Tell the story with as few words as possible
Dave, Sue, Veece, Bryan, Liz and I arrived at the ranch Thursday afternoon to work on our plein air technique with Stuart Burton of the Art Academy of San Diego. After a welcome margarita and chiles rellenos for dinner, Stuart discussed our goals for our 3 day workshop. His approach is very inspiring – “tell the story with as few words as possible” – reminding us to watch our values, shapes and shadows and let color take care of itself.
Friday morning Bryan and Liz received individual drawing instruction, while the rest of us worked at our easels until we lost the morning light. After lunch, we headed to Valle de Guadalupe for wine tasting and a tour of the village of El Porviner, which offers many scenarios for plein air painters. A delicious dinner of carne asada awaited us when we returned to the Ranch.
Saturday morning brought more painting and more inspiration, then we were off in the afternoon for a group horseback ride. The riders in our group, Mike, Dave, and Kathy were happy to be hitting the trails once more. Everyone had a great time, from beginners to experienced riders – Raul always takes care of the guests and matches them to the perfect horse. Dinner was delicious beefsteak ranchero, served with homemade jalapeño salsa. Carmelita really outdid herself!
At Sunday’s critique, everyone agreed we had learned a lot, and had some nice canvases to take home. Dave completed three, Sue had two beauties, Veece excelled with five, and I’m almost finished with one – I was working slightly larger, but I’m just slow! Liz and Bryan had some good sketches from their drawing sessions. As we packed up our wet canvases, easels, carts and all, we were wishing for just one more day, but we’ll just have to return when Stuart comes back in March, June, and October of 2015. Watch this space!