Monday, October 21, 2013

Michael Chesley Johnson workshop - Day One

Hurray, the day so many of us have been waiting for has finally arrived, the first day of our workshop with Michael Chesley Johnson.  Our meeting place was the old Spanish mission Nombre de Dios.  This St. Augustine mission has lovely grounds, and is a great place for the first morning of our "plein air to studio". Our format is to spend mornings doing thumbnails, value studies, and color studies. Then after a break for lunch to finish up in the studio.

However the morning didn't start auspiciously. We were greeted with heavy rains on our arrival at the mission. Luckily there was a small covered gazebo that was just large enough to accommodate our group.

A little rain blew in from the sides, but for the most part we remained dry, and got to hear an interesting lecture from Michael, and to watch him start a demo as well.

He chose as his subject the little chapel on the grounds as well as one of the statues in the foreground. It was a great demo on seeing how you often have to change things as you work in plein air, as he started out with a gray, misty painting, and then as he worked the sun came out!

And as he worked we also had wonderful background music - the voices of children singing in the chapel.

Once the sun came out we were free to roam around and find spots to set up for our studies, so that we would have something to work with back in the studio

At midday we broke to all drive over to The Art Studio, a lovely facility right on the beach! 

 We had a wonderful lunch there - many thanks to Lyn and Patty for providing that. And we had a great space to work with tables set up for everyone.

We had several hours to work, with Michael giving advice, and then a group "show and tell" at the end of the afternoon. 

Although he spent most of his time with the students Michael also continued to do a little work on his study from the morning. 

And following class many of us had a chance to talk more with Michael and his wife back at Lyn's house, who had graciously invited everyone to dinner. 

After such a great day I think everyone is looking forward to day two, and hopefully a little more sunshine.

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