Artwork > Writing

Derek Bernstein to John Vestbirk

I looked at Michael Weller's site. I quite like his work but of course that doesn't mean he's a great teacher but I do think his heart is in the right place. I think he might be a good person for you to study with. His work is very much about the experience of landscape. I like the way he looks for the essential qualities of a place and paints fast to grasp the big things and avoid the noodling around. He seems to trust his intuition.
Despite their fast appearance these paintings seem to have a slow meditative feeling. I don't see too much of that. I hope his course works out well for you.
Regarding colour pallets, I think a limited range of carefully selected colour gives you great freedom in understanding how colour can have a profound effect when one has to search to find colour that might not be your palette. I like to use Alizarin as the only red and depending on the other colours you might select there's so much potential for accidentally discovering the potential of Alizarin. I feel that way about some light pale yellows. I find making a decision not to use too much white can help make more of colour. But that also says why not use zinc white and say Naples yellow with viridian and see what happens.
More pictures one after the other, all kinds of fascinating combos out there. I have never been one for colour wheels. Teachers might find them useful to teach but at this point you're already on your own journey.
I have noticed in my work that I am the worst judge and if only I could calm down I would have done a lot more good paintings but I grew up thinking I have to push everything till it's gone.
So my own message to myself is get it down and move on to the next. It's not time to judge. Maybe later or maybe never. I would love to make paintings like Michael. He knows to keep it simple and move on. I respect that.

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