The Grounds at Van Gogh’s Asylum in St. Remy

Today’s Edits of my Pastels from St. Remy

I took an extra week in France after my pastel workshop to draw for myself. I spent a day on the grounds of Van Gogh’s Asylum in St Remy. Then I was profoundly happy to be there and just drew without thinking; just experiencing. But today, I looked over these and added a little light. And I uploaded them to the studio collection of pastels on my archive.

Provence Art Experience Workshop, Luberon, September 7-16, 2020

Study Pastel Plein Air with Michael Newberry in France

Join us in the Fall of 2020 for an great pastel workshop visiting sites of outstanding beauty and history guided and hosted by the knowledgeable, kind, thoughtful, and local expert Mathieu Brousses, and taught by internationally acclaimed artist me, Michael Newberry. Comfortable living situation, with all meals either prepared by a French local, picnic, and local bistros.

We will learn how to draw in pastel quickly capturing an hours impression making lots of works. Learning triangulation, color theory, composition, how to work with the color paper, and how to drive towards the light. Newberry has a unique way of approaching pastel drawing by layering hue and tones which creates of shimmering mark making. The 10-day workshop is hard work fully focused, yet with wonderful social breaks around food and good company. Don’t hesitate to contact Mathieu with any questions.

“Mathieu in addition to being so creative, gracious and generous as a host, is just a great human being full of patience and wisdom.  His knowledge of French culture and our various venues ensured that each day was filled with delight.”
Dan Zimmerman, participant in the 2019 Provence Art Workshop.

For Fall 2020 we plan to use Luberon as our hub. Here are samples of our possible itineraries:

Our host Mathieu Brousses

Some pics from last month’s workshop in Provence, May 2019.

About our teacher Michael Newberry

I taught several plein air painting and pastel workshops in NY, Mexico, Greece, Santa Monica, Italy, and France. And I formally taught Life Drawing, Composition, and Painting at the prestigious Otis College of Art and Design. When I am not teaching you will find me painting in my cabin studio under the monumental granite outcrop of Tahquitz Rock in Idyllwild, California, accompanied by my studio assistant doggy, Frida. More info on my extensive bio here.

Dan Zimmerman’s reflections on our 2019 workshop:

I was a bit nervous about the workshop, very similar to coming back to school after summer vacation, wondering if I had forgotten everything I had learned the previous term. I just knew, even before going on the trip, that I would be with like minded people passionate about art.  I loved the fact that the other students, Susan and Luxman, were both as convinced as I was of the talent and teaching ability of our instructor! Our accommodations were good, and my memory foam mattress was so very comfortable! I think I would have rather stayed on a ground floor, but the stairs were ok :) I think our cook Agnes’ daily dinners were such a wonderful part of the whole experience. 

The teaching was a good balance between being flexible and relaxed, and focused, hard work!  What I mean by that was I feel we all really applied ourselves and tried to learn as much as we could from each situation. Because of our small class size, we each received lots of attention and this was really invaluable.  After my initial success that first day, my confidence level went way up and I was able to enjoy the whole experience. 

I thought all the sites we visited were just superb.  We certainly adjusted things well when “le mistrail’ blew so hard, and it lead to one of my most treasured drawings, the fruit basket ‘still life’.  

Yes, several lessons learned:  1. Look for the shadows, drive towards the light, 2. Make your corners interesting in composing a picture, 3. If you share the ‘perfect picture’, there’s no need to search for another “perfect” shot. 4.  The feedback of my peers was a very enriching experience. 

Yes, I highly recommend this workshop!

If you are interested in attending please contact me, mtnewberry@gmail.com or Mathieu at mathieu.brousses@gmail.com and we can plan accordingly and make a spectacular and meaningful experience happen.

Lessons From France

Find the Shadows and Bring Out the Light a Few Examples from Our Provence Art Experience Workshop

With Dan Zimmerman, Mathieu Brousses, Susan Surber, Wendy Higbee Carando (guest artist), Luxman Nathan, and Michael Newberry
With Dan Zimmerman, Mathieu Brousses, Susan Surber, Wendy Higbee Carando (guest artist), Luxman Nathan, and Michael Newberry

St. Paul Asylum in St. Remy

Our first morning was a bright windy day as we drove to St. Remy guided by Mathieu to visit and draw at the St. Paul Asylum where Van Gogh was a patient around 1888-9. It was also the period when he did many wonderful works. Incidentally, I did my final art history paper on Van Gogh’s painting of the asylum. We saw the VG bedroom and then we started with our first pastel drawing lesson directly underneath its window.

Our Provence Art Experience Workshop truly began seeing Van Gogh’s bedroom at St. Paul’s Asylum in St. Remy on our first day.

The students under the shadow of Van Gogh’s ghost and unfamiliar with plein air painting/drawing and with each other, and jet lagged they bravely listened to their first instructions. The concern on their faces was apparent.

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