To paint is to bring inside–doubly: into the inhabited space around the image and into the frame. The paradox of painting is that it invites the spectator into its room to look at the wold beyond. John Berger, An Artist’s Handbook, page 91
I teach Painting on Panels or Drawing to See in alternate years at Tenuta di Spannocchia. In 2021, September 7 – 19, I will teach Painting on Panels.
Participants start with quick, loose sketching to slow down and immerse themselves in the place. Artists work from direct observation, from the flat, and from memory, visualization and imagination. Using exercises from An Artist’s Handbook: Materials and Techniques, artists explore ancient, medieval and early Renaissance approaches to painting and their contemporary application. They work on poplar wood panels in encaustic, casein tempera, egg tempera, distemper and Venetian oil. They keep a sketchbook for quick sketches and detailed studies in preparation for painting and to record their experience. Throughout the workshop, they study color theory as related to the painting practice. There are two or three excursions to view primary resources related to the course, for art historical lectures and discussions, and for sketching.
Artists examine the cultural/historic context of methods and concepts presented in the course. A goal is to develop the ability to paint using basic methods from history and to acquire the tools to promote the process of pictorial development. Readings, discussion and reflection promote critical knowledge to help clarify the artist intellectually in their aesthetic concepts.
Some of the art concepts explored are local color, hue bias, construction of a pictorial space using the golden section and the rule of thirds, line, form, composition, tenebrism, sfumato, chiaroscuro, atmospheric perspective and the sublime. Artists engage in a hands-on exploration of the evolution of Western painting. They learn to abstract and distill from their experiences and to make paintings infused with their lived experience.
Register visual material with the raw data of sight. Sight consists of a patchwork of light and color. The mind interprets light and color sensations as objects in space, which the artist, working abstractly without theoretical ideas, emulates. If a painter can capture the correct hue, mixed carefully after nature, then space and values as well as the illusion of light can be recorded with verity. Margaret Krug
Each artist chooses a theme and a related poem or other text as unifying factors for their work, presents a discussion of their work for the painting group and participates in an exhibition at Spannocchia for the Spannocchia community and neighbors and the public.
I hope you can join us in September 2021. For more information please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here are some images of the wonderful artists and their work from Painting on Panels 2017.
Visual examples reveal how artists have used painting methods. Visits to museums and other related institutions should always be an essential part of the exploration of painting materials and processes. Images of painting do not convey the finish, texture, or scale. It is even more meaningful to view paintings in the vicinity in which they were created to get a sense of the air, the light, and the space that the artists experienced. Margaret Krug, An Artist’s Handbook, page 108
Materials have their own secrets to reveal: they have their own genius: it is through them that the oracle speaks. Odilon Redon, An Artist’s Handbook, page 89
Where the first suggestion comes from some definite subject, where an ancient tale, a passage from a poem, an historical scene or some real person is the inspiration, the subject-matter transforms itself more and more into reality during the process of the work. Rainer Maria Rilke, Auguste Rodin, page 62