Friday, May 29, 2009

The First Day of the Rest of....?

Well, I did get on that airplane last Thursday morning, despite having to leave a few things somewhat unsettled at home. The flight from Hamilton to Saskatoon was routed through Calgary, and fellow EAGer Michelle Grant came to the airport and helped kill the time there, both coming and going. It was great to have a chance to catch up with Michelle - just too short!

In Saskatoon I was met by EAG founder Sheri Gordon, who did a fabulous job as hostess for my week! We headed up to the Shekinah Retreat Centre in Waldheim, SK, where the workshop was being held. There were a number of workshops going on, organized by the Saskatchewan Wildlife Art Association. The retreat centre was beautiful, and the building itself was a work of art.

The workshop began Friday morning. There were ten students in our oil painting group, from those who had never painted before, to those of us who were there to glean whatever we could from our esteemed instructor, Valerie Hinz. The emphasis was on learning to see shapes, and painting the shapes, and we did a couple of exercises to try and help our brains out! While I'm familiar with the concept of drawing or painting upside down, and do use it quite a bit, what was difficult was to keep the painting upside down! I'm so used to turning my painting, constantly, as I'll look at it from all sides, so to speak, in order to paint my shapes and edges. We worked from a very complex reference for this exercise - a Standardbred racehorse heading onto the track to jog. I think my horse turned out reasonably well, but I wouldn't trust my jog cart for long!

When we started into colour, Val introduced us to her palette, and how she lays it out and mixes it. That alone was probably worth the price of the workshop! After using the palette to complete our upside-down monochromatic underpainting (we were allowed to do the colour part rightside-up!), we moved onto our next exercise. What we did was an underpainting in complimentary colours. This was a lot of fun, because it looks pretty whacky! I especially like the Martian rider on her purple pony! How about that orange tail?

Working in acrylic so that our underpainting would dry quickly, we moved onto oil for the "real" colour. Laying those "real" colours over the complimentary underpainting really made the colour zing. I knew I was going to try more of those!

Sheri and I made a couple of evening excursions back into Saskatoon during the week. On Friday night she gave me a glimpse of her Friday night world, where artist and web designer turns into....race car driver! I won't embarrass myself by exposing my ignorance when it comes to cars; suffice to say it was fun! I rode with Sheri a few times in her nifty Phoenix. If you hear a rumour that I ended up in a cop car, well, you know what they say, what happens in Saskatoon, stays in Saskatoon! :-D

Sunday night we were invited for dinner by another EAGer, photographer Judy Wood. I had met Judy in Calgary a few years ago when I visited Spruce Meadows for the first time, so I was hoping we'd be able to get together. We had a great visit before heading back to Shekinah.

I was back at the Hamilton airport just before midnight on Wednesday, and Thursday it was back to reality. It's amazing how much a foal or a yearling grows in a week! It was good to see all "the kids" again.

Due to airline regulations, I had to mail my oil paints out to Saskatchewan, so I'm still without them. I found I wanted to do some painting last night, so I broke out those acrylic paints from that wayward art supply order that didn't arrive in time to make the trip, and decided to start a simple complimentary underpainting. So far, this is 9 x 12....acrylic! Eep! Once my oils are home, I'll start to work on the colour, and see if I can start to put some of what I learned into practice.

Hope those oils get here soon! Monday is June 1, and the beginning of my next Thirty Horses, Thirty Days! Hope you're ready for it!


Elizabeth McCrindle said...

Sounds like you had a great time....even if you did get arrested...oops wasn't supposed to say that lol. Hope your paints arrive back soon you've also got the pARTy this coming weekend :)

Sheona Hamilton Grant said...

You've had one super fully charged week both artistically and socially. Excelent. Thanks for sharing. Looking forward to your next Month of painting

LDWatkins said...

It's a good workshop when you come home loaded with new info and immediately put it to use! Good for you! I look forward to the next 30 horses, yea!

Judith A. Johnson said...

We did the complimentary color thing in a pastel workshop and I thought it really worked!!! Then haven't done anything with it for a year- your painting inspires me to try it again. Sounds like a fun time at the workshop.

Karen McLain said...

What a great time! It sounds like an adventure to remember!

jennprattequineartist said...

what a great blog post, sounds like an exciting week and that you learned a ton

Sheri Gordon said...

lol Excellent report Linda!

Btw, she wasn't in the back seat of the cop car. She was riding shotgun, just call her Officer Shantz! hahaha! (If you look carefully at the racing picture, you can see the cop car she rode in, in one of the lanes. Fully dressed decommissioned police car being raced by a retired staff sargeant, as part of the team that volunteers to support the Street Legal Racing Program which is to encourage kids not to street race, but to take it to the track.)

Michelle Grant said...

So, you weren't late boarding the airplane...curses you Bernard Callebaut!!
I had soo much fun visiting with you at the airport...I can hardly WAIT to see what your next 30 days of painting brings! Drool!

Linda Shantz said...

Thanks for all the comments. And I was counting on you, Sheri, for filling in the holes of my knowledge! :-)

Yep made the plane, Michelle! How was my cappuccino?? :-D I should have bought more of that chocolate!