Training

By W. R. Jones

pink-flower

    I spent the last week in a workshop led by Jennifer McChristian.   It was in Ojai, Ca.   Very well organized, with varied interesting places to paint each day.   I highly recommend study with this very skilled painter and dedicated teacher.   Now, don’t jump to conclusions just because I can’t learn.   It is not her fault.

    I’m in training.   Painting outdoors is a combination of pleasure and pain which can tilt either direction in a matter of moments.   I find that it tends to lean toward the pain.    No matter how simple the subject seems, after the first few brush strokes a transformation in the view occurs that makes it suddenly a lot harder to paint.   I really want to shoot the next person  who says, “just put the right color in the right spot.”   Kiss my patootie.

    One of the students, an English woman mentioned fox hunting.   She had done this in her native country.   You must be a pretty fair horse person to ride in a fox hunt I would expect.   This brief discussion reminded me of a TV program where a man demonstrated training horses so that they would respond to the slightest movement of your legs/hips.   You could almost control the horse through thought.

    This looked so neat it made me want a horse, until……  I thought about all that training (I’m talking about the horse, not me).   I don’t have the patience to train animals.   My full and complete training of our dog went something like this.   “Please try not to poop on the carpet. ”

    I am a lot like those rugged horse people, in that after I fall off a painting, I get right back up and  do it again.  I just need more training.

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15 Responses to Training

  1. Leslie Saeta says:

    Jennifer McChristian? I am SO jealous! She is an amazing painter and I should have signed up for her workshop. Wow … I would love to hear more!

  2. Carol King says:

    Fox hunting. Horse riding. Painting outside. It all sounds horrible. Bugs, Birds, Bites. Yuck.

    But, you always do nice work when you are OWTSIDE.

    I like the rock and the fence, but I keep expecting a horse to come jumping over the fence and right out of the painting.

    Hmmmm, I must need some sleep. Those damn New Hampshire Tourists wore me out this weekend.

  3. rahinaqh says:

    Bill this painting has a lovely composition with beautiful lighting. There is something ‘quiet’ about the subject and colour choice. As for horses, I think it is the transmission of thought to one’s legs that puts the horse in gear. r.

  4. Lori says:

    Aw come on Bill, its a lovely painting and you got the right colors in the right places too. I like it’s softness, it looks like its a warm day.

  5. This is a delicious painting – just stunning – and I loved what you had to say in the post. Sat here and grinned as I read.

  6. Chuckling away, again, ha, excuse me, but I do hear and feel your pain. As much as it is lovely out of doors, the bugs and the weather are a serious impediment to learning. BUT. Bill, look at the result.
    Be kinder to yourself. Truth is beauty. This is one fine gem.

  7. wrjones says:

    Leslie – you should be jealous. It was a lot of fun. She is a good teacher and a delight to be around.

    Carol – let me know when you are all caught up on your sleep. I need someone to show me around New York.

    Rahina – thanks. I expect you are right. I don’t suppose a horse actually reads your mind. My mind would be saying, “I rather be riding a Lexus.”

    Lori – thanks. It was a warm sunny day.

    Connie – I like your comment, a LOT!

    Cathyann – For the first four days no bugs. On Friday a lot of those little flies buzzing in your face and ears. It really is a distraction. I don’t know how anyone can paint with mosquitoes. At least these flies didn’t bite.

  8. I came by to check that you are painting. And I find you being a good boy!

    Now then, just put the color in the right place and everything will be just fine!

    (Just had to say that)

    Meanwhile, gotta go back to the koi pond! (of thought)

  9. wrjones says:

    Aletha – Can I come over for supper? We could have fish.

  10. But … uh … I told you to just put the color in the right place???

    If you come over for dinner, I’m hiding all the knives.

    ak

  11. wrjones says:

    Aletha – that’s fine I will eat with my fingers like always. You are not one of those germ-a-phobics that will insist I wash my hands with anti-bacterial soap are you. I’m soooooo hungry. Here I come.

  12. Bill: I feel your pain. I have for the greater part of my art career worked from photographs. Well photos ain’t real life. I am now going to figure drawing/painting sessions both nude and clothed. I cannot believe the intensity of WORK involved, but I have absolute confidence that the more I do this the “easier” it will get. I put “easier” in quotes, because once you have reached the first ridge line, another comes into view. But once that first ridge line is crossed, it then becomes a matter of fine tuning and exploring. Yes, another challenge but maybe not as painful. That McChristion is one sick mama of an artist, dude!!!

  13. Bill,

    I gotta comment on this remark by David Lobenberg because I, too, have — as you know — worked from both life and from photographs. However, I have not experienced David’s problem at all.

    I think the issue here is going to figure drawing and painting sessions both nude and clothed. You can’t expect things to go smoothly both ways. Either got put the clothes back on or do the nude thing, Mr. Lobenberg, but certainly it’s going to interfere with your concentration (and is going to mess with everyone else’s concentration too).

    My rule of thumb: the model is the only one allowed to take the clothes off. Okay, I know what you’re saying, call me old fashioned. But that’s just how I feel.

    (I’m sorry. I couldn’t help myself. Meanwhile I looked at McChristian’s site too. Very impressive.)

  14. That is too, too funny Aletha! Actually, if I drew or painted nude, it wouldn’t bother a soul, because the would have had all run to the exits. Probably the model too. I’d have to do a nude self portrait in the mirror…hmmm.

  15. wrjones says:

    David and Aletha – you are on to something here. If I paint nude I can save a bunch on ruined clothes. Yoo hoo everyone, here I come.

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