Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Painting in Winters with Terry Muira

Once you've taken a few art workshops, you begin to learn that there are good artists who aren't very effective teachers and artists who are reasonably good teachers, but have a limited amount to teach.  Terry Muira is one of the exceptions to this general observation.  He is a very fine artist with so much to teach and with the the ability and personality to share it effectively.  I had the chance to learn that first hand this last weekend as I took my first workshop from Terry.  If you read Terry's blog Studio Notes ( http://terrymiura.blogspot.com/ ) you'll begin to understand, I think.  He is so generous with his time, information and lessons-learned on his blog, and that is reflected many times over in the workshop atmosphere.  Terry's book, En Plein Aire, is handed out free to all participants and it is a treasure trove of information for any plein air painter. It's just the first hint of the generosity and sharing to come during the rest of the workshop.

Terry Muira painting a demo in Winters, CA

We drove to the small town of Winters to paint urban scenes.  On Friday, we were there only for a half day and Terry did a demo.  It was very overcast and even slightly cold....a real change from our long hot summer.  The lack of light and dark shapes made the demo a bit more of a challenge, but Terry was up to it.

The next day was bright and sunny and I was chomping at the bit to paint.  I had been impressed with Terry's approach to the urban scene - in particular the care with which he approached each brushstroke - and I was anxious to get to it.  I painted two16 x 12 panels for the day.  At the moment, I have a picture of only the first.  The painting was my attempt to follow very carefully Terry's process for establishing shadow mass first followed by a careful and deliberate addition of color, shape and, of course, junk!  My success was spotty, but I had a blast! 

A Sunny Fall Day in Winters   16" x 12" oil on canvas panel

I'll be posting additional paintings from the workshop in the next day or so, along with additional comments on my experience and what I learned from Terry. 

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