New work: Playground. 24"x30", mixed media: acrylic, paper, graphite on canvas.
This past weekend, I attended the most inspiring Art Life painting retreat with Nicholas Wilton at a wonderful hidden gem called Westerbeke Ranch in Sonoma, California. I've been wanting to attend one of his workshops for a very long time and I'm so glad I finally got to go. Nick is a gifted teacher and makes artistic concepts accessible to a novice. He is open, kind, encouraging and instructive. As a teacher, he presents wonderful, cohesive lessons in his six principles and gives each student individual feedback on their work. I found the experience enormously helpful and it has already changed the way I see the things around me. I look forward to going to another retreat (a longer one!) in the future.
It was so nourishing (not to mention the incredible food!) to be able to learn techniques and refine our sensitivity to art and just paint, paint, paint! And of course it was fun to paint with others and make new acquaintances. Westerbeke is a sweet, rustic, meticulously cared for place and the owners take a special pride and pleasure in sharing it with others. It's a very special place. A perfect place to paint. Unfortunately, I didn't take many photos as I was so busy painting, but there are a couple below of the cabin I stayed in and the rock fireplace in the dining room.
I've been experimenting with canvas board as of late and I am really loving it! It works especially well for my collage paintings. These three are 14 X 18, acrylic, paper and ink. The second two, I added some simple text in photoshop. I love the simplicity of the third one and the color scheme is rocking my world right now. I love bright, saturated colors but this soft color scheme feels very calming to me right now. I'm thinking of turning a couple of these into cards and prints.
This work has been a long time coming and has been through many transitions. Like a lotus flower growing in the mud, the process has been slow, messy and mucky but full of nutrients and life-giving water allowing new life to burst through.