Sunday, September 25, 2016

Plein Air Painting with Randy Sexton

I wrote an article for the Springfield Art Guild newsletter and wanted to share it on my blog.  Randy Sexton is a terrific instructor and artist.  I am very fortunate for the opportunity to have taken this class with him.   

The Landgrove Inn is an absolutely fabulous place for workshops for both students and instructors.  If you are looking to take a class or as an instructor for a location to hold a class I recommend you check it out. 

Randy Sexton’s Plein Air Workshop at Landgrove Inn

Looking for a great place to take or teach a workshop?  The Landgrove Inn was everything I could hope for and more.  Check out the Landgrove Inn website for more information about their workshops.  

I’d never painted plein air or been to Vermont so when my art friend Margaret Sheldon  suggested taking a class with Randy Sexton in Landgrove Vermont I was game.  I had mentioned to Margaret I wanted to take a plein air workshop.  She had taken Randy’s workshop last year and enjoyed it so much she was taking it again this year.  On Margaret’s recommendation, I signed up and headed off to Vermont the 2nd week in Sept. 
Here’s what I liked about this workshop:  I’ve long admired Randy Sexton’s work and he was teaching in Vermont in the fall!  Perfect.  It is a place I could drive and not have to fly with oil paint.  Check.  All-inclusive package with gourmet meals.  Check.  Terrific scenery to paint everywhere.  Check.  A large barn/studio for classes if needed (next to the pool !). Check.  

The lovely thing about being away at a “retreat” is you really get to know your fellow artists.  I have learned it is hard to get to know classmates when many of them live nearby the workshop and go home after class.  At Landgrove Inn, everyone gathers in a cozy lounge in front of the fire after a day of painting and eat together giving you a wonderful opportunity to talk and share experiences.  

Randy setting up

Day One: We headed out to a field near the Inn.  Randy demonstrated for us even a simple setting has great potential and explained what we should be looking for…Contrasts, darks and lights, how to get depth... 
He made it look so easy! 

Randy picked this simple setting
Then Randy made his magic happened

Day Two and Three we painted in nearby towns.  Lots of creeks and lovely old buildings to paint.  Randy did demos both days and people were still able to paint 2 paintings a day.  Mine will probably never leave my studio, but that's what a workshop is all about...learning something new. 

Day Four:  We painted at a nearby farm.
Randy's day 4 demo, gorgeous!
On our last day, we visited a local farm with 
lots a great farm machinery & animals to paint.  

The cows were behind the goats in the barn.
Not something I am used to when painting…this little pig that kept trying to eat any art supplies on the ground!
I’ll have to learn to paint a lot
faster if I want to paint chickens!

Randy is a terrific instructor who helped me get a basic understanding of what I should be considering when painting plein air.  Its not all about how you apply paint.  He can do amazing things just wiping off with a rag.   

I had such a terrific time I’ve already signed up for Randy’s workshop at Landgrove next year.  I really admire artists who can look out on a scene and not be overwhelmed by it.  I hope with practice I’ll be able to translate what I’m seeing to a canvas. I still have a lot of work to do on paring down my oil painting supplies before I go again.