I had the great pleasure to attend a three-day workshop with Santa Barbara Artist Ruth Ellen Hoag, focusing on “Simplicity & Complexity, the structure of a painting”.
On Day 1
We began the workshop with blind or automatic writing, the technic of focusing on your reference material, in my case, a photo of a Golden Retriever and two children playing in the surf.
We were not aloud to watch our drawing hand as we created an outline for the painting. The result was very crude drawing; amazingly, I think it had more feeling and motion then the photo. After it was finished, we could make slight modifications like combining lines.
After practice a few times on drawing paper, I committed it to watercolor paper and began painting.
Painting Day 1
Started with a lecture on simplicity & complexity, Ruth used slides of currant modernist, and abstract artist, several of the paintings I found mesmerizing, many were too complex or colorful for me.
It was intriguing to watch the other students in the workshop reacting differently to each slide, some liking more colorful pieces, while others liked the more angler paintings.
After the lecture, we created a second drawing using the same technic as the day before with the exception we could peek and make miner corrections. I choice a coastal photo using fresh technics for the rocks and utilizing a new Hoag pallet incorporating many opaque watercolors, using American Journey paints almost exclusively.
Painting day 2
We started day 3 with a lecture on structure and line usage in our work. Then returning to our workstations and created our second semi blind drawing, and going for a more abstract look.
I had purchased some new filbert brushes recommend by Ruth for the class. I love these brushes, they retain an enormous amount of pigment the versatile is also amazing.
I got a chance to stretch my mind, and loved every minute of the last day, especially after having a panic attack in the middle of day 2 over what to paint.
I focused on semi abstract seascape using more color, and line then I usually feel comfortable using and ended up loving it.
Painting Day 3
I would highly recommend to anyone to take this workshop from Ruth Ellen Hoag, she is an amazing instructor.