Sunday, June 12, 2016

Terri Ford Pastel Workshop and Ojai Preserve Painting in Plein Air

These landscapes of water and reflection 
have become an obsession.
~Claude Monet

Terri's Beautiful array of pastels ...

Terri Ford Workshop
Ojai, Spring 2016

It had been, at least, a couple of years since I'd taken my last intensive 3 day pastel workshop. I'd loved taking a couple of those workshops with Richard McKinley, but he hadn't done one in Ojai for such a long time, so I'd been keeping my ears open for a great instructor. Terri came highly recommended and after checking out her website I got really excited! Her work is loose, gorgeous and vibrant. Bingo. 

Day 1
In the Studio

Terri sketching in her darkest values ...

It's always wonderful, as an artist, to stretch and move yourself in directions that you wouldn't ordinarily take with your art. It's not always easy but sometimes you have to make yourself uncomfortable in order to grow. Life lesson, right?

Terri's demonstrations were great because, like Richard, she explains her process as she goes along. She lets you in on why she is doing what she is doing and is very generous with all her knowledge. She's also just a really great gal and easy to spend time with over 3 days of working.

Here's her first finished demo. I'm sorry I don't have the reference photo but the finished pastel painting is so much more beautiful and interesting than the photo ... which is the hope, right?

That first day, we worked in the studio all day, having been told ahead of time to bring reference photos. Plus, as I recall, the weather forecast was a little dicey. 

Day 2
en Plein Air

Ojai Preserve

Ah ... spring in Ojai! Just wanted to mention, that it's amazing how many art supplies I can fit in my Mini!!

It was obviously a gorgeous spring day! Terri set up with a view of the Eucalyptus trees. When you work outside, you have to get in the broad strokes. There isn't a lot of time to work before the light completely changes!

I loved loved loved this demo. So fresh and loose and vibrant ... and all the information you need is there and just sunny and beautiful. This underpainting was vibrant using pastel (you can see that magenta under the sky!) and then washed with denatured alcohol. Then soft pastels over the top!

Of course, the big question is where and what do you want to paint?

I must have flowers, always, and always.
~Claude Monet

I decided to set up near the water, in part, because usually water isn't really my forte. Sometimes I get lucky but ... well, at least it was a pretty spot and I was stretching, remember?

The reflection of the reeds in my pastel were kind of cool and I liked the texture on my mountains but the water?
Eh? Not so much. Oh well. I'd have another chance on day 3.

In the meantime ... photos and enjoying the gorgeous afternoon! (And a fabulous almond cacao smoothie from Farmer and the Cook down the road.!)

It's on the strength of observation and reflection 
that one finds a way.
So we must dig and delve unceasingly.
~Claude Monet

Day 3

Terri set up, in the morning, with a view of Eucalyptus trees, mountains and sheds. It was fun to watch her edit what was in view and even lowering the line of the mountains. 

Another fabulous demo and it was even more wonderful in person. So yummy.

She wanted us to loosen up so she told us to be done with our painting by lunch. I think we had an hour or something? Maybe a little longer but not much! 

I loved this tree and the light coming across the grasses so I quickly threw up my tripod and attached my pastel box!

I loosely sketched in my little composition ...

Then used a paint brush to add the denatured alcohol, so it became a wash. (looks like  very saturated watercolor.) Then, I took a couple of pictures of the scene and before I knew it the sun had gone behind a cloud! No more light and shadows! Thank goodness I'd taken pictures!

My day 2 set up ... 

A nearby log that caught my eye. Might have to draw ...

OK, back to work! A little sun coming back ... 

And after my friend Tom took this photo of me, below, the wind started coming up and a few raindrops so ... time to break it down and get out of there before our paintings became pastel soup!

I did a just a tiny bit more in the studio, adding the lights into the tree, and will still want to add a bit of darks below the line of trees in the distance but until then, this is what it looks like ... My favorite of the weekend.

I worked on another piece in the studio that afternoon (of Italy, surprise, surprise!) I can share it later but I'll end with this, for now. It was fun to work more bold and colorful than most of my other pastel work. See? Good to stretch!

Eventually, all the information you gather and all the various things you learn from different artists and experiences, influences your work and it helps you grow as it becomes incorporated into your "toolbox" and merges with your own style, personality and creativity. 

Anyway, you should check out Terri Ford's work Here, and if you enjoy working with pastels, I definitely recommend taking her workshop! When I win the lottery I'm buying her paintings that she did in France.  GORgeous!!! 

Every day I discover 
more and more
beautiful things.
It's enough to drive one mad.
I have such a desire to do everything,
my head is bursting with it.
~Claude Monet

Happy Summer!
Blessings and light!


donna baker said...

I have never used pastels so it is foreign to me. Love all the pastels in the box. Your overalls are classic and love the work. I never knew you did an underpainting until your last post. Beautiful place to paint.

Candy said...

Oh, Lucinda, wow! I love what you did in the workshop! I also think Terri is awesome and I love the photos of the pastels themselves. Those photos make me want to play! What a beautiful setting for the workshop! Thank you for this post!


Ciao Lucinda ...looks and sounds as if you had a great 3 days with Terri ....hope to see more landscapes soon .

Amanda Summer said...

Such a cute foto of you! And I love the shots of your plein air pastels in their plein air surroundings :))