MASTERCLASS - Taking the Fear Out of Painting with Doug Swinton - October 2016

By learning what’s truly important in your painting you can reduce the fear and quickly capture the essence of what you want to paint. 

Doug Swinton taught a workshop at the studio where Friday evening was spent in discussion and he provided a stunning demo of his painting in the alla prima method, wet-on-wet in which layers of wet paint are applied to previously administered layers of wet paint.

The rest of the weekend was spent painting 20 - 8x10 pieces in 20 minute sessions, through a series of lessons that helped students see the bigger picture and capture it quickly.

In this fast moving exercise they learned how to use big shapes, big brushes, bold colours and how to observe, measure, reduce, eliminate, edit and express. 

His workshop was amazing and helped students to never be intimidated by an empty canvas again!


About Doug Swinton in his own words:

I never really intended to make art a career it just keeps happening. Maybe it's living in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains and being surrounded the spectacular landscape. Maybe it’s that my mom was always in the kitchen painting wicker baskets of bright fruit with Chianti wine bottles, or may it was all the doodles and drawings that adorned each and every page of my math book. But some how, art has now become my career.

Since my childhood, drawing and painting have always played an important role in my life. A big part of me never really left kindergarten. I still live for the “Hey Mom, look what I made!” I think exhibiting in galleries is just a bit of an extension of that. And today, besides being an artist

How do you describe my art? That’s like trying to hit a moving target. Just when I think its going one direction ever elusive leopard slips away and changes its spots. Slathering thick viscid paint on a freshly unwrapped canvas is sensual and venereal. For me it’s always been more about the doing than the end product. It’s like being at a live concert. The energy that comes from the doing is a highly powerful thing. I also get board very easy so I tend to flit from subject to subject. As J R Tolkien said, “not all that wander are lost”. No matter what the subject, it’s always the same, the most amount of information with the least amount of brushstrokes.

Canada couldn’t be a better place to live. But for me as an artist, the close proximity of the prairies, foothills and mountains of Alberta makes my home province a never-ending dream. I’ve been lucky, and have painted in many countries, but to me there is still nothing more beautiful than a cold beer and a hot Calgary summer sunset.  

                                             Art is not about a living; it’s living the art.