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Field & Flow Take 2: Double the Inspo, Double the Fun

These two right here, the Smith twins of Anglin Smith Fine Art, are literally my two BIGGEST inspirations! I had them BOTH as the featured instructors during take 2 of my beloved Field & Flow plein air painting retreat! Eeeeek! Their brushwork and color palette make me gush with excitement! They're also fabulous teachers... I know because they taught me my first oil workshop back in 2015.

Day one was spent getting to know everyone (the 3 of us + 12 awesome students) and drooling over their demos. The goal is to be outside painting from life during my retreats, but I am so glad that our retreat home can accommodate when the weather is poor. With drop clothes down, we watched these two showcase their techniques which aren't restricted to just plein air so it totally worked. I mean, I'd even enjoy watching them paint a paper bag. They'd be the most amazing paper bags... I'm sure of it! Jennifer painted from a photo she had on her iPad of some Shem Creek shrimp boats and Shannon painted a nook in one of the living rooms of our retreat home.

We wrapped up the evening with some Lowcountry boil, pecan pie and lots of great convos all throughout the home. There are lots of cozy spots in the home to relax and enjoy company.

Day two kicked off watching Shannon demo a value exercise with a strong lesson! After watching her, everyone else attempted the exercise. So simple, yet so powerful! Correct value (dark vs light) is so important! "Color gets all the credit while value does all the work." I don't know who said this, but they're spot on.

Later, we watched the twins paint the same subject at the same time. Jennifer painted it with a focus strictly on value while Shannon painted it with value + color. The color without thoughtful lights and darks in place would not have been nearly as successful of a painting. Watching this demo was so enriching.

Each student did the same exercises. This was mine and I was very pleased with it which is rare for me during a workshop as I am guilty for being too in my head to really perform after taking in so much great information. Watching and then immediately doing the same subject proved to be key for me.

I took this picture and texted it to my husband who did all of our meals during my first retreat last spring. I wanted a gradual release this time around so he did dinner #1 and then I tackled all of the other meals. I was so pleased that everyone LOVED the venison chili that I made. Cooking comes so much more natural for him so this was such an exciting relief!

I enjoyed adding personal touches to our meal times. I used my husband's processed venison from his hunts this year (for the chili and a breakfast casserole for brunch on Day three) and wine from THE Monarch Wine Merchants where we are wine club members and love them big time for their fabulous natural wine selection.

Day three... SUNSHINE!!!! Finally!! It was very informative watching Jennifer demonstrate value, color AND intentional marks. She started us off with an exercise focusing on the big shapes.

She painted the Dupre House, our beautiful, historic (1790!!!) retreat home located in the lovely McClellanville, SC (just 50 minutes north of Charleston, SC).

I love that the twins had so many exercises that help build one's understanding of the fundamentals of painting. During their workshops, it's all about the process and not at all about the finished product. THIS makes them powerful teachers! Until you practice these fundamentals (over and over and over and over and...), there is no need to go for the perfect finished product. It's just not going to happen.

The Smiths are GOALS so if dividing my panel into quadrants and practicing value, color and big shapes for the majority of the day is what will help get me to their level one day then I am all about it! I loved seeing the students take on this philosophy too. Process OVER product especially in a workshop setting.

Sunshine and lots of practice time outside... yes!!!! What a way to wrap up such a successful and fun weekend!

Here's a very bright group picture for a very bright weekend... even on the rainy days!

I look forward to many more retreats to come with more of my inspirations leading us. I have so many fabulous artists/teachers in mind and I can't wait to see them come to life as well.

On the screened in porch or out in the sunshine... we will make it happen with new tools in our toolbelts and new memories in our hearts because during Field & Flow we are all about building skill and a community rain or shine!


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