View Full Version : Bob Rohm's Asheville Plein Air Workshop - ADDED PHOTOS

Kathryn Wilson
10-22-2006, 05:10 PM
Hi Gang :wave:

Just returned yesterday from Asheville, NC attending Bob Rohm's plein air workshop. Needless to say, I am exhilarated and pooped. We learned lots, painted a bunch, had a lot of laughs and hauled equipment till my arm was sore.

The workshop started on Monday with foul weather, so Bob did two demos - one pastel and one oil. Both were gorgeous and done in about two hours. He makes it look so easy!

What did we learn? He works on white Wallis, and blocks in his darks, lights and 4-5 main color masses with his hard pastels, then uses either water, turpenoid or mineral spirits to wash them into the paper. Squinting to get the bigger masses in place - continuity to masses throughout the painting is important to the overall composition. (mine were too spotty in my first painting so I needed to connect my darks better)


The second day rained again, so we painted from photos indoors - two paintings that day. We concentrated on identifying those large blocks of darks and lights. I had one fairly successful painting from that day.


The third day we finally painted outside - around the grounds surrounding the studio. Lots of beautiful things to paint - I chose a stream running through the property.


The resulting painting (not a good photo)


We then headed out to a farm that had wonderful vistas and Bob did a demo.


Unfortunately we had a very irate farmer who insisted we leave, so we did not get to paint. (long story, not worth mentioning)

The next day dawned very foggy, but we chugged over the mountain to Bat Cave and Chimney Rock - along a rock-strewn streambed. Yikes! Do we need to go down there to paint :eek:



Bob did a demo in oils - boy he makes it look so easy. Two flicks of a brush and there's a rock.

My poor little painting - one rock looks like a big potato, but I really enjoyed this location and hope to go back again.


We went on to Lake Lure to paint the water and mountains - I will post my effort later as I need to make my rocks look less like a german war helmet :crying:

The last day we went to a farmhouse - a wonderful old inn and original everything! I did not get a successful painting here - too windy and I was having huge problems with my easel. I have reference shots of the springhouse I want to paint again. But here are the reference shots I got -



That afternoon we had a critique session of all the paintings and I learned lots about diplomacy and how to critique a painting. The comments on my paintings in general were good (except the german helmet) - values, color, overall comp were good. He especially liked the color combination I used in the 3 trees painting.

BTW, something I learned the hard way - DO NOT take or rent equipment you are not familiar with :evil:

So there you have it - I will add some more photos as I find them in my camera and hopefully some of the other WC members who were at the workshop will join in.

Kathryn Wilson
10-22-2006, 05:15 PM
Ooops, can only include so many photos in one message block, so here are more:



10-22-2006, 05:27 PM
Hi Kat!

Glad you enjoyed Bob Rohm -- Carly and I took his workshop a couple of years ago in Apalachicola, FL. We did love his ways! Such a giving person and so attuned to figuring out what each individual needed.

Love your tree painting with the creek. That is wonderful -- love the light!

Sorry the weather (and the farmer) were not amenable! But, I know lots of good information was probably forecoming about working from a photo.

See you soon?

Kathryn Wilson
10-22-2006, 05:35 PM
If you come back to western NC again, let me know. I love painting out there. I saw the two paintings you had in the SE Pastel Society show - so congrats on that too. I attended a meeting of the brand new Appalachian Pastel Society in Black Mountain and viewed their show - so there is a new venue for you to show in - :)

S'funny Marsha, Bob didn't say much to me - kept patting me on the back and saying good things - probably feeling sorry for me. You just never know what they are thinking!

Pat Isaac
10-22-2006, 06:09 PM
Thanks for all the photos, Kat. Sure looks like you had a great time and learned lots. I really like your tree painting also and it looks as if you have some nice reference photos. Beautiful countryside.


10-22-2006, 08:01 PM
Thanks, Kat! I'm so envious- looks like it was fun. Too bad about the grumpy farmer. Your paintings have a real freshness to them, all three.

