In Camelot it only rains at night, and that is true of Schoodic this week. The day dawned drippy, and the fog never sorted itself. Perfect painting conditions! Dim, mysterious light, fingers of fog snaking through the trees.
Painting in fog requires enormous patience but if you don’t feel overly compressed, it’s lots of fun. Not only does the tide change, but one’s field of vision changes, too—every five minutes. While on Tuesday, our painters found the fog difficult, by yesterday they were old hands at it. Every time the fog rolled across their line of vision, they leaned back on their easels, took a swig of water, and said, “ayup, it’s foggy.”
Monitor Kari Ganoung Ruiz demonstrated during lunch instead of me. Kari is a more delicate painter, and she uses a limited palette. However, we set up our paintings and work through them in exactly the same way. Rules are rules, and if you want oil paint to work, you don’t ignore them:
- Big shapes to little shapes;
- Thin to fat;
- Dark to light.
Otherwise, you end up doing constant, mushy revisions, and your painting looks muddled and grey.
It isn’t a real workshop until each person has had their “eureka” moment and produced work they really like. The big news from yesterday is that everyone has now produced at least one painting of great loveliness and finish.
I had to break before five and get washed and dressed to talk at the Schoodic Institute. (I’m a sloppy painter, and cleanup takes a while.)
It was a kind crowd, and my usual befuddlement stayed tamped down. After we were done, my students and I went back to my suite for a “loaves and fishes” party. I’m calling it that because nobody prepared, nobody shopped, and yet we had ample and wonderful food and drink.
By the way, there were no injuries yesterday. Our EMTs were ever so bored.
I’m up on the Schoodic Peninsula in beautiful Acadia National Park, teaching. Interested in next year’s Maine workshop? Email me.