I’ve been wanting to share some photos and details from my recent three-day painting workshop in Alberta, Canada, and I’m finally getting around to it! The workshop was organized by Hermann Brandt at Clear Air Art Studio in Cochrane, which is just outside Calgary. The talented group of artists who participated in the workshop are accomplished artists themselves (many displaying their work in galleries around the area) and were excited to learn my specific techniques related to painting figures in the landscape.
The weather was a bit dismal during my visit, but we made the most of it. My first painting experience after arriving was in cold, drizzly weather as Hermann and I painted the Bow River from underneath a bridge in hopes of staying dry. We got pretty cold and wet nonetheless, but enjoyed the experience.
We awoke to rain again the next day and prepared to begin the workshop. The participants arrived and decided that it would be just fine to stay inside and focus on the portrait aspect of the figure that day, so that’s what we did. We posed our model and set up the lighting, then I did a portrait demonstration to start things off. Everyone else got a chance to paint in the afternoon and practice what they had seen and what we had discussed during the demonstration.
The next day was cloudy, but rainless, so we traveled to a nearby park where we set up our model outdoors and painted together. The sun even peeked out at intervals throughout the day! We started the day with a step-by-step demonstration—I would paint for a bit on my painting, then have everyone else do that same step on their paintings.
During the afternoon, we set up the model in a beautiful meadow for another practice session. Everyone got a chance to paint and experience the changing light conditions as the sun faded in and out with the passing clouds.
The morning of the last day of the workshop, we discussed my methods of painting from photographs. I demonstrated painting from a photo while everyone watched and asked questions. We hoped for a clear afternoon, but the clouds and rain showers remained so we decided to paint indoors again. We set up our model in a nice pose and everyone enjoyed another chance to practice once again.
I got some great feedback from several of the participating artists, and I think each one enjoyed the workshop and was able to take something away with them that would be helpful in their continued art journey. I know I was inspired by all of their hard work and eagerness to learn.
I was able to stay for a few more days after the workshop had ended so that I could do a little more plein air painting. Hermann took me to a few of his favorite spots and we got a chance to see some of Banff National Park as well. Liz Wiltzen joined us for a little painting at Moraine Lake in Banff, and we were thankful to have a few hours without rain while we painted there. We stopped by a rainy, but beautiful Lake Louise after we finished painting, although the low clouds kept us from seeing the surrounding peaks.
It really was an amazing experience overall. Hermann did a tremendous job organizing and facilitating the workshop, and I’m grateful that he invited me to visit Canada to teach. Thanks, Hermann!
Wow. You were freezing up there & we were melting down here. The world is a funny funny place. Looks like you all dealt with the challenges quite well.
Yeah — we could have used some of the warmth up there!
Hey Dan, if it makes you feel any better we had even rainier,colder weather for my workshop this weekend, and it started snowing this afternoon! I was feeling bad that I had my students indoors for half of the 3 days, but your blog reminded me of how much I loved your workshop regardless of whether we were in or out. All good learning!
Hope to paint with you in Canada under sunny skies someday soon!
Ugh! Sorry to hear that, but I’m sure everyone enjoyed the workshop anyway. After all, you ARE the Heli-Painter of Light! I hope to paint up there again with you too — I deserve to see Banff in the sunshine!
Wonderful photos of the workshop, I enjoyed it so much! I’m really sorry I had to bail from painting with you guys! I know I missed out on a great day, rain or not. I agree, you do deserve to see Banff in the sunshine. Hope you plan another trip soon.
tejae: heart artist
Dan, looks like you had a great turn out.
One day I would love to take your portrait painting classes. Evening class, unless I win the lotto and can come during the day. HA!!
Blessings to you and your family.
We missed you, Bobbi — hopefully we’ll get another chance to paint together sometime. Tejae, you’re always welcome in any of my portrait classes. I currently have a three-day portrait workshop scheduled at Cottonwood in November if you’re interested in that one…. http://www.danschultzfineart.com/information/classes.html
Dan, again, thanks so much for your generosity of talent and time. Your patience was quite something – maybe you could bottle it and sell it alongside your wonderful paintings! Although once Ian turns 2 or 3, we might want to reveiw how you’re doin’ on the patience thing!
I learned tons and my mind is still spinning. Once my internal centrifuge grinds to a halt, I will re-process everything from the beginning. In the meantime, it was a privilege to study under your most capable tutelage. And a huge big thanks to Hermann for making it happen in the first place.
Stay in the Light,
OOps! I really do know how to spell r-e-v-i-e-w. V 🙂
Thank you, Verna. It was a pleasure meeting you and seeing your progress. Keep up the good work!
How late can one be on posting a comment, especially when you’re the one who hosted the workshop! I’m just visiting your site again (Actually, if you check you’ll see how many times I do – I’m stalking your talent mate). I wanted to comment when you first posted but didn’t have time right then and then things got away on me. I have your two paintings framed and up in the living room; they look great. I’m still thinking of how to steal the one of Sarah that Sarah K bought, but she will know where to come to get it back. I took the one we did under the bridge and used it as reference to redo mine. Needless to say it looks quite a bit better. My project is going very slowly but I’m doing it. I’ve been working on getting the African Art Safari’s going. If things come together as I hope, the first trip could be early summer 2011. I’ll keep you posted. Forr you aa maake a speciaal ah praaiz. Anytime you and some buds want to come up here for a painting trip, let me know and I’ll help you get it organized.
OK matie – all the best – do all to honor Him who honored you with the gift of LIFE!
JACKSON!! Good to hear from you — I was just wondering how your project has been going. Glad you’re making progress! And I’m glad you’re working on the Art Safari — I’ll take your speciaal ah praaiz! 🙂 I’m excited to hear more about the trip and the other ideas we talked about.
Glad you’re enjoying the paintings in your living room — I’m honored that you hung them in such a prominent place and not in the downstairs bathroom!
I finally varnished and took photos of the paintings I brought back from the trip so I’ll hope to post them to my website soon. Took me awhile…. I’ve got a 40″ x 30″ on the easel right now that I’m enjoying so far!
Funny Article about Plein Air Painting Dan Schultz Fine Art
[…] Funny Article about Plein Air Painting If you're new here, you might want to subscribe to the RSS feed for future updates.Powered by WP Greet Box WordPress Plugin I just wanted to share a link to a funny article that OutdoorPainter.com posted about plein air painting and how artists hold their paper towels. Especially since Liz Wiltzen gave me a hard time about this very thing during the workshop I taught in Canada last September! […]
Beautiful paintings, Dan! You really seem to capture the serenity of the landscape and the moments of quiet contemplation reflected on the faces of your models. Really amazing locations you chose, as well.
Thank you for the nice compliments!
Its a nice painting.I like to participate on this workshope if u invite me.I am a painter living in ethiopia.
Its a nice painting.i like it.i am a painter living in ethiopia.so i want to participate if u invite me on this workshop.tnx
Hi Mewael — this workshop happened a few years ago, but I’m happy to keep you posted about my upcoming classes and workshops through my email newsletter. You can subscribe for free at the link below. Thanks!