Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Frank Webb Workshop Day 2: Painting Wet-Into-Wet

Frank Webb demos Wet-into-Wet technique"

I'm a day behind in describing the workshop. I just came from a lovely dinner with Frank and some of the workshop participants. We take the instructor out one night and attendees are welcome to join us for a no host dinner. We had a very nice visit.

Frank's Day 2 demo was Wet-into-Wet. I had hoped to do a Southwestern scene, but I felt that a wet technique lent itself to foliage, so I again did sunflowers and a French farm in the Dordogne. The photo is cutting off a bit of the left side. When we met to review my design, Frank a suggested a change to the mountain for a more effective sky shape. I had a second mountain on the left. At critique, Frank noted that the the three cypress trees were of similar size and intervals, a no no. I know that -- when will this consideration become automatic? He also would prefer more overlap of the two buildings. The rest of the painting passed muster. Frank does a great job emphasizing design principles.

Frank has an interesting perspective on making a living with art. He doesn't believe that it is realistic for most people; of course, there are exceptions. He says most full-time artists either are wealthy or have a spouse who provides some support. Frank attended art school on the GI bill and started his own advertising design company. He worked with many major companies, especially the steel industry in the Pittsburg area where he lives. In the 70s, he attended 10 summer sessions with Ed Whitney in Maine. After 30 years, in the 1980s, he gave his company to his employees and focused on his art. Read his biography of art accomplishments here. Frank is a warm, humorous, and very well-spoken instructor. It's obvious that he loves to teach. Now in his 80s, he still teaches about 17 workshops a year. Frank's story is similar to that of other well-known artists who teach. Mel Stabin was in advertising design in NYC. Tony Couch flew commercial aircraft for a major airline. (He told us about describing his vacation with Ed Whitney doing art to his fellow pilots. They looked at him like he was from Mars.) Gerald Brommer taught high school and wrote a lot books.

Tomorrow I will recap both Day 3 and Day 4.


Gary Keimig said...

A real treat to get to have a master such as this to work with.

Charlene Brown said...

I can see why you fell into the 'identical trees' trap... Those lines of trees, probably all planted the same day, are pretty much identical! Thank you for sharing your stories -- wonderful teachers like Frank make you so glad to be doing what you're doing, don't they?