Sunday, May 24, 2015

Twelfth Offering...Artist Network University Plein Air Foundations

Over the years (or default of the years....haha) I have taught and painted i many mediums.  Acrylics and watercolor, oils...and gouache.  I do not have a necessary favorite, as once I engage I am fully absorbed in the developing work.

( the image here is of an acrylic I painted for a competition I would win back in 1984...Snowy Owl and Hungarian Partridge, Wisconsin Wildlife Artist of the Year)

However, I also use to put 150-300 hours into a single painting that would be aimed at a competition event, and used as an original for the collectible print market.  Perhaps for that reason, psychologically acrylics represent some enslavement to me.  Hahaha...laughing, yet there is probably some truth to that!

But, if there is one thing as an old dog seasoned painter/ instructor that stands out as holding others from really advancing beyond themselves, it is their presumption of achieving good values in their work, or their lack of awareness that their work is suffering from what I have coined, "the mid values crisis"

This malady is so common, that many intermediates are afflicted with it, and from time to time the more seasoned veterans are caught off guard.

Where the value range (lights and darks) are all too similar, thus losing the vital aspect that makes a 2 dimensional (flat) work carry that illusion of depth perspective or distance...back there, near and up here.

I'm glad that beginners or those just starting to paint from life often take the course, and a separation of courses is stressed by ANU (Artist Network University) to set apart all their course offerings and instructors.  But, so much "good" work I see could be yet so much better if the artist knew how to quiet some areas, push greater contrast to separate value planes, and escape their mid values crisis.

Often the name, "Foundations..." throws folks off, and with any experience painting outdoors are likely to believe such a course is unnecessary.  Unfortunately, as I walk the exhibition of many paintings hung at events, it is the struggle with values that separates IMO many of the good works from the better ones.  From there, it comes down to edges and brushwork...

The course deals with color temperature as well..since that is one of the defining natures of working values.  Color and value working together.

(for more information on course content, get on ANU mailing list for future course offerings)-

ANU Course- Foundations in Plein Air

My twelfth offering of this course thru ANU starts this coming Tuesday.    

I hold to this belief, that ninety-percent of the time something is not quite right with the painting, it will come down to an issue with values!

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