The Taos Society of Artists had about six to ten members, the Hudson River School up to twenty-five. Our Arizona Renaissance Art Guild is small, with eight to twelve members, so if we’re talking about numbers, the Guild is in good company. Who knows what history’s retrospective look at us will be….
Anyway, I’m back from the workshop, having had the most grueling week of fun ever! We literally painted from morning until night, sometimes as late as midnight, only to begin again the next morning around eight a.m. If we had had some bunk beds and a shower, I think we might have just stayed at the museum. The Gilbert Museum is a wonderful place for us to work and they have been so very gracious to us over the last eight or ten years, especially the museum’s director, who always goes out of her way to make sure the facility is top notch.
Some of us copied the Old Masters, and some did original works. And speaking of retrospectives, I will be providing individual pictorial ones on some of our artists at a later date, but I just want to give you a photographic overview of the work we did this past week, and the environment we work in. Some of the unusual colors you may see are underpaintings designed for specific effects later on. Also, keep in mind these photos are just snapshots. We all know what a picture is worth, so here it goes:
In related news, I got a new easel. I used a French easel until I wore it out, so I bought a new, more robust travel easel. After much research, I settled on the “Belmont” by Jack Richeson. It can support the larger size boards I often work on, can tilt forward for pastels, and lay flat for oil glazing or watercolor. Yes, other easels can do all this as well, but this one is special in important respects: it is made of renewable lyptus wood AND it’s on wheels so I can use it for a sort of hand truck when loading my supplies after a workshop (Of course, never put heavier things on it–it’s not really a hand truck, after all :-)). I got it from Madison Art Supply who had the best price at the time. They provided quick delivery, too.
What sold me on this particular easel is that another of our members had one, and one day, he showed me how easy and FAST it was to set up and take down. I was amazed and “sold” at the same time. The fact that it was from Richeson was a plus, because their company is at the top when it comes to customer service. They will make sure you are happy with your purchase, especially if you have a problem. And in this case, I did have a problem: the bottom tray didn’t grip well enough and wanted to drift downward (over the course of hours of painting) and I had to readjust it periodically. It wasn’t an urgent problem, but I called them about it anyway. They sent me another tray and made sure it got to me by the second day of the workshop! These people are incredible so consider Jack Richeson brand the next time you need art supplies.
The Arizona Renaissance Art Guild does one-week workshop intensives three times per year, and in addition, we get together to paint all day on the third Saturday of every month. If you are in the Phoenix Metro area and are interested in finding out more or possibly joining our colony, please let me know through this blog. ~Marsha