Terry Miura • Studio Notes

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Back From The Coast

I'm back from the edge of the world! This weekend I taught a three-day workshop at Timber Cove on the Sonoma Coast. What a beautiful place!  These pics don't do justice. 

A quick recap then. On Friday we arrived at Timber Cove just before lunch. The drive up the coast from Bodega Bay was nothing short of spectacular, as it was sunny and clear and the waters looked cerulean and phthalo and ultramarine.  I was antsy to get started. 

After a quick lunch, I greeted everyone and right away set up on the clifftop to do my demo. I painted the rocks jutting out into the cove with the afternoon sun hitting the side of the cliff, explaining what I was doing and why.


 The demo went smoothly, and afterward some of the students set up to get to work, while others went into the lodge for something warm to drink. (It got a little chilly later in the afternoon)

That evening we gathered at Fort Ross Inn, where I had reserved a big suite in case we had adverse weather. It had a big covered deck from which we could paint even if we had rain.  The room itself was big, so we could have potentially held class if the weather was really bad. The other purpose of the room was to have a gathering place where we could have a party on Friday evening. We fired up a few grills, threw on some chicken and veggies, popped open some wines and had a merry ol' time. 

Half the fun of doing these workshops is getting to know people and making new friends, ya know? Good food and wine after the working day is done makes these workshops extra fun. 

 I woke up in the morning and a foggy, gray day greeted me. This was expected, actually, and I thought the fog would be a good thing to show people how atmospheric perspective works. 

At times, the fog got pretty thick, which made painting easy in some ways but quite challenging in other ways.

 I mean, to paint thick fog, you need a couple of shades of gray and not much more. But then it's just big flat shapes and can be pretty boring. And when it gets too thick...

You just have to stop what you're doing for a while. 

It did clear up in the afternoon and we saw some beautiful colors, and patterns. I didn't get any sunny shots but if I get some from my students, I'll post them.

At the end of the day we convened at our big suite for a crit and wine session.


 On Sunday we had another gray morning. It was less foggy during my demo but still plenty moody-gray.  Afterward everyone worked on more gray-day paintings. I can't believe my students' stamina! They're like marathon runners. Or Energizer Bunnies.

By mid afternoon, they were running out of fuel, which is typical of a three day workshop like this. When we stop actively engaging the painting process and start going through the motions on auto-pilot, it's time to stop.  We still had time so I did an impromptu demo. Someone asked about memory painting, so I turned my easel away from the view and did this quickie from memory. I wanted to make a point about the nature of memory painting, that it's not really about remembering exactly what something looks like, but retaining information about that something's defining characters, whether it be colors, gestures, textures or what have you. A lot of it is building imagery using logic and "rules of realism".  I think it's important to practice as much memory painting (or making stuff up) as painting from observation. Each will help the other greatly.

Anyway, the workshop was a great success and I went home exhausted but very satisfied. I'll definitely do this again, so if you missed out this time, please make sure you're on my mailing list. (link on the sidebar). If you are getting my e-newsletter, (goes out maybe once a month, or every other month) you're already on it.

I just realized I never got a chance to post about last month's Amador Wine Country workshop. I'll try and get some pics up from that one soon, too~


  1. That was a super fun and informative weekend! Thank you so much Terry!

  2. I really missed out on this one Terry. Thank you so much for the envite I really appreciate that you extended it. It was a tough decision but in the end I got a yucky cold and am just getting over it. Next time you go to the coast.......I'm in.
    Also, I'm in at the School to begin in January. Looking forward to it.

  3. Randy, that's great that you'll be teaching over here in Fair Oak~ You are a natural teacher and furthermore, you're not scary :-) I've been told countless times that a potential student hesitate to take my class because they find me/class too intimidating. Me? intimidating? puh-leaze! But they don't take the first step so they'll never know. I think you won't have that problem!

    Looking forward to seeing you around here!