March 18, 2016

Daniel Gerhartz Workshop - Days 3 & 4

Days 3 consisted of Daniel doing another one of his informative and insightful, not to mention stunning, demos. The young lady he used for this demo was one I had recalled seeing before that had recently been published for the cover of one of the big oil painting associations conferences.  Can't recall which one. As Dan does his demo he gives a blow-by-blow of everything he is doing and thinking, which is helpful. When you combine good teaching with expert hands on help the concepts start to take hold,  little by little. 

The model our group got to paint in the afternoon was the one that Dan used for his demo on the first day. A very lovely young lady with porcelain skin that had many very subtle hues of color cast throughout her features. Today I felt as if at least some of the things that Dan was attempting to impart to us were starting to sink in. Typically the paintings one does at a workshop are not the best. They're usually kind of crude, at least for me, and that's mainly because you're trying to work in a new way that you're not familiar with. Not to mention maybe feeling a little anxious and overwhelmed from witnessing a living master do his thing and then trying to follow that up with your own feeble attempt. Even though by this third day I felt that I was starting to see improvement and getting a better understanding of some of the concepts that Dan kept repeating I don't think I'll be sharing my efforts here. As I said they are rough and I feel that they don't necessarily reflect well on either myself or the teacher.

That "living master" moniker by the way is no joke. What Dan does with a brush, Beethoven does with music. It's truly a sight to behold.

Day 4 was a really great day. We painted 2 models today. One in the morning and one in the afternoon. Dan is good about getting around the whole group and commenting on and laying down a few strokes of your painting to point out where your painting might need help or to try to illustrate some of the concepts that he talks about and where they could be incorporated. He usually gets around to each person twice during each session with the model, so you never felt ignored.
I really was starting to feel some good progress today. Dan is positive and generally complimentary to everyone, no matter their level of experience and it's a great thing, but he combines his encouragement with good solid criticism that rings true when you hear it. Mostly as I'd mentioned  before, he's showing you where your paintings might improve rather than telling you what you are doing wrong.

The best part of all today though was the fact that Dan and Jennifer invited the entire group over to their amazing, lovely, and warm home for dinner and to meet their family, including Dan's kids, his mom, and Jennifer's parents, all of whom are lovely people. Their home as I said is amazing. Every corner in every room has somethings beautiful and interesting to look at and every wall has several of Dan's stunning paintings hanging. It's like being in a top notch art gallery. Jennifer whipped up an amazing dinner, complete with adult beverages---and dessert! Amazing! I know I keep saying that but I don't know what else to say and am at a loss to describe the whole thing.

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