Art class was in session Saturday, but there were no desks or whiteboards out on Honolulu Avenue, just artists showing their paintings and sharing their techniques with the public during the Montrose Art Walk and Sale.
Artists are encouraged to demonstrate and talk about their techniques during the show, said Rose Gamble, administrative assistant for the Montrose Verdugo City Chamber of Commerce, which coordinates the event four times a year.
“The purpose of the art walk is to bring knowledge and enrichment to the local community and to make them aware of the local artists who do beautiful artwork of the local and surrounding areas,” Gamble said. “They can see how the artists are actually making the landscapes and portraits.”
Tujunga artist Roland E. Clark explained how he gets the soft sky technique that offsets the subjects of his watercolors — old barns and farmhouses.
His audience was Elinor Peters of La Crescenta and Yvonne Brossus-Fisher of Sun Valley.
Clark combines the paint with a lot of liquid, applies it to the paper and tilts the paper so the paint distributes itself, he said. If the paint and water refuse to move because the paper is drying out, he takes an atomizer and wets it just a little.
“It pulls what paint is left, and it helps to diminish the flow of the paint, and gives you a soft edge,” Clark said.
His primary subject is barns, he said, because he is intrigued by the history of them.
“The property goes to the next generation and some have been in the family for 150 years — over several generations,” he said. “Families used it for housing their team of horses before the mechanical age.”
“I find his work to be so peaceful,” Brossus-Fisher said. “All of his scapes are so different from our everyday life.”
“I’m very impressed by his skillful technique,” Peters said.
Further down the block, Price J. Freeman Jr. was showing his California contemporary oil paintings.
Freeman, a retired transportation manager for the phone company, travels the world and brings back ideas for his paintings.
He painted New Orleans before and after Hurricane Katrina, he said.
The subjects and colors of his “before” paintings are musicians playing lively music set against red and orange backgrounds. The colors of his “after” paintings are darker.
“But I always place a rainbow or another sign of hope somewhere on the canvas,” he said.
He’s also traveled to the Caribbean and likes to paint seascapes using color to show the contrast between the western and eastern sides, he said. In his paintings of the eastern side, he depicts the laid-back feeling with cooler colors and clouds while the western side he paints with more vibrant colors — reds, yellows, oranges and purples.
“A lady came by this morning and said ‘You make me want to go on a vacation,’ and that’s what I’m trying to do, get them to go into the picture and go away,” he said.