“To be totally truthful, I don’t teach, I share.”
– Gini Campbell Annis
I am happy to share the years of knowledge I have accumulated over the fifty plus years I have studied oil painting. A student new to painting is often like a writer staring at a blank piece of paper wondering where do I begin? And what do I do next? There is no one way to paint, however, I have found a method of painting that simplifies the thought process and gives me a specific way to approach my subject matter.
We begin with the fundamentals.
The fundamentals are the foundation that everything is built upon. Without a strong foundation, whatever is put on top of it will not hold. If it we were talking in terms of architecture, on that strong foundation, one could build a Cape Cod, Craftsman, contemporary, rustic, etc. house and it would stand. If a person is taught the fundamentals of music, they can choose to play those notes as, jazz, blues, rock, etc. In painting, the fundamentals are expressed in a variety of ways, also. Rembrandt, Picasso, Matisse, Monet, all understood the fundamentals of painting and made a choice to use them in different ways.
It is important for an artist to understand color, value, temperature, intensity, edges and impasto. They are the words we use to tell our story. I don’t stress a particular style. In the instructional class, I encourage the students to paint realistically because it makes it easier for me to see if they understand the concept I’m presenting. Also, if you know how to create form and depth on a canvas, you have an abundance of arrows at the ready. They are there if you choose to use them. During the process of painting, there are many choices to be made. There is no right or wrong choice; however, some are better than others. The more knowledge an artist has, the more choices he/she has. I give the tools for the student to choose whichever way they want to express themselves. I want them to understand what they are doing and why they are doing it. I believe my job is to give students enough knowledge and confidence that they won’t need me anymore. I want them to understand that happy mistakes are just that and should be used as learning experiences. We want to be able to duplicate the results. Do not rely on happy mistakes, paint purposefully. In their search for expression, I stress that the rules are there for a reason. They can be stretched and played with, but if they are going to be broken…there better be a good reason for doing so.
I encourage students to take instruction from a variety of art teachers. Every teacher has a different insight and knowledge to be considered. An instructor may state a concept differently and it might be understood by the student better. Also, being exposed to different techniques and ideas, the student can add arrows to the quiver. I once had an instructor who said, “Paint what you know.” Another time I had an instructor who said, “Paint what you see.” Those thoughts were taken in and digested. It was decided that the two thoughts did not conflict with each other, but complemented each other. Each was available depending upon the situation and need. Once I had a teacher who used thick, juicy brushstrokes. My painting style is quite smooth in texture, however there are times when I use some nice, juicy brushstrokes in order to create a certain affect. Students can always choose to use the information or not, but first they must have the information.
I am grateful for the opportunity to learn from some incredible teachers. Each had a different impact on me, as a person and in my work, as an artist.
Painting is a lifelong journey. There is no point where the artist can stand back and say, “There, I’m done, I’ve learned it all.” I often joke that on his deathbed Rembrandt said, “I can’t go now, there is still so much to learn.” Painting has no end, only change and improvement.
One of the big joys of teaching is seeing the light go on in a student’s eyes. They get it. And to then see them stand back from their work with pride and with a sense of accomplishment and success. It’s a “hats off to you” moment. I love it.
I am very fortunate to have an environment that inspires me. It is a beautiful place to work and share. Please stop by to see for yourself. Bring some of your work that we can discuss or if you have always had an interest in learning how to paint, we can talk about how to get started.
Check out the studio here as well as some of the tools and techniques that I will share. Below is a listing of our classes as well as a Supply Checklist List.
Oil Painting PDF Supply ListPrint it out as a shopping reminder!
Oil Painting Classes
Classes can be added as needed. Students should some drawing experience.
Monday 9:00-12:00 Adult
This class is primarily a guidance class. It is an open studio experience where each student paints on their own and is given guidance and suggestions on their work in progress. The students usually have already taken the instructional class or have had other painting experience. Should a new student desire the instructional class during the Monday morning class, we can have one-on-one time. The student will rejoin the on-going class afterward. I am always available to critique work done outside the classroom.
This is an instructional class where the fundamentals of oil painting are taught. The fundamentals include value, intensity, hue, temperature, impasto and edges. The student will learn how to use these tools to create form and depth on a 2-dimensional surface.
Also included are the fundamentals of color theory, color mixing, application and use of painting mediums, techniques of paint application and brushwork. If interested, how to stretch a canvas and how to frame a painting can be covered.
Gini Campbell Annis
Commissions • Portraits • Art Instruction • Still Life, Floral