Wednesday, 23 September 2009

Charles Reid Workshop - Final Day

Last day, why does a week like this seem to fly? Daily lessons in the importance of all aspects of technique have a real intensity that tires, stimulates and turns the brain to mush as we try to assimilate the wealth of information imparted by a teacher of Charles' talent.

The final demonstration was to be another still life using many of the elements from the previous day. As in previous days empahasis was laid on correct use of the brush and the first photograph shows the technique of using the middle/ lower part of the brush to make the stroke rather than wear away the point on the abrasive surface of the paper.

Brush stroke

The next sequence of pictures show the progression of the latest painting.

Still Life - Contour drawing, Charles Reid

Still Life - Charles Reid, first stage of bouquet

Complete Bouquet - Charles Reid

Work on other elements - Charles Reid

Still Life - Charles Reid

Another top class demonstration, leaving us all wondering how we can emulate it with our own still life efforts during the afternoon.
The last session was in the evening when the opportunity to purchase the demonstration works was set up. Each work was priced and everyone had the opportunity to express an interest in any of the paintings. Where there were a number of expressions of interest a draw was made to determine who would have the painting. Needless to say all of the paintings attracted interest and none of them were going to be responsible for excess baggage charges on the way back to the States. We then had the opportunity to view all of the works done by students during the couse of the week, an impressive exhibition.
Workshops like this one are fairly intense affairs and can be difficult if they are not organised in a sensible fashion. Fortunately this one had two outstanding organisers making sure that things ran smoothly. First of all, Jane Duke who had assumed the responsibility of putting the whole thing together, ensuring that access to the oversubscribed workshop was done in a fair and equitable fashion and then doing all of the background organisation/ administration that is essential if participants are going to have a trouble - free experience. Suffice it to say that she achieved all of this and managed to deal with the inevitable day to day wrinkles without losing the smile and enthusiasm that are her trademarks. Secondly, Charles' wife, Judy, who organises him so that he can concentrate on what the participants want. She makes certain that everyone feels they have had sufficient and appropriate individual attention, even down to creating rotas for front row seats at the demonstrations. All in all, a formidable back up team.
And lastly, the participants themselves. Getting a good mix of people together is not always an easy thing to do, even in circumstances where it is possible to hand pick the group. In a group like this where they are gathered on a first come, first served basis it should be nearly impossible. This group defied expectations in being cohesive, friendly and serious about their work - a great bunch of people. So a few shots of them to wind up proceedings.

Latifa and Gill

Jane Wright

Suzannah, Astrid, Betsey and Ingebjorg




You will have gathered by now that this was a week to savour. I can think of no more appropriate way to sign off than leave you with an image that encapsulates the experience for me, the palette of the Master.


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