Daddy's Christmas Angel

Monday, May 13, 2013

Too Much of Anything is Too Much in Art or in Writing - Or Is It?

During the month of April, in midst of the A to Z Challenge, I took a week-long workshop with the talented artist Pat Dews. After hearing many accolades in praise of her paintings and her teaching, I longed to experience a workshop with her.
Pat Dews giving a demo talk in Boone NC

At the beginning of her first demonstration, Pat talked about the importance of having quiet areas within a painting. I jotted down her words, "Too much of anything is too much." Sounds simple but it is so true of anything we do, especially in creative work that includes writing as well as art.

Pat Dews' workshop was full of energy and imagination. Throughout each day of painting, she showed us many different techniques she uses to give texture in her experimental water media works. All the students in her class were experienced artists. For five days, I marveled at the talent I saw all around me. I also was impressed by the strength of the design elements in everyone's work.

Creating abstract from realism and realism from abstract was a theme I observed in many of the paintings. I love working with the abstract and with color and texture in experimental art. Pat's paint palette is much different from mine, but I still love the more muted colors she uses.
One of Pat Dews' textured demo paintings in progress

Each day, after class, I went back to my project of creating a Painting a Day for the A to Z Challenge. It was amazingly difficult for me to "shift gears" to paint with acrylics on my little stretched canvas (11" x 14" or smaller) primed with bright orange after my day working experimentally with inks, dyes and other painting media on full sheets of watercolor paper (30" x 22").

Our trip to Boone NC where the Pat Dews' workshop was held is a six-hour drive from here. While in Boone, we like to stay at the Highlands on Sugar Mountain which is a 45-minute drive from Cheap Joe's Art Stuff (workshop location). With all the travel, the first couple of days back home are recovery time. I started to wonder, did I have "too much" art all at once.

It was a lot of art, but, today, after two weeks, I'm going to unpack my experimental painting starts from the workshop and see where I might go from there in developing them. I'm also heading back into my studio to paint another cat for my A to Z Challenge group of 26 paintings. (The original cat painting went to my daughter.) I have a 20" x 20" gallery stretched canvas primed with bright orange paint, and a photo ready for reference. Since my "D" painting is of a daffodil and a dragonfly and is my only pastel on paper in the series, I'm also considering creating a new painting in acrylic on canvas for that letter.

Maybe "too much" was just not enough! I really loved doing a Painting a Day, no matter what the circumstance...


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I'm sure it was difficult to shift between the mediums. But your Challenge paintings were amazing. And nice you gave the cat one to your daughter.

Mary Montague Sikes said...

Alex, it is difficult, but it worked out. Thank you for the compliment. The painting for Amy was special.

Chuck said...

As you know I think your efforts during the A-Z were really outstanding. The fact that you changed between those mediums shows how diverse your talent is. I'm a fan, Monti!

Shaunda said...

I like the idea of a quiet area. I think that applies to many mediums, and to life. Enjoy your painting!

Mary Montague Sikes said...

Chuck, thanks!

Shaunda,you are right. It does apply to life! Thanks. My painting studio is like a different world.

Michael Di Gesu said...

I really enjoyed your paintings. I love your art and you can never have TOO MUCH of it!

How exciting to do an art workshop. I hope to someday have the space to create at will and enjoy painting again.

It was a HUGE part of my earlier life and I know it will be part of my final years.

Mary Montague Sikes said...

Michael, thanks for visiting. Thank you, also, for loving my art. I know yours must be wonderful because your writing is inspiring!