For those that are still on the fence on whether a stay at La Bonne Etoile is in your stars for the summer of 2015….pull up a chair, and have a good read. It is always a blessing to experience La Bonne Etoile through the eyes of our guests. Please welcome Michelle Wells Grant from Austin TX as we share her blog from 2014 while attending the summer workshop of Margaret Dyer. Reprinted by permission of Michelle Wells Grant.
Saturday, July 5, 2014
We started off our first night in the studio with a demo from Margaret, shown in progress here. Her process is so unique, with emphasis on value and the layering of warm and cool colors to give a vibrant, energized effect. Our beautiful model sat for us for several days and we usually painted one pose in the morning and one in the afternoon. For me that meant working much faster than I was used to and so my paintings didn’t feel very accomplished or complete. In the beginning this was so frustrating, but then I began to realize that I was there to learn the process, not to turn out polished paintings.
As paintings were finished we clipped them to a wire overhead. After about a week, there were so many paintings hung that you couldn’t find a spot anymore! It was a beautiful sight.
In addition to our paintings of our model in the studio, we also had some photo shoots in the garden and the house, using ourselves as models. This is one I did of our young resident assistant, Kathleen, hanging laundry. Btw, all laundry done at La Bonne Etoile was hung on the clothesline to dry, which was so fabulous! It smelled so good! (I just realized I’ve already put this one up as my blog cover photo… I guess you’ll have to see it twice.)
And I am proud and honored to say I now own this one that Margaret painted of us (Margaret and me) at the piano. We had a photo shoot where we donned robes and I pretended to play while Margaret enjoyed my imaginary talent. I could not resist buying the painting. AND I bought another one she painted while in the studio, shown below.
I had to have this painting by Margaret Dyer, not only because I think it’s breathtaking, but because it is such a beautiful example of what she achieves in the skin of her nudes. Her method results in the most beautiful colors coming through on the skin, the drape, sheets, everything. I will forever have this as a wonderful reference, not to mention a memory of my weeks studying with Margaret.
Next up: our Vernissage, which was the party where all of our work was displayed and friends and neighbors came to see! Stay tuned ……..
Wednesday, July 9, 2014
Lots of Kippy and Jerome’s friends came and joined us for champagne, appetizers, interesting conversation and to view our work. So exciting! As Kippy said, now we can say we’ve shown our work in Europe!
|(I think I missed the memo to wear red.)|
Here’s Jane standing next to her board. She didn’t have a lot of experience painting figures before coming to France but she could have fooled us! Her paintings were wonderful and accomplished!