Friday, 21 October 2011

Charles Reid at Crantock - Day Five

During the afternoon of Day 4 we were asked what we would prefer to do on the final day. The choice was between another painting from a photograph or a still life. The vast majority opted for a still life.

On this occasion a white background was chosen rather than the seascape of the previous one. Charles began with a contour drawing, very light and accurate but not precise, virtually only a light outline. The bottom area was drawn first and he occasionally erased a line. After finishing this area he moved to the vase drawing upwards. On this particular day Charles was quite reticent saying comparatively little, while drawing or painting. Possibly, for what was a more complicated subject, he needed to conentrate fully or  was tired on the last day of a quite demanding workshop. Perhaps a combination of both.

The painting began with the upper flower. At one point he was asked which blue he was using. His reply was `I don't know'! This emphasizes another point about the Charles Reid approach. Every painting is a new adventure and they are not planned to the smallest degree. Things happen as he goes along, and is a riposte to the school of thought that say everything should be decided in advance. The greens were mainly Cadmium Yellow and various blues and he stresses variation is important. He took his usual short breaks.

 Still Life - Schut Noblesse 50 x 40cm not.

In the afternoon we painted a variety of still lifes that had been setup from the previous days session. Doug Cushman elected to paint from a photograph, actually two I think, but I believe he was the only one. During this afternoon session Charles would pop in from time to time and look at the paintings in progress, commenting on every one and helping those who asked for assistance. He did this all week.

With comparatively little text with this demonstration I have posted many more photographs of the painting as it proceeded. Many considered this  his best work of the course. It resulted in a beautiful painting. The painting of the flowers, fruit and croissants were a masterclass in the use of imaginative colour. The way in which he proceeded mirrored that of other demonstrations as he uses the same tecniques whatever the subject.

Basically this is the end of the demonstration section. There are two more items to follow. One is an overview of the course and something about fellow students. I may do something about the courses I have been on later, when I've had more time to consider and reflect about them .The last part is something I was going to call `An Interview with Charles Reid' but on reflection I think it will be a conversation  because this describes it better. Actually it will be the result of several short conversations and a slightly longer one on the final day. 

I should have mentioned that an exhibition was held at 6pm on the evening of the final day. Each student was asked to pick two paintings and exhibit them in the same room where we painted. Anyone staying at the hotel were welcome to view them.

Gilles Durand

Ian Wright
Doug Cushman
 I've had a comment from a painting friend (criticism!) that more student paintings should have been shown so I've added all those I photographed. Apologies to those I wasn't able to identify.

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