Wednesday, June 4, 2008


Sunday, the Santa Clara Valley Watercolor Society had a wonderful demonstration by Christopher Schink. Everyone calls him Topher, so I shall use that name as well. He is the co-author of the "Palette" magazine, along with Skip Lawrence. With names like Topher and Skip, how can you go wrong. These guys have to be loads of fun! I keep meaning to order the magazine. I let my subscription lapse. Every page is valuable, without advertising or editorial. There are those annoying cards in some of the art magazines that are stuck between the pages and often fall out. One of them is an order form to subscribe to this publication. You can also order it from Cheap Joe's. Those are the only two ways to come by it.

I took lots of photos of his demo painting. Fortunately, I have finally solved the problem of not being able to post photographs. That kept me off the blog for 3 days while I was tearing my hair out and screaming curses. Now, if I can just get the printer to print, I will be back in business.

The first photo posted here is his palette. He uses fresh paint each time. You can see he is very generous in loading up the thing. He has some unusual colors that he must use on a regular basis. He paints with very saturated color using a "Skipper" Brush which has stiff bristles. Not your wimpy watercolor approach, to say the least. Here is the final result along with some of his words of wisdom.

"A photograph shows us everything a painting isn't"...Picasso

The "what"of the painting is not as important as they "why" you are painting it.

There are no born geniuses in art. You have to work your way up to "Genius".

and lastly: Everyone is influenced by others. Borrow then make it your own!


Nava said...

Looks like he also mixed his lunch-sandwich leftovers into the palette :-)

Hmm - I was at the demo and haven't really seen this juicy palette! Great shot!!

Nancy Standlee said...

Thanks for posting. I've saved all my Palette issues as they have some great figure examples. Give us more about this demo and maybe someday I'll get to one of his workshops.

Cecelia said...

I've admired his work for some years, now. I think he was here for a workshop back then, but I was busy teaching and couldn't go. Thanks for letting us know about him.
Even his nickname is different. (I have a Christopher grandson, so I'll have to tell him about that!)

Mike said...

Topher has a very 'offhanded' style in his lesson delivery, which means you better listen very carefully. He is, singularly, the most intelligent and gifted teachers on the workshop circuit. His paintings, in their simplicity, are so highly designed that one often misses the point of the Lesson when he demos. The demos are simply dazzling . . . and in that aspect, one can be so involved with "what the hell is he doing??!!" that one can miss everything else he throws out. I have known him for over 15 years and am just now realizing that the stuff he is saying now (and I am just now understanding) he said the very first time I met him. He is impossible to copy . . . but were I you, (and I still do!) I would write down everything he says . . .casually or emphasized . . . . .he is a heavy-weight in his profession. No one else is like him!

The demo on Sunday held enough information to keep any student of painting (me!) working for two years!!

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