Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Finding Time to Paint

Posted by Maggie

It's embarrassing to start every blog with the admission that it's been too long since I blogged last. So I'm going to skip that and move on.

Since I posted last, we have been away from home more than we've been home. We taught workshops in Scotland (with an extra week there for a vacation, which is pretty rare, since most of our travel involves teaching), in Arkansas, in Spain, in New York City, and in Georgia. We spent Thanksgiving with family in Massachusetts. There were some occasions when we had as few as three days home between trips. It was crazy, hectic, and mostly fun.

Scotland is one of our favorite places in the world. Painting there is wonderful; there are so many subjects everywhere you look. For this workshop we were on the eastern coast, and I fell in love with the harbors and fishing villages. My favorites were Crail and Pittenweem. As always in Scotland, painting outdoors is a challenge. It's often wet, usually cold, and then there are all the usual problems of plein air painting. But it remains one of the places I love most, and love painting.  At left, my partially-completed field study of the harbor at Pittenweem.

At our Georgia workshop, I did one of the demonstrations in oil. As readers of this blog know, I've recently returned to painting in oils, though pastel remains my primary medium.

I chose for my subject one of my favorite spots in Scotland, the village of St. Abbs. Bill and I spent a couple of days there before heading to Anstruther for the workshop. It's a place I hope to return to again and again. I have dozens of photos from this wonderful village and from along the seacoast on the walk we took to St. Abbs Head, and hope to paint many of them, soon!  
Above, St. Abbs Afternoon, 11x14, oil on canvas, ©Maggie Price.

After a whirlwind of activity, we arrived in Spain in October for the workshop there. We've held five previous workshops in the tiny village of Juzcar, which until just a few months ago was an unspoiled, undiscovered white village in the Genal Valley of Andalucia. Shortly before we arrived in 2011, though, Sony Pictures chose Juzcar as the "home of the Smurfs" to promote the smurf movie. With the agreement of the village, they painted the entire village, every single white structure, smurf blue. The village was overrun with overexcited children most days, and we took more day trips to quieter, white villages, to paint. The village was scheduled to be repainted white, but as of this posting, the villagers have voted to remain blue. So in 2012, instead of going to Spain once more, we're offering a workshop in Italy in October. If you'd like to join us, I believe I can promise a smurf-free zone.

I'd like to close by promising to post more often, but the reality is I'm on deadline for my third art instruction book, so who knows how the next couple of months will go. I thank you for reading, though, and wish everyone a wonderful 2012.

1 comment:

  1. Never fear, we all love your blog no matter how often or not you post!!! and your books, and articles in Pastel journal and artists mag!