Date: Saturdays, December 3 & 10, 2022
Time: 10:00 AM-1:00 PM Pacific time (1:00-4:00 PM Eastern time/6:00-9:00 PM London time)
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This intensive workshop takes a deep dive into the lives and paintings of Winslow Homer and John Singer Sargent–with a special focus on their watercolors, which are considered among the finest in art history. For both artists, their work on paper was their most experimental and most influential painting.
We’ll look at the composition, color, technique, and social context of these two painters’ rich legacy and then apply these lessons to our own painting with challenging and inspiring exercises.
In our first session, we’ll look at the long and changing path of Homer’s development as a painter and his ever-evolving watercolor technique. Through slide talks, demonstrations, and exercises, the class will explore Homer’s use of value drawing, opaque and transparent pigments, and his deep interest in color theory.
We’ll examine both Sargent’s figure and landscape paintings, and then home in on his dazzling watercolors. Using slides and exercises, we’ll examine his virtuoso drawing ability and brush technique, unusual compositions, and strong value designs.
Students will be given exercises to complete independently during the week between sessions that will help them apply lessons from these masters to their own painting.
Susan Abbott was born in Takoma Park, Maryland and grew up in this Victorian suburb of Washington, DC. Because her father was an artist and graphic designer, there were many art books and supplies at home and Abbott was drawing and painting from an early age. Her mother was a skilled seamstress and taught her to sew, knit and embroider. These hand crafts and time outdoors exploring the creeks and woods in her neighborhood were favorite childhood activities that have informed her work as an artist.
Abbott graduated Summa Cum Laude with a BFA in painting from the Maryland Institute, College of Art, and went on to receive an MFA from the Institute’s Hoffberger School of Painting, with the renowned abstract expressionist artist Grace Hartigan and realist master Israel Hershberg as her advisors. She’s been working as a professional artist since that time, exhibiting her oils and watercolors in galleries and museums around the country, including the Corcoran Gallery of Art, National Museum of Women in the Arts, Contemporary Art Center of Virginia, and the Baltimore Museum of Art. Her paintings and commissions, including a biographical still life for Oprah Winfrey featured on the Oprah Winfrey Show, are in many corporate and private collections. She has been a recipient of Maryland Art Council Individual Artist Awards and Vermont Arts Council Creation Grants.
Articles and reviews about Susan Abbott’s paintings have appeared in many publications, including The Washington Post, Baltimore Sun, Museum and Arts Magazine, Art New England, American Artist Magazine, Watercolor Artist, and Watercolor USA. She writes a regular column on creativity for The Artist’s Magazine.
The art critic for the Washington Post commented on Abbott’s paintings, “There simply aren’t many…who can match her level of expertise. What makes her painting so interesting, however, is the tension between the dazzling display of skill and the underlying idea.”
In addition to painting, Susan Abbott teaches art workshops across the U.S and internationally, including in Italy, France, India, and the Bahamas. She lives in Northern Vermont. www.susanabbott.com
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