My last class, and probably the last one I will take for a while was from a well-known and respected artist from Australia. Colley Whisson came to teach a four-day class at The Winslow Art Center and people from all over the country came to take the class. He was funny and told great stories and talked a lot! And talked a lot, but taught a lot too! He paints a wide variety of topics and creates beautiful paintings from very simple photos.
The first day he did a demo for most of the morning and into the afternoon. We were then given a photograph of the painting he had previously done from the same photo.
It was a very simple beach scene which did not seem exciting, but using the brush strokes he showed us and the limited palate, I was very pleased with my finished piece. I think I was one of few in the class that he did not “touch” my canvas. He made one suggestion but seemed to like my work. (Yippee!!!)
Day two was an old cabin and it was interesting to see in a class of twelve or more that were no two even similar. Mine featured the smallest cabin. Once again, he did not jump in and work on my painting and made one or two suggestions. This is a small canvas and I liked using a larger brush than I had in the past.
Day three after the morning demo he set us free on copying his painting. Other than saying I should move the chicken or the fountain, he seemed to like my work. He did make one perspective change that was right-on. I am getting used to using the bigger brush and like the look. I would never have selected this view to paint, but I think it turned out pretty fair.
The fourth and last day we painted Plein Aire in the garden that used to belong to a friend of mine. I had not been in the garden since she sold the home after her parent’s passed away within months of each other. It is a whimsical and beautifully lush garden. As I walked in, I loved the contrast of the blue pot in the distance and the bright pink flowers close-up. After I came home and looked at a photo I had taken and what I had painted I darkened the background for more contrast. At his suggestion, I added more paint in the foreground and I think the effect is quite positive.
Colley is an excellent teacher that does beautiful paintings and makes his living selling his art in Australia.
I love the simplicity of his work along with the beautiful brushwork. One thing he said that will now remain a constant in my work going forward is that you need to have a quiet space to contrast the brushwork. Brilliant~
Simple composition with beautiful colors and brushwork. And I really do not like blue, but like the work overall.
I call this elegantly simple, but fascinating.
As you can see from the four examples I shared of his work, it is colorful, but controlled and beautifully painted. I would definitely take his class another time. There were many little jewels that I learned from this master artist.