Fi Goes to Class with Me

I just got back yesterday from four days at the IAPS (International Association of Pastel Societies) conference in Albuquerque.  It was a fun but exhausting time, and the trade show was too tempting an attraction!  I left more of my money in Albuquerque than I intended.  But I’m not letting myself feel too bad about that – the conference only happens every two years, and I probably won’t go again unless there’s a class I really am interested in taking.  Most are about landscape which just isn’t my thing.

I took two classes while I was there and went to one demo.  My favorite class was the one in which I began this painting of my beautiful Fiona (whom I missed so much when I was gone).  Anne Heywood taught the class.  She is an excellent teacher, and I whole-heartedly recommend her and hope I get to take another class from her at some point.

Anne led the class in an organized and methodical way, explaining her methods in detail.  She gave me several ideas which I will incorporate into my painting process.  What I really liked is that she talked quite a bit during her demo, letting us into her thought process as she progressed.  And she set aside the last hour of the class (which was a full day) to critique each student’s work.  I learned so much from the critique – not just of my painting, but of all the others as well.

I was so enthusiastic that I painted on the piece for another three hours when I got back to my room after dinner.  And the next day, Anne was kind enough to take the time to look at my piece again and give me some great ideas on how to improve it. 

I worked on it this evening then photographed it.  The darks could probably stand to be darker still.  And I need to continue the deep shadow under her tail further to the right.  The paper seems to be filling with pigment, so tomorrow I think I’ll just extend that shadow then call it finished.  If I had been working on this piece at home, I probably would have made it larger, and I hope I would have given serious consideration to including a part of the patterned chair she was sitting on in the photo.

Thanks, Anne, for a great class and for getting my pastel juices flowing!

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