Monday, July 1, 2013

Cure for the Summer Swoon

Demo in progress, 1st day, Dahlonega, June 2013

Demo, Hydrangeas, 12 x 12

Demo, Pears, 8 x 16

Simple cure for my annual summer swoon, or the onset of the blahs - (perhaps due to high humidity, heat, desire to go swimming and veg out, i.e. anything to stay out of the studio):

1.  Drive up to Dahlonega, Georgia, in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
2.  Arrive at Anita Elder's beautiful property and workshop site, the "Art Loft."
3.  Meet 12 fellow artists, all eager to paint and try new things
4.  Mix in wonderful gourmet lunches prepared by Anita, a bit of wine, and fun outdoor dinners!

VOILA -  inspiration returns, mind is calm and happy, paintings will flow, I know!

Great times last week with some wonderful fellow travelers on this art path, truly a special and inspiring two days for all.  We focused on simplifying subject matter, capturing the feeling or gesture of the subject, and on communicating it in the fewest strokes possible.  Inspired by a recent Robert Genn post on one of his workshop exercises to help painters "loosen up," we attempted paintings in 37 strokes or 30 minutes.  Mine, below was 45 (not 37) strokes -- ay yi yi!

Norma did a better job of hers in 45 strokes:

So many nice paintings were created; alas, I have very few photos, but below are some I did get:

Norma Hulsey

Dianne Williams

Gina Brown

Set Up of hydrangeas from Donna's garden

Also, check out Gina Brown's new blog post on our workshop - I just saw it today, and was  pleased to read her kind words at


  1. Hi Nancy - I did see Gina's painting and loved it. You got her out of her slump, too, which is wonderful. I really admire your work and these hydrangeas and pears are terrific demos. I would have loved to have been there.

  2. Lucky students to get time with you! I agree with Julie Ford Oliver- would have loved to have been there and met Julie too!! Inspiring as always- love the beautiful hydrangea demo- you always shine and are a wonderful teacher!

  3. Was just thinking before I read your blog about wanting to do everything else but paint. Now I am just super jealous and still do not want to paint. No...... Yes.
    You are always inspiring.
    You need to check out Julie Ford Oliver's work if you have not already. Talk about a wonderful artist AND teacher.
    Hope the rest of your summer is great.

  4. I love this blog post!!! Almost takes me back :) As Julie said, you helped me out of my slump (which was a very tall order). Thanks again Nancy.