Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Plein Air Convention 2014 - One more Demo

Wharf Wiggles
Oil on Gessoboard

Time flies and I got myself busy with an art display for a community event, painting in the local plein air festival and finishing some paintings I wanted to enter for a few shows.   So here I am, still wanting to add another demo to share with you from the PACE in Monterey, before I can catch up with my regular posts:-)  There was so much to learn and consolidating my notes here on this blog has really helped me digest all the information I gathered!


Charlie Hunter's demo was great!  He is -  irreverent, funny and of course an extremely talented and skilled draftsman and designer.   It would be impossible for me to translate into words, what his demo was like in real life :-) I will simply pass on some of his very sensible remarks on painting and creating.

Charlie's technique is refreshingly different from anyone other painter I know and when I had a chance to talk to him he thought it was interesting that I would like his work, since I paint with so much color.    What I find myself so drawn to in his work is the strong light/dark contrast and his excellent design and composition.    He says the reason he paints monochromatic is that:  "Well, color (harmony?) is hard, composition is hard and telling a story is hard - If you can eliminate one...."
And he has the best tag line I've heard for an artist - 
Painting Drippy Portraits of Rotting American Infrastructure.


Charlie paints with Watermicible oils in Burnt Sienna, Viridian and Ultra Marine Blue (with Naples Yellow and Cobra unbleached Titanium, his Thinner (Glycerine and water).  He also uses some unusual tools like Stimudents (Wooden tooth picks), Rosemary (Evergreen Synthetic) Brushes, Black Silver by Dynasty and cheap brushes from Ace Hardware plus Squeegees for straight lines like utility lines, and he suggests using brushes you can't control.  "I like the evidence of the fight and struggle."

Charlie points out that as artists we are story tellers - not journalists, and we get to tell people: "Come here, there is something I've gotta show you."

Some more words of wisdom from Charlie:

  • Use a sketch book - it provides endless source material.
  • We are Gods of our own paintings.
  • Stephen King's book on writing is applicable to artists as well.
  • The painting is better by constantly editing.
  • You want the painting done to a degree where you can ask: "Is the eye going where I want it to go?" 

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