On Saturday, I had the great fortune of attending a painting workshop by one of my favorite contemporary painters, Shelby Keefe.  To say I was star-struck is a bit of an understatement.  When I walked into her studio, I started acting like a 13-year old who had just scored back-stage passes to a N’Sync concert (did I just date myself?)


She started the day by demoing her signature painting technique.  I was fascinated to learn that she starts each piece with a wash of acrylic paint in bold, vibrant colors.  I’d used this technique in the past, but never with such a saturated under-painting.  The results are magical.  Her contemporary impressionist pieces take my breath away.  Here’s the painting that she whipped out in first hour and a half of class.   Jealous much?


In the second part of the workshop, we all took out our paints and tried to apply her techniques to our own work.  I had decided to work off a photo I snapped on a trip to San Francisco a few years back.  We had been sitting behind the Ferry Building enjoying a feast of french macaroons, local yogurt and house-made granola (we were going to do this California Cuisine thing right), when a seagull began pacing back and forth in front of our table eying our food.  The photo I took had some wonderful shapes with the bike, railing and shadows.



I spent the next four hours sketching out my composition, mixing colors, and trying to apply the lessons I’d learned from Shelby’s demo.  I’m actually really happy with how it came out!



Lunchtime Staredown


Thanks Shelby for a completely wonderful day of painting!


Hi there! I'll be taking maternity leave during the summer of 2018. If you'd like a pet portrait during this time, feel free to drop me a note (awillsie@gmail.com) and I'll let you know as soon as I'm back to the studio. Thanks! Dismiss