September 1 And The Tally Is . . . .

"Woodside Afternoon"
oil on linen on panel, 12" x 16"

"Woodside Morning"
oil on linen on panel, 12" x 16"

Today is September 1. I celebrated that fact with a few other artists, but one in particular was none other then Elio Comacho . . . .in the flesh.

Elio and I have become sort of blog-buds in the last few months . . .he and I both being neophytes at this blogging stuf, but also we have found each other to be strong minded and informed painters who don't mind a punch to the gut now and then. We both know syrupy crits are just that: sweetness and light. But they don't do much to help one really look at what they are doing and attempt to grow above that. For that reason I have always welcomed his straightness . . .even when I don't agree. The best painters I know look for peers or superior painters to help them sort out what they are doing.

When you just don't know 'what for' or 'how to' or 'why,' its best to do the wise thing; grow by someone else's experience and mistakes rather than your own.

So, today I drove a little more than an hour and spent the day with Elio teaching his workshop. If anyone out there has the chance to take from Elio . . .any instruction at all . . . grab it with gusto and hold on for the ride. He is a high engergy guy who NEVER sits down. After his demos, he is at every painter's side coaching and critiquing. And today we had killer heat! He never faded the whole time. Believe me, this guy gives all he's got and then some. High energy and totally in it for the improvement of the painters who come to his sessions.

Mind you, I am the sort of guy who likes someone who has a little mischeviousness behind their eyes! That is the sort of person I relate to the most. What I dug about Elio was I could confront him and he would take me on! And, he was most always right. I really enjoyed the twinkle in his eye, his energetic, all business 'let's paint' attitude and his well earned painting wisdom.

He is like I am/was. He wants this stuff! And he wants it baaaaad! That means his whole life is about painting. Man! Is it ever nice to meet someone who cares that much! I don't get to meet them often, but when I do, it is a complete connection.

So, I took as much as I could get from him today and tried to do all that he was attempting to show us. I am sure you can see him in both these pieces, but frankly, I needed to be shaken up and shown a way around the obvious. I will fool around with his style for a few paintings until I really understand the theme of what he teaches (color harmony, stroke energy and rhythm and mood) (Boy do I ever know about MOOD!)

Thanks, Elio, for a terrific day. It was strong, directed teaching with challenge and coaching. I say "Way to go!" . . .I'll be back at the first chance I get.

Wait! There is more. These two pieces that I did with him up on that H O T moutain top were the last of the series I had set out to do on May 1. I committed to 100 by Sept first. Remember?

I didn't make the finall tally of 100. I made 96. Four short. 'Scuse me while I go whip myself!! ;-) As I told him, my next 100 (by March 1) will be with a goal of being more finished. I have enjoyed this little exercise and intend to carry on with daily painting. Compared to what Elio and his mentor did to reach their skill level, I am loafing at one per day.

So, enjoy these two pieces. I worked hard at 1. more paint and 2. strokes and 3. temperature progression. There is more to be done, but I sure had fun today with all the class members and skidding to the finish line with just a teensy bit less then I had hoped . . .but an honorable finish.

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