The day with Stewart Beckett will start with a short demonstration on-site (Weather Permitting). Pointers will be given on selecting composition, initial sketching methods and application of paint from a practical and personal perspective. Advise will be given during the day on colour mixing, paint handling and the importance of good brushwork. Participants will produce their own piece of work from within the grounds. The day will end back at the onsite Studio with a short critique and display of work at 3.30 – 4pm.
You will need to bring your own packed lunch as no shops local without driving. Tea, Coffee and Biscuits will be provided.
I have been a resident artist at the Arches studios for 3 years and yet this was my first open studios experience. Every year to date I have been committed to other projects, so this year worked out very well for me. I was unsure how the whole event would go so I thought I would add more stress and difficulty to the event by doing a live portrait painting. As if talking to everyone and playing my small role in making the event a success wasn’t enough.
But as it is said, nothing ventured nothing gained,
and at the chime of 11am Saturday morning I began as the crowds descended. I
was a bit nervous as not only did I have a new model I hadn’t worked with
before, I was also very conscious of the public scrutiny. My usual way of
dealing with this situation is to stick my earphones in and retreat into my own
world of thought and creative decisions. This was not to be, and I had to face
the challenge head on. The first few hours progressed really quickly with lots
of talking and distractions and I manged to get the basic structure of the
portrait in. My model Mike was excellent and very patient which made me feel a
lot calmer as I didn’t feel the need to speed up. By the end of the first
day I was questioned out and mentally drained but felt very happy with how the
day had progressed and surprised myself in the process at what I had achieved.
Day two I was really fortunate that Mike could sit for me again (he must be a bit mad!). However, day two was a lot more relaxed as I knew what to expect and could prepare a bit better for it mentally. Interspersed with much conversation the portrait progressed fairly well and I decided by way of saying thank you, I would gift it to Mike for an excellent job at modelling. 3pm arrived rapidly with the portrait in an acceptable state I called it a day. I didn’t want to progress it further as I thought it captured my creativity during the event with all the different influences of the two days. I shook Mike’s hand and proceeded to clean up. Once I got home, I felt totally exhausted from the event and challenge, but found out a little more about myself in the process.
My inspiring experiences at Arches Southampton, Open Studios – 2019
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