Terry Miura • Studio Notes

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Knights Landing Workshop

Yesterday I went out to Knights Landing, (about 20 minutes Northwest of Sacramento Airport) to do a half-day plein air workshop. It was a free workshop organized by Yolo Arts, a non-profit organization promoting the arts in Yolo County.

The workshop was part of a program called Art & Ag Project which brings together artists, local farms, and the community at large. They put together events where artists can take workshops and paint on some of the beautiful farms in the area, of which there is no shortage in Yolo County.

My little workshop was at the River Garden Farms, one of the large scale farms in the area. I had gone out there last week to scope out the scene and picked out a great old tractor. Unfortunately it wasn't in an ideal setting for a workshop so I asked if it can be moved to somewhere else on the farm. 

Luckily, they were able to accommodate us and place the tractor right in front of an old building, where it would be in full sun with a simple yet compelling background. And more importantly the students and I could be situated in an open shade during the demo. 

The reason why that was so important wasn't so much that I'd have a harder time seeing my panel and palette in the sun, but the forecast said it may go up to 109F!!  I wouldn't want anyone suffering from heat exhaustion on my watch!

It was a good thing that the workshop was only half  a day and it never got that hot thanks in part to a nice constant river breeze.

One new experience for me was that my demo was filmed. Yes, this time we had a videographer, and I had to wear a microphone. Despite many requests for instructional videos in the past I'd never done it before because I don't particularly like my video presence, but I must have been baking in the heat yesterday and I consented. We'll see how it turns out.  It isn't really a full-on instructional video, but it'll be used I think, to promote the program. I'll let you know when it shows up on the internet. Or not. If I look like an idiot, you won't be hearing about it from me.

Anyway, the demo was a fun one. I enjoyed painting the old tractor, and as the compositional set up was straightforward, it went very smoothly. I'm happy to say it was one of those no-struggle demos.

I would love to do an extended (3-day?) workshop at some point on these farms in Yolo County. Who knows, it may happen in the not-so-distant future. If you're interested, keep your eyes on this blog!


  1. Cool! I love that little piece. Do you ever do the Ranches and Rolling Hills show in Marin? Everyone tells me it's a good show but I can never remember to apply. Sounds similar to what they are doing over there.

    The Los Gatos event was a blast! It was a lot of fun. You should do it if you can, if only for all of the pampering... might wanna talk to Paul Kratter to see what he thinks. Yes it was hot, but mostly on Friday and Saturday, the other days were manageable. I would take that over the apparent monsoon rains they had last year...

  2. Love the old tractor and the barn, I especially like the light and the shades (barns are my favourite subjects to paint and draw and any old tools and things).
    Beautiful work and its good no one passed out from the heat.

    There will be a plein air day through one of the art groups I belong too and this year it will be held at an old farm/village museum, cant wait.

  3. Thank you Terry for a fabulous demo at this historic and beautiful ranch.

    I almost canceled my trip there because of the high heat prediction but at the last moment I asked a few friends to pray for the event...I've never felt a breeze to be more "heaven sent" than on Saturday.

    I had so many questions and you were so gracious and helpful, you're a truly superb teacher.

    Blessings to you and your family,

  4. Hey Sergio~ Ya I think I'll give it a try. I never do really well at these things, but I do like hanging out with my tribe for cold beers after a long day of painting!

  5. Thanks Mari, I agree, old things make great motifs. There's just more character to them. Old souls. Capturing them with paint, however, is a whole different matter. LOL

  6. Lee, thanks for coming out to the workshop! The breeze was surprisingly pleasant wasn't it? Glad you didn't cancel the trip~

  7. I am very interested in a workshop there, Terry.

  8. Let me get this right. A video of Terry Miura doing a demo of a tractor really does exist? You just try and stop me from watching it!

    If held back pictures of me looking like an idiot no one would know what I looked like.

    Christmas just come early!!!

  9. Eva, I've talked to them about it. It would be a really good thing for all the players (myself, students, the yolo arts organization, the farms, and the art community) , I think. So I hope it happens!

  10. LOL Randy - I am a little afraid to see the video myself. I hope it shows more of the canvas and less of me babbling, but something tells me I won't be so lucky.

    Don't know how soon it'll show up on the net. It's for promoting a non-profit art organization so it'll likely be a short video, not a carefully articulated instructional one. But ya never know.

  11. Hey Terry -- Speilberg called...he wants your demo reel!

    Nice tractor portrait of a disappearing breed...

    See you in Sonoma!

  12. I dunno, your work has grown so much lately that I can't imagine you not doing well at it. You'll probably win an award...