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jackiesimmonds
09-01-2004, 06:33 AM
Just fyi, here are some photos of an Albert Handell demo I watched in Santa Fe at the expo:

Here is a drawing, when he explained how carefully he would look at trees. see how the bark twists, and how the branches join the trunk. He showed us how he would often draw the entire circle of a branch, seeing"through" to the back. He talked about cast shadows too, which followed the curve of the shape onto which they fell. :

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/01-Sep-2004/1805-Albertstreeswcsaveforweb.jpg

Here is his initial drawing for a painting, done on Wallis paper, drymounted down onto museum board. He used a 2B pencil:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/01-Sep-2004/1805-alberts-demo-1-wcsaveforweb.jpg

Over the drawing, he worked in Watercolour:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/01-Sep-2004/1805-albert-demo-1saveforweb.jpg

On top of the watercolour, he worked with pastel, keeping his touch light. For each area, he would pick up three pastels, very similar in tone, but slightly different in colour. :

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/01-Sep-2004/1805-albert-demo-2-wcsaveforweb.jpg

Here is the almost-finished piece. He said he might add a few touches, but only on the far right, and not much even then.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/01-Sep-2004/1805-albert-demo-3saveforweb.jpg

His "palette" was selected from his main set. Here is what he used:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/01-Sep-2004/1805-Alberts-palette-wcsaveforw.jpg

You might have to use a bit of imagination to visualise how the pic might look when framed. To my eye, it is a lovely atmospheric piece, supported by very sound draughtmanship.

Jackie

karenlee
09-01-2004, 08:11 AM
Fascinating! such a limited palette. I hope to see a Handell demo in person some day. Thank you for posting this!
(any more?)

teangna
09-01-2004, 08:31 AM
Hi Jackie,

Thank you very much for the pics. I just got my Pastel Journal in the mail last night. I read the review about Albert's new video. This is on my wish list.

But I also read the article about you. I loved "Book Fair Couple" and your statement about not putting in faces of the ballerinas so as not to detract from the subject. I have your video of the flowers and garden arrangements. That was my first art video.

Maybe I'll get a chance to paint this weekend. I've had my grand-daughter almost every weekend. I let her use my pastels. It's her favorite part of the day when we pull out the "chalks" as she calls them.

Thanks again Jackie :clap:

Teangna

jackiesimmonds
09-01-2004, 09:59 AM
glad you enjoyed the demo, I felt privileged to have the chance of photographing it as it progressed. Yes, it is a limited palette isn't it. See the orange pastel? All he did was "dot" the colour on in a couple of places! He said how much he enjoyed Kitty's paper, he hoped she made a million bucks from it!!

He also said something which I found very revealing. He said how much he enjoyed doing the painting, and that he had "meant every stroke". He worked quite slowly in some areas and I believe he did "mean" every stroke, and I learned a lot from that comment. Instead of faffing around, filling in areas willy-nilly with a vague hope that they might work, it is important to really consider what you are doing, and "feel" and "mean" every mark you make, because that is what makes a work honest, and special.

meowmeow
09-01-2004, 10:13 AM
Thanks for posting this Jackie. I really enjoyed seeing the WIP and reading about his comment. Very interesting.
And I agree about your perception of this painting...just lovely and excellent drawing. It just confirms what I know.


Sandy

Terry Wynn
09-01-2004, 10:25 AM
I wanted to thank you for posting the demo. As a new member I appreciate all the sharing that goes on here. Everyone is very giving with tips and alternate ways of doing things. I've only been painting for about 1 and 1/2 years with pastel and while I don't have a "style" I am having a great time learning what pastels will do and experimenting with them.

I appreciate the time you took to post and giving us the chance to look over your shoulder!

Terry

K Taylor-Green
09-01-2004, 11:19 AM
Thanks, Jackie, for the wonderful demo. It was almost as good as being there, and so very informative.

Tom Christopher
09-01-2004, 11:41 AM
Thank you for posting this, Jackie. It must have been fascinating to listen as the painting developed. I may have to be satisfied purchasing the video.. Tom

Kathryn Wilson
09-01-2004, 01:29 PM
Thanks for posting this Jackie! I've always admired his work and it's a delight to see how he develops his paintings.

