I am part of a painting group through our local Nanaimo Community Centre led by Marilyn Ridsdale, a wonderfully accomplished painter and teacher. I started 5 years ago and I’m hooked. One of the cool things about this weekly gathering is the chance to paint with other people: check out their styles, celebrate their successes and as well as commiserate with their hair pulling. I also like the discomfort and feelings of accomplishment from the various exercises we do.
One exercise we do typically involves reproducing famous artist’s works, which I find fascinating. The process always goes very differently from what you originally had expected. The pieces that look the simplest are often the most challenging in the end. Example: last “semester” I painted a Lawren Harris piece. Initially it looked like a bunch of fairly broad and simple brush strokes, but there is so much more going on in his work that you only see upon close inspection (of a very small photo mind!).
Another exercise we often do is paint different genre from photos (of the original subject). This challenges you to broaden your skills in approaching different subject matter. Personally, I’m most at home doing people and animals perhaps with some landscape background, so I find doing a city-scape, for example, involves much more hair pulling (sometimes my own and sometimes that of others).
The nice thing about these exercises, as well, is that we tend to paint on smaller canvases (albeit not usually my preference). This means that the piece can typically be completed in the 2 hours with a few additional hours at home in some cases.
You can see my class works, and those of my class-mates, in person at the up-coming NANAIMO PARKS AND REC STUDENT ART SHOW and SALE on SATURDAY, MARCH 14TH FROM 12-3pm at BEBAN PARK SOCIAL CENTRE.