Conductor Print from Zazzle.com

Conductor Print from Zazzle.com.

Sold a copy of this print on canvas today. I painted the original from a sketch I did on a scrap of paper I had in my purse. We were at a concert of the Grand Junction Symphony. I did the painting as a demonstration of how to use a sketch at a workshop for kids at the Western Colorado Center for the Arts. The style is spontaneous and expressive. Though painted just a few years ago, it represents a return to my early figurative expressionist style. Paintings in this style were shown and sold in California under the name Gene Armstrong from Holly Wood’s (not kidding) gallery in Montecito and elsewhere. I often worked from small sketches. I enjoyed sketching people at produce markets, the beach, Stearn’s Wharf in Santa Barbara, the charming Miramar Hotel in Montecito, and on bus stops. Those paintings were done before I spent years in life drawing groups, so recent expressionist figurative works like this one are different.

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Kirk at Work

While attending a performance of the local symphony, I made some quick sketches of the conductor in action.

A couple of weeks later, as part of a painting demonstration for school children, I pulled the drawings out of my purse. I did this quick painting to show students that you can make drawings at any time and use them later in a composition.

If you teach,

1. Encourage students to fold a sheet of newsprint or recycled white paper once in either direction.

2. Tell them to carry the paper, along with a short pencil, in a pocket for a day.

3. Encourage students to make at least three quick sketches.

4. Allow them time to create a color version of the drawing.

5. Use crayon, tempera, torn paper, textures from magazines, or watercolor to create the composition.

6. Emphasize that the sketch is just a starting place.