David Marty is a local to our area artist that teaches two-day classes in Edmonds at The Cole Gallery and sometimes once a week for six weeks on Bainbridge Island at The Winslow Art Center. I have taken four classes from his so far with two in Edmonds and two on Bainbridge. It is always interesting to see the level of the painters at the two different environments. In Edmonds, there are usually a couple artists that are quite accomplished blended with more with little or no experience. I always learn at least one tidbit that helps to improve my own paintings. Bainbridge classes are often comprised of many of the same artists that I have taken other classes with, and most all have been painting for several years.
Dave’s work is not quite as loose as some other Plein Artists, but it is always beautifully done. Coming from an illustrators background, his drawing is always “right-on'”. I have improved my drawing skills taking his classes and doing Urban Sketching with a group on Bainbridge Island.
In David’s classes the entire class paints from the same photograph. It is so interesting to watch throughout as the artists turn the photographs into beautiful paintings. If you were to look at the finished pieces you realize just how differently people see. I love watching the artistic process as many of the pieces transform as they are painted.
In the classes on Bainbridge, we were always given a homework assignment to work on at home and bring for critique the following week.
This was the first piece we worked on in class. David would do a demo in the morning, then we all painted the rest of the afternoon and put up our work for a critique at the end of the session. This class was to work on water receding in the distance. I walked away content with this piece.
The second was a scene of a lake and the challenge was to show the lilies on the surface without making it look speckled. The one above is mine.
We next worked on the reflections and lighting in this lake scene.
This was painted from a photo with a row of flowers. I did not love the photo, so I reversed it in Photoshop and added a little girl picking the flowers in the front. Once finished I thought and think it looks a bit trite.
Then we started painting a couple of roads, which I thought was great fun.
I can always tell when I enjoy the topic we are painting, as I most likely will be happy with the result.
How to make a wall of trees look interesting was a challenge and it was a homework assignment. I did feel this was successful as it has variety and keeps your interest. David never says anything negative about your work, but makes quiet thoughtful suggestions on what might improve it.
Making rocks look like rocks is always a challenge and how to get the right color, so they look real but beautiful at the same time. This was hard to capture, but I think it reads as rocks.
Another road with the task of making the road appear beautiful and interesting while receding believably into the background.
Painting the Night Scene of a city was fairly new to me. I went with a little whimsy and fun and more abstract than real. David liked how I did the lights in the background and thought he might change his to a little more like mine. Boy, did that make me smile.
We all painted “The Red Barn”. Growing up on a farm, I have always been attracted to barns and have painted several over my life as an artist. This is a small 8 x 10 inch with a bad glare in the photo, but it was fun doing.
Homework assignment to paint clouds. The tidbit I learned from this exercise is that clouds are always parallel to the earth at the bottom, so they are flat at the bottom. Not my favorite painting, but it was a very simplistic photo.
The homework assignment was to capture the clouds in a painting from a photo of the clouds. Mine was a good as anyone else in the class, but nothing I would try to sell.
Everyone in the class liked this, but I sanded it down and repainted the canvas. The wave looked more like a ledge than waves to me.
Beach walkers One.
Beach walkers Two. I did not like the first rendition, so I painted it a second time. Not sure that I like either of them.
From the sea, we moved to snow scenes. I painted the one on the left in class, but it left me feeling unsuccessful, so I painted the one on the right. It is a fun exercise to paint the same photo more than once and in slightly different styles.
With the next homework assignment of snow, I painted the first horizontally and the same scene vertically. Working on composition helps you see the same thing in a different manner.
I brought in a photo I found online of Port Gamble, so we all had a take on this.
In this case, I have the photo and thought it might be fun for you to see my translation of the photo. I left out the tree in the foreground. I do love the mist of the photo and feel at least I captured the essence of the mist.
We were to paint this stream for homework. Often when I look at a photo, I wonder what would be the best way to try to make this come to life. When David showed his homework, it was mostly in browns, and I must admit that his rendition was more appealing than my greener version.
One of the students brought in a photo of Madronas on her property, and while they are lovely, it was a test of sorts to make an interesting painting.
Here is the photo.
Finished version adding more darks. I often do not go dark enough, so this was a great lesson in contrast.
The next class I took from David was at Cole Gallery and the class was about learning to paint moving water and how to draw your eye to the water.
I was pleased with the first painting but got my reflections off on the second.
This was the final painting in that particular class. I do see water and color in a different way than before, and everyone in the class liked this painting. I am not so sure that painting just water is my favorite.
Every time I do take a class with Dave, I learn at least one thing. I enjoy watching how he holds his paintbrush to achieve the look he desires. Every stroke is thought out and it important. There is not scrubbing!