Sunday, May 10, 2009

Photography Workshop

"Art Lesson" photo by Lewis Jones, Anacortes WA

When I was 12 years old, I was asked if I wanted to paint a sign. Yes, my first art commission!

The sign was straightforward: 'MOTEL'.
The size was to be 8' x 16'.
The background was white.
The letters to be red.

It all sounds very simple. The lumberyard delivered four 4' x 8' sheets of plywood with a quart of red, white, and primer, all oil-based paint. Immediately I jumped into it and within four days, it was finished. I stepped back, arms folded, what a nice looking sign!

"Mom, come to the garage and look at my sign!" I proudly said. Then the crushing blow as Mom told me that the correct spelling was MOTEL not MOTL. I had put one letter per sheet of plywood.

Having said that, two very important things in my life are "spellcheck" and "auto focus/auto exposure" cameras. My experience with cameras is not unlike my experience with spelling.

Not having taught in over ten years, the Skagit Valley Camera Club has asked me to be part of a creative workshop for a group of mostly professional photographers at the end of May. (For more info click here: Unleash Your Creative Spirit). The last time I talked to a group of photographers on art, Lewis Jones documented it with the above polaroid transfer at the American Camp, San Juan Island.

Wish me luck!

Monday, May 4, 2009

The Figure

The Palette and Chisel Academy of Fine Art, Chicago, gave me a constant source of models to paint from. When I moved to the Pacific Northwest in 1991, that option was unavailable. That move, unbeknownst to me, began a longtime love affair for the migrant workers. To keep my drawing skills up, I would head for the fields of the Skagit Valley, rich with farm workers. Generally speaking, I would grab a 5-gallon bucket in the fields, turn it upside-down, and sit on it with sketchbook in hand, then return to the studio to invent the color.

More details on this available painting can be viewed at:

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