I drove up to Coupeville on Whidbey Island on Sunday, as I intended to spend a day learning from James Moore at his studio starting early Monday morning. I got there in time to go paint at the city boat launch on Sunday afternoon, a place I had painted once before, with good water, mountain and cliff views. It took hours to get my feet and hands warm again after painting en plein air in my breezy and very cool spot, and I came away with what I thought was a disaster, shown here. Then, I spent some time later working on it in my studio, something I rarely do. The next day, I met James for the first time; Here's his web site, http://www.jamesmooreartist.com/, but it doesn't do justice to his work that's full of rich color, unity, delightful pieces of abstraction amidst representational scenes and strong light.
I found that James is a very kind and patient soul, a great thing since I was really off kilter that day. I told him beforehand that I get lost at times and lose my plan when I'm painting. He had ample evidence of that during our day together and was good at stopping me when I'd, as he said, "Go sideways." He pointed out that I was encroaching on my lights, something I really couldn't do if I was to end up with anything resembling the cloud formations I'd chosen to paint. He also helped me to recognize color temperatures as I painted, pointing out when I could do better by varying cools and warms, something I don't often attend to well. James showed me how to make a sky look as if it's arcing above you -- by deepening the color, or in my case, blending in more of a violet blue graded from the top straight down. He introduced me to a langnickel brush, a very handy natural bristle brush that he let me use to lightly drag edges for variation and softening, when he saw my frustation without a brush adequate to the task. Even though I gave up after hours of struggle because I'd gone beyond fatigue with the piece, it was a good day of learning. Thank you, James!
Photo coming soon...
See the web site of Jolyn Wells-Moran at http://jwellsmoran.com.