Tuesday, 26 March 2013

teaching bug

On Saturday I taught my first class. 40 eager to learn students showed up. As this was my first time teaching, I spent many, many hours preparing. I wrote the entire lesson out and recorded it to time myself, making sure I had enough interesting material for two hours.

When you interact with a crowd mostly made up of people you've never met, you don't know what to expect - especially if this is your first time. I wanted to send the artists home inspired not only by the technical demonstrations, but also by an emotional connection.

I got personal and mixed in my humble painting beginnings, the intimate nature of my inspiration and a whole bunch of stories. It was a risk because I didn't know if anyone would want to hear this kind of stuff. At the end, I got an applause. What really touched me were the hugs and an email from the only man that attended. Picking up his brushes with new inspiration after a two year absence, he was excited.

Needless to say, I need to teach. I love giving, but I'm also very much aware of how much I get back. Amazing. A very special thank you to Opus for hosting my first workshop. I look forward to coming back.

Nikol Haskova Studio

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Open to wonder

With my upcoming workshop, I'm going to get technical today. By the way, if you didn't get into the first lesson, Opus added a second one later that afternoon and a third one may be possible at a later date.

I started "Open to wonder" with a basic creamy layer for the sky. With the tree added in, I thought I'd get adventurous and collage in some coloured tinfoil. Previously I had been sticking to gold, silver and the occasional red, but I wanted to try a multi-coloured application. Well, it didn't work. It looked like a bunch of small Easter eggs had been splattered onto a soft landscape painting. 

I went over the added foil with gesso, whitening out most of it. I did leave bits, mostly glazed under the gesso, mellowing the colour out mostly if not completely. I liked the added shapes and texture. I had to go back into the sky and glaze in some reds, azo golds and blues. So now I was back to a textured painting with a lack of drama. Pull out the red. I used pure Pyrol and added some branches plus strategically placed smears for additional punch. Happy. Very happy. The lesson? Precisely that - it's always a lesson. You can't screw up with acrylic. You can always cover, remove, add, shape, glaze, collage and shade. So, go ahead, have some fun, try it out even if it seems silly. Sometimes it will end up elementary looking, but most of the time, you'll end up with a new skill and a great painting.

Nikol Haskova Studio

Thursday, 7 March 2013

The Wife

Self explanatory?
Is 'the husband' getting a talking to, or is he the one giving an earful to 'the wife'? Is he or she listening eagerly and leaning in to hear better? Or, is she or he not wanting to get 'the lesson'? 

Do you have 'the wife'? Are you 'the husband'? Yes, I am giggling. I hope this painting makes you smile too. Cheers to marriage - or watching married couples do their talk. Cheers to life. Cheers to all the wonderful interactions we participate in.

Cheers to a relationship you are in. You may be married, you may not. You may not realize you are. Cheers.  

Friday, 1 March 2013

Willow and her companion

This may have been called "Bulldozer Mike's willow, part 2", but I did not think it would honour the chickadee properly. I don't know if the birdie knew the tree was laying down with only a handful of roots in the ground. 

It probably wouldn't have mattered. The little sweetie seemed to be enjoying himself immensely, singing a morning song, hopping from branch to branch and swaying.