Paintin in the train station...

I cant believe it has taken me so long to getting around to write this! 

Last month (Sept.) my sweet momma gifted me with a 2 day painting workshop with Burt Seabourn. Something I have really been wanting to do for awhile now.  
  My love of Burts work began a few years ago when an acquaintance of mine took his class & documented it through instagram. His abstract portraits called to me.
I have wanted to paint portraits for the longest time, but my brain was having the hardest time making the jump from a need to paint a realistic perfect face, to the abstract fluid work my hands make. 

For a couple of years now my only New Years resolution was to take a class or workshop with Mr Seabourn, but each time something was announced, I chickened out.
Mommas always know the right time to give you that little push you need, dont they?
He makes it look so easy!

Just another quick note before I go on... if you have the opportunity to attend anything at The Depot in Norman, do it. Its a beautiful venue, and the staff are seriously, some of the sweetest people ever!

Okay... now on with the show!

I need to first let you all know, I am not a fancy pants when it comes to art supplies, & this was the first time I had ever been to a workshop type thingy, or anything. That being said, the day before the workshop I dumped gathered all of my supplies, which included super cheap craft paints, tubes of Liquitex, and a couple of really old jars of house paints I have been holding onto, in the tool box I stole from my son, tossed in a couple of ratty old brushes I had lying around & picked through my canvas, finding one that was about the right size. I grabbed a few sheets of paper I had stashed away, and off I went... like a whirling dervish.

In true Tawny fashion I was late. Both. Days. ugh. & because of that I just grabbed a spot in the front, next to a friendly lady, who had her shit together. I mean, compared to me... everyone had their shit together. These gals started pulling out Grumbacher paint sets, and brushes that were shiny, soft, perfectly quaffed & stored in their leather brush bags. {not exaggerating.} I laid my canvas on the table, propped open my tool box on the floor & we began.

I intently watched as Burt created a face with a few strokes of charcoal. As he scrubbed away the parts he wasnt fond of & added strokes, a little here... a little there. I was amazed. It was like all of a sudden I saw how my hand needed to move to create the art I had been craving. His direction was simple... "here is the shape of her head, her nose is here... add space for hair..." swish, swish, done.

When I say I was mesmerized... I mean it, I sat for a few minutes, just watching him work, when everyone else had already began, like they knew exactly what they were doing, & I started to worry, maybe I hadnt received the memo.

So, I painted... I painted what he was painting. I chose my colors, I snapped those old, way to long to work with sitting at table brushes in half, & I painted.

the beginning 

Everyone else painted something totally different than what he was showing us. Is that normal? I mean... did people just come to sit and paint whatever Native American themed art they wanted, in the same room as Burt? I have no clue. Some of them were really good.

To make a very long story, a little longer... I painted Brenda with the Big Lips. She isnt great, but she is my first face.

I learned the pallet knife is now my favorite tool.
I learned that shape and form matter... the details come in those traits.
I learned to hang back and breathe a bit.
I learned that fancy pants isnt needed.
I learned that moment when I am struggling because maybe it needs more... its enough. just stop.

I learned that, holy cow... I might be able to do this.

the flowers were too much. 

The second day was so chill. Burt showed us a great transfer technique and then left us to create... I mostly watched him all day as he painted.

2nd day... When Burt Seaborn asks if you think youve done enough, youve done enough.
 & then you sign that sucker and love it.

Burts work for the couple of days... like it was no big deal. 

So there you have it. The tale of my days paintin in the train station... & the best part of it all was getting to chat with Burt & Bonnie, to hear stories about their life together, about my grannys distant relatives. Very Cool.


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