Workshops, Presentations, Demonstrations


Watercolor: Painting with Warmth and Light

July 9-11, 2018
Florence Thomas Art School
West Jefferson, North Carolina

“This painting feels a bit dull and lifeless?” Well, this workshop is offered to turn the ‘light on’. Light is the key to every successful painting from landscape, portrait, to still life. So, be picky and finicky about what light you put in your painting. Truth of light source, and simplification go a long way to create a successful painting. Light that is filtered-diffused, direct, artificial or natural can vary in temperature, influencing the ‘feeling’ of the painting. This workshop will explore how to paint warm light vs cool light, and uses daily short exercises to practice color combinations. The demonstrations, individual instruction and ample painting time will give artists an opportunity to breathe life into their paintings. A lighting-critique handout will accompany the detailed instructions for this workshop. Time will be dedicated to use the lighting-critique sheet to analyze artist’s reference photos that could be used for potential paintings.


Jump Starting Creativity

Presentation and Demonstration
October 18, 2017
Baton Rouge Art League
Goodwood Library
Baton Rouge, Louisiana

“Oh, I think I have an artist block, I’m stuck!” This presentation and demonstration speaks to the doubts and fear that occur every so often when the blank page or canvas stares us down. So why not make a mark, any mark – and allow it be nothing. Art is about creating, but who says it has to be a ‘something’ every time. The permission to be free is a peaceful relief, so crawl out of the rut by slapping paint, colored wax, dirt, watery acrylic onto a canvas and see what happens. Let this be an “Okay, what if …” experience that may turn into fire kindling; chances are your paintbrush is watching and will want to be your friend again!

Watercolor: Figure in Motion

August 4-6, 2017
Terrebonne Fine Arts Guild
Downtown Art Gallery
Houma, Louisiana

Painting figures seems a daunting task avoided by many an artist. This workshop reduced these ‘people-fears’ by asking artists to observe shapes and areas of abstraction, taking the fear of the unknown off the table. Misket is used sparingly, and underpainting is taught as the key to painting figures and capturing light. Simplification and the importance of values, lost edges, blending and softening is practiced in daily warm-up studies. Artists are welcome to tackle their own paintings after the first day’s demonstration painting. Detailed handouts and individual instruction aid in mastering these fun figures.

Art Thoughts

Presentation and Demonstration
July 8, 2017
High Country Watermedia Society
Boone, North Carolina

Creativity is the challenge to express an idea by rendering what we see, think and feel. No problem, right?! The “Wow, where do I start”, is discussed. My paintings and studies are used to answer typical questions, “What are you saying?”, “Is it simplified yet?”, “Are the edges varied and interesting?”, “How do you know it is finished?”, and “Have you tried something new?”. Artists see how working from a place of ‘playfulness’ is beneficial to the creative process, and that many pieces of art are just kickstarters that inspire a better finished painting. Included are comparisons of actual studies from my studio (that clearly were not successful) to the finished piece. Discussion of the changes between study and finished pieces follows.

It’s only A Study

July 8, 2017
Cheap Joe’s Art Supply
Boone, North Carolina

Artwork studies are like tools of a master mechanic, it’s where dreams become workable, or they go to the junkyard! It’s just paper, so, why not try something new, like water-soluble crayons, or graphite; try a new type of paper; or use ink and acrylic to create texture. Working studies should be play – a place to define space, value, design, color and movements without the notion of success or failure, just discovery. The artists were led by demonstrations and personal instruction to create a painting using water-soluble crayons and graphite, and watercolor. All were encouraged to experiment!

Watercolor: River Fog and Old Bridge

June 23-25, 2017
Art Guild Unlimited
Morgan City, Louisiana

Adding atmosphere to a water scene is challenging enough, but including a rusty old bridge, what was I thiking? Honoring the rules of balance, value and texture was important to this painting. A limited palate gives a feel of continuity. Of course, varied edges (soft, hard, faded, lost) are introduced in daily warm-up exercises. Artists will learn the importance of softening edges within the water area. Misket is used sparingly on the bridge, whose depiction through simplification does not overwhelm the painting.

Watercolor: Backlit Foliage, Figures and Fur

January 26-28, 2017
Louisiana Art and Artists’ Guild
Silverest Studio, Baton Rouge, Louisiana

“It has a certain glow, how is that done?” The drama from backlit subjects is undeniable. This workshop tackles the art of backlighting on three subjects, fur, foliage, and figures. This type of lighting makes for an almost silhouetted subject, so careful attention must be given to local color that is typically grayed. Using underpainting techniques and non-bleeding colors is key to success. Artists are given ample time to follow the daily warm-up exercises which introduce various techniques to be used that day. Clear, step by step instructions, demonstrations and individual instruction give artists the confidence to tackle this skill.

Watercolor: Within the Shadows

February 18-20, 2016
Louisiana Art and Artists’ Guild
Silverest Studio, Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Only the Shadows Know … is the theme for this interactive workshop. Shadows are an important compositional element to depict movement, color, texture and harmony within the painting. Layering colors and tones, and using the paper to create texture are a few elements that are covered. How to use massing of values to reduce ‘anxiousness’ in a painting will be covered. Artist can choose up to three painting options during this three day workshop; demonstrations, discussions and individual instruction is provided.

Watercolor: Skin and Sky

November 6-8, 2014
Louisiana Art and Artists’ Guild
Silverest Studio, Baton Rouge, LA

Who knew that painting skin and skies would be so similar? That is the focus of this workshop. Learning that warm colors applied over cool colors has more exciting results than visa versa. Daily warm-up exercises daily bring this point home. These practice-times allow artists to ‘play’ with color combinations, so they experience the results of ‘dropped-in’ place instead of stroked-in color. Spray bottles are used to soften edges. Discussions of receding vs forward moving colors are demonstrated so artists can learn through experimentation. This workshop will keep your brushes busy, but artists will leave with a better understanding of rendering skin tones and the skill of painting various types of skies.

Watercolor: The Color of Louisiana: Sugar Cane Fields

July 11-13, 2014
Art Guild Unlimited
Morgan City, Louisiana

The subject of this workshop was designed specifically for this group – sugarcane is an agricultural anchor in this area. The artists were challenged to simplify the foliage and stalks, adding color and variety to break up any potential monotony. The ‘U’ shaped composition allowed for a dramatic sky, providing an opportunity to utilized the ‘warm over cool’ rule for skies and clouds. Misket was used in various stages of the painting to demonstrate it’s usefulness on unpainted and painted areas.

Oil: The Color of Light, an Oil Painting Experience

June 2-6, 2014
Louisiana Art and Artists’ Guild
Silverest Studio, Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Who is up for painting the light of a beach scene, mountain stream, and on a figure in the same week? Three paintings will be presented in five days. Techniques of capturing light through observing direction of light, type of light, colors of light will be discussed and demonstrated. The techniques of layering thick-over-thin pigment, using under-painted areas help define mass areas, and painting with complementary colors to achieve color vibrations will be demonstrated for artists to use on their paintings. Switching between two paintings allows for drying time to avoid ‘muddy’ colors. Artists have ample brush-time to work on the demonstrated paintings; individual instruction is available.

And So I Paint

Presentation and Demonstration
Louisiana Watercolor Society
Bluebonnet Library
Baton Rouge, Louisiana

A pictorial slide show contains inspirations for my art followed by the finished pieces. Comments regarding the importance of light, balance, value and composition on finished paintings accompany the images. A watercolor demonstration follows, showing the application of skin tones on an underpainting, and a step by step review of how to build small waves and movement in water through layers of watercolor.

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