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Posts Tagged ‘Keuka Lake’

Sunny Point from Keuka Lake

Have some details here for a two day painting workshop I will be leading at the Sunny Point location on the east side of Keuka Lake, located here in the beautiful Finger Lakes region of New York state. The workshop is being hosted by the Arts Center of Yates County and their Sunny Point location is a wonderful setting. We will be painting on the wonderful porch overlooking the lake and if the weather turns will move inside where they are in the process of updating their lighting with full spectrum LED’s.

The dates are September 28 and 29, Thursday and Friday. The workshop begins at 9 AM and runs to 4 PM each day. Enrollment is limited to 8-10 workshoppers with materials being provided. It is open to all levels of ability– from working artists to pure beginners. Even if you have never held a paintbrush, you can take part and create your own piece of art. You can go to this link to contact them about enrollment.

Looking out from the Sunny Point painting porch

This is my third year with this workshop and it is, surprisingly for me, something that I enjoy. Believe me, I was a little apprehensive in the beginning, as I am sure the folks who attended that first workshop can attest. But seeing how attentive and excited they were by the things they learned was invigorating to me. They made tremendous strides in a very short time and much of what they did was, simply put, exceptional. Plus, it was fun, with a lot of story-telling and good natured conversation.

In the past two workshops we focused on my wet process, one where a lot of liquid paint is put on the surface then taken off. It is fast paced and sloppy but the effects of the paint show themselves immediately. It can be exciting.

We will be painting in this style at this year’s workshop

This year we are switching gears, moving to a more controlled type of painting, one where we will be working a bit more upright on easels, applying multiple layers of paint. To put it simply, the wet process was about pulling paint off to reveal light and this process is about adding paint to build up light.

It’s a different thought process, one that is often a bit more meditative and slow forming. But, that being said, we will be moving at a fast pace. I want the artists there to try to see how it is to paint without thinking so much about painting a picture and focus on each stroke and its importance. My feeling is that every stroke is significant and the painting as a whole is a compilation of small paintings that come together to express something emotive.

Maybe that sounds ambitious for a two day workshop. But I have a feeling that the folks who end up at Sunny Point will be willing to have some fun and work hard to see that end. If it sounds like something that might interest you, I can guarantee you that I will work hard to make it worth your while.

Hope to see you on Keuka Lake in late September!

 

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Sunny Point on Keuka Lake, Location of this year's Workshop

Sunny Point on Keuka Lake, Location of this year’s Workshop

As it was last year, I am leading a two-day workshop this month for the Arts Center of Yates County.  This year’s edition is going to be held at their Sunny Point facility (shown above) on the shores of beautiful Keuka Lake on Thursday and Friday, September 22-23.  I plan on having the attendees experimenting in my reductive technique as well as composing their work in different shapes and sizes than they might otherwise be accustomed.

One of the  purposes of this workshop is to see their materials in a different light and to knock down the limitations and rules that we often set on ourselves.  Basically, the idea is to get them realize that there are no rules when it comes to expressing yourself.

Last year was my first attempt at teaching and if you were reading here at that time you may recall that I had a lot of anxiety and reservations about the whole thing.  But I found it to be a very fulfilling experience and the feedback from the attendees was strong enough to convince me that there was indeed something of value here, that I was getting across something of use to these folks.

Frank B. at last year's workshop

Frank B. at last year’s workshop

Plus, it was just fun spending some time with some really nice people.  We had a lot of laughs, told some stories, learned some new things and made some really interesting work in those two days.  If you recall, I was blown away at how quickly that group absorbed the lessons.  At the end of the workshop they were working at a point that took me a year or more to reach on my own.

I was informed yesterday that there was still one and possibly two spots available for this workshop.  So, if you are interested in attending, you can get more info and register by clicking here or phone the Arts Center of Yates County at 315-536-8226.

Keuka Lake in the fall is always beautiful and I know we’ll have a pretty good time along with a few pleasant surprises.  Hope you can make it!

