This past Sunday I had the opportunity to do a still life demo at the Coppini Academy of Fine Arts in San Antonio. This was my second public demo, and like the first it was a great experience. I love the interactive nature of live demos. This group was very attentive and peppered me with great questions throughout. I learn quite a bit about my own process through other artists asking me to explain what I'm doing and why I'm doing it. I realized that some things I do are very systematic and some are more intuitive. The whole process is very systematic from drawing to initial scrub-in of colors to final pass form painting and reflections. The amount of stand oil I mix with turp for a medium, and when I use it is more on the intuitive side, however. I don't use any medium until the very end of a more finished work. And then, usually only to rework a section. But, sometimes on an alla prima still life (like the demo), which I do rarely, I like to use a little medium with the initial color srub-in so that it gets a little tackey and allows me to paint on top of it without picking it up with the next layer of paint.
Oh the pain of painting in front of people, and not being able to present a finished product!
That's the nature of a 2 hour still life demo. I thought I was choosing my subject wisely and that I could finish. I was wrong. So, the fine artists of the Coppini Academy were treated to watching me paint about one quarter of a painting. Oh well. I hope there was still some value in watching me paint what I did. As time had run out, and I feverishly tried to make some part of the painting look finished, I was tapped on the shoulder by a lovely woman and told that everyone had left. I turned around to see the empty room and had a good laugh :-) I envisioned myself as a crotchety old-timer, painting for hours after everyone had left, forced out of the building by the janitor as I yelled to no one in particular "BUT I'M NOT FINISHED YET!"