"Contemporary Still Life in Watercolor"

This workshop will focus on a new approach to still life, using the "objects of the day" in a group setting that is as old as the magnificent Dutch paintings that defined this idiom. Rendering will be both spontaneous in some projects, and more controlled in others, but this is not a presentation in photo-realism. Participants will provide some subject matter and some will be provided. the week will be a mix of demonstrations, hands-on projects, slide presentations and critiques. In general we will look for a fresh, original and personal approach to painting objects and their settings.

Because this workshop will focus on a new approach to still-life, I would like to recommend that participants spend some time preparing subject matter in advance. Because it is difficult or impossible to bring a set-up to this event, I would like to suggest that you consider photographing or sketching the following:

1. In direct sunlight, assemble some objects that have symbolic or special meaning to you or that you would very much like to paint. Please do not bite off too much here. Maybe it would be better not to do your aunt's cut glass bowl. While these may be sentimental objects, also consider items that you use daily and enjoy using, such as: cosmetic containers, kitchen utensils, clothing items such as belt & shoes, food items you select for color appeal, items in your auto, close-up shots of tools, keys, or garden equipment. These may be set up and photographed using an outdoor film and in good light. Secondly, consider doing a tour through your house and photographing or drawing object arrangements that are designed and highly intentional and conversely photograph some hodge-podge unintentional arrangements out in the garage or shed. both will be equally considered. Take chances and use a whole role of film.

2. If you find this totally beyond your abilities at this time, I will provide some photo material for you to work from. We will discuss in great detail the process of photographing and drawing objects for paintings. Yet it would be valuable to both of us if you attempt to furnish some of your own subject matter. If you are able to bring items along for a set up, that is fine as long as you are able to provide a constant eye if there is special value to these items. Sometimes the best still life comes directly from your daily routine. If you are reading this after 10AM, you will have already seen several really great still-lives waiting to be meaningful subjects in your work.

It is important for you to use either your subject matter for this workshop (or mine). But please do not use copyrighted images from magazines, art texts or 'hot to' books. Even if you are not the best draftsman or photographer, whatever you can offer will function and be appreciated.

Supply List for this Workshop