I was privileged to study with Randall Sexton at l’Atelier aux Couleurs, the Henche art academy in Petaluma this week.  The school is run by artist friends Carole Gray-Weihman and Al Tofanell, and is hosting a great line-up of teachers this year.  I’m going back to study with John Ebersberger in July and Peggi Kroll-Roberts in September.  It’s great to take workshops locally and aoid the expense of travel.

I had a pretty mixed week.  Did a couple scrapers, and other days just didn’t produce nearly as much as usually do.  The last day, Friday, I did a lot better.
I had fun with this study, really piling on the paint and using lots of direct, decisive brushwork. It’s a simply study, but I’m happy with it.


On Lee’s Ranch, Oil on Linen, 8×10


I spent a lot of time working on this old Ford truck.  Painting cars is a lot like painting portraits: the proportions and drawing have to be just right. Randy thought at one point it was looking more like a Rambler than a Ford, so he pointed out some drawing mistakes that brought the painting back.  I’m happy with this one, because I was able to balance accurate drawing with the loose brushwork I’m striving for.  It can be difficult to strike that balance. I’m also happy with the color harmony here.


Red Ford, Oil on Linen, 9×12


I think I painted this on Weds…it was 90+ degrees in Petaluma.  I had trouble finding something to paint. One of the things I’m working on is learning to simplify.  Painting an entire house is a challenge, so I found a more intimate scene, and kept it simple, focusing on light and value.  Randy called it “Hopper-esque“, a nice complement.


Simply Light & Shadow, Oil on Linen, 10×8


More to come!

4 thoughts on “Randall Sexton Workshop

  1. Great to see your art once again. These three illustrate a dramatic range of approach/style. Love ’em all but I’m especially attracted to the truck painting. I like how you branch out and vary your work!

  2. Peggy Feltmate says:

    I’m very interested in your truck painting and your comment about the difficulty of balancing accurate drawing with loose painterly style (I am working in oil pastel right now, so cannot exactly say “brushwork”!) I have been painting several old fishing village homes that mean a lot to me, and their proportions and architectural details are important to me, but at the same time I find I am getting way too meticulous and boxed in by that. As you mentioned about your Hopper-esque study, I too have found that painting the full house was not working, so I have found myself focusing on a gable, or a particular corner or a piece of porch. I study the house until I find out what it is about it that interests me most – and then I zero in on that. It has helped a lot. I have really been enjoying your blog and your paintings for several months now, and will continue to visit often. I think your work gets better all the time, and I find it an inspiration. Thanks so much!

  3. Peggy, thanks for your kind words! I know that other artists struggle with many of the same problems, so I’m glad my thoughts on this are helpful. I plan to paint city scenes in San Francisco, and really simplify what I see into big shapes, and focus on just painting the light. I think Dale Axelrod does this really well (see http://www.pleinairpainting.com/)

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