Sunday, February 16, 2014

Abstract Design and Plein Air Painting

What makes one painting grab your attention from across the room while other paintings don’t?  You don’t have to know anything about design to react to the composition of a painting—your eyes and brain respond to the abstract arrangement of light and dark, warm and cool, harmony and contrast. The result is a feeling of attraction that doesn’t have to be explained in any words beyond, “I like it.”

It is different for the artist who must create that response through a series of decisions. As master plein air painter Roger Dale Brown explains,
“I always bring the landscape to its abstract and work with simple shapes and their value. I break the scene into a dominate color and its complement.” 
Roger Dale Brown demonstrates breaking down a scene into its abstract forms.

Beginning with an appealing scene, the artist must decide:

What part of the scene to include in the painting?

What will be the focal point (the part viewers will notice first)?

What range of colors best represent not just the scene but the artist’s emotional response to the scene?

Artists taking the Roger Dale Brown Plein Air Workshop hosted by the Gadsden Museum of Art, April 6-9, will see that decision process demonstrated over three days in three very different landscapes—on a working farm, in a wildlife park, and beside a waterfall.

About the workshop: Roger Dale Brown’s paintings have won first place and best of show awards, been juried into national exhibitions, published in Artist Magazine and American Art Collector, displayed in galleries throughout the United States, and collected by celebrities and corporations. He is dedicated to painting from life, on location, as the best way to enhance the ability to see the nuances of a scene. His goal is to capture the emotion what he sees and distill that into his paintings. Roger Dale Brown believes in passing along what he has learned through teaching. To learn more, visit Roger Dale Brown's website at

Workshop tuition: $425 (supplies not included).  A 50% deposit is required to reserve a space, $100 of which is not refundable.  Don’t delay, Mr. Brown’s classes fill quickly and space is strictly limited!  

To register for the workshop or request more information about the workshop or the SPAI, contact Elaine at the Gadsden Museum of Art (256-546-7365 or   

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