Painting Steve Shama - the trial run

Before I left for Ontario I had decided not to bring any of my painting supplies.  It made more sense to stop at Michaels in Guelph and get the bare necessities that I would need to accommodate 10 participants in the 3-hour "Painting Steve Shama" experience at Mindcamp.  To establish the shopping list I had to imagine all the things I use within the confines of my studio that I would absolutely need to provide in a workshop setting.

Here is what I got:

Paints - a 48-colour Artist's Loft set with supplementary tubes of Mars Black and Titanium White

Brushes - I bought three packages of 10 brushes which should be enough for what we need

Canvases - ten 8" x 10" canvases with a package of 5 canvas boards of the same size (for my own Mindcamp painting adventures)

Rulers - cheap Dollarama plastic rulers so the participants can draw out their grid - an essential part of the process

Pre-sharpened pencils and sharpener - I used a black Sharpie during the first many months of painting, but I've discovered that pencil sketches work just as well

Erasers - even using the grid method, mistakes get made and adjustments to the sketch are a necessary part of the process - being able to erase is essential

Plastic drink cups - somewhere to wash the brushes

Paper towels - something to wipe the brushes dry on and absorb excess water

Plastic plates - to use as palettes

Hanging out last night at my cousin's place in Guelph, I thought it was a perfect time to simulate the conditions (and time) of the workshop.

I grabbed a newspaper and spread it over the table and went to it.  While I might have taken more than three hours - Robbie and I were waiting for Pierre to return home from his flight from Shanghai (he works for Air Canada) - the experience was lovely.  I hadn't worked on a table since my watercolour portrait painting days.

I hemmed and hawed at Michaels over what size of canvas to buy for the workshop.  I'm glad I went with 8" x 10" for a number of reasons: 1) it's a manageable size for the time that we have, 2) it is the same size as the source photos - which might be a good first step for people who don't have a lot of experience, and 2) it is easy to pack - I want participants to take their creations home, hopefully with a sense of pride and good memories of three hours well spent.

The paint set from Michaels was a delight to use, as it is a much wider selection of colours than what I normally use.  It even includes a couple of metallic colours which gave a different feel to the finished product.  Participants will need to share, but that will make it a more communal workshop.  They will also have to get up to grab what they need, which will add to the fun.

"Painting Steve Shama" is scheduled for Saturday morning starting at 8:30 am.  It will be a relaxing adventure in playing with colours, dancing with instinct, and trusting the process.  The result will be 10 absolutely unique portraits of one of the gurus of Mindcamp, a man who chooses to live his life "one moment short of a tear".


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