I already had his "Nuts and Bolts" dvd (highly recommend) so I knew when the chance came I couldn't turn it down. Sometimes the time is just right, the words are just right, the way they are said is just right.... that's how these three days went for me.
I probably got all I REALLY needed to make the workshop worth it in the first fifteen minutes, crazy but true. But all three days were chock full of exactly what I needed to hear at this point. And it's not like I'd never heard these things before, it's a lot like riding, you hear over and over, you learn, you think you know and then one day the "penny drops" (as Quang would say) and you really, truly GET IT. You just GET IT. And there's no going back.
Right now I feel like I could paint anything. It's like having the tools to break down a complicated piano piece and learn to play it because you have the knowledge of notes, timing, everything you need to put it all together, no matter how painstakingly slow it may be, you could still do it.
Some key quotes are:
"The MOST important thing in painting, to me, is understanding shape. Shape really is the secret to painting. If you have a really clear command of what that means, and you can control that, you can do anything."
"There's no such thing as negative space in Nature."
"If you make a decision it's always correct. When you make a decision it's yours, you own it. You can change it."
"Fear is First Level."
"There is a huge difference between soft edges and vague edges. When you don't know the drawing of the shape, that's when you have vague edges." (and it shows you really don't know what you are doing in that certain spot.)
I could go on and on, but that's the gist. I related to him on every level, philosophically and artistically, it was awesome. Artlife changing for sure, for me.
I'm headed out to Colorado in a couple of weeks to paint with Marc Hanson, an incredible plein air painter I've wanted to paint with for a long time. I don't usually do two workshops in a year, much less months apart, but since Quang was unexpected, now I am. I already know some of Marc's philosophy and I know it goes along with what Quang was just teaching so I am really looking forward to painting with him and a very good friend in the mountains of Colorado!
Then it is off to Jackson Hole for the Plein Air Fest at the National Museum of Wildlife Art which I am very excited about. I plan on getting some great baby wildlife photos as I'm usually there in the Fall when they are half grown. Idaho/Wyoming is my old home, I can't wait to see my friends, family and the mountains I love.