Monday, May 17, 2010

Latrobe High School Residency

I am now in the process of working a short term painting residency for Latrobe High School. For anyone who has never visited this public school you will find one of the finest art collections in the area as well as several fantastic art programs. The school boasts a painting studio as well as a ceramic arts and fiber arts section. There is also an outdoor ampitheatre and a center for creativity. This is my third time working at this school and I continue to be amazed at the curriculum offered at a high school level.

This spring I am conducting a five day Impressionist painting workshop with 29 students. Before my arrival the students stretched and gessoed their own canvas in preparation for my arrival. My first day at the school we worked with only Primary Colors and used white acrylic for tinting. I explained the difference between Warm and Cool colors including the use of red and blue acrylic. We used Ultramarine Blue (warm) Phthalo Blue (cool) Cadmium Red (warm) and Alzirian Crimson (cool) and a Medium Yellow. Students were encouraged to mix various colors and to mark them according to Warm and Cool color combinations. I also emphasized the use of Complimentary colors, light sources and Positive and Negative Space.

In the course of the days I am at the school, each student selected a Van Gogh Painting to use as reference for color, composition and inspiration. My main goal is use of the brush strokes, varying color, use of light and an overall impression of the Impressionist style of painting. Students could choose to blow up a section of the painting and use that for their own compositional inspiration. They were also asked to do an underpainting using one of the blue acrylics to position objects and relate to space on the canvas.

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