of foam board and propped it up against a folding chair and got down on my knees. There was only time remaining for 3 short poses. I have used the model, Michelle Wolff, for several figure sessions at the La Conner Art Workshops over the years and I admire not only her beauty and grace, but her professionalism. Now to actually be drawing her was a different experience. I considered the first pose a warm up and hit my stride with the second... with great regret that I did not choose to use good paper. With the last pose I knew only that I wanted to emphasis Michelle's beautiful neck. I finished this drawing in a few minutes and spent the remainder of the pose thinking...adding the final touches after Michelle had stepped down.
For me, painting with my friend Dawn, painting a friend Michelle, and painting with new friends in the workshop was truly a "Paint a Positive Picture" moment. I had traveled, for a short time, to the "zone" and was reminded that, although I rarely have the opportunity to make art, I still am an artist... and I get to be one for the rest of my life.
Robyn Williamson
Age: 58
"Haiku Michelle"
Pastel on BFK 22x30
April, 2009

Sharon Eckhardt " Trees on June Morning"

I painted this based on a photo I took on a warm morning driving around the farmland of Skagit Valley earlier in the week before a class with Teresa Saia. Something caught my eye about the group of trees and I knew immediately this was what I wanted to paint. I've been painting the past four years and always wanted to do landscapes, but trees were problematic and scary and I was always getting frustrated. Think, for me, the turning point was in a class with Susan Ogilvie last year, she said to simplify the shapes and not try and draw everything I see, and it finally clicked in my head how to do it. So now, I feel pretty comfortable painting landscapes. I love painting just the impressions of a forest or a clump of trees, and then gently and gradually laying down the warm and cool colors on top to give the feeling of volume and depth and light. Then, the deepest darks in the shadows really are fun to put in last.
Sharon Eckhardt
Age: 51
"Trees on June Morning"
Pastel on La Carte paper 12x19
June 2009

Robert H Lafond "D&R Canal from path across from It's Nutts Restaurant"

The painting I selected, done in late Spring, is a view of the canal that flows at the end of the street where I live in New Jersey. I walk along the canal almost daily, watching the water levels, feeding the ducks, picking up trash and following the cycle of the seasons. When I walk along the canal or the nearby Delaware river, by the fields or in the woods, when I look in the back yards, or down the streets, I am often filled by the fullness of what I see to the point of bursting. I usually feel this same way when looking at art in museums and galleries. I am compelled to respond creatively.
I paint to reenact and reestablish the intimacy I feel with the visible world. I paint small pictures to emphasize the intimacy. I paint to reconnect to the artistic aspirations of my grandfather and my mother, and to connect again with other artists, past and present. I paint to see anew and I look intently because I paint. I paint to share what excited my sight, and for others to see in my best work what motivated me to make it.
Often we spend an inordinate amount of our lives grasping for what is beyond us while neglecting or rejecting what has been given to us, until we gain the insight to open our eyes.
Frederick Franck wrote"...only if one sees one becomes harmless to all beings!" He writes about an inevitability of seeing, an inevitability of compassion and humanity that can come from the seeing and intimacy of painting, that leads to the right relationship to others and the world.
Robert H Lafond
Age: 62
"D&R Canal from the path across from It's Nutts Restaurant"
Soft Pastel 8 x 10
June, 2009