Canvass comes alive during oil painting workshop

Sherry Matthews Editor

January 20, 2014

Thirteen painters, some from Sampson, others from across the state and beyond, embarked on a two-day journey at the Victor R. Small House Friday, one that opened colorful doors to a new world of art — oil painting.

Artist Judy Crane led the workshops, held from 9:30 until 5 both Friday and Saturday, offering a jumping off point for many of those gathered to dabble for the first time in oils.

While many of those attending aren’t newbies to a paint brush, having taken classes offered by local artists Paula Fitzpatrick and Walt Smith, it was their first glimpse into a different medium and their first opportunity to take what they learned and apply it to the canvass.

“It’s exciting for them,” said Fitzpatrick as Crane offered words of wisdom before turning the students’ attention back to their own work. And it’s so wonderful to have someone with Judy’s talent conduct the workshop.”

Crane, from Raleigh, has worked as a professional artist for over 30 years. According to a brochure provided at the workshop, she paints in a manner that encourages the viewer to see the subject as the eye sees a scene, not in photographic focus, but with atmosphere and depth of field. She paints a variety of subject matter and frequently does commission paintings for clients.

Her works are held in numerous corporate and private collections, including SAS Institute, Duke University, Progress Energy and UNC Hospital.

“I see beauty in light and how it affects everything it touches, turning the mundane into the magnificent,” Crane has said. “I am fascinated by how light affects color and how one color affects and relates to another. Whatever subject matter I am working with, the initial attraction is almost always light and color.”

The workshop was provided by the Sampson County Arts Council.

“The Arts Council provided everything, which gives the students an opportunity to see how they like the art form without having to spend $500 or more on brushes and paints. I think it’s a great way to introduce them to oils, and it gives them an opportunity to see if they like and enjoy working with oils.”

Fitzpatrick said these type workshops were also a good draw for the Arts Council, getting more people to the Small House for classes.

In the two-day workshop, students came from Wilmington, Wade, Fayetteville and Alexandria, Va., as well as Clinton.

“It’s a great experience for the students,” Fitzpatrick said. “I’m thrilled we had this much interest.”