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Class Demonstrations

Wayne Thiebaud, demonstration at Mountain Lake Hotel. 1981.
As a young, recently graduated 20-something I was among a group of painters who gathered at Mountain Lake Hotel in southwestern Virginia (site of the film, Dirty Dancing) for a workshop led by Wayne Thiebaud. Organized by my teacher at Virginia Tech, Ray Kass, we witnessed the maestro paint from the massive porch of the hotel.  I've never forgotten some of his moves on that canvas. With a round bristle brush he would touch a mound of wet cerulean blue on his palette, rotate the brush a quarter-turn and repeat the move with cadmium red,  then again with yellow. Now, touching the canvas, he proceeded to draw with that multi-colored brush, turning it this way and that to trace off the contours of his forms. It was a revelation, to say the least, and after 45 years of wrestling with my own paintings I appreciate how much information about the process of painting he was able to convey through the simple act of showing. Instea…

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