Saturday, September 27, 2008

Marc Hanson Workshop and OPAS Competition Winner

OPAS Plein Air Competition
"Breakfast on the Hoof"
8" x 10" - Oil on RayMar Panel

My good friend Edie Dean and I made the drive to Traverse City, MI in June 2007 to take a 5-day Marc Hanson workshop. Marc gave us an overload of information to digest: in writing, through lectures, and by watching the 7 demos he did in pastel or oil. My favorite part of that workshop was Marc's value to color exercise. Edie and I came away from the workshop with plenty of new ideas and all pumped up to paint.

When I heard that our statewide organization, Ohio Plein Air Society (OPAS) was going to host Marc to do a 3-day workshop in advance of our annual plein air competition, I decided to participate. It's the first time I have repeated with a workshop teacher, and I am certainly glad that I did.

Day 1: Marc condensed the things that he'd taught the year before into an intense three days. We started with an overview of materials, went on to a demo of the value to color exercise, and then we painted that exercise ourselves in the heavy duty architectural atmosphere of Dennison, OH, home to the historic Dennison Depot.

Day 2: We were in the lovely countryside of Tuscarawas County, heart of Ohio's Amish country, beautiful rolling hills, cows, fields, barns, and weather to die for. 16 students - beginners to professionals - watched Marc do a demo on color relationships, asking us to not get bogged down in details, but to concentrate on the values and color relationships that we saw in nature. Sounds easy enough, but it didn't feel that way.

Evening of Day 2: 9:00 PM, the class convened on the Square in New Philadelphia to watch Marc demo a nocture. A real treat for us, and flash photography was not appreciated by his painting eyes!

Day 3: A new and exciting exercise: painting from memory! Marc said that the great teacher Frank Riley had used this exercise with his students. I'd been exposed to some of the ideas of Frank Riley during my classes at Captial U with Michael McEwan . But, I'd never done this memory exercise, and frankly I felt pretty charged up about doing it! I think that everyone was surprised at how well we did, including Marc.

I commend Marc for taking each student in the class out of their comfort zone, since that is when you struggle and learn the most. You can read more on Marc's experience in Ohio on his blog:

Marc went on to jury the 5th Annual OPAS plein air competition. The painting here is one that I completed just an hour or so before the jury. Entitled "Breakfast on the Hoof" • 8" x 10"• Oil on RayMar Panel. Marc awarded it 2nd Place and my peers voted it Artists Choice.

Thanks to my good friend, and fabulous artist, Ray Hassard for asking me to paint with him that morning. He won 3rd Prize and just a couple of hours later, he won the Quick Draw.

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