Just curious - and maybe I should put this in another thread - but do people get as much out of a demo as they do with the hands-on approach. I have the chance to attend some workshops this fall, some are demos and some are hands-on.

bnoonan
09-01-2004, 01:38 PM
Fantastic photographs Jackie - thanks for sending them along.

I'm taking a class with Albert in October in New England and this has really whetted my appetite for the class and his approach. I love the idea of adding watercolors and a drippy background to add more flavor to the work. It's a wonderful piece!~!!

Barb

jackiesimmonds
09-01-2004, 03:56 PM
Trying to emulate another artist's approach often ends in disappointment. However, one can learn a lot from watching a demo and there is value in it. Whether there is more value than a more hands-on approach will depend on how you use the information you glean.

Barb how lovely. I enquired about Albert's trip to France next year. The cost, for the teaching and the accommodation, for a week, is $4500!! On top of that, one has fares to consider!

I would suggest that at those prices, his hands-on teaching NEEDS to be worth it!

Jackie

Deborah Secor
09-01-2004, 04:00 PM
I'd say go watch a demo to get your creative juices flowing, but no workshop should be completely without demos, in my opinion. It seems my students enjoy seeing how to do it, then trying it and getting a little help. That's how Albert used to do it in his workshops and how I do it in mine, too.

I find it very interesting to see that Albert is doing the same demonstration here that he did in all the years I worked with him. The only slight difference is he used to either wash over the charcoal sketch with turpentine (he was working on Ersta back then) or he would tone the paper with a melange of varying colors laid side by side and then tone it before doing the drawing. It's the same technique he taught then--learn the inner shapes, think through the tree, as if it was made of glass, track the shadows to show shapes and movement, keep the foliage looooooose....

Here's a close up of one of his from 1988:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/01-Sep-2004/23609-Handelltree1988.jpg

I guess we keep what works, don't we? This is still a very telling and profound demo!

Deborah

Kathryn Wilson
09-01-2004, 04:11 PM
Thanks Jackie and Dee - it is such a long list of workshops and I'm not sure whether hands-on or demo would be best for me. Gotta make up my own mind soon. :D

I think a combo of demo at first and then hands-on would be terrific.

jackiesimmonds
09-01-2004, 04:17 PM
How interesting Deborah! I am not entirely surprised that he is still doing basically the same stuff today, just with a slightly different approach which has evolved a as a result of using Wallis paper.

Let's face it, when doing a demonstration, against the clock, to a group in a class situation, it is probably safest to stick with what you know really well. Nothing worse than attempting something new, and have it fail on you, although I daresay that some students might take heart from that!

Whenever I have to do a demo for an art society, I always have a little rehearsal at home! I'd hate to have them watch me make a complete mess of something - I don't want to waste their time.

In a workshop situation, that is different. I am prepared to tackle something that the student is tackling . If I make a mess, I will simply discuss the problems with the student, and start again, and hopefully get it more right, and we both learn from the experience.

Kitty Wallis
09-01-2004, 04:41 PM
Thanks for this thread, Jackie. Good planning, pictures, and a generous sharing idea. Albert Handell is a warm, beloved teacher.

About the 'demos or hands on' question.
I prefer to get the students doing rather than watching. I've seen too many students hope for too much from watching a series of demos. After learning what can be learned by watching, many students report frustration when back in their own studios working with the techniques and ideas they 'learned' at the demo. I believe the illusion of learning from a demo is stronger than the actual learning and leads to a disheartening experience with one's own work if it's indulged in too frequently.

Best is a hands on class with short demos, with the emphasis on the student's own experience.

lawsportraits
09-01-2004, 05:20 PM
Thank you so much for posting these pics Jackie. This is a real treat for me, Handell is one of my all time favs. I'm green with envy (times 3) :envy: :envy: :envy:

I'm still anxiously awaiting my copy of The Pastel Journal. I've already received calls about the artical Dee-artist wrote on Debra Jones and myself. I'm sounding rather silly when I reply that I haven't seen it yet. :(

Heather :D

Maureen Grantham
09-01-2004, 05:54 PM
I am very new to painting and pastels and loved watching this demo. I find the use of watercolours as an underpainting intriguing and feel it would solve a lot of my background problems. One thing that puzzles me, would this technique work on papers other than the one that was used in the demo?

