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Monday, May 23, 2011

A Demo in Darling



We had Museum Day in Darling on Saturday, and I spent the morning demonstrating oil painting. I only had two days' warning so had little time to prepare. In my studio was a large seascape where the clouds and foreground had a rough underpainting in acrylics. It was done on a day when I wanted to put down a cold sky before I forgot what it looked like.

Behind my counter in the museum I followed the acrylic cloud shapes with oil paint, softening the edges. I showed how clouds were shaded with darker and lighter shades and how some sky colour had to be blended into the edges. I then painted the waves and used a type of very light calligraphy stroke to add lots of white foam edges to them. The rocks were then painted using only raw umber, ultramarine blue and white.

During the many years that I taught art, I have always tried to have some moments of tension to make my demo interesting. So, dipping my brush into the dirty brown colour of the rocks, I approached the wet completed sky. It took a few moments to squizzle in the seagulls and highlight them with white, but I could sense how people held their breaths as it was so easy to spoil the surface of my sky at that moment. Long hours on my feet, that I will not repeat soon, but it was wonderful to experience the company and the intelligent questions put to me by very young kids! Do children just get cleverer or what?

30 comments:

  1. Your comment about the tension made me giggle, Marie. I could almost hear the gasps of shock! The piece you worked on is fabulous and I admit that I had to look to see what you did with blending the sky into the clouds. I am going to have to try that as I tend to blend clouds to sky.

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  2. You have me, holding my breath ...

    Raining with you too?

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  3. Beautiful seascape and you were so brave to go into the sky, well done the birds add to the beauty and rawness of the scene! Coming to your blog is like coming back to a favourite book, such a treat when my life slows down enough to have a peak at yours!

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  4. I have had so much fun reading your blog, and perusing your wonderful artwork.

    I have featured your blog and artwork in this week's FATuesday Artist Spotlight.

    Thank you for being such an inspiration!

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  5. Hi Sherry, yes you have my permission to giggle! Yeh, I need my moments to relieve the boredom of standing there for hours!

    Sherry, always paint your clouds first and not the blue sky. Big clouds in the top of the painting, and smaller towards the horizon. Shade your clouds with several grays. Paint the sky last with some areas quite shapely and other blurry. That is why I run some sky color into the clouds.

    Diane, is that a tease? As I said, I need my moments and even I must smile when I reread my pretentious gloating bits there in the end of the post! And yes, it is pouring here. It makes me dream of a sensational spring garden after the winter!

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  6. Barb, what a lovely thing to say, it gives me a warm glow to read your comment. I know the feeling one gets when it takes all your time just to paint, take a photo, write a story, and then not having the time to visit a few friends' blogs!

    Beth, thank you for visiting a strange blog and even spending some time on it! I thank you for the accolade and will try and find the spotlight article. Regards from Cape Town, South Africa!

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  7. These are a DEMO? Girl, you have guts of steel! They are fabulous! You must teach us how to do such wonderful demo's!

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  8. I adore that word, "squizzle." It is a perfect word for describing how one would draw seagulls into a sea scape! lol I LOVE this painting.

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  9. MAREE CLARKSON posted this endearing comment on Facebook: Lovely post Marie, EVERYBODY loves the "tension " part! Maree, I appreciate this comment which shows that my "little self amusements" are forgiven!

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  10. Kelley, that would be an original type of lesson, a demo giver's demo! I wish we could share some tricks! You can read about another demo I gave on http://www.redbubble.com/people/marietheron/art/6071580-hydrangea-demo

    Beth, thank you for reading again. "Squizzle" was the only appropiate thing that came into my head, we may make it part of art terminology! A long time ago one of my watercolour students collected these strange words I tended to use! It may be a family thing because my kids, when young, made up descriptive words all the time!

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  11. A fabulous job Marie, I admired your guts in making your demo more interesting, that I call confidence:-)

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  12. Thank you padmaja! Those are kind words!

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  13. Just beautiful Marie! What a treat for your spectators.

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  14. Thank you so much for thinking so, Barbara!

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  15. Marie I bet this painting is even more beautiful in person! I wish I could have been there. Bravo!

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  16. Your art is always so beautiful, Marie!

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  17. The demo sounds wonderful...I wish I could have attended. The birds were a brave and interesting addition to the painting.

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  18. Marie - what about Pelargonium fulgidum which we found growing

    at Cape Columbine
    ?

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  19. Hi Marie...standing takes its toll, eh? I love this! and I can imagine the students gasping as they saw the brown approach your lovely skies!!!

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  20. Such peaceful (and beautiful) scenes. Gorgeous work Marie.

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  21. Thank you , Nancy, I wished for some blogger friends to join me!

    Thank you so much, Manon! So is yours!

    Thank you, Carol! Without the birds it might have been a dull demo!

    I have not seen P fulgidum around here, but there are many others of which P cucullatum is most robust and grow everywhere on the periphery of our garden. But the pots are in a showy place and needed perennial plants.

    Cathyann, it does take a toll and with being almost 68, just maybe that was my last time of volunteering! It was not students but the public who stood and watched there in the Museum.

    Thank you for your kind comments, Ilse!

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  22. Amazing painting Marie! Fantastic atmosphere! Very beautiful!

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  23. You are very brave. But then you are such an accomplished artists which must give you much confidence. Lovely painting. I'm still practicing seagulls.
    Jean

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  24. what a lovely post,, I just found you today,, I love your painting above,, so calming and restful..I'm a painter from Ontario canada and I'm your newset follower,

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  25. Thank you, Jean! These are such kind words! How have you been? I did not see any of your posts lately.

    Laurie, welcome to my blog!I once painted a Canadian Bride who married here, and my Canadians hits took off! Your comment is so nice, I appreciate it!

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  26. Hi Marie,

    Love this painting, the clouds the water and yes the rocks are brilliant. I feel cool just looking at this painting. It is already getting warm on Long Island. Thank you for sharing this lovely painting and your thought process as well.

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  27. Demos would scare me. I am thinking you are a brave soul!

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  28. Wow ! your seascapes are so beautiful and powerful . I love looking at them

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  29. Hi Joan, I never noticed these comments, thank you so much!

    Thank you Ruth, one is usually beset by a great sense of calm, you must try it!

    Thank you Kathy, this scene is one of my favourites!

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