by Jacky Pett
Stephen Foster’s workshop on 13th May was his second this year, and presumably just as much enjoyed by us as it was for our predecessors!
This was entitled ‘Spontaneous palette knife landscape/seascape painting’ and Stephen gave short talk beforehand on methods and materials, showing examples of his work. Then he picked one to demonstrate the techniques of using a palette knife on a prepared board.
Looking from a distance, the way Stephen blurred and moved the paint around to create clouds and trees was amazing. It was even more amazing, as I saw later, his spiky trees emerging from the clump were really just rough squiggles in the paint when you looked closely. His clouds showed the scuff marks on the board, too, but from a distance, they looked fantastic.
Despite the word ‘spontaneous’ and Stephen’s advice that if we wanted a reference, to look at it once, then put it away, quite a few people carefully drew out their landscapes and proceeded to fill them in. Maybe they were being more spontaneous with their paintwork than usual. They were certainly more beautiful than mine, which I thought were a mess. But then this was my first workshop with the group, and the first time I’d used acrylic paint in nearly twenty years. Thank you to my table mates Bev and Valerie for making me feel at home, and also for helping me get the paint caps off!
Although we’d been around the room and admired each others work, we also got a critique at the end from Stephen, who went through each painting and made useful comments. I think they were useful learning points for us all, anyway. And I came away with plenty of ideas about painting with a palette knife that I hadn’t had before.
Thank you to Stephen, and to Bev for organising it. A good time was had by all, I think!