10-22-2006, 08:47 PM
Hi Kat,

Your photos are great. The area and the scenery look beautiful.

I really like your yellow tree over the stream painting. I keep looking at it.


Kathryn Wilson
10-22-2006, 08:56 PM
Hi Kat,

Your photos are great. The area and the scenery look beautiful.

I really like your yellow tree over the stream painting. I keep looking at it.


Hello Terri :wave: Thanks for commenting on my stream painting. It was a beautiful spot to paint and the early morning light hit that tree just right after the morning fog lifted. I wish I could get a better photo - there are some delicious blue shadows over that front sand spit, but they turned out pink. sigh, silly camera

10-22-2006, 11:06 PM
I'm glad you enjoyed Bob's workshop, Kat. And I like your pieces! You did a great job.

Deborah Secor
10-22-2006, 11:27 PM
Wow--looks like a very successful time for you, Kat! The yellow painting is a WINNER!!! It's probably even better IRL... I also think the rushing water painting is grand! Your rocks look rocky enough to me--just need a few subtle touches here and there, as I'm sure you're aware. Love those rich blue shadows in the three green trees painting.

Thanks for sharing.

Kathryn Wilson
10-22-2006, 11:31 PM
Hi Michael - this was the first workshop I've ever attended, so I didn't know what to expect. I did know to expect not to do my best work - I'd been told that, so it was no surprise when I came up with a few stinkers - :) But you learn from the experience and move on and try harder on the next one.

We didn't have the greatest weather but we worked around it thanks to Bob's incredible patience - go with the flow and work around it. It is a little hard to paint pastels in the rain - I learned to shield my paper quickly when the drops got bigger.

The farmer thing was an interesting experience - we were painting where all the workshops had always painted on a road that is not marked private or no trespassing, but it did get ugly and we left.

I guess I learned that flexibility when plein air painting is key -

Kathryn Wilson
10-22-2006, 11:37 PM
Hi Dee - I was hoping you'd stop by - :)

Colors amazed me this trip - I put colors together that I've never done before - and I cannot explain it. Bob really liked the colors in the 3 trees painting - and to be very honest, it was totally by sheer accident that I put those colors together, so it wasn't on purpose. Now if a professional had done that, they would have known why it works.

The big tree by the stream painting was good for me to do - it pushed the envelope for me. I do not do paintings well that have no sky in them - very difficult for me, so I was pleased when this turned out well.

Glad you liked them - dare I post the stinkers? I should, shouldn't I.

10-23-2006, 08:21 AM
Stinkers have rights, too. ;)

Mary Brigid
10-23-2006, 12:34 PM
Kyle i don't think Bob was feeling sorry for you when he patted you on the back. i think it was a "Well Done" pat. Your yellow tree is amazing. Your rocks look great and the 3 trees are rather mystical. It looks such a lovely place to paint. Thank you for showing.
Mary Brigid

Dot Hoffman
10-23-2006, 01:41 PM
Kat, I'm so glad you had such a great experience! I especially liked your painting with the stream. Asheville is such a beautiful place and I think you nailed it pretty well with that painting!!!

10-23-2006, 02:18 PM
I'm with Deborah on this Kat - great job especially considering all the adverse weather and a grumy farmer. My favorite it the tree by the stream - very relaxing, but the colors are energizing. Great 3 tree piece too.

Gotta run - son needs printer to print a paper for science class...


Kathryn Wilson
10-23-2006, 09:29 PM
Mary, Dot, Peggy - thanks for commenting! I am hoping that some of the other workshop folks will post their efforts too. Better get out the email list - :)

10-24-2006, 12:19 AM
Kat, Your paintings are great! I really like the yellow one. Bob's workshop sounds like a wonderful experience, and such beautiful scenery you had to paint.


Kathryn Wilson
10-24-2006, 11:03 AM
Thanks Binkie - everyone should experience at least one workshop - it was an amazing experience to be painting will all those talented artists.

