Friday, October 25, 2019

Plein Air Landscape Workshop with T.J. Cunningham

At the end of July I attended a Plein Air Landscape Workshop with T. J. Cunningham at the Landgrove Inn in Landgrove, Vermont.  It was fabulous!  I had a great time with a lot of really nice people, a wonderful instructor, beautiful scenery, and great food in a very comfortable and accommodating inn.  Vermont is beautiful, green and has loads of barns and dirt roads.  There is truly a painting around every corner.  Landgrove is in southern Vermont so the ride from North Jersey was an easy 4 hours.  The Landgrove Inn is lovely and a little rustic.  Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are all included and are served in the Inn's restaurant, which is open to the public for dinner.  The food was very good and they have a full bar that is available to guests at any time.
T.J. beginning a demo at a farm down the road from the Inn.
T.J. Cunningham is a young artist who has already established himself as a top contemporary landscape artist.  He is also an excellent teacher.  Each day started in the Landgrove Inn's studio with a short lecture and question and answer period.  Then we would go out on location, which was never very far, and he would do a 1-2 hour demonstration.  His demonstrations were particularly educational.  He explains every step of the way and is very generous with his knowledge and talents.  After lunch we would return to the location and paint.  One of the days we painted first and he did a demo after lunch so that we would have the morning light.  This is one of my plein air sketches from that morning.  I look forward to finishing it one day.
"Hayfields ",  Plein Air Oil Sketch on Panel, 9"x 12"
In his morning lectures he emphasized composition, values, and shapes.  He encouraged us to find the extremes first; the biggest shapes, the darkest darks, the lightest lights, the sharpest and softest edges.  He taught us about other artists, contemporary and from the past, and urged us to read Edgar Payne, Ken Salaz, Carlson, and many others.  His demonstrations were awe-inspiring and his one on one instruction was very personalized.  He was particularly good at honing in on where each of us were at in our varied journey in painting, and he took us all a little further along. Every student there was extremely happy with the workshop.
"Landgrove Inn",  Plein Air Oil Sketch on Panel, 9" x 12"
T.J. is also a really nice guy with a beautiful young family that had come along with him to Vermont.  He was originally from Vermont but lives in Tennessee now.  To see his work and information on upcoming workshops and exhibits, check out his website here.  Cunningham Fine Art .  I highly recommend attending a workshop with T.J.   Most of his workshops are in Tennessee or the Carolinas, but if he is ever back up north I would love to go to another one.  I also really enjoyed the Landgrove Inn.   I am already booked for another workshop there next year with John MacDonald, who I have reviewed in past posts. (Go to my workshop reviews in my menu).

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