Wednesday, February 20, 2008


Today was exciting to see how George James develops his figurative paintings. We also had the privilege of seeing his sketch books. If you want to know how to draw from memory with conviction, the sketch books reveal the answers...draw every day, draw everything, practice, practice, practice. No real surprise, here! I think he has drawn every image in Bridgeman's Constructive Anatomy Book. This was the first art book I ever purchased. I can still feel the thrill I felt when I first saw this book. I had to save my baby sitting money for a long time to be able to purchase it. I don't know where this book is buried in my house (I would never get rid of it) so I purchased a soft bound edition a few years ago. The original will show up sometime. Now, I am inspired to do more drawing from this book.

Regarding the slide show images: I was sitting on the far right shooting the overhead mirror, therefore most of the images are reversed and have some distortion. When I had a chance, I photographed with the painting in front of me. The two details where done this way. The color is off. Somehow it looks too yellow. I corrected as much as I could. He did a second fast demo of a head in 4 steps of values.

Tomorrow is going to be super interesting as he is going to give a lecture about how jurying works in art society national shows. He is most active in the National Watercolor Society which has it's headquarters in Southern California where he lives.

I have been chugging along painting the worst paintings of my life this week! I am receiving comments from some of you excited to see what I have done. I promise to post it, but don't have too high of expectations! I rarely have a good painting from a workshop. I find it a place to try new ideas and processes. It takes awhile to integrate this information into my work. George likes flat images, simplified shapes, hard edges, strong geometry in his composition, works almost exclusively with a flat brush. All of these things are contrary to my sensibilities....I like lost and found edges, round brushes, ambiguity, texture, line. So what am I gaining from the workshop? New ways of developing Composition ideas, texture techniques, new ways of working with watercolor paints, alternation of contrasts, new tools to manipulate paint. Lots to process and think about.

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