Saturday, March 20, 2010

My feeble efforts on ' Winter's Last Light' pale next to this painter-Kim English of Pine, Colorado.

Look at this 7x12 sketch he did called 'Grant Street'.
Absolute mastery of colour and composition. And I'll bet he knocked it off in 30 minutes.
The total essence of plein air and why we all do it right?
Look at those colourful grays. I try and try and still can't even come close.
And a couple of nicks of his brush defines the hard edges of that distant steeple.

In my humble opinion Kim comes very very close to Sargent's handling of light ,colour and surface handling of his paint.

I had the honour and pleasure of doing a week's workshop with Kim at the Donner Art Workshops Ranch outside Taos New Mexico a few years back.
To watch this guy work made me feel like a piker and want to toss my kit.

Looking back at my notes, here's a few jewels of plein air wisdom he dropped on us
I hope they can help you as it did me:

-Spend time up front mixing all your colours first getting the correct colour and value-then paint.....not the other way around where we dive in waste time a musching paint around
-Keep the piles of colour on your palette squeaky clean- don't let other colours get in and muddy them
-always base the temperature of your colour on the light-not the shadow
-Remember you're painting 2 pictures- the object and your illusion of the object
-Paint shapes of things-not things..and make those shapes interesting to look at

Kim is a great teacher-quiet, patient and totally focussed on painting the light we see around us everyday.
Go to his web site and galleries that handle his work if you want to see , in my opinion at least, one of the top 10 painters of light working in North America today.

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