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Monday, September 21, 2015

My Thoughts Behind a Workshop Demo


'Violet Mood'                18x24                pastel                ©Karen Margulis
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I might as well have been in my studio. I paint demos the same way as I paint for myself in the studio. It doesn't matter if there is a big crowd or just a private student.....I go through the same steps.  I plan the painting, I choose my pastels and then I just paint....but I also talk.

One of the things I strive to do in my demos is to be very clear about everything I do in the painting. I want to share my thoughts about each mark I make and each color I choose. So as I paint I am conscience about sharing everything I am doing. It is easy for me because I do the same thing in my studio!

I have a dialog with myself during every painting. I don't talk out loud though. It is a dialog inside of my head. I go through the steps I want to take. I ask myself questions. I remind myself of the basics and not so basics.  Here are some examples of the things I talk about with myself:
  • After the darks, next comes the lights. Work on the sky. 
  • What kind of sky do you want?
  • Make sure you put the colors in the water.
  • Where is the light source?
  • Have you created depth? How can you exaggerate the depth?
  • It's not light enough, how can I make it look lighter?

I admit, when I am in my studio I sometimes  get to a point in a painting here the chatter stops and I just respond to the painting. Having the plan and knowing where I want to go helps. I pick up the dialog when it comes time to make the finishing marks. This inner dialog helps me express what I am doing out loud when I need to!

planning board for the demo painting
 Today's painting is the first demo I did for my presentation and workshop for the Piedmont Pastel Society. It was so much fun to interpret this scene in a new color palette! Painting done on Uart 500 with an assortment of Terry Ludwig, Mount Vision, Diane Townsends and NuPastels.

preselected pastel palette
 Do you talk to yourself when you paint? How does it help?

4 comments:

Sandi G said...

Hi Karen, I swear a lot! Just kidding. I do have a few checklist reminders that I have taped to my easel. Many that I have read on your blog.
The biggest gift I have learned from you is preplanning. I never used to choose my palette which I do now. I think that has helped with a really cohesive painting. I do color studies and thumbnails and really pay attention to values, warms and cools. All the information anyone needs can be found on your blog ! Thank you for all of your generous info through the years. Recently, my painting was accepted in a national pastel show and I have to say it really gave me more confidence. Having all the reminders on my easel really help keep me focused. Thanks Karen.
Sandi

robertsloan2art said...

Love that demo painting. I'm starting to become more familiar with your method and do that too, either talk to myself or talk aloud while painting. I love teaching because it gets me to do that, consciously think through and verbalize my process. Some points are wordless and intuitive but sometimes I can look back a few minutes later and see "Oh that was why I needed to do that. It just felt right, but now I can see that set up for this."

Every painting is a discovery.

Janette Kahil said...

I also talk out loud to myself! Mostly asking myself, "what the hell am I doing?"

Sandi G said...

Robert, I like what you said "Every painting is a discovery" must be why we all love to paint so much.