Fire in the Belly

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I’m home from a five-day intensive workshop with Robert Burridge. The workshop, Abstract Acrylic Painting and Collage, was held in Bend and as Bob so aptly said: We will be covering five years of art school in five days. We sort of did, at least the Cliff’s Notes version.

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Over the course of the five days, I took 22 pages of notes and Bob gave us multiple handouts. During the first two days of class when Bob was delivering oodles and oodles of general information, I felt conflicted with wanting to get going with painting.  We painted a bit on the first day, but I figured we would be painting more on the second day. Well, we did paint more, but still not all that much. I was torn between wanting to sit at the feet of Bob and absorb all that he was so generously sharing about his 22 years of daily painting, and wanting to get my hands dirty. I finally came to the conclusion that what Bob was giving us was invaluable information and I would have plenty of time to paint when I got home. Of course, we did paint during the week and more as the week went on, but the information I collected is priceless. I’ve already gone over my notes twice, circling, marking them up, and making notes for artists to investigate, books to read, and  changes I want to make in my studio. Did I mention that Bob is funny? Hilarious. I was continually writing down Bobisms –pithy little sayings. No topic was off limits, making it an entertaining and rich week. For sure you’ll want to check out his website: Robert Burridge Studio

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I won’t share the details of what we learned because that’s Bob’s information to share. But I will skim the surface with a listing of some of the many topics he covered just to give you an idea of the magnitude of this class. The following list is in order and then again, in no particular order, because sometimes he circled back.

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Risk-taking/working in series/learning to paint our own stuff/painting materials-traditional and irreverent/gessoes/paints/glues/varnishes/Citra-Solv/rubbing alcohol/paper/substrates/panels-mats-frames/copyright/color theory/developing concepts/structure-composition/warm-ups/texture/contrast/production/gray scales/value/drawing/figures/negative space painting/inspiration/artists & writers/landscape styles/naming and signing paintings/marketing/creating a body of work/galleries and festivals/themes/concepts/shape-size-color/pros & cons of making prints/commissions/photographing art work/inventory/resume-bios-artist statements/drip trees/pricing/shadows/travelling with art supplies.

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We did paint and I’ll share photos from my week. In order and not in order. Bob gave us warm-up exercises and assignments during the first few days, then left us to do whatever we wanted while he circulated or worked on paintings himself. We could paint, we could watch him paint. It was all pretty great. One of my best painting classes ever – and I’ve had some great teachers.

We started with black and white then graduated to color.

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I finished a few, and I’m still dabbling with several. Here’s a teeny tiny taste of the workI did during the week, some finished, some in process.

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I was working on some new concepts and ideas and it was great fun to experiment.

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And then it was time to go home.

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