Monday, October 6, 2014

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Ted Nuttall Workshop - from the white of the paper to the magic of transparent wash

A thought from Ted: "Edgar Degas said that painting is easy when you don't know how but very difficult when you do..."

Ted Nuttall's workshop was challenging and productive. As we set off with our fears in our pockets, his technique taught us to slow down and savor each step, moving thoughtfully - with purpose. When we started to paint you could hear a pin drop.....each to their own style and cadence....focus.

Here are some of the participants hard at work....thoughtful work....



Ted and Jerry


Georg-Anne and Maria

Mary Bee - keeping it 'high-key'




Olga and Ted Nuttall

Olga with grayscale photo and painting





Thank you to Ted Nuttall for sharing his tremendous knowledge and experience. We all agreed this was a wonderful learning experience, each of us taking something unique from his lessons. 

Ted Nuttall Workshop - Feeling Grovey

“Feeling Groovy” 
A short summary highlight of Ted Nuttall’s September workshop in Homer
by MIke Murray

I chose “Feeling Groovy” because of the beginning lyrics in that once popular song … “Slow down, you’re movin’ too fast….”

Ted Nuttall began his workshop emphasizing the power of slowing down. “Be patient! I’m a tight painter so my paintings look loose (spontaneous).”

Ted talked, shared slides of his work and that of others, and demonstrated his style of painting each morning session, while afternoon was spent painting as Ted moved about the room meeting with each participant, offering suggestions, encouragement, problem solving, etc. The subject was portrait painting from photos. Ted also painted on any number of his own works from early morning until the start of the workshop each day.  Participants could come in quietly and watch his process evolve as long as they were quiet and did not ask questions.  This was a wonderful opportunity to gain insight into the painting process he follows.

Ted works from his own photographs which he crops and often copies in black and white so he gets a good idea of value. He originally was a very high key painter (strongly influenced by Charles Reid) but has moved into much more vivid color over time. Still his paintings have a much lighter value than the photos themselves. He noted that photos tend to lie to the eye in terms of how dark shadows are. He also notes that you can always go darker by layering glaze over glaze. It is difficult to go lighter once you have a very dark value down.

He looks at shapes almost as small abstracts. Look at an eye like an abstract painting.
He also spends a great deal of time looking –studying the subject. He never assumes a shape – and the importance of hard and soft edges and their use. 

Throughout his lectures and examples Ted noted various other artists and references that we could study further. These included not only watercolor painters but also photographers, graphic artists, oil painters, etc. He noted anatomy and emphasis on looking. In order to see you must look.

He encouraged us to find a direction we wanted to go and pursue it each individually.  Going back to the earlier tips – find something you are passionate about and then really focus on it.

Oh yah, and he gave us homework on the last day as we were getting ready to end the workshop.  That’s like a teacher giving you homework just before summer vacation! Haha