People have not looked largely at life, mainly because our education drowns us in detail.
Robert Henri, The Art Spirit
I awoke long before the alarm this morning, spent about two hours, enjoying coffee, leisurely reading and thinking on this beautiful terrace at my Eureka Springs lodging, then met my class at a residence on Summit Street. We found beautiful compositions in every direction we looked. I chose a vantage point from a balcony of the residence and looked down across the street onto this lovely house, and did this quick plein air sketch in two stages–first to get the students primed to begin an architectural composition, and then second to record some accents and details. I opened this post with the Henri quote because I thought it ironic that I was in class again, having been out of school barely more than a week. But at the same time, I felt that I was not drowning these eager painters in details. Rather I was trying to incite them to paint more decisively, more confidently. How wonderful to attend a school without walls, to paint without restrictions, to walk out into the surrounding neighborhoods and carve out compositions to capture in watercolor sketches. I feel as though I have turned back the clock a couple of decades on my life. Today was even better than yesterday, and the students have really picked me up. I cannot wait to see what they do tomorrow.
Below are three student paintings begun on this first real day in the field:
Tomorrow we’ll return to the same location to finish up work begun today, and begin new work across the street where we have been welcomed to another residential site.
Thanks for reading.
I paint in order to remember.
I journal because I feel that I am alone.
I blog to remind myself that I am not alone.