Bill Cramer: Tucson Plein Air – April 9 – 10, 2024
Unlock the secrets of plein air painting in the beautiful saguaro filled scenery of the Sonoran Desert with award winning artist Bill Cramer. Daily demos and discussions will illuminate a variety of approaches that can be used to create meaningful studies and finished works. Bill will offer real time critiques of your efforts with an eye toward expanding your artistic sensibilities. Classes will take place outdoors in the composition rich deserts surrounding Tucson.
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I work in a style best described as Impressionistic Realism, where strong brushwork and colors are used to express the vitality and beauty of the natural world. I look for a balance between the actual scene and my reaction to it – not to paint precisely what I see, but to paint what I want the viewer to see. Every landscape is greater than the obvious visual elements. The push of an evening breeze, the feel of sun baked sandstone, the scent of sagebrush or the sound of a raven suddenly overhead are examples of the many unseen elements that inform my work. I’m satisfied when a painting is as rich as the landscape that inspired it. My goals are to keep exploring the southwest’s wild places, search for new ideas and express what I find exciting about landscapes and about painting.
Unlock the secrets of plein air painting in the beautiful saguaro filled scenery of the Sonoran Desert with award winning artist Bill Cramer. Daily demos and discussions will illuminate a variety of approaches that can be used to create meaningful studies and finished works. Bill will offer real time critiques of your efforts with an eye toward expanding your artistic sensibilities. This 2-day workshop will take place outdoors in the composition rich deserts surrounding Tucson.
Each morning will begin with a brief discussion and a demo, and then everyone paints until lunch. Lunch is really an extended break from painting to allow the not-so-great lighting of midday to pass. Bill often does a 2nd demo during lunch. After lunch, the group will meet in the same spot or move to a new one. The afternoon session will begin with a demo followed by another painting session. There will be continual critiques throughout the painting sessions. Students are encouraged ask questions or concerns at any time during critiques, demos, etc.
Like many plein air painters, Bill prefers to get an early start each day. An early start allows the group time to get to the paint location, park, assemble the group, and assess compositions, weather, light and other plein air concerns. Early starts get the group the best light each morning following the demo. Afternoon sessions often last until sunset - especially if it's a great one! Bill tries to put in as many hours as he normally would on a plein air trip so the group can get the most out of each day!
Bill – thank you for a great workshop. I enjoyed your insights and skillful instruction. I learned that hard edges and soft edges interact with the eye in different ways – I didn’t know that! Thanks for all the valuable tips. Your generous sharing is appreciated.
Bill, It’s been a wonderful, enlightening and enriching couple of days! Thank you for sharing your knowledge and experience. I will carry this valuable information in all my plein air painting. Best - Barbara
Bill provided but with information on the geology and history of the area. It was incredibly helpful when, in class, he built on that foundation. Bill taught specific painting techniques, various approaches for composition under a variety of weather conditions and ways to simplify the structure visually. I found all of it very helpful.
I have been a fan of Bill’s work (and Bill too!) for probably about 10 years. Coming to a workshop of his has been a bucket list item of mine for probably 1/2 that time. But I was very nervous about not having enough “brush miles” to even be a participant, but everyone was just lovely. So this past weekend was sort of a dream come true for me with the most delightful bonus – the aspect that I couldn’t have imagined was that I would also get to spend two amazing days with some of the most supportive and encouraging artists anyone could hope for. I look forward to following everyone’s work and hope we get the opportunity to paint together again one day. - Mary