September Workshop: Mill of Kintail
The third and final summer workshop went extremely well...as the two previous ones had.
Despite the fact that it is September, the weather continued to feel more like mid-July than early Fall. It didn't cause us any problem though, as the air conditioned Gatehouse studio was lovely and cool...perfect for working.
The leaves were slowly losing their summer time vigorous green and becoming more yellow-green in colour. The flowers around the Gatehouse were still blooming, but some are past. The apple tree in the front yard was bare, but that's the seasons of Nature for you. Despite what season it is, there is always something beautiful to see on the Mill of Kintail grounds.
In the morning we went outside to sketch whatever interested us, and then went back to the coolness of the studio to begin work on paintings. It was just too sticky outside to feel really comfortable. The coffee pot was constantly brewing in the kitchen, and classical music wafted gently from the little sound system I had taken along. This is a place to forget the outside world and just relax.
On Sunday afternoon we went to the Mill of Kintail Museum and Dr. Robert Tait McKenzie's wonderful studio. It's a studio that I wish was mine, and I can see why the McKenzie's loved to come here each summer to relax...gardening, swimming and sculpting were always activities that the doctor and his wife Ethel loved to do. It must have been difficult to leave here each Fall and return to Philadelphia to live and work.
Dr. McKenzie produced work that was masterful, strong and evocative. To stand in his studio and look at the plasters and bronzes he created is so inspiring. He was an artist who was world class, as well as being a physician of international fame. The Mill of Kintail was his retreat, and so close to the homestead on which he was raised. He was destined to leave the farm and achieve great things in so many fields.
To say he was a great Canadian is understating his abilities. You must visit his studio and see his incredible work for yourself some time.
An afternoon stroll by the river was a pleasure as always, and many pictures were taken.
I have strolled along the banks of the Indian River more times than I could count, and yet I always see something new...a slightly different light, the rough bark of a leaning birch tree, or some new colourful plants sprouting from rocks in the middle of the stream.
All you have to do is forget about the outside world and focus on the one in front of your eyes to see fabulous things.
That's what artists always do...look, question, marvel, and describe by some means what they see.
They are a super sensitive bunch those artists...not much escapes their inquisitive minds and all seeing eyes.
The workshop opened with an introduction to special guest speaker and photographer Chris MacFarlane.
Chris presented a well received, hour long presentation on Photographic Compositional Techniques.
A lively discussion ensued with the consensus being that all of the techniques presented are shared in the compositional aspects of painting.
On Sunday afternoon Chris set up his special "cross polarization lighting" system and shot each of the paintings produced by the group.
Everyone was amazed at how their work looked so much more vibrant when lit properly. They all worked hard, and now have a good photo of their work to prove it.
Everyone thoroughly enjoyed the weekend experience, and some will be returning for the one day workshops on Oct. 10th., and Nov. 14th. I always think it's a positive sign when people return for more workshops...Chris and I must be doing it right!
There will also be a two day “Painting the Winter Landscape” workshop at The Gatehouse Studio on Dec. 19 and 20th.
Why not give yourself an early Christmas gift of a workshop, and join us for learning, fun and friendship!
Blair T. Paul, all rights reserved
Edited and posted by: Chris MacFarlane Photography
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Welcome to my blog.
I'll be writing on a regular basis about my experiences as a painter over the last forty years. I hope you'll share your thoughts and comments with me - it's a great way to be connected.
Blair T. Paul