Monday, August 19, 2013

Walsingham Gallery Painting Demonstration by Janis Sanders

 The Walsingham Gallery is one of my favorites nearby.  They don't show a LOT of paintings at any one time, but they consistently represent painters whose work delights and inspires me.
One of those, Janis Sanders, gave a painting demonstration for several hours on Sunday.  Mr. Sanders is a tall, lanky fellow with gray hair which he wears in a pony tail.  Apparently he sold insurance in Dallas at one time, because we agreed that the skies of Texas were as blue as the skies in his paintings.  After starting (and succeeding) with a landscape business, he started studying at the Massachusetts School of Fine Art... and the rest is history.
 He arrived with a pencil drawing on his canvas, protected by a layer of shellac.  He slathered on "sky" straight from the Vasari tube (of King's Blue) with his largest palette knife alternating with a putty knife. He incorporated a bit of Gamblin medium to help it dry faster. So far as I could tell, all his other paints were Blick. He was all about pragmatism!  He said he used to use brushes.  He used to use a palette.  He used to be a slower painter.  But now it is about adjusting, playing, and keeping it simple.  "It's just paint!" he kept saying.
 Each painted scene originally had some little place in it (or a quallity) that drew him to the composition.  He said the moring air and sea were so still in contrast to the silent, but quickly moving sail boat, for instance.
He says he likes to paint en plein air and will do so on canvases up to three feet on a side.  There were also canvases as big as 60 inches wide and as small as 6.
 I imagine the inverted, adjacent triangles of the dormer were the initial draw for this house on a cliff.
Sometime she adds variation to the sky and sometimes he does not.  I like the barely there ocean (which is more purple than the sky.

After a quick 90 minutes he put his knife down and said he couldn't think what else to do, so it was done. 
He signs and dates his work on the back. 

After his demo he was generous with his time and attention, answering questions from me and another painter (as opposed to collector/buyers).    A different gallery has a YouTube video of him.
It was almost as good as spending the afternoon painting.

No comments: