Monday, June 28, 2010

Ovanes Berberian Workshop 2010

Just getting back from the workshop of a lifetime taken from the great Ovanes Berberian who is one of the top colorists in the United States. It was such a delightful experience to get to travel to Rigby Idaho. Yes I said Rigby. ;)  After days of packing and shopping for an extensive supply list that was needed for this trip I packed up the truck with my paints and grabbed my easel and off I went! 3 1/2 hours later I had arrived.
Here is the driveway going up to his property.....just remembering being anxious about what was to be in store for the week as this was my first workshop ever.
After parking, this was all I saw when I first walked in.....a wall full of....... well stuff that looked like the inside of my parents garage, except outdoors on shelving. I guess this is where he keeps all of  his still life set ups.
Everyone was busily setting up their tents to paint the beautiful still lifes that had been arranged for us. So many still lifes set up that we got to skip around a bit throughout the day in order to try and capture the sunlight. I made sure to take lots of pictures of all of them, but posting them would of taken forever, so if you want to see more you wil have to come visit.
There were painters from all over, North Carolina, New Hampshire, San Francisco, Oregon, Seattle, Brazil and even a few Art Teachers. I had fun getting to know them all. Check out Ovanes's house/studio in the background, it screams Artist!
Here are a few peeks at the still life set ups:

and this one must of been for the guys because you would of never found my umbrella setting up for this one! Ick!
We were told that this was a good way to organize our palette, and so I spent many hours mixing my oils to the right consistency and a few Art store trips later to buy this much paint that I hadn't planned for.
During the week we were on our own alot, workshop hours were 9-4 pm and we could come early or stay late. We would usually see Ovanes around 4-5 as he would come out and critique for about an hour or so and do a little bit of painting on some students canvas for a demo. Ovanes also did 2 demos during the week on Tues & Thurs. in his studio from 9-1:30 am! He must be a night owl. We were all so in awe at his paintings that we didn't have a hard time at all staying awake.
Ok, so don't laugh, here is one of my set ups....remember this is my first workshop and first time painting still lifes outdoors! We were told to do washes and stay in the abstract phase as long as possible. We really weren't supposed to resort to how we were used to painting and to try what he had recommended. That's actually quite hard to do!
and here is one of my 2nd ones I worked on throughout the week. I had originally brought small canvases to work on and on the first day he saw how my paintings were suffering by trying to be squeezed in and said you need to paint bigger, you have alot of energy, go get you some bigger canvases. So I found some board and gessoed it. Boy was he right, it WAS cramping my style!
At the end of the week I found this workshop very insightful, I will never paint the same again, mix my oils the same and I have learned alot from Ovanes and other students. It was exhausting work but so worth it, especially since I heard this might be Ovanes's last year teaching.
My friend, Tonya from Brazil got to take 2 paintings home that were painted on by Ovanes during his demo's outside. I told her I would ship them to her so they had time to dry but she didn't go for that. lol She must know how much they are worth!

The drive home was beautiful, I never looked at Idaho as that but for some reason this trip changed my mind. I saw so many new colors in the sky on the way home and amazing landscapes were all over the place!
Just a few facts:
I did read some reviews about this workshop before I went and found some negative comments about it, but from my experience none of it was true for me. I found Ovanes very open to answering questions and helping when you asked. He also shared alot of his studio setup ideas and painting materials which he didn't have to do. I ended up buying 2 of his demo dvd's to watch, a still life and a landscape and can't wait to watch them. His demos are amazing! I wish I could say I came back refreshed but overall it was alot of work and alot of information to take in! It might take a year or so before it all sinks in.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Idaho Getaway at the Blue Heron Inn

I just got back from a 5 day beautiful stay in Rigby, Idaho at the Blue Heron Inn. What a wonderful and pleasant treasure it was to stay at. I went down to attend a plein air painting workshop and this was one of the closest places to my painting location. I was very happy with the accomodations and the owners( Dave and Claudia Klingler) made me feel right at home. Their property sits right in front of the Snake River and is just Spectacular!

This was my first bed and breakfast stay so it was such a treat to wake up every morning and have breakfast made for me in their beautiful kitchen. It was a gourmet breakfast every morning. The owner, Claudia is coming out with her own cook book soon and I can't wait for a copy.
Even got to enjoy eating breakfast right by the birds
This was the room I stayed in

and the view out one of my windows
I couldn't help but take pictures of all the beautiful quilts lying around all done by Claudia herself. What a talent to be able to do this! These were so well done and this one she even used iridescent thread on.
Also little embellishments of bees and bugs and little beads. This one is worth enlarging.
She did this quilt after one of William Morris' who was the founder of the Arts and Crafts movement if I remember correctly.
This one took home an award at an Idaho Falls show
and this one she took those dish towels that have the days of the week on them and sewed them into a quilt titled" No time for housework and quilting too, that's why housework makes me blue."
She then added the duties that women are so busily tied up with every day around the edges. Like cooking, sewing, baking, mothering, shopping, exercising, scrubbing, gardening, banking. etc.
Such a diverse style, this one seems more modern to me
and this one very traditional
Loved this one, it looks like a Mary Engelbreit with all its fun bright colors.

Very cozy and I had a hard time packing to come home.
They even give discounts to the Artists that are taking the workshop if you stay at their B&B 
More to come tomorrow on the workshop, It was well worth the trip and I came home with alot of informatiom, insight and inspiration!!! Can't wait to share!!!!
If you would like to see more information about this place go check out

Guess Where I have been ????