Gail Sibley is a popular workshop instructor and has beena professional artist for more then 25 years. She delights in the experience of painting from life, whether a landscape en plein air, or a still life in studio. Her work is characterized by bold colour achieved with a limited palette.
A traveller at heart, Gail offers workshops internationally with a focus on how understanding values leads to freedom with colour. She guides participants to hone their unique artistic voice and gives strategies for dealing with negative self-judgement.
Born and brought up in Jamaica, Gail Sibley moved to Canada to complete a BFA (Fine Arts) followed by a MA in art history. Yearning to create, she then returned to painting after university. Experimenting with a small box of pastels, Gail was hooked by their vibrancy, immediacy, and luminosity.
Gail participates in national and international juried shows and has won various awards including the Grand Prize for Painting On The Edge (POTE), an annual international juried exhibition at the Federation Gallery in Vancouver. Her work is in private and corporate collections in several countries. She is a Signature Member with the Pastel Society of America (PSA) and a Master Pastellist with Pastel Artists Canada (MPAC).
Gail shares her knowledge and that of others in a highly-regarded blog at HowToPastel.com and can be seen on YouTube at youtube.com/GailSibley. She also offers online courses. Gail was a primary contributor to the recently published book, DK’s Artist’s Drawing Techniques (August 2017).
Gail lives in Victoria, BC, Canada with her partner Cam in a 1910 character home.
During this 10-day workshop, our focus will be working from life. Much of our time together will be spent painting outdoors on location but since we are lucky enough to have a studio on site, we’ll also spend some time there too.
We’ll go through the process of creating a painting en plein air step-by-step, from choosing what you’re going to paint, to simplifying the scene, to drawing up a thumbnail (a getting-to-know-you tool which also shapes a value pattern for your painting as well as a good composition), to blocking in the big shapes as an underpainting, to colour choices, and to finally, moving towards more detail.
We’ll go over the importance of understanding values and how this knowledge can liberate your colour choices and interpretation of a scene. All aspects of what goes into creating a successful painting will be covered including composition, values, colour characteristics and relationships, shapes, dominance, perspective (linear and aerial), and edges. We’ll explore the magic of layering pastels and how to retain their luminosity. We will also work on views closer to home - a still life or a pot of flowers for instance. Drawing and sketching will also be part of our agenda!
I’ll give lots of one-on-one direction and demonstrate. We’ll also gather as a group to discuss and critique the day’s paintings.
My teaching style is to pass on all I know while at the same time encouraging the complete emergence of your own voice. It’s all easy-going with plenty of room for laughter and fun!