I’ve been so excited to announce that I’ll be teaching a landscape painting workshop for the Grand Central Academy this spring! The workshop will be five days in New York City from May 30 – June 3. We will go up to Inwood Park at the northern tip of Manhattan, where the landscape is surprisingly rugged and untouched. This workshop is designed for those who are interested in the Hudson River Fellowship experience but who may not have the time or flexibility to participate in the fellowship itself, which is a 4 week commitment. In this workshop I’ll be teaching landscape painting the way it was introduced to me by my teachers Jacob Collins, Edward Minoff, and Travis Schlaht who I have been studying closely with over the past four years. At the Hudson River Fellowship, we emphasize pre-impressionistic landscape painting practices. This means learning to slow down and be a patient observer, making studies that are faithful to nature and which will serve as useful references in the studio for larger paintings. The inspiration to focus on foreground studies comes straight from Asher B. Durand’s advice in his 1855 letters on landscape painting. He instructs the novice to “Proceed then, choosing the more simple foreground objects – a fragment of rock, or trunk of a tree; choose them when distinctly marked by strong light and shade, and thereby more readily comprehended…” In my experience, I’ve found that this approach is a great way to tackle manageable subject matter while learning to grapple with the challenges of working outdoors. I’ve included some examples of the kind of studies we will be learning to make, and you can also find more on my website’s landscape page. Please email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) with any questions if you are interested in this workshop! Stay tuned to this blog for a future post that will address different suggestions for materials and equipment.
To register, go through the Grand Central Academy website.
Foreground Studies with Emilie Lee, May 30 – June 3 2012
It can be easy to feel overwhelmed by nature’s infinite complexity when approaching the landscape “en plein air” or “in the open air”. In order to move beyond broad impressionistic representations of nature, it is necessary to slow down and spend time carefully observing the integral parts that make up the whole. In this workshop we will focus on the importance of studying nature at close range. While grand sunsets over the mountains are sure to impress, it is the intimate foreground studies that anchor a painting and give the viewer a sense of scale and space. With an emphasis on careful study and an inquisitive mind, students will learn how to use their time in the field as an opportunity for gaining a greater understanding of nature. We will discuss how this knowledge will translate to the studio process and how in turn the studio process will inform future plein air sessions. A variety of methods will be introduced including linear drawing, ink wash, written notes, and color study in oils. We will read and discuss excerpts from Asher B. Durand’s 1855 Letters on Landscape Painting and take our inspiration from the small plein air studies of the Hudson River School painters. Students should have some experience drawing and/or painting from life and be willing to spend the entire day working outside, rain or shine! Each day will include a demonstration by the teacher and individual instruction addressing each student’s work in a one-on-one critique.