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56605 Sitka Drive
Otis, OR 97368
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The Dao of Seeing

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Print Workshop Info
The Dao of Seeing
Jef Gunn
Date and Time:
10:00 - 4:00
Total Cost:
Minimum Age Level:
Skill Level:
at risk
Registration for this workshop is closed.
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The open enrollment period begins on
March 10, 2020

Workshop registration opens for members on February 27.

Workshop Overview

Painting from nature, out in the open, is a pleasurable challenge. It calls for a sustained effort of looking and repeated painting. The key to better painting is learning how to slow the mind in order to SEE, and then to flow with the tide of creation. This workshop on the repeated practice of looking and painting will take place between the studio and the open air. We will learn specific meditations, color mixing, painting wet in wet, Western and Asian composition strategies, using ebb and flow and seeing through momentary conditions. Playful experimentation and grounding in meditation will be integral to our workshop. Only expectations limit the possibilities.

About the Instructor(s)

A Northwest native, Jef Gunn studied drawing and painting in California through the 1970s and held residencies in Barcelona and Paris in the 1980s, and since the mid 1990s has engaged in a passionate study of Asian art, and related world views. With a balance of humor, broad knowledge and helpful insight, he is able to draw from each student their own natural way to paint, while bringing to bear practical instruction through contemporary and historical examples, especially from all periods and world perspectives. He's been teaching for 23 years.

Materials List: Students Bring

The following is a list of the bare necessities for painting in plein air. Primarily, you want your paints:

• a full complement of the primaries (*warm & cool), white and a few earth colors (yellow ochre, burnt sienna, raw or burnt umbre). Oils are recommended as the most versatile but you can work in acrylic too. Some students have chosen to work in watercolor or pastels. These are fine media and you are welcome to use them, but please know that I am not proficient in either so cannot offer much instruction beyond the elements common to all media, those of composition, color, inspiration and stillness.

• Don’t forget your brushes (you laugh!)

Other things you’ll want are:

• An easel that works in the out of doors. The best thing is a ÒFrenchÓ easel, a paint box with legs and a support for the panel or canvas. Julian is the old French maker and perhaps the best quality. Craigslist often has some at a bargain. Cheap ones are available, but are sometimes poorly made. A light-weight aluminum or steel easel can work as well, but should be anchored down in a wind with bungees. The Stanrite 300 is a great simple easel.

• Minimum 6 canvases or panels of similar size and format. Feel free to bring whatever size and format you feel good with (**See note below). Prime with pale grey, sienna, or brownish GESSO (***see note below)

• Small container of solvent. There are airtight containers for cleaning brushes available in art supply stores.

• For acrylic or Watercolor: 2 cans for water, 1 stays clean to add to the paints and the other for dirty brushes

• At least a couple of palette knives for mixing and for painting. Please use metal with wood handles instead and not plastic.

• Rags and cans or jars for solvent and medium. More rags.

• Lunch

• More rags

• Box or Bag or backpack for carrying stuff

OPTIONAL (helpful items):

• Canvas carriers with which you can carry two canvasses together

• Pizza boxes to carry small wet paintings or a rack to carry larger wet paintings

• Medium Galkyd or Liquin works fine. There are some handy gel mediums too. You don’t need a lot of medium. We will talk about mediums.

• Sun hat, water bottle, non-toxic bug repellent (summer)

• Rain hat, or wool hat, and jacket, just in case (winter)

• Barrier cream for hands

• Waterless hand cleaner

• Water bottle or thermos

• Folding chair

• More rags

For indoor color and composition exercises, you can bring watercolor or drawing paper, watercolors or gouache, and brushes for these media. I’ll be bringing these, but feel free to bring what you like.


* Examples of a warm and cool of each primary:

1 Yellow: Warm - cadmium yellow, medium cadmium yellow

Cool - hansa yellow, lemon yellow, zinc yellow, cobalt yellow

2 Red: Warm - all cadmium reds, vermilion, Venetian, etc

Cool - alizarin crimson and magentas

3 Blue Warm - ultramarine

Cool - cerulean, manganese, phthalo, Prussian

Notice I did not mention the secondary colors (orange, green, violet). You can make those. You can buy them too, but it’s a good practice to learn to mix them.

On our first day, we will have an intro to color and color mixing. It will pay off.

** You can paint in a variety of formats. Landscape is generally horizontal. You’ll want to at least suggest a foreground, a middle-ground and a background. Long narrow horizontals accentuate breadth of spreading land/water. Narrow tall formats accentuate receding space. Square is neutral. I like to work on a 1:2 or a 1:3 format. (eg. 10 x 20 is common for me, as well as 10 x 25 or 10 x 30. )

*** The colored ground will help to pull your colors together in the final painting. Just put some black and/or burnt umbre acrylic into the gesso. Or, you can put a thin ground of any neutral color over the gesso layer, before you go out, or on site. Sienna or a buttery ochre work, too. You’ll see why this is a good idea. For very hot, bright weather, I’ve even tried a blue ground.

**** Absorbent gesso (Gamblin or Golden) allows the first layer to go on kind of dry, so that subsequent layers can lay on top without over mixing. We’ll be going over this.

Materials List: Provided by Instructor(s)

• Chinese paper, ink, and other supplies for line making and other exercises.

• Many reference books on Daoist philosophy and art from China, Japan, Europe and the Americas.

• A packet of handout readings.

• Slide shows if time allows.

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