Painting in a Birthplace of Visual Language
July 2nd – July 16th, 2018
Elizabeth WIlson, Cumbria Valley IV, UK, 2005, gouache, 8.75 x 9.5 inches
Join me this summer for two weeks to explore and paint in the extraordinary beauty of the Roman Campana in the town of Civita Castellana, just north of Rome. Corot, Turner and Ingres among others were captivated by Civita and left behind a visual legacy.
We’ll begin by exploring historic Civita, losing ourselves through the labyrinths of ancient architecture, visual note taking and sketching along the way. Emphasis will be on the beauty of the landscape that surrounds the plateau of Civita.
I will guide you through an informal analytical approach to the landscape. You will become increasingly visually fluent as you learn to edit what you see by way of deduction and prioritizing––the landscape will be very seductive and visually overwhelming! You will gain confidence in what is important for each particular painting, staying true to the color, light, space and forms unique to the topography, with emphasis on painting atmospherically and aspiring to capture the essence of place and time. I will discuss setting up your palette in a purposeful manner. Positioning your easel for efficiency while painting. You’ll begin each painting session with small thumbnail pencil studies in your sketchbook. This allows you to work out compositional possibilities and subconsciously and consciously germinate the world in front of you.
Working in tandem, this class will emphasize:
- Developing keen observation skills / learning to see
- Compositional structure of the painting / critical for a successful painting whether representational or abstract
- Editing the visual information efficiently and effectively
- Laying out a color palette in a purposeful way and discuss color in relation to the Italian landscape
- Discussing warm and cool color, color harmony, color mixing, application, surface and edge definition
- Making space through the understanding of spatial ‘cues’ relevant to all subjects
- Painting atmospherically
- Setting up your temporary workspace on site
- Gaining confidence in your progress
- Creating a series of harmonious work which represent place and time that are personalized by your individual touch and visual language
Group critiques will be a mainstay although occasionally the need for painting time will override a critique. Critiques will be friendly, informative with honest feedback and with generalized and personalized observations and suggestions. Individual critiques will also be given.
Classes will be scheduled either in morning or late afternoons. Painting sessions will be 3 – 4 hours Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday.
Morning sessions are from 8am – 1pm (begin after breakfast and coffee / the last hour is reserved for group critiques)
Afternoon sessions are from 4pm – 7:30pm (group critiques will be held the following morning)
Morning light offers a delicate and closer color value range. Afternoon light offers stronger contrasts, drama and color saturation. You will work from a range vantage points as the days/weeks progress.
Thursdays are reserved for excursions and are open to everyone in the JSS Civita community. Students are encouraged to work independently or visit nearby towns when class is not in session. All are welcome to attend JSS lectures.
This class is open to all levels. Oil is the preferred medium though students may work with acrylic, watercolor and/or gouache. Dry medium such as chalk pastel is not suitable for this class.
Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions.