The curious cow

I often don't pick the subject of my portrait painting workshops until the day before, sometimes the morning of the 3-hour session.  The latter was the case yesterday when I selected the curious cow.  It proved to be a great choice for the enthusiastic group of 7 painters.

Several people commented on the Zen-like quality of the experience, as we would go many minutes without speaking with Jazz music playing on the inside of Birdsong Studio and the birds singing in the trees.

While the participants worked on 12" x 12" portraits, I worked on a 15" x 30" canvas, using the same subject, just taking in more of the surroundings.

They did a marvellous job, creating 7 absolutely unique portrayals of the cow.  I slipped my work-in-progress in there along with the source image just to complete the composition.   Here is a closer look at each.

I look at these and I'm blown away by the fact that most of these creators had never painted before.  There is so much to be learned by observing all of their creative choices.  The results are truly staggering and confirm my long held suspicion that all people have artistic skills waiting to be unleashed.

By the time the workshop came to an end, my curious cow was nearing completion.  However, it wasn't where I wanted it to be.  Overall, the piece was feeling a little flat.  I went back after dinner and a walk with Heather to bring it to life.  This was the result.

I will go back for a few final adjustments after work today.  It is currently being auctioned on my Russell Thomas Art Facebook page - second post from the top.  The person with the highest bid at noon today will get to give it a home.  As of this morning, it was still a bargain at $375.  

More workshops are coming up throughout the summer, just watch this page on our Birdsong Connections website for dates.


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