Saturday, February 25, 2012

The 2012 Creative Painting Convention

If it's the end of February it must be time for the Las Vegas Creative Painting Convention! This year it's being held again at the Tropicana Casino moving from the run down and end of the world Riviera where I took my first classes in 2009. I don't gamble. In fact I don't even spend one dime at a slot. I book myself morning noon and night since I'm alone there and I am there to learn. I took 11 classes the first year then cut back to 10 but found myself back to back with two 8- hour classes last year. Yup. 4-11 pm then 8-5 the next day. Word of advice. Don't do it. This year it's 9 classes with time to rest AND sleep! After two trips with a crafting emphasis, I decided to focus more on painting in oils with only a few craft type projects. The craft classes are to learn new techniques and refine what I am already doing. You never stop learning. In fact in doing one of my flower series with the black background in acrylics instead of oil, I'm finding that what I do on a birdhouse is applicable to fine art painting. There really is crossover. The oil classes will be fascinating I think. Bill Bayer will expand on color theory, a topic he started last year that taught me how mixing three colors creates almost an entire spectrum of useful colors. His other class is a landscape in the style of Constable. Somehow we get through it in 8 hours and end up with a truly lovely painting and skills we can apply to our own painting. Those in the art guild world will know about many of the other teachers...Dorothy Dent, Robert Warren, Hefner Hertling, teachers who are published and have made the circuit for years. I go to learn technique. What amazes me from the weekly class I take and overhearing conversations at this show and craft fairs is how the majority of crafters never venture beyond being taught. Few ever create their own design or scene. It's nice to do now and then but you have to ask, "Is that me?" They never take the technique they've learned and create their own craft or painting. It's like coloring back in first grade over and over again. The first class starts this Sunday. I will post as I go.

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