August 8, 2008

Workshop at the Norman Rockwell Museum (Part Three)

A busy day indeed. We started by painting yesterday’s model from memory. I had dropped hints the day before that memorizing the model and the mixtures of paint they used to capture her is part of the students’ learning process.

So we started the morning by painting on yesterday’s study. And everyone improved their pieces rather quickly. They felt free to use whatever colors were needed to enhance their pieces. Muddy colors suddenly got more luminous.

In this way, they were able to simplify their color schemes, and practice mixing fresh, clean color.

Then we ran upstairs for a quick walk through of some of Norman’s best. Again, I simplified the process for them by taking as much of the mystery out of his painting process as possible, and thereby making it accessible. I was touched by how much fun we had talking about the things that thrill us about his work. So simple, so elegant.

Painters like Rockwell weren’t gods...they were people. Like us. Which makes it all the more amazing to me.

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