Sunday, April 17, 2011

New Ideas from the BDS Workshop

A week later, I am finally feeling back to normal after the big effort and push to run a successful 3 day convention and week long art workshop. Don't get me wrong, there was a lot of help involved with these events, but as a co-chair and workshop coordinator, I felt a lot of responsibility to make both the convention and the workshop as great as possible.

These last 2 days I've found myself out in the studio looking at the paintings I brought home from the Betsy Dillard Stroud Workshop. Under her guidance, we all produced the starts to 4 full sheet paintings, each following one of her ideas. Betsy paints in a lot of different styles, using an abundance of interesting techniques, so it was a real challenge to just dive in and paint. It was an extremely stretching workshop for me, but I know I took in a great deal of knowledge.

Day one we watched Betsy start her own "imago ignota" or unknown image. We learned how to make our own stamps--how fun! And before I knew it, I was on my way to painting my first fully acrylic painting.

Some of the big lessons here are to create neutral colors and grays to clarify the focal point. Also painting in veils of neutrals over vivid colors really creates a mysterious mood to the painting. So after some time in my studio today, the painting has evolved to this--

MSG on Imago Ignata 30x22

I think it is apparent that with the grays, I've gotten some control over all the colors and busy passages.  I don't know if it is done, but it has much better organization now.

On day three we were challenged to go " Matisse" with a painting. I used a photo I had of Liz, my gardening friend, and put her into a Matisse like interior setting. Here's what I came home with.


I know Matisse painted flat, but I felt the table and drapery were too much the same. I also wanted to add more patterns and recreate the black outline we started out with.

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Liz Matissed 30x22
I had fun creating a new stamp for this. You can see it on the purple wallpaper and lower part of the table. I used a pattern from a Matisse painting for the stamp.

And finally, I reworked Civita--Maria's Treasures.

A critique group convinced me that the left side with the mortared wall did not work.  What do you think? An improvement?

Civita--Maria's Treasures 14x11


Liz said...

Margaret--I really appreciate all the hard work you did coordinating the BDS workshop. It was great painting alongside of you, and I LOVE your finished Matisse style painting--the patterns in the pants and all through the painting are splendid!

Your Maria's Treasures painting is exquisite--the recent change you made to it improved it even more. I think it's ready to submit to a national show--go for it!

Margaret Godfrey said...

Thanks for the encouragement, Liz. I always enjoy your company, too. I have enjoyed working on these paintings from Betsy's workshop.