Cheerful and Colorful Paintings

Cheerful and Colorful Paintings in Oil, Acrylic, Mixed Media and Collage

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Burridge Workshop, Day 1 ~ Mendocino, CA ~ Art Blog

Mendocino, California October 1 – 5, 2007

I’m not in Texas anymore! I’m taking an acrylic painting class, "Contemporary Abstract Figurative Painting" in Mendocino, California and Monday, October 1 was the first day. Robert Burridge is the instructor.

The class description:

"This is a class for drawing and painting the contemporary nude. You will learn expressive painting techniques for the modern painter. If you have ever wanted to learn how to paint the free style abstract figure, this workshop is for you. Color theory explained and explored. You will learn the 12 Design Compositions for a successful painting. “Drawing the nude” skills are not a prerequisite. Variety of poses with the undraped model. Lots of paint sketching, gestural wet drawing and finger painting techniques. Be prepared to paint loser, bolder, freer, lighter and more intuitively. Plenty of time for action-filled painting exercises, demos and personalized attention. All eater-soluble paints are welcomed.”

ROBERT BURRIDGE paints almost every day in his country barn studio located on California’s Central Coast along the beaches of San Luis Obispo County. His style explores and interprets “real life” in his own passionate, painterly voice. Art critics describe his work as “vibrant, beautiful, masterly done and just a little tweaked;” and “His use of bold, rich color and adventurous texture, while complex, is uplifting and Pop.” His current subjects feature “the Good Life,” as seen through his life as an artist. He is the President of the International Society of Acrylic Painters. His work is featured on Starbucks Coffee mugs, Pearl Vodka bottles and on eight commercial tapestries.

The class is being held in the Mendocino Art Center and it is an educational, exhibition, and resource center for the visual and performing arts founded in 1959 and it overlooks the Pacific.

Mendocino County’s most visited city, Mendocino, a quaint New England style town with many of the buildings dating to the turn-of-the-century. The Mendocino Coast is one of the most picturesque areas of the state. Main Street is filled with dozens of shops on one side as the other side is left for a spectacular ocean view. There are art galleries and lots of restaurants and B&Bs. Many of the small towns along the Northern Coast region had their beginnings because of the logging and sawmill industry. Mendocino started as a logging town and has become an art colony and in the center of the village is the Mendocino Art Center, which hosts classes and seminars each year.

Classes run from 9:30 to 4:30 each day. Our model, G., arrived about 10:00 a.m. and we drew and painted all day except for a lunch break and short model breaks. These sessions ran anywhere from 2-3 minute poses to two 45 minute drawing and painting sessions. The room set up is not ideal. There are 2 adjoining rooms and the model stand is in between. The class is full with about 20 students and 30 on a waiting list. My biggest concern is there is not a table and chairs set aside for Bob to do demos – the main reason I take a workshop is to see the instructor paint. I hope this situation improves. We are the only class this week in session and I hope later we can have a demo set up on the patio area.

Some Bob instructions:

  1. Maintain a GOOD attitude. Don’t expect to do a great painting. Paint the way you’ve always wanted to paint. If you end up with a lousy painting so what. Do hundreds of paintings and drawings.
  2. Try to find a theme or series. For example, at present he’s doing a circus theme. He’s just finished a Wingland/Lovers theme. He recommended the book “Water for Elephants”. A theme is something closest to your heart. Know and trust your heart and develop a theme and place a model in your theme.
  3. Nothing is original. Everything has been done before BUT not by you. That’s what makes it your original.
  4. Experiment with your drawing. Draw with twigs, paper towels, big brushes, pens, charcoal. You can include more than the model.
  5. For the gesture drawings, do not put in eyebrows or fingernails.
  6. Most people make the head too large. Try to exaggerate a feature.
  7. We used very little color and started with black and white paint or gesso and then added one color, and later added one more color just as a highlight color.

After the class, I visited 2 local art supply stores and just looked. You never think you have enough supplies but I restrained myself and settled for a wonderful dinner, upstairs and overlooking the city, in Fort Bragg at the Mendo Bistro. for fresh pasta and wine. Too tired for any homework and fell asleep reading my handouts. I'm being courageous posting this initial attempt but I'll work on her later.

1 comment:

Elizabeth Taylor said...

Thanks for your wonderful description of the Burridge workshop Nancy. I've copied and pasted the text into a document to save for future reference. I'm hoping to be able to get in at SWS when he comes to Texas. I love that he recommends the book, "Water for Elephants"; it's one I really enjoyed.