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Vincent Van GoghWhy does one not hold on to what one has, like the doctors or engineers; once a thing is discovered or invented they retain the knowledge; in these wretched fine arts all is forgotten, and nothing is kept.

Vincent Van Gogh

Letter to his brother Theo 1888

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When I read this quote from Van Gogh, I flashed back to a conversation I had several years back with an artist friend who was urging me to begin filming my painting process.  He said that a deer could jump in front of my car going home from the gallery that night and nobody would ever know how my  paintings came about.  He  thought would be a loss.

That made me think but I still didn’t follow his advice and protected my process, except for small glimpses here and there, for years like an alchemist greedily withholding their found knowledge.  It was one of several reasons for my lack of enthusiasm for teaching.

But time normally changes all things.  I began to realize that it was a fool’s mission in keeping my process to myself.  The  process was tool for expression– it was not the expression.

An artist often has individual expression that transcends subject, material and technique.  For example, an artist painting exactly like me– same trees and process– would produce work that would be different than my own.  It would have a different soul, if it had one at all.  If this artist’s purpose was mere copying, it would not.  I can say this because I’ve seen this before.

So, after a bit, I came to understand that showing or teaching my process would not diminish my work in any way.  In fact, I began painting the way that I do because I initially wanted to see paintings that I wasn’t seeing anywhere else.  Wouldn’t it be great to spur that same thing in others?

To that end, as I announced earlier, I am teaching my first two day workshop,  September 17 & 18,  at the Arts Center of Yates County in Penn Yan, NY.  It’s a lovely town sitting at the end of scenic Keuka Lake, one of the Finger Lakes, famed for their beautiful vistas and multitude of wineries.

I am pretty excited about this and am starting to put together just how I want to teach this.  I don’t want to spend any more energy  hiding my process and I plan to fill each of the  two days with as much info as I can get across while still making it entertaining and educational.  So if you want to spend a couple of late summer days in a beautiful setting learning a form of expression that might spur other good things for you, contact the Arts Center of Yates County.

Hope to see you there.

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GC Myers-Apolitical BluesI’ve been getting a small group of work ready for a show that opens next week  in Penn Yan, NY, which sits at the northern end of beautiful Keuka Lake in the Finger Lakes.  The Arts Center of Yates County holds several shows a year in their Flick Gallery, which is a beautiful space .on the city’s Main Street.   I have been invited to be a featured artist in their upcoming show, Earthworks, which runs from May 9 to June 16.  Normally, I would not try to fit in a small show only a month before a major exhibit such as next month’s show at the Principle Gallery but after seeing the gallery and speaking with their director, Kris Pearson, I was impressed and decided to try to squeeze it in a crowded schedule.  I also thought it might serve as  nice introduction to people of the region who might not be familiar with my work or with the West End Gallery in Corning, hoping they might travel down for my show there in July.

The show consists of a mix of new and recent pieces that  I feel are representative of my body of work.  There are a couple of Archaeology paintings, a few Red Roofs and my signature Red Tree, of course.  The piece shown here on the left is a small new painting, 2″ by 8″ on paper, that I call Apolitical Blues, after the old Little Feat song of the same name.  It’s a simple blues with very simple lyrics–Well my telephone was ringing /And they told me it was Chairman Mao /I don’t care who it is /I just don’t wanna talk to him now —  but with the state of current politics, the idea of being turned off and tuned out to the noise of it all seemed to fit with the solitary figure in this piece, away from the chaos and constant talk of the world.

Being Sunday morning, it seems appropriate that I share Little Feat‘s song with you.  This is a live version that was recorded at the Rainbow Theatre in London in 1977 for their live album Waiting for Columbus, which is considered by critics as one of the greatest live albums in rock history.  I know that it has been one of my favorites since it came out in 1978, a year before lead singer  Lowell George died.  This version also features famed British guitarist Mick Taylor who had formerly played on some of the Rolling Stones iconic albums of the early 70’s.  It’s a great way to open your eyes on a Sunday morning in May.

Have a great day!

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