Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Betsy Dillard Stroud Workshop

"The Three Muses"
22" x 30"
In progress
It's been a super busy week with coordinating Betsy's workshop. Betsy is so creative and such a free spirit. I've taken her to dinner a couple times and we've had some fascinating conversations.

Next week I will catch up with my blog friends and write more about the workshop. For Betsy, painting is all about making your personal marks on the paper. In the 90s she modernized her approach by making very complex backgrounds and mixing realism and abstraction. Her demo Sunday was fascinating. She started with a "brush painting" - no image drawn on the paper and no plan. Consulting with the group on what they wanted to see, she did a large floral with a small figure. She first sculpted a beautiful floral arrangement, then she started adding tape to the paper, creating divisions and random shapes to paint around. She added the top of a Freido Kahlo type woman in an abstract manner in one section and began applying beautiful combinations of about 5 transparent colors to the background. When she removes the tape, she paints into those areas.

For the first three days of the workshop, we are having a model. Christina returned. If you click the link on her name, you will see a previous painting I did and entered into a show. Christina is a wonderful model who can twist herself into the most interesting poses and hold them without a flicker. We had a bonus with one of our SCVWS members, Jane Ferguson, offered to pose without charge one afternoon.

Betsy begins with warmups, 2 minutes and five minutes, and no erasing is allowed. That's true even on our finished paintings. She said the artists marks and corrections add interest, so the piece I've shown has no erasures. This is the piece I started on Day 1. Betsy had Christina take three different poses and we drew all three on our full sheet watercolor paper. Then we followed the process of applying tape. We were to do a dark, mid-tone, and light value on the three poses. When this piece is done, there will be no white showing. Betsy told me she likes this piece very much and I made good divisions of space. Be sure to carry the Scarlet Lake and the purple into all parts of the painting. I am really liking this painting.

The second day, Christina was back and Jane joined us. We did lots of warmups and then drew Christina in a prone position on paper coated with mat medium. I haven't had time to work on that one yet. I also have a great drawing on watercolor paper of Jane in very colorful clothes. Jane is a very accomplished artist and wears such unique and beautiful clothing. She says she is the original "Second-Hand Rose."

I hope to describe soon the process I learned for making stamps.


Christiane Kingsley said...

Mary, this sounds like a very stimulating and busy workshop. I can't wait to see more of the work that you have done during this workshop. You will probably see your work evolve during the next few weeks as a result of this experience.

janice said...

I'm so impressed by your painting! I enjoyed Betsy's demo on Sunday, & envy you being in the workshop. I bought a piece of linoleum to cut some stamps of my own-I had been thinking about incorporating some Celtic symbolism into a painting from some of my Ireland photos and Betsy showed me how I can accomplish this. Looking forward to seeing all of your work after the week is over!

Mary Paquet said...

Thanks, Christiane and Janice. The workshop is very stimulating and wonderful. Because I'm coordinating, I am not getting quite so much done as I would like, but I am learning a lot from Betsy. Of course, we have some wonderful artists in the workshop and I learn from seeing how they incorporate what we learn into their personal style.

theresamillerwatercolors said...

Wow, sounds like you've been so busy, but also having lots of fun! I love your work! I also have been following Betsy's work for many years and am envious of your experience! Stay well!

Peggy Stermer-Cox said...

Hi Mary, This is a fun, wonderful painting! I look forward to seeing what else you're working on and your description of making stamps! Cool!

Nina E J said...

Wow this sounds cool, I love the background on your life drawing!

Mary Paquet said...

Finally, I am back among my blog friends. Thanks to Theresa, Peggy, and Nina for commenting on my latest adventures in art. What a whirlwind week I've had and it's been delightful.