Monday, October 24, 2011

David Leffel, Exploring the Possibilities of Paint

I was not privileged to attend the Art Students League of New York, or have the influence of great instructors such as David Leffel. During my 4 days of workshops  at "Week End with the Masters" I was making up for lost time. In his class especially, I felt I was in the presence of greatness, many years of wisdom accumulated with brush in hand "exploring the possibilities of paint". Not that I aspire to paint in his style or even in the same genres- portrait and still life. He began with painting the form of an egg, then flipped the canvas vertically and turned it into a person's head (without looking at a subject, just knowing). I sat upfront, overlooking the glare on the surface of his demonstration. Even the paint application bowed to his explanations, reasoning, the whys, his description of edges as the soul of the painting. I kept pushing that record button to relive it when I need a creative fix and to share it with you... relax and enjoy. He sums up what I was feeling when he says: "I learned that from Rembrandt".

His class intro video is also on Youtube. Link here for more on David.


Carol Blackburn said...

Wonderful post, Jill. Thanks so much for sharing. I've watched some of David Leffel's videos on You Tube. I think I am getting an itch to pick up my oil paints and try again. I am feeling a bit stale with watercolor right now. Just waiting for a subject to excite me to paint.

Theresa Laird said...

Great post Jill! You get so much more out of watching how he works and listening to his intonations to get the full meaning, than you do just from reading his book.I'm headed over to You Tube to see more!

Jill Berry said...

Carol, that is what you should do. I highly recommend oils. Sometimes it doesn't get exciting from the start. But jump into a subject just to get the feel, experience the paint. Thanks for commenting.

Theresa, Glad you enjoyed. Congrats again on the Bagdad painting! Nice work!