If you have any feedback on how we can make our new website better please do contact us and we would like to hear from you.
Part of Christensen's teaching philosophy includes the "Three P's."
1)Prepare at the highest level.Possess the knowledge by studying the old paintersfrom the past.We think we’re original in our ideas, but most of what we understand has been handed down.Sift through all of the chatter to find those things that speak to you at your core.You will need a solid foundation in all of these components -- values, drawing, composition, motif, color, orchestration, edges, the (5) types of light, etc.In doing this you must develop your own critical eye.Time spent on these fundamentals is preparing at the highest level.Your eye must become unsympathetic, very demanding and never quite satisfied with what it sees.A Nobel Peace prize winner was once quoted as saying, “Ten minutes of “diligent” study every day on any topic within a year you can become an expert on the subject.”That is to say, an expert in your understanding or knowledge. Practice is next.
2)Practice at the highest level.Gather information outdoors.Never start painting prior to developing a strong composition.Do several drawings in a variety of formats (horizontal, vertical, etc). Establish your key in each and every painting.Decide whether it is high key, middle key, low key or full-value scale.Remember to paint relationships -- one value compared to another, one color as it relates to another.Learn to manage your viscosity of paint – consider your canvas or surface and how they interact.Paint with your best materials.For example, use quality brushes (as simple as this sounds, you can’t believe the poor condition of brushes that I have see painters use at my workshops).I’ve done two to four studies within an hour, sometimes very small 5x7’s, 3x6’s, etc.This gathering of information is crucial to painting at a higher level.There is no substitute for painting from life. In order to practice at the highest level, you must be willing to overwork paintings and lose some of the best pieces you’ve ever done.You’ll discover what it takes to move your paintings beyond academics and into a fine piece of art.How you “rework” your paintings is crucial.
3)Paint at the highest level.To paint at the highest level means that you have had to prepare and practice at the highest level -- meaning unsympathetic, demanding, seldom satisfied.You’ll need to take the work done outdoors and ask yourself a series of questions back in the studio – “was it warmer than this, cooler than that,lighter in value,” etc.To paint at a high level means to take this information and apply it in the studio.Experimentation is necessary, how you apply the paint and its viscosity has all been learned by your previous ways of practicing.The idea that was taken from the field may often be revised several times before any solid direction is established.Orchestration is key, all the parts -- drawing, composition, color and its temperature, values, value patterns, etc., need to work together as one great whole.
These points will be expounded upon during the (7) days.