Paint Schoodic

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Thursday, August 14, 2014

Lesson #1: sunscreen makes a lousy white paint

Three houses, a bad photo of a decent painting by little ol' me.
It’s a little hard to get an hourly forecast for a specific spot on the Maine coast. It can be pouring in one place and clear in the next town over. However, not only was the National Weather Service calling for rain, my New York buddies were all talking about the whopping deluge they’d just gotten.

Lyn painting the Fort Point lighthouse.
No painting trip to Maine is complete without a lighthouse, and my intention had been for us to paint the Grindle Point Lighthouse on Islesboro. Without knowing exactly when it would start raining, relying on ferry transportation seemed unwise. Instead we drove north to the Fort Point light, where my charges promptly spread themselves across a quarter mile of terrain to paint. That is why I take my bicycle while teaching, although since the grounds include the ruins of a Revolutionary War fort, a mountain bike might have worked better.

Loren learned that the cover on his truck leaks.
The rain held off until  we could regroup at the hotel for a demo, which I did using Sandy’s kit.

Elizabeth and Sandy did some foraging for the painters.
It’s always hard to use someone else’s paint, and I was complaining that hers mixed poorly. That was partially because it’s not good paint, but it turns out that dab of white at the left of her palette was sunscreen, not paint. I’m not asking why it was there.

Dedicated students watching a demo in the rain. "I learned that you oil painters have it easy," said Virginia.
A demo is a great opportunity to reach painters of all levels. Earlier in the day, I’d talked to Cecilia and Nancy about a new way of setting up their paintings than straight-up drawing. Both are naturally good compositors, but this technique gives more consistent control over the outcome. I was able to demonstrate that.

Nancy's first attempt at the view.
After a while, Nancy left and went back to her own balcony to finish a painting she’d started earlier. When she was done with that, she painted the same scene again. I loved seeing how she integrated what I’d told her, and how it made the second painting stronger.
Nancy's post-demo painting of the same view.

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Rain affects people differently. This is the artist formerly known as Brad.

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