Friday, November 22, 2013
Sunday, September 29, 2013
A very big thank you to the Jury of The 2013 International Art-Bridge-Watercolor Competition sponsored by The Saint-Petersburg Society of Watercolor Artists for selecting my painting "Dreams of the Dordogne" as one of just 30 works in the exhibition and for honoring it with a First Place Award in the "Imaginary" Category. And a special congrats to my friend Iain Stewart - the only other American artist included - for his First Place Award in the "Cityscape" Category! Thanks also to the Chairman and Director of the Society for making this exhibition possible.
Wednesday, August 28, 2013
AUGUST 29TH, 2013 GUEST POST — Thomas W. Schaller: "The Architecture of Light" http://www.stillmanandbirn.com/blog/?p=764 https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=541243685929837&set=a.161530813901128.55524.160548623999347&type=1&theater August 29th, 2013 “Try not to paint the scenes and objects in front of you. But rather, try to paint the light that illuminates and gives them identity.” This little bit of advice is what I always tell my classes (and myself) as a way to begin to redefine – as painters – what it is we choose to paint, and moreover, how we choose to paint it. I don’t mean this to be at all as cryptic as it may sound. What I mean is – and unique to the medium of watercolor – that we are working in a “subtractive” way. In a transparent medium, the only real white, and therefore the only real light, comes from the plain white surface of the paper itself. So any tone, any value or color we apply, subtracts from the total amount of light that is available to us. Composing and protecting the light in a watercolor becomes of critical importance. Because once it is gone, it is lost forever. I see watercolor as a natural extension of the act of drawing. Except that in watercolor, we “draw” not with a line, but with shapes: shapes of value, of tone and color, of light. So as we paint, we literally carve away at that total amount of light shining from the pure white of the paper. And so, if we can begin to see ourselves as “painting with light”, with its structures and its forms, rather than with the structure and forms of our subject matter, we can begin to fundamentally change how we see and feel about the world around us. As an architect, I am naturally drawn to the man-made objects that populate our landscapes and cities. But I have long understood that it is the ever-changing nature of light, the shifting shades and shadows, that give those objects their life and meaning. I have also long acknowledged that it is the two-dimensional drawn and painted images of these buildings and urban landscapes that is my real passion. Moreover, I am inspired by what I like to think of as the dialog between the “architecture of man” and the “architecture of nature”. One could not exist without the other, and it is in this tension that I find the artistic questions that I like my paintings to address. Without the light that slides across it’s beautiful shapes and surfaces, reflects from it’s bright piazzas and canals, gently animates its interiors, and forms in beautiful pools of shadow, the phenomenon that is Venice, Italy for example, would not have the effect upon us that it does. But equally, the diffuse atmospherics of fog, shifting clouds, dramatic sunrises and sunsets, are as central to the very identity of that place as is any beautiful building, piazza, or statue. As painters, I sincerely believe that we must do more than just faithfully illustrate the things we see. For our work to begin to attain the status of art, we need to try to tell the story of our subjects. For me, it is in the structure of light – in all it’s subtleties and mystery, as well as in its bright dramatics – that those stories can begin to unfold. TW Schaller - Los Angeles August 2013 www.thomasschaller.com Award-winning watercolor artist Thomas W. Schaller is the author of: ‘Architecture in Watercolor’ VNR/NYC 1990; ‘Architecture in Watercolor’ McGraw Hill/ NYC 2000 ; ‘The Art of Architectural Drawing’ John Wiley/NYC 1998. Tom is currently at work on his next book, “The Architecture of Light”. "Fading Light - Rocamadour" Thomas W Schaller Watercolor 2013 30x22 inches
Thursday, August 22, 2013
Tuesday, July 30, 2013
"THE ARCHITECTURE OF LIGHT" : WORKSHOPS IN WATERCOLOR - 2014 - THOMAS W. SCHALLER http://thomasschaller.com, http://thomasschaller.com/workshops I hope everyone is doing well and enjoying a good summer so far! Next year seems a long way off, but time goes by so quickly, so I've attached a list of my upcoming workshops for next season - 2014. The list is not quite complete. A few others venues remain to be added as soon as schedules and details are confirmed. Notices will be sent, but feel free to check my site for updates. My workshops have become a real joy for me to conduct, and I think for painters - of all levels - to attend! Of course, we study lots of specific techniques for painting in watercolor. But the real emphasis is in helping painters to discover new ways of seeing the world around us, and how to find compelling subject matter and striking compositions almost anywhere. And primarily, we study the nature of light. I emphasize the goal of not painting the object or the scene before us as much as painting the light that defines it and gives it life. The practice is an exciting one and a technique that can help turn an ordinary painting into an extraordinary work of art. So it is my sincere hope that you can join me for a workshop near you, or maybe you'd like a more extensive vacation in one of the beautiful venues I have lined up. These are some really exciting places to spend your time. I promise that whichever you chose, my workshops are always filled with great company, great food, plenty of fun, and of course - lots of painting. I look forward to seeing good friends again, and anticpate meeting plenty of new ones. And I am eager to paint with you all sometime and somewhere soon down the road. All my best wishes, Tom