After getting comfortable with oil painting through the coaching of Jason Cornish and a few others, I was ready to try something else. In June 2011 I attended a week-long acrylic painting workshop at the home studio of local artist/educator/LAA member/friend Jacquie Piechowski. We were a class of two: just one other artist and myself, and Jacquie, which made for a very casual friendly week of creativity, surrounded by nature. It was like Art Day Camp for adults.
Jacquie has exhibited her work at Gallery 194 several times, both in the Upper Gallery as a member of the Lapeer Art Association, and in the Main Gallery as recently as last month as one of two featured artists in the "Compositions of Nature" exhibit. I think of her style as semi-abstract realism with nature as the principal subject matter.
During the week-long workshop I learned about the diversity of acrylic paint, how it can be applied thick or thin, layered, splattered, mixed with various mediums designed to provide added texture, etc. I also learned how hard it is for me to be free and expressive when I paint. My natural inclination is to be detail-focused. It's like I'm trying to draw with a paintbrush, which doesn't really work. After this class I understood better how to focus on shapes and mass, light and dark, and save details for last - but will likely have to continue working on this for quite a while until it feels natural to me.
The first two images below resulted from that week-long workshop. Both were painted from photos. In the "Storm Front" painting, I debated about whether to include the chairs and fire pit as in the original photo, deciding to leave them out because they kind of intimidated me. A couple years later I reworked the painting a bit and added them, as shown in the third image.