Maureen Grantham
Perth, W. Australia

Khadres
09-01-2004, 06:59 PM
The technique he used would probably do fairly well on any sturdy, non-buckle-y paper that can take moderate washes of watercolor, altho I'm pretty sure Wallis would be the best, by far.

I bought his video since I didn't get much from the demo way in the back...I don't hear worth a darn and he was in front of the easle from my angle so I didn't see much either until the breaks, so I thought the video would be something I could watch more closely and enjoy over and over. It's one of the few art videos I've seen out on DVD too! I haven't sat down and watched it yet, but will soon.

I agree that hands-on is probably best, but I DO get SOOOO much out of seeing it done by a master first! I was totally lost as to how to start until I got Barry whosit's (Brit pastellist--there I go spacing names again!) videos on doing landscapes in pastel...after seeing those and then later Jackie's tapes, I was a lot more confident in my early fumblings with the sticks.

At the same time, tho, I can't imagine sitting through Kitty's pastel making class and just watching her roll pastels a mile a minute and really learning much...it was actually handling the "dough" and mixing the colors together that made the whole thing real and actually taught me that I probably won't make my own in future unless there's some special color I run across that I can't buy ready-made. It's LOTS of hard and messy work, albeit lots of fun. Oh, well, I won't rule it out, now that I think of it...some of the colors I brought home ARE one of a kind, I think! There's that green so dense it's almost black, for instance, and that eye-smacking pure ultramarine blue....hmmmm, where'd I put that order form?

I need to post pics of my hand-mades soon....

Kathryn Wilson
09-01-2004, 06:59 PM
Best is a hands on class with short demos, with the emphasis on the student's own experience.

Thanks for the advice, Kitty, I pretty much have come to that conclusion too. Now to find one that fits the bill - I don't even care if its pastels or oil pastels. I see one by a favorite artist of mine on color - Stephen Quiller; or Sean Dye's pastel class on mixed media.

binkie
09-01-2004, 07:17 PM
Thanks so much for the post, Jackie. It is so interesting to see demos of different techniques. And Dee, thanks for adding to it. Handell's trees are lovely. As a relatively new art student I have to say that I agree with Kitty. My instructor used to give a short demo and then we'd work in class. I got so much more out of those classes then I do now that she merely critiques work from the last class assignment and then does a demo, sending us home to work.

gwen

Deborah Secor
09-01-2004, 07:19 PM
I believe the illusion of learning from a demo is stronger than the actual learning and leads to a disheartening experience with one's own work if it's indulged in too frequently.

Well, to some degree I have to agree with you, Kitty. I have to insist that my student's go to work, since some are just as happy to pay to watch me paint! When they get their hands dirty I see far more growth.

There is a point, however, where watching a pro do her thing is very instructive. For instance, I stood behind you all day last Friday (well, not all day but for a loooong time) and I think I learned quite a bit. It wasn't about painting portraits, but about application of pastels over the underpainting, about value and color and strokes, about your thought process to a degree--at least as far as what you paid attention to at what point in the painting. I noticed an emotional connection between the subject and your expression (the background colors in particular, though much more too!) It was a very exciting day for me.

So, I think there's a time to stick your nose over the shoulder of the artist and WATCH--but not to the exclusion of sticking your fingers into the pastels.

And I would highly recommend a class that shows the student enough without overwhelming her, and supports her efforts to learn. Have fun, Kat!

Deborah

chatfieldstudios
09-01-2004, 07:40 PM
Thanks Jackie for the demo thread....and I have really loved reading the words of wisdom about hands-on versus demo. I like the videos but I really learn when I have to DO it!

jackiesimmonds
09-02-2004, 03:41 AM
I have always felt that demos are entertainment.

BUT having said that.....what you get out of a demo depends on what you need. If you needed to see how to go about doing an underpainting, because your underpainting procedure was tentative at best, then you could learn a great deal by watching someone throw watercolour on with abandon. Or, if you are the one throwing colour on with abandon, you could learn a lot from seeing how someone else selects colour carefully, and uses more control.

