The Demonstration Artist for the Huntington Beach Art League last night was Gerald Brommer. It was glowingly evident that this past President of NWS loves to paint. The main message I got out of his demo was that an artist is free to edit a scene to make it better or to communicate a message. He said that copiers just copy stuff. Painters are trying to visually convey a descriptive feeling about a place. Brommer said, "A picture is something you're in. A painting is something you create." We all laughed along as he shared several stories that resulted from his skillful editing of scenes. One person "recognized" the exact location of a painting that was really a conglomeration of the best parts of several towns. Another couple took a picture of their painting with them on vacation to track down the exact spot. They concluded he must have painted it in a private location.
Mr. Brommer laughed with enjoyment using a handy little tool that Joe (Cheap Joe) gave him at a workshop - The Cheap Joe's Paint Pusher. (http://www.cheapjoes.com/art-supply/CJPP_18497_cheap-joes-paint-pusher.asp)%20. After applying a healthy thickness of paint, he scraped out trees, striations on the mountain half-dome, and grasses. Better than using an old credit card, the inexpensive paint pusher has several angles and edges to give different marks. Broomer smiled at his handiwork, delighted with the ease of the gadget, saying that we can now throw out most of our brushes.
Brommer told a humorous story about palettes. He and his wife were watching another artist's demonstration. After a few strokes of color, the artist took out a tissue and carefully wiped his palette clean. Brommer's wife leaned over and whispered to him, "What is he doing?" His own palette is, shall we say, "well-seasoned" with layers of paint and sufficient palette mud.
A beautiful print was donated by Gerald for the door prize winner. The ticket sales go to fund an HBAL scholarship. One of his beautiful w/c + collage pieces was auctioned. For those interested in collage, my friend Nancy Standlee posted her Gerald Brommer Collage Workshop photos at http://nancystandlee.blogspot.com/2009/05/gerald-brommer-workshop-floral-collage.html. Seems like he's got lots of fun techniques up his sleeve. I'll never tire watching master artists do their handiwork. Each has such a unique approach. It is encouraging and exciting to use a medium where there are always new ideas emerging.