Truro Art Society

Three Great Days with Brian Atyeo

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From September 30 - October 2, TAS members participated in a 3-day workshop with Brian Atyeo. Brain is a well known painter and teacher and I was looking forward to my first introduction to him.

In each of the three days, Brian demonstrated...

In each of the three days, Brian demonstrated his painting process in town-scape, landscape and a ‘jazz’ themed subject matter. Afternoons were dedicated to applying his procedures at our easils. While many participants used Brian’s demonstrated subject matter themes, several participants varied their approach from that. I opted to work on images from my own mind but  in doing so, questioned whether I had absorbed as much knowledge as I could have, had I used his images.  However, upon returning to my studio,  realized that I was able to apply his information to my current painting practise. 

Like so many before me,  I loved that he simplified design theory into a few key elements and principles. He impressed upon me that he was always learning, and took advantage of as many teachers as he could.  I loved adding the new warm transparent oxides to my palette.  I admired Brian’s strong grisaille underpainting style developed in response to making each mark suggest the next; it really showed how he built his composition. I loved watching how he varied the layers of his glazes with the thick neutralizing effects of cerulean and oxide mixtures. His juicy quantities of paint absolutely show off his confidence compared to the meagre mixtures I had been using.  Without consulting my notes those are a few of the things I have taken back into my painting practise.

The TAS hopes to engage Brian again in July of 2018 when he returns to Nova Scotia. I will certainly be asking to reserve a spot in that next workshop.

- Christene Sandeson