Thursday, October 17, 2013

Tanis Bula Sunflower Workshop

Tanis Bula had a full classroom for her workshop on Friday, October 11, and by the look of it, everyone was enjoying the chance to try some new techniques.  "Mixing up the Mediums on Sunflowers" was the title of her workshop, where watercolor was combined with oil pastels, watercolor pencils and charcoal to create unique effects.  I was working the front desk at the gallery, but got to listen in and peek at the beautiful sunflowers everyone was painting.

Catching Tanis for a brief hello, I reminded her of how much I learned from her when I took her classes years ago.  She was instrumental in reinforcing the necessity of strong values in a painting, good composition and asymmetry,  and always showed so much joy in just trying a new hue or experimenting with a new technique.

Her love of painting flowers was evident from the examples of her work that she brought to display, and the subject for today's lesson.  She provided everyone with a sunflower photo to work from.

I heard Tanis exclaiming over the gorgeous yellows and burnt oranges in her palette, generously sharing her paints with the students.  They all got to work on crafting petal shapes, shadows and centers.  Kathy Cranmer, a student in the class and talented botanical artist and instructor herself, added helpful information about how sunflower centers, pinecones, pineapples and many other items from nature all follow the Fibonacci sequence in their patterns.  Tanis instructed on the use of oil pastels to create texture in the middle of the sunflower to add that extra sparkle.

Unfortunately, my shift was up before the class was over, but I got to see some masterpieces in progress.

What a beautiful sight seeing sunflower paintings all lined up in row!  There's nothing more cheerful than that!

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