March 19, 2016

IMG_0169I went to my first painting class today. I have dabbled with painting for years. I have acrylic paints and water colors. I have pastels and colored pencils. I have brushes and canvases. I have gesso. I have painted some stuff that I like. I have never taken a lesson.  My mom and I went to an art show up at Thacher Park in the Helderberg Mountains two weeks ago on a tip from a friend.  I have only been to Thacher park a handful of times over the 25 or more years I have lived in this area. I have enjoyed it every time. I knew nothing about the place. While we were there at the show, I picked up a book on the history of Thacher park. I read the book quickly and now I am obsessed. There is something about the place, beyond the fact that it was under the sea 400 million years ago and  has more marine fossils than any place in the world. It was sight of Dutch and Indian trading. That is the reason behind the various towns building up in this area. The sea receded and left behind the escarpment that is Thacher park.  I feel something driving there. I feel something when I arrive. It is like I am supposed to be there.

The painting class was held in the kitchen on a long table. There were 8 of us. The teacher was a pleasant woman, a little older than me. who told us that she started to paint five years ago. She already has her art hanging in shows and has won awards. She was very unassuming and helpful. We each had an easel with a 16 by 20 canvas that had been pre- prepared by her with some background paint. We were given paints, brushes, linseed oil and mineral spirits. We were to copy a painting that she had made of a field in Maine with a pond and trees and some sheep in the foreground. She taught us how to fill the sky and the grass and the water. Painting the sheep took up most of the class so we did run out of time. I brought my painting home to work on the details and fill in more trees. I have never worked with oil. I need to go out and buy supplies. I have work to do. Maybe at some point I can add the final product to this post.

well I was able to add the unfinished product above. As I said it NEEDS WORK.


About jensiper

I like to write now and then
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4 Responses to March 19, 2016

  1. Gabriele says:

    I am endlessly impressed, jens. Wow. Lovely work, your painting. Wonderful greens, and those sheep!!
    At first I cringed at the teaching method, I must admit. There is hardly anything I hate more in painting then being told what and how to paint. This said though, I must ackknowlede there seems to be something to be said for practice on specific detail this method offers.
    Love the outcome. Very curious what is still missing, it looks pretty complete to me. Those sheep are adorable!
    I’m intrigued by your experience with Thatcher park and the sense of belonging that place brought up in you. Fascinating. Looked at pictures on Google. Such an amazing, beautiful landscape.

    • jensiper says:

      It is so beautiful there GG. There is something magical and mysterious about it. Maybe it is the history that is embedded there. It is funny it reminds me of that movie Strange Encounters of the third kind . Did you ever see it where Richard Dreyfuss’s character is obsessed with that mountain and keeps drawing it and then finally makes a sculpture out who knows what in his leaving room. The helderbergs remind me of that. That feeling of being drawn to them. I hope to do some hiking there is summer. Maybe a picnic. My mother used to go there as a young woman with one of her boyfriends. I asked what she did there. She smiled and shrugged her shoulder. ” kissed”. I have to say I can’t take a lot of credit for the painting. The prepped with some kind of color and we painted over it. She had to help me with the detailing. She completely overhauled my little in the corner. I had it looking like a very cuter terrier dog. She morphed it into a little sheep for me. I Have always painted intuitively with no instruction as I said. There is so much for me to learn that it a bit overwhelming. I would like to learn though so I have more knowledge about how to use color and the how to use the different brushes. Oh there are some trees and bushes missing over by the big pond. The water itself needs ” more action” she would say. The grass needs more differing color.

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