Variable student levels.

This month I had a full class scheduled for my Painting for Absolute Beginners class at Borrego Art Institute.  I only accept six students due in part to space, but also because the small class allows me to give more individual attention.

On Monday I emailed my students to check they were still on boards, but one of a group of three had pulled her back and was not sure she was able to come.

So, probably five.

Then the day before the class the coordinator for the group also said that she wasn’t able to attend, and because she was the driver, the third member of the group was also grounded.

So, down to three.

As I left the house on the Friday morning, prepared for three students, something told me to go back and get some extra water pots, just in case.  As I was setting up, my phone rang.  A lady asked if there was any room in the class, she was on her way into town.  The reason she hadn’t called earlier was that she and her husband were rving in Ocotillo Wells, and they have no cell service there for their provider.

Well, as it happens not only is there space, but I have enough equipment with me!  So we had a nice group of four students who all learned a lot and had a great day.

fourstudentswork_w

Working on the color-distance landscape exercise.

Sunday morning on the front porch

Mary started out as a friend of a friend on facebook and then took my Painting for Absolute Beginner’s class, then became a very close friend.  Shortly after that class, a couple years ago, I helped her create a painting for a friend.  I hadn’t realized that she had not had time since then to pick up the brushes.  A lot of life had happened.  A few weeks ago I went over to help guide her through another painting.  This time she has a new home with a wonderful front porch.  We have to paint out on the front porch because she has cats and I have allergies.

Mary painting on the front porch.

A little cramped on that table but we make it work.

Mary lives quite a way from me so we get our painting stints in sporadically and yesterday morning I was able to swing by for a couple hours before her grandson’s party and my reception for her to make progress on this sunset.

We weren’t able to finish yesterday but hope that we will do in the next session.  She made good progress.  Part of the challenge has been vision issues.  Mary recently had major eye surgery.  She can see colors better now, but the amount of light is difficult for her and towards the end as the sun came over, she had to resort to the shades.

Half finished painting

Still needs a little work in the middle, and all the clouds at the bottom need to go in.

 

Monthly Newsletter.

Here’s the skyscapes news for March.

More teaching

On Tuesday I taught my ‘Painting for Absolute Beginners‘ class at Borrego Art Institute.  The gal who does their social media came around and took a bunch of photos on her phone, then obliged by taking some on mine.  I don’t often get to be in front of the camera.

Jeni Bate teaching

Answering questions during the paint-mixing exercise.  Disclaimer, I am actually wearing shorts behind the pinny.

Color mixing exercise

Color mixing exercise gives the students a cheat-sheet to go home with.

If you’re in SoCal, I run the class in 3 different venues, plus my studio, or I can come to you in reasonable distance, with a group to teach.

Painting the morning in the night

Last night I guided a small group through a paint and wine class at Vanguard Gallery in Moreno Valley.  One of my students had already taken classes with me, including the Absolute Beginners class and was happy to work through this painting  of winter solstice sunrise across the Salton Sea to hone some of the skills.

Students in painting class

We’re doing an underpainting to get rid of the white so in the final painting we’re not strugging with that aspect

Students in painting class

We’re painting the sky part of the top coat

Students in painting class

It’s easier to paint the bottom of the panel when it’s upside down.

Students in painting class

Adding the sun.

Students in painting class

All done!

 

More birds.

I only had two students in my Paint the Night class last night at the Vanguard Gallery in Moreno Valley, but they both had fun.  One of the questions were, what kinds of birds are they?  Jenibirds?  Blue fronted swifts?  This is a very popular image, and sometimes students use their own imaginations and create red-fronted Jenibirds, or once, blackbirds.

twopairsofbirds

A thousand words…

A couple days ago one of my Absolute Beginners students came to the studio for some follow-up lessons.  She had been practicing in the intervening year and had also bought some books containing lessons.  They were fine books and she had learned a lot from them as you can see from the work she produced that she showed me.

Student watercolor work

Some of this students work. Yes, I know it’s a photoshop together, just couldn’t get the right angle for a table-top shot.

Nevertheless, if a picture is worth a thousand words, and a youtube video a million, then sometimes a little bit of extra in-person instruction is priceless. Sometimes I’ve shown students the difference between the brushstrokes they’re making and what they need to do to get the effect they’re aiming for by making the two types of brushstroke on their inner arm. Often it’s also picking up on the slight difference between to two in order to guide them.