Thursday, June 14, 2012

Albany, NY Workshop

I just returned from teaching a 2 day workshop to a group of 19 very talented artists who are members of the Colonie Art League, in Albany, NY. This photo is clearly a "before the chaos" started. How they put up with my blabbing incessantly and pushing them to paint in new (even weird) ways - for 12 hours -  is a testament to how much people can take.  The one thing that I never got around to was taking a photo of was all the work they did in those 2 days - I got a quick glimpse and before I knew it the workshop was over and everyone bolted like lightning... hey - come back guys, lets paint s'more!

Friday, June 8, 2012

Today's Demo

The Usual Suspects 8x8" Acrylic  Click to Buy

When I ask artists why they are taking my workshop, I always hear: I need to loosen up... I'm too slow, my work looks tired, etc etc. Usually they are suffering from tiny-brush-induced-detailitis. I tell them its easy to loosen up and proceed to force them to do so. In reality, its not about time, what they actually want is a more gestural, lyrical, painterly quality to their work. I preach big brushes, lots of paint, get your values correct. I love it when artists come in as disbelievers, and leave gushing with excitement to do their next 30 minute painting. Amen!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Day Lilies

Day Lilies 8x8" Acrylic Click to bid

Well I did the same old exercise as yesterday, get ready, set, off to the races! It took me 54 minutes this time - I'm getting slower instead of faster - oops. But hey - there are 3 blossoms (and a bunch of buds) instead of two.  I decided to not do a demo of day lilies for the workshop tomorrow - they wilt. Imagine that. I need something that won't move. Hmmm, maybe an eggplant... and it's easier! 

Wednesday, June 6, 2012


Pink Tulips 8x8" Acrylic  Click to bid

My favorite flower, simple, elegant tulips.  I'm teaching a "How to Paint Fast, Loose and Bold" Workshop on Friday at the Art Academy of Westchester, and decided to create a step-by-step demo handout for my students, so I took a slew of photos at regular intervals while I was painting this, from start to finish. I timed myself too - 53 minutes. Since "Fast" is in the title of the workshop... I better be!

Friday, June 1, 2012

Let's paint Tuscany

Zig Zag Countryside 8x8" Oil  Click here to bid

I haven't fallen off the earth, it just looks that way. I've leapt into the next frying pan, writing and illustrating my second book "Color Theory: An essential guide to color-from basic principles to practical applications". It will be available in October of 2012.

I'm also finalizing plans for my Tuscany workshop this September. There are a couple of spots left - register now if you'd like to join us for this amazing trip. To view the trip details, see the itinerary, price options, and more, click here. The workshop is going to be big fun, with a focus on loosening up, eliminating unnecessary detail and using color in a more fauvist manner (grass doesn't have to be green, sky doesn't have to be blue!) All media is welcome - oil, pastel, watercolor, acrylic, mixed media ... the fundamentals I teach apply to all. Besides lots of personal instruction demos and day trips to gorgeous scenic spots, other goodies are included: wine and chocolate tasting events, Tuscan cooking classes, restaurants, shopping in open markets... whats not to die for?

For more information, photos, student testimonials or to register, go to the Toscana Americana website. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me at or our trip coordinator, Patrick Mahoney at: Hope to paint with you soon - Patti