Wednesday, October 15, 2014

What to do After a Workshop or Painting Trip

'A Magnificent Day'                12x18              pastel             ©Karen Margulis
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 Get in the studio and Paint!

It isn't always easy to do. When returning from a workshop it is all too easy to get caught up in the business of everyday life. There are errands to run. Unpacking. Laundry. Emails to read. All of the sudden the high from the workshop has been zapped. The inspiration and excitement from the workshop experience or trip quickly fades.

Don't let it happen. Make time to paint. Make time to have some quiet reflection on the experience. Do it while the memories are fresh. Take advantage of the high to keep going.  When I return from a workshop or painting trip I follow the same routine:

'Ghost Ranch 2'              8x10         pastel         plein air   $150

  • The week after arriving home, I schedule myself lightly if I can. The first day home is spent on unpacking, laundry, email and any catch up duties. I download my photos. I unpack and photograph my paintings. Catch up with family and love on my pets. I am the queen of multi-tasking so I can get it all done.
  • In the evenings I review and often rewrite my workshop notes. If I do it right before bed I find I percolate on the notes in my sleep. I want to revisit the notes while the information is still fresh.
  • By the second day home I make time to paint. I paint both from my photos and from the plein air studies done at the workshop. I do not touch my plein air paintings. I leave them as they are....fresh from the location. If one is unfinished, I start a new painting based upon the study. I want to have the visual reminder of my experience. I don't want to overwork it in the studio losing the emotion of the moment.
  • I will try to devote at least a couple of weeks to the subject matter from the trip. I like to work with it while it is fresh and while I am excited about it. It only reinforces what I experienced on location.
Painting Notes:  The top painting was done in the studio from a contact sheet reference photo from Abiquiu. The bottom photo is the plein air field study from the same location. In the studio I had more time to develop the painting. I could study the cloud shapes at my leisure without them changing. The plein air study captured the light and colors of that moment. Both are on Uart paper with a value block-in with warm colors.

3 comments:

CAROL HOPPER -- A PAINTER'S JOURNAL said...

Always good advice and what you recommend I follow. How much time do you spend on marketing and technology?

Karen said...

Thanks Carol! By technology , if you mean by technology and marketing doing my blog and Facebook/etsy/daily painters....I would say I average 1-2 hours per day. It is all integrated to my blog so it is easy as long as I have the painting and blog post done. Some are easier to write than others!

Julie Ford Oliver said...

Hi Karen, great paintings of one of my fav painting places in the whole world. I have really enjoyed looking at them all. Your clouds are truly amazing. They move!
I went for several years, staying for a week at Ghost Ranch in late fall. The painting days were lovely and sunny but boy it could get cold!

Nice to see Carol's comments above. I remember when I introduced her to the daily painting movement, talking about the time that has to be spent on the computer. She has done a really good job of keeping her painting and blog, going.
Not everyone can do it. You are a wonderful inspiration.