Jim doesn't realize that he paints with me already practically every day in my studio. It has become almost routine for me to put in one of the two painting dvd's of his and play them while I paint. Jim paints the landscape usually, but as artists know, there isn't (or shouldn't be) any difference in painting a landscape or a still life, or an animal or a figure. It's shapes, values, edges.... as Jim says "Just put the right color in the right place." He is not only a great painter, but a very good teacher I have found from watching these dvd's. Sometimes I just listen to him while I paint, sometimes I stop and watch. I don't know if you can wear out dvd's, but I think I'm well on my way to that.
We will be painting plein air, weather permitting, something my close friends know that I don't do often or well, though I have committed over the last year to doing more of. I have done so, either outside or painting from life in my studio. and absolutely feel it has helped my work. Last year I even bought one of Jim's Soltek easels which is super easy to set up, anything to make it more appealing for me to go outside and paint. Part of my reluctance is I am just lazy and hate dragging my stuff around, I don't even like putting new paint out on my palette. I need an assistant!
I am excited though (and intimidated) to head out into the mountains of Wyoming that I love and attempt to paint anything there. It's so huge, it will definitely be an exercise in simplifying. One of my biggest problems is that I have so many friends that are wonderful plein air painters, that I know what it SHOULD look like, what I WANT it to look like, and my paintings are not going to come even close. Many of these good friends will be in town for the Rocky Mountain Plein Air Painters Show "Paint for the Park" so I will get to see some of them, really looking forward to that!
I am staying in our favorite cabin, our mountain home away from home, loading up the easel and backpack early in the cool mountain mornings, stopping at Pearl Street Bagels for coffee (my fave) and head out with Jim and fellow students to try and capture a bit of the glory on canvas. I can't wait to smell the sage and pines, hear the river and creeks, see some wildlife and just be surrounded by the place I love. I grew up not far from there and the Tetons and Yellowstone Park are dear old friends to me. I cannot wait to see my old friends.
Here is a link to Jim's dvd's, I cannot recommend them enought!