Thursday, September 30, 2010

The workshop in Tuscany

Wow.  What a trip!  Joe Garcia and I taught a one week workshop in Certaldo, Tuscany for Sedona Arts Center, September 4 - 11.  Though the economy trimmed the workshop to a smaller than usual group, we had a fabulous time!  The setting for the workshop is Fattoria Bacio (Bacio Farm) where the owners Alberto and Patrizia are the hosts. For this workshop we all stayed in the main villa, built in 1810. The first morning there, I flung open my shutters and was greeted by this view...

Jan paints the view from the villa grounds

Some of the students linger over breakfast

Karen on a day trip to Certaldo Alta

The main villa at Fattoria Bacio and below this, the view from the villa

Joe Garcia does a demo for watercolor students

Students wearing their 'Spirit of Tuscany' wreaths for the final dinner!

The final night dinner was inside the villa's dining room which we shared with people from Poland, Germany and Canada.  The wine flowed and before long, the Polish visitors stood and sang what sounded like a patriotic Polish song.  Not to be outdone, the Germans followed with their own song - and then the Canadians.   Our group sang a pretty weak rendition of 'The Day the Music Died'.  No one knew all the lyrics for songs so I'm bringing song lyrics to the next workshop!    Funny, but the only song that all nationalities knew was Old McDonald Had a Farm.   

We had an unforgettable week at Fattoria Bacio!  Thanks to the students who enthusiastically laughed at our bad jokes, turned out some darn good paintings and at the end of the workshop, turned the tables on us after our little awards ceremony, and gave Joe and I some beautiful European bath towels which I will treasure.  Thanks!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Life is never dull...

Since my last blog post I was in Spain and Italy for almost three weeks where I taught a workshop in Tuscany with Joe Garcia.  There wasn't any time to recover from jet lag when I packed the car and headed off to Art for the Sangres in Westcliffe, Colorado.  This year my son, Shane went with me for five days of non-stop art talk, reference gathering and plein air painting with my artist sister, Joanne Hanson and artist-buddy Joe Garcia.  Shane has written about the trip on his blog.  We stopped to visit the galleries in Taos and Santa Fe on the way home.  The paintings of Michael Workman and Douglas Fryer stood out above all the other work I saw in a one-afternoon dash through the Santa Fe galleries.

"Native Color" by Adele Earnshaw
9" x 12" oil
available at Windrush Gallery

On the drive home, Shane and I were discussing the 10,000 times concept.  Malcolm Gladwell (The Outliers) points out that in order to become successful at anything, you must do it 10,000 times.  This is the idea behind the project 75 for  75 (75 paintings in 75 days) that Shane I started in July.  I told Shane that every time I paint, I am acutely aware how much this little project has helped improve my painting skills...primarily in backgrounds.  So Shane has challenged me to start the project again on October 6th.  
I must be daft as it is a busy month anyway, but I've agreed to the challenge and will start it again next week.  We will both try to get at least one 5" x 7" oil done each day and will post them here and on the 75 for 75  page of my website.  I'll be painting birds again as I've had lots of requests for specific species. 
Shane will paint landscapes and perhaps a doggy or two.   

"La Musica de la Calle" by Adele Earnshaw
10" x 8" oil 
This painting will be in the exhibition Faces & Figures, 
Santa Ysabel Gallery, October 9 - November 7.
(see gallery listing on the right)

Tomorrow I hope to blog about the Tuscany workshop!