Meeting Notes, March 14, 2019

At today's meeting: Loretta U Bill Pam Jeanie Ken Leslie Elo Tracie Paul Kathy Annie Jim Tim Susan Geri Eunice Judith Greg Thomas and me Celeste

Topic: Suggestions for retaining what you learn in workshops, classes or any other source.

Celeste: Recently I saw a very respected artist writing notes in a planner about the painting that she just completed. I thought, wow, a planner, that's old school, but I went out right out and got one. There is great advice on Kathleen Dunphy's blog. She wrote about how when she left art school she desperately missed talking with her fellow students and teachers. She talked to one of her teachers about it and he advised her to vigilantly "self-critique". She checks Design, Value, Edges, Color and Paint Quality in all her efforts. I devised a form to do this for myself and I'm going to use it on new studies and to make adjustments to older work.

Loretta:  I can see mistakes after the painting is done. It is not as easy to see during than after! I think that repetition is how we all learn. I painted this painting recently. I am calling it "February in Portland".

Bill: I have not been here in awhile because I have been getting Chemotherapy*. I am showing a painting inspired from the day hair got buzzed off. I am showing an iPhone photo of that painting. (Editor's note, sorry I missed photographing it). Also I have been painting in my garden, I painted this  tube in the garden that I made into a creature (laughter)! I am also showing recent portraits. This one of my wife is sort of unfinished...but I decided to leave it here. This black hair was a real was so black and it was hard to distinguish any highlights. *There is a possibly that I will be a candidate for Stem Cell therapy.

A round of APPLAUSE for Bill Kirkham,  --We are all in your corner, Bill!

Pam:  It hasn't been easy to paint recently because there is "dog chaos" at my house right now! (Adjustments must be made because of visiting dog). I am showing a new big painting that I think is pretty much complete!

Jeanie: I minored in Art History and I knew a lot about the paintings I studied. I could recite chapter and verse, information specific to each painting, but now when I look at those same images I don't remember all that data....WHY? WHY is that? (Laughter)!

Ken: I have taken workshops and classes. I have noticed that I might be painting a long time later when something suddenly makes sense. I'll remember something that was taught to me in the past. The knowledge comes up when I need it.

Leslie: I am a compulsive note taker. When I am in a workshop I am usually the only one taking notes! I really don't understand why everyone isn't taking notes. I do know that taking notes (and painting) are using different parts of the brain. I like the notes, however. I have stacks of them and I organize and keep them. I revisit them. I am showing a recent painting from a life model session.

Elo: I have a lot of formal education, but when I first took up painting again I delayed taking any classes. Most people (I think) seem to learn better if they are immersed in a "system". As a medical student there was a mantra: "See one, Do one, Teach one". So, for example; A blood draw. First you have to see someone do it. Then you have to do it yourself and finally just explaining it to someone else will be enough to solidify this new knowledge. I know this is applicable to anything you want to learn. I am showing a recent painting. I moved the paper mill! It is a better design than if I left it where it really is.

I brought in the backscratcher that I use for a mahl stick.

Tracie: I find that if I hear it about 5 or 6 times I then "get it" and then I think that it's *my* idea! (Laughter)!

I recommend this notebook that I found at Paper Source:

Paul: I find that I can't take notes and listen at the same time. (and I would agree with Tracie's statement! Same for me!)

Kathy: I like to keep the paintings that I do in a workshop. It is valuable to look at them. It brings me back to exactly what was being taught.

Annie: I like to make a game of things, if I can. (for example, I loved Elo's Facebook scavenger hunt quiz)! I like to (silently) ask a (specific) question in advance of a class or a workshop...then I wait to see if that question will be answered. I have been taking Tai Chi and when I get back in the car I'll sit there for a bit and go over the moves...was this this way or was that that way (Laughter)! I took Scott Gellatly's workshop and he talked about how he chose a "theme" for the year (for himself). He removed everything from his studio that was unrelated to the theme. Once one of my teachers was teaching about values and how to "link" them.  They used the words: "Rivers of light" to describe what they were talking about. I like how the words helped me understand the concept. One time I asked a teacher...."How am I ever going to remember all this?" they replied..."You don't have to" (Laugher)!

