Thursday, July 29, 2010

A Workshop Experience

This week I've travelled to Rockland, Maine to take part in a workshop with Uraguayan artist Alvaro Castagnet.  It has been an exhausting week, physically, intellectually and emotionally.  Among other things, it has re-sensitized me to the student's dilemma in a workshop situation. 

Alvaro is a painter who teaches, not a teacher who paints.  Oftentimes that left the class baffled by some of his statements that didn't exactly appeal to the logical, analytical, information-gathering role of the student.
Talk of maxim impact, personal vision, intuition, mood and developing a philosophy of painting is not easily described or absorbed.  But like pornography, you know impactful art when you see it.  Whether it was his bold use of reds, his impossibly dark values, or the creation of depth within his paintings, I found myself impressed and inspired.  His outrageous personality took some getting used to, but it was all part of the energy he brought to his painting activity.

So I return home to Boothbay with an impression rather than pages of notes:  his brush flying every which way, his shouting as he attacked the paper, the effort to connect the darks and soften the edges.  All of these images have been burned into my brain, and I'm sure will seep into my consciousness in the days of painting to come.

Here is his last demo.

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