I'm back home - bear with me - I've got a lot of catching up to do. I drove 14 hours straight yesterday, from Austin to Atlanta, so I'm a bit of a zombie today and soon enough I'll get painting again. This past week has given me increased respect for both teachers and truckers.
So if you'd like to hear a little about the new adventures of Karin - please read on....
Day 1 - I took a deep breath, jumped in my car, turned on my Tom Tom (which by the way, I could be a walking advertisement for) and proceeded down the dark road, heading west. Yikes. One of my greatest regrets, along the way, was that I couldn't stop in my 82-mile-an-hour tracks and take pictures of some of the most beautiful landscapes. It was just impossible. The bayous beside the interstate in Louisiana, the hundreds of quirky, colorful water towers spaced out for miles, the long shadows of the cars on the highway ..... I saw dozens of paintings in my head. I stopped for the night in Lake Charles, Louisiana - stayed in one of those hotel/casinos, which was quite the visual experience. I had never stepped foot in a casino and if the 50+ security guards would have looked the other way, I could have taken some of the best shots and done some of the best paintings of my life. The gamblers. Ugh. What a subject. Alas...... that's one of many lost photo ops.
Day 2 - Not long after I headed down the road, that road turned into a bridge equivalent to the most nightmarish roller coaster ride on earth. I was the one in the left lane, going 20 miles an hour, screaming at the top of my lungs. I was terrified. I think it was an hour before I pried my grip off the steering wheel. I hate heights.
The landscape soon became flat and absolutely stunning. I was thinking about the song "I Saw Miles and Miles of Texas" as I headed for Houston - where I met two friends for lunch. No time for photos - I had to get to Austin to meet up with Carol Marine, who was my teaching partner in the workshop.
Carol, by the way, is the most delightful person. I have a dozen of her paintings, all bought on eBay, so I'm a big fan of her paintings - but seeing more of her work and watching her paint affirms that this woman is gifted. Really gifted.
Day 3 - My only free afternoon - I waited out the rain and headed west towards Fredericksburg in hopes for some good landscapes - meeting some creatures along the way.
Day 4 - Up at dawn and the first of the 3-day workshop. Twenty students and all were great fun from the very beginning. Carol and I did similtaneous demonstrations - mine resulted from a borrowed photograph from one of the students - which was a great subject to try out.
Day 5 - Our second day of teaching, talking and another dual demonstration - this painting resulting from one of my own photos. What I thought was interesting was the examples of two different painters using two different sources - Carol painting what was right in front of her and me painting from photographs.
It was a completely new experience for me to have 21 people watch me paint. The trick was not to turn around.
I also contributed some figure drawing tips that have helped me.
Day 6 - The last day of the workshop was about painting faces, enjoying the oils and being loose with the brush strokes. I painted a student and Carol painted this fabulous self-portrait.
We spent the afternoon talking about the business part of being an artist - Justin Clayton and Qiang Huang, fellow DailyPaintworks artists and friends - joined the group as well.
I wrapped it up with a great feeling of accomplishment - I did something new and I learned a lot myself. Thanks to all who participated in the workshop - it was my pleasure and truly a privilege. I hope to do it all over again one day.
As I left Austin, I thought the only negative thing about the city was their scary overpasses - otherwise a beautiful place to be. I need to get some sleep, catch up at work and I'll be back to painting in a day or so. It's good to be home.