For those who were unable to attend the meeting this month you missed out on a truly unique and extremely entertaining experience. Lesley brought along her fiancé, Joe Penn and together they performed what they call a “Duo In Mixed Media”. Their aim is show us how to create a loose, fresh, exciting landscape in pastel from photo of farm buildings from Lithgow.
Using Stonehenge paper which Lesley loves as it is so tough (it can handle just about anything even being hosed off!) Joe started roughly sketching the old buildings with Sanguine Conte pencil. He insisted that whether you are working from a photo or in the field, that you don’t follow religiously what is there, just use it as reference to “create” a picture…Creation! Creation! Creation! That is his catch cry. Next Lesley took over, using a very large brush she added bold watercolour washes in the 3 primary colours, Cadmium Yellow & Red and Prussian Blue, with a touch of Alizarin for darks. While this was drying, Joe kept us all entertained with his witty repartee.
Meanwhile Lesley had now started blocking in the dark areas of trees, shadows and foreground etc. using new Art Spectrum Pastels, which are a pastel/charcoal combination and great for the darkest of dark colours. Joe now joined in and there was pastel dust flying everywhere. It was simply compelling watching! Lesley worked on the trees and sky with quick bold stokes, while Joe concentrated on the finer details of the buildings and foreground. They worked across each other and around each other without any annoyance or disagreement, only quiet discussions about, what to put in and what to leave out. They both emphasized, that this is the key ingredient to creating magic in a painting. Lesley said the other key to a successful pastel is to keep unity by moving colours all over the page. She makes this easier, by keeping the ones they are using in a separate pool.
Throughout the demonstration Joe told quintessential yarns from his life as an artist and how important laughter and fun is while you are working. He said he always gets the best results from his students in his classes at the Royal art Society, when there is lots of fun and laughter. They are both passionate advocates of sketchbooks, (Joe having 137 and Lesley only about 80 something!!!), encouraging us all to do the same.
As they were putting the finishing touches of definition with darks and highlights they explained that this “Duo in Mixed Media” started as a dare a couple of years ago and it was such fun and so successful they just haven’t stopped. Their life together began 14 years ago when Lesley joined Joe’s workshop and as Joe said “We’ve always worked well together. We’re a good team!” And they certainly proved that tonight it was pure energy and synergy. Batman and Robin move over, we now have a new DYNAMIC DUO!
Thankyou Lesley n’ Joe.