Efficiency, elegance, maximum impact for least strokes are all elevated ways of describing ‘lazy’. May be it was conditioning of being a young parent who had to make do with limited time that forced me to be a fast painter or it was my inherent desire to get the buzz of creation and then waft on that high long that has translated to my style of lazy or minimal painting.

From Aug 16 – 20, 2021 (LINK), we will all be on an island, taking in the retreat on the campus of Madeline Island School of the Arts. Each day one instructor will lead your art practice and the 5th day will be a huge throw-down*1. Jim (LINK) is a travel sketcher and he will tie travel sketching and getting to know a place better in his class. Shari will teach use of limited palette (LINK). Paul will bend your mind and lines with his perspective sketches (LINK). This roster is powerful enough, clearly. To balance this strength, I will showcase doing least work.

The essence of my paint style lies in upfront investing in active looking and then verbally and mentally whittling down compositional bits to necessary ones.

I introduce the idea that wet in wet is not the untenable monster its thought of – that we can indeed make paintings read even if we don’t exactly draw the objects in it. They still feel like the scene.

Imagine if you didn’t have to paint every sail and every window! The building in the example below reads just fine.

And who knows, you may stretch the concept to abstract portraits one day. The key to that journey is to have one positive experience where giving up on one edge, one component or leaving out some detail does not reduce a piece but elevates it. I’ll be on the island with the other 3 maestros enabling each one of you. Be there.

*1 : Throw-down is a made up word when it comes to sketching but is used among Urban Sketchers as an event where everyone throws down their sketchbooks (gently places them) for everyone to see their work. This throw-down allows you to cement what you learned in the previous 4 days on the island.

Don’t feel ready for abstraction? Try out my workshop for beginners hosted by the same Madeline Island School of Arts

If you’ve read this far, don’t miss out on watching my Virtual Show of Lake District, UK