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Impressions of the ’09 ASBA Conference from Deborah Friedman

We’ve put out a call to all BAGSC members that attended the ASBA conference to post their impressions and any images. We’ll post them as they arrive. Keep writing and reading. If you have any questions or comments about techniques, please post them by clicking on “leave a comment” at the top of this article. Feel free to ask participants to give a demonstration of what they learned at a BAGSC quarterly meeting.

It was an honor and a privilege to watch Lizzie Sanders and Jean Emmons work side by side during the techniques showcase session. Each worked with a gourd of the same colors for a subject. It was a study of contrasting different painting techniques, with brilliant and magnificent effect. Lizzie applied paint with very tiny strokes while molding the subject to perfection before moving on to an adjacent  small section. She uses a dry brush and doesn’t wash. The four basic colors were naples yellow, new gamboge, cad orange, and indigo all used in various combinations. For shadows she simply puts on more paint. The result was a rich and articulate color that gave form and luminosity. Jean painted her gourd from a butcher tray palette loaded with tiny spots of colorful paint.  She likes Holbein paint with a little white in the formula and the Daniel Smith quinacridone color series among other paints. Jean uses optical mixing and impressionist color theory creating 20 to 40 washes of mostly transparent colors. A bright and radiant gourd began to emerge from the surface of her bristol board.  Here were two highly accomplished master artists simultaneously demonstrating two very unique approaches to the same  subject. It was fascinating to watch them work.

I took Elaine Searle’s classes called Succulents in Watercolor and  also her class Painting White Flowers in Watercolor.  She was a wonderful teacher giving loads of individual attention and encouraged us to relax, to experiment and to paint without feeling the pressure of a performance. The classes were filled with technique direction, demonstrations, exercises, useful tips, and helpful answers to any question. Her handouts gave colorful illustrations of how to formulate a painting once home. I would highly recommend Elaine for  any future workshop and hope to take a class from her again.

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