Getting in a Groove

sunset

Not Quite Over, 8″ x 10″
© 2009 Marianne Post 

There is nothing like teaching a class to get one motivated to be confident in knowing why you paint the way you do. Most of the time I find that easel time is the best educator, and lately I have been painting up a storm.  I am constantly asking myself questions, probably in preparation for the inevitable questions that will come up in class. Why did I pick up that color, why did I move this or that around, how did I know this would work, why did I choose to start with an underpainting, why did I pick that surface for that painting?

The latest session of classes have dealt with various elements of the landscape. This approach can be a bit tricky. The class structure suggests that I teach my techniques for painting skies, clouds, trees, water, etc. as if they are independent features. We all know they are part of the big picture and relate to one another.

So for the past month I have concentrated on selecting reference photos and painting demos that would build upon previous class sessions. We started with sunny skies, we then added clouds. We explored the effects of the atmosphere and painting misty, gray days. Then came the trees, water, reflections of the sky, clouds and trees and finally moving water in the form of streams, waterfalls and the sea.

Teaching makes painting a priority for me. It is a great motivator. Funny how we all need some form of accountability to keep us honest. It has been a great experience to spend daily time at the easel without fail. I hate to see the class end. It got me in a groove.

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