|Sarah & Bill at final critique (Photo: Melissa King)|
I don't recall how I originally stumbled upon Bill Cone's blog,
must have been one of those "one link leads to another" adventures, but when I saw his landscape paintings I was blown away. His popular one-week plein air workshop in the Sierra Nevadas fills up almost immediately and although it took me more than a year to get in, I am happy to report that Pastels and Natural Light at the San Francisco State University Sierra Nevada Field Campus
was even more than I'd hoped for. I joined thirteen other students--our ranks included architects, animators, and graphic artists, most of whom live in the Bay area--for five full days of painting meadows, rivers, lakes, mountains, and rocks (my personal favorite.) Our experience included camping, swimming, and hikes loaded down with plein air gear; my pack weighed about 35 lbs. (Note to self: lighten up!) At the end of the day we looked forward to a hearty, delicious meal prepared by staff, lively conversations, and a sound sleep from all the fresh air, exercise, and focused concentration on our painting. Bill taught us more than I could comprehend about
painting water: surface, reflections, depth, rocks on the bottom and
their shadows, what to look for where rocks emerge from the water...it
goes on and on and yes, he says, he actually is planning to write a book about it.
I can't wait to go back again next year! By day Bill works at Pixar. His work is featured on the cover of the August Pastel Journal.
|Light and shadow in the meadow|
|Me on remote location|
|Bill Cone's work on cover|