A couple of years ago I found a painting teacher. Roaming the countryside on open studio weekend, I met Sandra Spiedel. She paints how I want to paint and loves to teach. It’s unfortunate her weekly class lands on the farm’s busy “restaurant order day” because I can only attend now, at the beginning of the year, while orders are small and not running into shortages.
Wednesday I arrived full of excitement. This 6-week session begins my third year. New faces, familiar faces, same smell of paint, jump right in to introductions and talking about painting and life. It’s the ideal mix of philosophy, practical tools and work. The group dynamic is powerful, pushing us all along our individual paint paths with a sense of unfailing support.
We are all encouraged to explore a series of paintings, to push one idea as far as we can go. Squash are it for me. They are such simple models. I can use them to learn more about color, varying the backgrounds, try to understand the relationships, what moves forward, what moves back? Intuition fails me too often. I want to be able to make decisions about color with more authority and clarity rather than muddling through, scraping off, then re-applying paint again and again.
We paint together after we talk about the work that is brought in. Usually we work for about an hour, then prop up the wet canvases and step back to see the stunning variety of interpretations. Same subject filtered through different eyes, different fingers. So inspiring! I’m so glad to be back.