I don't paint many still life paintings and when I chose this class I had that in mind. Every year I visit the John C. Campbell Folk School to take a class. Even though I paint all the time I don't always take a painting class. The first year I took blacksmithing, then painting, then two years of woodturning and a couple times in "guest" status to just do plein air painting. So Still life painting class almost seemed like a new venture to me.
The week was a cold one this March, but the painting studio was warm and a good place to get down to work. The instructor was Melody Boggs from Atlanta, Georgia who has had decades of experience in still life. Melody does a fully developed monochromatic layout of the subject on the canvas before adding color, which I don't usually do, but it worked well. Even though I paint all the time, it took me two paintings before I got comfortable. Melody, with all her experience, is really helpful composing the painting, adding and subtracting objects, colors and sizes to make a really nice composition. Added to that, she is all about the student, spending time to help those who need assistance the most or giving suggestions and critique to someone like me who has had a lot of experience...in her words, "miles of painting".
The pictures.....Melody in the art class, one of my setups and paintings in progress, some of the paintings the class did on a shelf in the classroom and then the finale held Friday afternoon in the auditorium, plus one more of my works, a single piece of pottery done on the last day in just two hours.
Next year, what will I do at JCCFS? Not sure yet, but the rest of this year I will be doing more still life thanks to Melody, a really fine instructor.
Unless you're a famous artist with galleries clamoring to get you in the door (I'm not) you have to look around for a place to show. I used to be in Talisman Gallery in Bartlesville, Oklahoma --- "Where", you say???? Listen, Richard Schmid and a lot of other well known people showed there at one time. I used to sell regularly there, but now the gallery is gone and the owner has retired. So now what? From time to time I will do an art show, but they are often hard to get into -- although they are quite happy accepting you $30, $35 or $40 entry fee!!!
Not far from my home there is a coffee shop we frequent. The owner, a very nice guy, with his wife have had work showing at the gallery. My wife went there and just asked how can we get a show. It turned out to be that simple. Also, a block away is the local library. After giving an invitation to the librarian who always says "hello" to us, he says maybe I can show there at the library. I also am an artist member and frequently do shows at The Next Picture show Gallery. I've done a portrait workshop there last year, in addition to fund raisers for them. Some call that networking. Don't ask me too many questions though -- after all these years and all this training and experience I am still not in a gallery where I sell enough to make a living. Look for me at Xanadu Gallery Studio artists.
One last thing...I do often get invited to join galleries from New York to San Francisco to Florida. Pretty flattering, huh? well, they are looking for anything from $600 to $3000 per year to be part of their gallery. I'd love to start a gallery with a hundred dumb artists who will send me $300,000 to show their work.
The pictures were taken at the Regulus Coffee House show. That's me in the foreground.