07 May 2008

Clayton Beck's workshop

My second week in Scottsdale, AZ, I took a workshop with Clayton Beck. The maestro has absorbed a lot of Richard Schmid's alla prima skills and I was interested even though Ted Nutall was also teaching that week at the same school. My choice was rewarded handsomely as Clayton is a phenomenal teacher. His method is quite different from Sherri's but somehow their respective instruction complemented each other beautifully. Clayton also rejects the "formula" approach but pushed for a "statement" which reminded me of the "concept" from Sherri. As a practical way of bringing the point home , he used exercises in adaptability by encouraging his class to start every painting differently according to whether this was a color study, a tonal study, an anatomical exercise or a drawing.
He droned concepts continuously and arranged for the sessions to constantly change forcing us to reevaluate every brushtroke carefully instead of racing for the finish. I finally took care of m "mass production" tendencies of which I speak in a previous note.
He emphasized good habits of reflection and observation and even about brush care and lighting. He almost paralyzed most of us into a complete overhaul. No one person in the class left shaken and as a result, everybody gained immense insights constantly surprising ourselves.
He was able to read your thinking in every brushstroke. What can I say, my thinking was fuzzy until I endured his scrutiny. From edge finding to squinting to tone and temperature, this was a class to remember .Clayton Beck III figure demo. Reproduced with no explicit permission for education purposes only. All rights belong to Clayton Beck III.

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