If you pick up only one or two pointers during a demo, which relate to what you are doing, and help you to see how you can improve your own process, then the demo was partly valuable, and partly entertainment!

Jackie

Khadres
09-02-2004, 01:23 PM
Well, there are demos and then there are DEMOS, too. Having already gleaned a lot of Kitty's mental process from "talking" to her here in the forum, her demos at the Expo were VERY informative to me even tho she didn't have time to explain what she was doing and why. I'm not sure someone who hadn't ever "met" or talked with Kitty before would've gotten as much out of it. And Handell's demo session was good BECAUSE he took the time to explain his thinking and technique. Those are the useful demos that I don't really regard as "just" entertainment.

Then there are the demos where everybody just sits and watches an artist work with no clear idea of why he/she is doing this, then that, and finally that over there. Those seem more in the nature of magic shows where the artist produces a finished work by some arcane means or other. Those are fun, but a lot less educational.

Kitty Wallis
09-02-2004, 03:31 PM
I think I was reacting to a couple of students that I had who told me they simply wanted to come to my studio and watch me work. I said ok if you do home work. They never actually did much homework and eventually quit altogether. saying they 'didn't have it'.

I concluded they had no way to know if the had it or not since they didn't do enough to find out. I decided not to be a party to that again.

SweetBabyJ
09-02-2004, 04:27 PM
Yes- but would little quiche thingies change your mind? :D

Kitty Wallis
09-02-2004, 05:29 PM
Yes- but would little quiche thingies change your mind? :D

Maaaaybee :cat:

DGrau
09-02-2004, 07:14 PM
Don't wish to paint in his style, but I do love his work. Thank you for the chance to both see another and to see how he gets there.
appreciated it
Thanks
david

Deborah Secor
09-02-2004, 07:38 PM
Well, there are demos and then there are DEMOS, too. Having already gleaned a lot of Kitty's mental process from "talking" to her here in the forum, her demos at the Expo were VERY informative to me even tho she didn't have time to explain what she was doing and why. I'm not sure someone who hadn't ever "met" or talked with Kitty before would've gotten as much out of it. And Handell's demo session was good BECAUSE he took the time to explain his thinking and technique. Those are the useful demos that I don't really regard as "just" entertainment.

Then there are the demos where everybody just sits and watches an artist work with no clear idea of why he/she is doing this, then that, and finally that over there. Those seem more in the nature of magic shows where the artist produces a finished work by some arcane means or other. Those are fun, but a lot less educational.

There is an incredibly difficult thing that has to go on when teaching and painting: TALKING. Have you ever tried to talk and paint at the same time? (It uses two very different parts of the brain.) Try it sometime. Gather an audience and as you start, tell them out loud in a clear voice what you're doing and why. As you do things, explain them in some detail AS you paint. Do not stop to talk too often or you lose track of the painting, and do not paint and stop talking or they lose track of what you're doing. Paint a decent representation of what you're teaching as you talk. If you can do this you can become an effective painting instructor--and it aint easy! :p But it's fun to do when you get good at it! I find it's the best way for me to teach. I like doing things this way. I paint and talk and talk and paint for about an hour out of my three-hour class. However, I insist my students paint for the remaining two hours in class, too, or they don't learn.

One thing that always makes me antsy is to watch someone demonstrate, especially if they paint itsy bitsy little things without talking. I pace, I walk back and forth, I want to ask questions and get closer or farther away. It's like...well...like watching paint dry! Argh! Finally I have to burst out and GO PAINT! It's sometimes very, very good for me to watch others paint. It spurs me on. That's part of why I liked watching Kitty at the show. I could move around, ask a quick question at the right time (though I bet I interrupted you more than once, Kitty! Sorry...) and see up close or far away. Afterwards I just had to go do it. I'm having a blast trying things now. Experimentation, learning, risking it--that's what it's all about, isn't it? Step right off that cliff!!

Deborah

Kitty Wallis
09-03-2004, 01:07 AM
I enjoyed you being there at my portrait demos, Deborah. You did not interrupt my painting flow.

And Jackie, Thanks again for showing us Handell's demo. I've never watched him paint.