Blog of the Week

« Cuba, Art Amongst Communism | Main | Monhegan Island, Maine »

Master Class

Painting in Victor, Idaho
Painting in Victor, Idaho

I decided I needed another workshop with a master! Even when I knew I never wanted to do plein air paintings except to study the outdoors to do my studio work. I took myself to a master teacher, Scott Christensen in Victor, Idaho who encourages plein air painting to learn, a similar philosophy I have indeed. I studied his technique & palette. I studied his passion. I studied his logic. I studied his presentation to classical history. I studied "his" abstraction of the landscape, architecturally dissecting our world's shapes and patterns, very unlike mine, but his own interpretation. I never wanted to paint similarly, but I so admire his amazing work. I studied his way of seeing. I did not need my lesson to pull me toward his way of painting. I received my lesson on my own, because there is no magic in any master holding your hand. You have to hold your own hand and study every nuance that can be applied to incorporate it into your own way of working. After 20 years of showing my paintings in galleries, I still get a charge in learning something new. I still get find validation and discovery. I want to die learning. I especially loved seeing anew with Scott Christensen's eyes. I dared to marry his passion inspired deceased Carl Runguist's work which was featured at Jackson Hole's Wildlife Museum that very moment in time. We pulled away from Scott's lecture on Runguist's work to study closely Runguist's work, fresh from Scott's passionate artspeak. It was eye opening and with Scott's way of pointing out Runguist's reason for his resolute brilliance.  My emotions puddled in front of Runguist's wildlife in the landscape. I was able to come back to Scott's studio with fresh eyes, and see once AGAIN how Christiansen himself is setting his own trend in seeing the world with paint. We all can do that if we see into it carefully. 

Do I want to change my mind and do plein air as a primary work of artform? Absolutely not, but to bring the joy of plein air to my studio work. I do plein air and so much more other ways of applying paint, because I see the value of doing many ways of painting and especially plein air for study. I SEE the value of abstracting the landscape. I SEE the value of making my way. I SEE the value of being in the presence of a passionate master. I SEE my work with new eyes, the eyes that understand that there is no right way, wrong way or his way, there is my way and my struggles belong to only me, and the master cannot take me on or anyone else that is learning. He can only gently guide them to understanding! Scott is the very best with that, and I appreciate him being in my generation so I can be for 7 days immersed into art with artists like him on small path in a very big journey.

← Back



1 Response to Master Class

Judy Joy Nocifora
via karenweihs.com33 months ago


You are a painter after my own heart. After many, many workshops I have come to the same realizations that you have so eloquently stated in your blog. Although I am always learning and will continue on that rewarding path, I know that it is only through experimentation, miles on the canvas, and struggle that one becomes a better painter. The real joy is in the challenge and I love the journey!
Congratulations on organizing a very successful Plein Air Event in Cashiers. I did not get to visit with you and wish that I could have stayed the whole week. All the best - Judy

* indicates a required field

Remember Your Info

Check this box if you want email updates when people comment on this post