Monday, November 02, 2009

Thomas Van Stein Lecture

Under The Hunters Moon
I had the good fortune tonight of attending a lecture on Nocturne painting with Thomas Van Stein. The lecture was at the Wildling Museum in Los Olivos, CA. I had been waiting for over a month to go to this event. The wait was well worth it. Van Stein spoke about the history of nocturne painting while presenting a slideshow of nocturne images, some of which I had not seen, images by Turner, Whistler, Van Gogh, Frank Tenny Johnson, Rembrant, Remington, Granville Redmond and a host of others were shown. Van Stein also presented images he had painted in France and along the California coast.


Thomas Van Stein with demo painting on the left and one of his framed works on the right.

After the presentation was finished we all went outside where Van Stein had his easel set up for a demonstration of nocturne painting. This was great and allowed us to see how Van Stein works his magic. Van Stein chose this night as it would be under the Hunters Moon. Earlier in the evening before sunset the moon had risen and was quite the sight to see. I took this photo from the backyard shortly before heading over to Los Olivos for the presentation. The Hunters moon was showing it's dominance over the landscape and why so many of us artists are drawn to painting it in our nocturnes.

Van Stein was very gracious and allowed us to ask any questions we wanted while he painted. The painting was completed in about 30 or so minutes to a level he deemed enough to finish off the small details later in the studio. I was amazed at how fast he was able to block in color and then refine the painting all with a minimum of light. Van Stein uses two book lights mounted to the easel and a Maglight mounted on the cap he wore. After the demonstration we all went back into the studio to see the painting in better light. Here is a close-up of the Demo painting...not a very good photo because you can't see the detail and color work in it. Sorry about that.

It was a beautiful brightly lit night that was perfect for this demonstration. I had a great time and was able to speak to Thomas who is a very cool guy. I learned a few things and saw some deadly nocturne paintings in his presentation so it was a very good night. I wish I had remembered my camera in the car to show more pics but I was busy drooling over the nocturnes.
Click here to see more of Van Steins Work

6 comments:

Maggie Latham said...

Ron, I have been really trying to get to grips with painting in oil recently, with particular emphasis on glazing and Tonalism.....so your interest in nocturnes is good timing! I'm struggling with every aspect of oil painiting.... and hope it will get easier one of these days.
I adore your landscapes and always check your blog for inspiration and great tips.
Maggie L

Ron Guthrie said...

Hi Maggie,
Thanks for the gracious comments. Oils are a wonderful medium but we all have our days when things don't go right. It does get easier but half the fun is getting to that point. The other half of the fun is chasing what we still are trying to learn. Thanks again Maggie.
Ron

Mick Carney said...

Sounds like an interesting night, it's great to spend time with other artists who can provide inspiration and are prepared to share their enthusiasm and skill. Looking forward to your next nocturne.

Ron Guthrie said...

Hi Mick,
Just looking at a nocturne can get me inspired. Speaking to Thomas and seeing how he handles his nocturnes gives me more insight into how to go about creating a nocturne. It's always great to get around other artists and see their methods...you always learn something. Plus, there is the "fun factor" where it is just fun to be around people who share your interests....I'm sure you know this from the workshop you were recently involved in Mick.
Thanks.

Sheila said...

thanks so much for sharing your experience with Van Stein. I think your work is as wonderful as his. I also love the way you are so clever in making yourself a wet canvas carrier. I think I saw one just like that retailing for about $80.

Ron Guthrie said...

Hi Sheila,
I wish you could have attended the lecture Sheila...you would have really liked it. Los Olivos is one of those sleepy little towns where you can leave your easel sitting parked across the street as you give a lecture and it is still there when the lecture was over. You could never do that nowadays where I grew up, hahaha.

Yeah, building the carrier was lots of fun and I loved the cost. Next I'm going to build an 8"x10" & 12"x16" carrier.

Thanks for taking a look Sheila, always good to hear from you.
Ron