Jim: I'm terrible at note taking, though I do have stacks and stacks of notes! (Laughter)! Repetition has always been my way of learning anything. I still set up my palette the same way he set out his. I have a value thing that I put on my easel to remind me about values! Values is the big thing for me. My wife has me doing Tai Chi. It's challenging but I recognize that Tai Chi and painting have some parallels. Balance is important in both.

Tim: I come here! I don't take workshops...I just come here and learn from all of you. I ordered some brushes online and when they came I was very disappointed. They were not what I expected, they're angled!  It wasn't economically feasible to return them, so I thought ok, I'll try it. I painted this from memory and .......I wound up liking the angled brush! I am also showing a painting I did from a reference from one of my hikes.

Susan: I think it is fascinating that a song comes on and I can remember every single word of it! (Laughter)! I take a lot of notes...crazy notes! I almost always retype them and put them in my computer. If I turn around and teach the information I have learned then I know it even better. Timing seems to be a factor.  When you need the information most it seems that is when it will come to you. It can be something you heard in the past that didn't make sense to you until that day. I am showing a painting that I changed. It had a figure in it, but I completely removed her and the painting improved.

Geri: I took notes but then I never looked at them! (Laughter)! I threw them all out. I remind myself to be fully present. On the rare occasion that I do take notes I write them directly into my sketchbook. I brought a favorite sketchbook to show you today.

Eunice: You have to write things down...because when you do you are writing it directly into your brain. I write important concepts onto index type cards and put them up where I can see them. I change them as I need to. I mark the calendar and plan for certain flowers to come available. Peonies are coming. 

Judith: I'm basically not educable (Laughter)! All my aesthetics come from a sheep ranch and the Sears and Roebuck catalog. My sister and I would argue over which product was the most beautiful. I have invested in workshops at City Colleges and Gage academy. I've paid as much as 400 for a workshop, but then the minute any instructor said anything to me I'd resent it. (Laughter)! I do seem to like to be in a group. This painting is about the early cave art. I actually saw these caves in person in France, but I fell ill while I was there. This additional painting is an effort at painting loosely.

Greg: You need to use what you learn immediately...use it or lose it! I have a journal. I write in it in "essay style" about the things I am learning. That is the best way for me. I did work in the past from the World Wildlife Federation. I recently found this umbrella in a store. These are my illustrations on this umbrella! I thought you might all like to see it. It pleases me that my work wound up on this.

Thomas: I brought Gus! (dog) (Applause)! This topic is of interest to me, because I teach a lot and I want to help students. In my opinion a student can expect to better understand 2-3 major concepts in a workshop. When I do a workshop I go home and practice and "drill". I'm focused on applying what I just learned and the only way to do that is to actually do it (again and again). I like to pull out old (unsatisfactory) paintings and apply what I am learning on them.  I throw the paddles on them (like a  defibulator) (Laughter)! Think about the underlying principles ...think about "the why". I am going to be doing an article for OPA on this same I thank you all for the help! I am showing a painting that I went back into. 


Brenda Boylan
is giving a pastel demo today at OSA 11am 

Willamette Valley Lavender festival Apply by April 30 (but Kathy Johnson recommends that you apply sooner). The judge is Cathleen Rehfeld 

Weekly classes with Za Vue (Tuesdays and Wednesdays at Colours in Hillsboro) email Za for details

Joanne Radmilovich Kollman Portraiture in Oil workshop  at Elizabeth Jones Gallery)

Fine Art Friday Figure Session... Friday March 15 OSA Partially Nude/Draped Life Model
1:15-4:15 pm
Joanne Radmilovich Kollman

Fresh Flower Saturday at OSA with Joanne Radmilovich Kollman  March 16 1-4pm uninstructed 13.00 / instructed 25 

New model sessions facilitated by Bhavani Krishnan Wednesdays at Colours in Hillsboro (2:30- 5:30) email Bhavani for information:

Find out about Yong Hong Zhong workshops:

Find out about Thomas Kitts workshops:

April workshop with Susan Kuznitsky (sponsored by Uart Paper)

OSA classes: Susan Kuznitsky and others Thursdays and Saturdays

Susan Kuznitsky's work is up at Village Gallery for March

Hiatus Drawing club meets after the Alla Prima Meeting at French Quarter

Next Meeting Thursday March 21 Taking time off from painting...have you ever taken a somewhat extended time off of painting? Why? Tell us whatever you want on the topic of taking time off from painting. Bonus question: What brought you back? (if you did come back)...Let's Discuss!

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