Painting class & a new work in progress

Recently, I began teaching a course in advanced painting at a local senior center through Bihl Haus Arts.  On day one, I began with a brief lecture on inspiration, visual resources and the importance of a sketchbook.  I brought in my own sketchbook to show them, along with a handful of books that I like to draw and collage from.  On our second day of class, we talked about image development, composition and I showed them how I work in my own studio from sketchbook to canvas.  Part of my job is to inspire and engage already technically skilled painters...this got me motivated to get back into my own studio and work on something a little different.  

The first painting of 2014 is still in the idea to image phase, and I think I've finally settled on the composition.  I've been working on a tracing paper overlay, to get a feel for how the imagery will exist in the space of the painting.  All that's left to do now is transfer the lines and begin blocking out the main subject matter.  The cactus is drawn from a photograph I took on our honeymoon and a reference to our Texas home.  The white picket fence is an obvious and comforting symbol that will be partially obscured behind the plantlife.  Originally, the angelfish were floating in the sky and seemed a bit lost.  I gave them hot air balloons to take them on their next journey. It will also add a pop of color to balance out all of the green that will eventually take over the background.  Below are some pics of the work in progress.  Stay tuned for the next layer of color...



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