Ruth Ellen Hoag – Day 3

Today was the final day of the Ruth Ellen Hoag workshop.

Ruth started the day with a challenge. She showed us some very contemporary work by artist Brenda Goodman and asked us to think about the pure use of shape, She told us that Ms. Goodman, in an interview, said she started her paintings with “automatic writing/drawing” (writing or drawing on a piece of paper without looking at what you were creating, thus, in theory, coming up with interesting shapes.)

Coupled with our exercises from days 1 and 2, she asked us now to use our reference photo and do a true blind contour drawing and then… work it. Either “outside-in/big shape to little” or “inside-out/big shape to little.”

And so… I did!

Blind contour drawing with some writing. Image quality bad due to only pencil lines on the paper.

Blind contour drawing with some writing. Image quality bad due to only pencil lines on the paper.

Unfortunately, I forgot to take more photos. This is quite far into the day.

Unfortunately, I forgot to take more photos. This is quite far into the day. Yellows are very washed out.

A few more steps down the road, right before I (daringly!) add black fluid acrylic in a "oiler boiler" to create more line.

A few more steps down the road, right before I (daringly!) add black fluid acrylic in a “oiler boiler” to create more line.

While not finished, I like the addition of the acrylic line. Overall, though the color still needs to be pushed.

While not finished, I like the addition of the acrylic line. Overall, though the color still needs to be pushed.

This was a good workshop, for me in particular, but I think everyone saw progress in their work. It was a small class (I think 7) in a very lovely setting, both of which are bonuses. Beyond that, however, Ruth has a lovely teaching manner that encourages as well as educates. She seems genuinely interested in helping students discover their artistic identity; this particular class had everything from a VERY new student to a very advanced student frequently seen in shows. Ruth had something encouraging and educational to say to everyone.

I’m going to look for another class if she comes back to this area. It might be a few years before I can afford another class, but this was worth it.

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