Ovanes-Berberian-Workshop-June-19-2006-SetupToday was definitely a day for learning. Do you ever go to workshops with a competitive nature? I have to admit I sometimes do. I want to paint well. I don’t want to make mistakes in front of others. These two competing goals: learning and painting a great piece, just don’t mix. I need to learn to put myself out there more. Ovanes definetly pushed me in that direction today.

He saw the two paintings the below, and the first words out of his mouth were, “don’t paint to sell”. He had me pegged! He pointed out that I’d started painting the detail too soon (guilty, as charged) and that the dark brown background wasn’t working. I needed to paint some of the sun-lit greens behind the still life. To be honest, I can’t think of anything positive he said about either painting in it’s first incarnation–which is fine…I need to welcome constructive criticism and not expect praise of any kind. I payed attention, and painted over it to get to the third painting below.

Here’s the painting above, repainted as per Ovanes’ suggestions:

I then painted this study, thinking more about large abstract shapes, pushing color and a good abstract design:

Tonight, 9PM-1AM he’ll be demonstrating a large still life painting in his studio. I probably won’t write about it tonight, so check back for my notes tomorrow.

Update: To get on the email list to attend a Ovanes Berberian workshop, contact Ray Morrison:




Email ray@trioeditions.com

6 thoughts on “Ovanes Berberian Workshop, Day 2

  1. Hi Ed, I was so hoping that you would blog from the workshop. I am headed up on Saturday to take the 4th week. Watching you and reading your experience is just amazing, thank goodness for the internet and painters such as you willing to share. I’ll be checking everyday. Thank so much.

  2. Hi Laura, you’re in for a treat! It’s only Tuesday, and I feel I’ve absorbed so much, even though this is my second year now. The demo tonight was amazing. No pictures where allowed, but I’ll post my notes tomorrow. Good luck with your workshop next week.

  3. I remember the blog post about the demo from last time!

    Thanks for recording the progress in this way – absolutely fascinating. You can always tell an experienced painter – they nail us every time!

    Ed – what has happened to the Notan sketches in your January 2006 blog post about planning a painting. They just don’t appear when I click on that post. is it me and my laptop or have they genuinely disappeared?

  4. Kay Schneider says:

    I probably shouldn’t say this but I think your initial painting is more subtle and sophisticated in brush work and color use than the more abstract, bolder (maybe even brash) final Ovanes approved workshop study.
    It is definitely looser work and I’m assuming that’s a good thing. The color is stronger, but stronger isn’t always better? Is there still a place for subtle? Or is subtle and refined now considered “commercial”? I would really appreciate if you could explain what made the first study a “paint to sell”. It looked fresh and spontaneous to me.
    I’ve just recently found your site. You are a gifted artist and teacher. Thanks for sharing so much of your art and artistic process.

    Best regards,

  5. Hi Kay, thanks for your comments.

    There is definitely a place for being subtle, and I struggle often with the balance between being subtle and bold. I think the for this particular exercise, since I was studying with Ovanes, I wanted to push the bold side–and of course, the subtle suffers. When in workshops I try not to paint as I normally would, but push myself to follow the direction of the instructor. When I get, there’s certainly the manner of sorting out what you keep from him/her, and where it fits into your overall technique and voice.

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