Friday, May 9, 2014

Checking In

Greetings to All,

At the very well-attended opening of the MAS 49th Annual Exhibition last night, spring was in the air. I enjoyed visiting with artists with whom I have been painting regularly, meeting artists who have only recently heard about CTSA and want to paint out with us, and catching up with artists who have been absent for a while. It was especially nice to see Hans and Dorothea, who have been spending a lot of time in New York, where Hans has been taking a watercolor course three afternoons a week. Here is his synopsis of what he has been doing...  Please feel free to leave comments below. And - not just now, but anytime - if you also have an art adventure that is exciting you or growing your skills, send me your own story!

From Hans:       Joan, as you know, I've been taking this "conceptual" watercolor workshop at the Academy School of Art in New York for a few weeks, and I really think this old dog picked up a few new tricks.

We  have been doing still lives, we had life models in pairs, nude and costumed, and in good weather, we went landscape painting in Central Park, or found subjects in the street. Our wonderful instructor,
Kamilla Talbott, is an accomplished artist and great critique. She has lived and painted in the US and Europe, and is presently having a show in Brooklyn. See her website, she often woks semi-abstract. 

Anyway, here are some watercolors I have done in the last three days, and I'm happy the way things are going!


 I'm so happy, I just want to share some of this week's paintings with you. Our Dogwood-tree in our New York backyard-garden was beautifully abloom. The entire view was so exciting, that I skipped school, and stayed to paint at home.

This is the first one, I worked on for many hours. It got a little too dark, as I wanted to pop out the white blossoms. I also wanted to capture the entire setting with the buildings in the city.

The next morning, before school, yesterday, I gave it another shot, and did this one, larger than the first, and looser and brighter. Having to rush, I finished it in about two hours. I'm very happy with this one. What do you think?

(This view of the Guggenheim came to me from Hans last week... I took the liberty of adding it in here...          /j)

In the afternoon, during school time, I tried another view on 5th Avenue with the Guggenheim Museum. It's a little rough, but I got a lot compliments in school for this quicky.

On Monday, I did a few tree studies in Central Park, and I'm pretty happy with those as well.  Glad to be loosening up, leaving more white paper and using stronger colors. No longer copying nature. May be, I learned something in school, after all. 

I managed nicely without using the pencil first, just tried to trust the brush from the start.  I've been struggling so hard, freeing myself, to not having my work too much dominated by nature.
Looking for a more personal, bod and spontaneous expression. What do you think, am I on the right track? I don't want to do just pretty, or boring, watercolors. Searching for surprises.....

1 comment:

  1. Hans, I'm always amazed at your ability to go out and grab a piece of landscape in a way that captures the essence of the subject in a way that is entertaining. I think your course has built your confidence and strengthened your skills. The interesting thing to me is that in these cases where you repeated sketches of the same subjects, I find each one appealing in somewhat different ways. I would not necessarily prefer the second over the first. Your paintings on location all have a signature style that is yours alone. They all vibrate with light and energy. The really important thing you've been doing is getting out there and doing it, living it, thinking it through each time and using your tools and materials in different ways. It would be interesting to hear what Kamilla has been emphasizing. Are there specific techniques or lessons that have resonated with you?