10-24-2006, 10:07 PM
Kyle's stream painting is BEAUTIFUL!! Movement in the tree leaf masses, reflections in the water, compositon full of motion with a calm spot in the water to rest. I'm so glad I could see it IRL.

Kathryn Wilson
10-24-2006, 10:28 PM
:wave: Hi Mary!

I was hoping you'd drop by - everyone, Mary went to the workshop also.

Mary, if you have any photos that you want to share with the forum, feel free to add them to this thread.

Not sure about you, but I'm still pooped :lol:

Deborah Secor
10-24-2006, 10:58 PM
Mary, show us your work too! :D I'd love to hear how you felt about the workshop and see what you did...


Kathryn Wilson
11-02-2006, 01:33 PM
Stinkers have rights, too. ;)

Okay, okay - I've now had time to develop the photos and look at these again. So here are the stinkers:

1st painting of the workshop, from photo, Wallis 9 x 12


Lake Lure - (see the unusual shape?:eek: ) Wallis 9 x 12


11-02-2006, 09:11 PM
Sheesh, Kyle! You think those are stinkers???

Kathryn Wilson
11-02-2006, 09:16 PM
LOL - I really liked the second one until Bob said "the german helmet" is interesting - sigh - then I couldn't see anything else but that darned helmet.

11-02-2006, 09:57 PM
Kyle: the three you posted originally are all beautiful, each in their own way, but your stinkers are beautiful too! I should have such problems! :lol: I hope you decide to continue with them. If you see a helmet, for instance, and it bothers you, you could always, with some fairly minor revisions, change the shape there, so that the helmet disappears. Each of these "stinkers" looks to me like it represents a very good start to what could be a beautiful painting.

Your use of color is amazing - so rich without being overdone - and I love the looseness of these works.

Kathryn Wilson
11-02-2006, 10:31 PM
Annie - you made my day - :)

Deborah Secor
11-02-2006, 11:39 PM
Kat, I LIKE the orange one! I think you could do a teak or two and it's a winner. I guess I'd ask you to tell me what you think the painting is about--complete this sentence, "This is a painting of........." Is it about the golden-orange tree (love those greens and oranges together...yum!), or is it about the foreground grasses (oh, but those red-orange-greens are so luscious, too)--or did you have another thing in mind? Then you have some decisions to make, but I'd take it a smidgen further. I also like the lavender blue-gray oranges in the trees behind. Man--it wouldn't take too much to just nudge this over the edge a leeetle bit to winner status.

My 2 cents...


Rose Queen
11-02-2006, 11:51 PM
"fairly successful?" "not a good photo?" "My poor little painting?" "probably feeling sorry for me?" "not ... my best work?" "totally by sheer accident that I put those colors together?"

You really aren't giving yourself any credit at all, Kat. Those first two are just electric and the rocks only need a bit of work to be in the same class. In fact, you did great! Of course, you had the inspiration of working in my hometown ( :D ), but still, you did the work and damned good work it is. Sorry about the farmer -- probably one of my paternal grandfather's relatives -- they're cranky as hell and mean with it.

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Kathryn Wilson
11-03-2006, 09:53 AM
Dee - you hit the nail on the head - I lost my center of interest several times during the painting process. Bob emphasized "find your center of interest" - the darkest and lightest values will need to be there - and this painting surely doesn't have that yet.

Diana - Asheville was glorious - the fall colors this year were exceptionally brilliant. Thanks for popping in - it's nice to see you posting here.

11-03-2006, 12:37 PM
Please work to finish the orange one -- it does not need much -- I totally agree with Deborah. That painting when it came up on my screen just screamed "winner" at me. That one is my favorite!

Kathryn Wilson
11-03-2006, 01:48 PM
Well, if you all will keep a secret (yeah, right, on WC) - I had started this painting in a larger format some months ago and abandoned it. I just could not get the monotone of color right and the grasses are killers.

Guess I better look at that one again. If I decide to go at it again, I'll post it in another thread.

Kathryn Wilson
11-03-2006, 01:55 PM
Okay, here is the photo I was working from.