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Saturday, May 31, 2008

Mike Rooney Plein Air Workshop.. A Review and Critique...

Mike Rooney Plein Air Workshop.. A Review and Critique by Bernie Rosage Jr.
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Mike Rooney giving plein air demo to workshop artists in Jacksonville, NC.
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Many OOPS artists had the privilege of attending a one day plein air workshop by artist, Mike Rooney last Saturday. We had a great time and learned a lot! Mike is a super artist, teacher, and PERSON! I highly recommend one of his workshops...
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The day began with RAIN... no worries though... this gave us time for classroom work where we all made a "C".
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Actually three "C's"... Mike taught us the importance of the "Three C's" that is...
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C= Composition: Mike shared with us many types of compositions and the importance of the Rule of Thirds for focal interest. I think his words were... "You'll have a CRAPPY (another "C") painting if the composition is poor!"
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C= Contrast: Mike shared how contrast and value (tone) are one of the most important elements of a good painting. We did exercises on breaking down a scene into 4 or 5 shapes and blocking in their values correctly. These shapes and block-ins are the building blocks for a good plein air painting to get everything down fast because of the changing light conditions.
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C= Color: Mike made us look at color from some different perspective than many of us have been taught. He wanted us to get away from using complementary colors in shadows to prevent a dull gray look. He showed us ways to get vibrancy and life in our work and we did exercises in class to reinforce this.
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We also learned that we have to know the rules before we can break them... this appealed to the rebel side of me!
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We broke for lunch where the workshop continued for many of us as Mike spoke about approaching galleries while we ate.
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After lunch the rain stopped and we headed to a nearby park (with a shelter just in case) to plein air paint.
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Mike spoke to us about his gear and the paints, brushes, and knives that he uses. He showed us his COOL homemade pochade box that was very practical and portable... (I'm making me one of these little jewels!)...
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Mike found a spot and began giving us the process of "what goes on in his mind" as he begins...
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Here's the scene he chose for his quick demo...
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Mike completed the block-in stage and had us all scatter to find our own settings and paint our block-ins...
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OOPS artists, Stephen Greer and Dean Remington...
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OOPS artist, Karen Crenshaw...
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OOPS artist, Bernie Rosage... painting "Happy Trees"... NOT!
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OOPS artist, Mitchell Morton...
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Mike went around giving everyone personal attention as they completed their block-ins...
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After the block-in stage we all gathered back with Mike to see him finish his painting. He threw a rock in the water (above) to show us how the the impact area denotes the focal point on our paintings where the greatest detail and contrast should be. Just like the water ripples fanning out and losing detail, so should it be in our paintings.
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Dean looking on as Mike finishes his study... BTW... Dean took Mike up on his 100 paintings challenge!
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Mike's finished study from his demo...
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The day comes to an end... we pack our gear... head back to the Council for the Arts for the final leg of our workshop... a critique by Mike on each of our paintings. We learned to cover our paintings and slowly reveal them showing problem areas. This 30 minutes proved to be worth the price alone! I think we all learned to LOOSEN UP!... I know I did!
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The workshop was a HUGE success and Mike is an awesome person, painter, and instructor! My only negative critique is that it wasn't a three day workshop!
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Thanks Mike for a great time and workshop! I know it sounds like I'm trying to be the "Teacher's Pet" but seriously... if the workshop would have STUNK... I would have said so!
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Bernie
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