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Scott Conary’s Painting Class

I take classes from people I admire and whose artwork I like. I appreciate learning from different artists and seeing how they set up their studios, what their thought processes are, and how they work.

I recently took a painting class with Scott Conary because I love his work; I consider him so thoughtful and thought-provoking… about all things, and because I like him. 🙂

Luckily, my artist friend, Linda, was willing to pick me up and go with me to Scott Conary‘s class.  Here are some photos that I took during the class:

Scott’s Portland studio is in his backyard. He built it with friends about ten years ago.

There was room for several students, and Scott had set up easels, a still life set-up, and a lamp for each of us.

He has a still life cupboard filled with objects, which he is very willing to share.

To start the day, he showed us slides of works by his favorite artists and told us what he admires about them.

Here are my notes I took during his class.

The first assignment he gave us was an egg. Here he is showing us how he starts his painting with value.

Here is one of the beautiful eggs by Scott. Although the egg seems relatively simple, it has a deeper meaning to him and the story about his daughter. You can hear about it on the Savvy Painter Podcast.

Then we went outside to pick a flower. I chose a daylily. I had him help me set up the still life and we agreed on the daylily upside down in a glass.

Here is the beginning of my painting.

This is my final painting.

Since the class, when I go to make a painting, I think about what Scott said:. softness against intensity, passages, the mark, paint as yourself, paint the way YOU should paint, spacing matters.

With my background as a medical illustrator, I tend to be super – literal in my work. Scott opened up a more poetic way of looking at an object, so appreciated this idea of metaphors. I’ve been so worried about technique, I haven’t gotten into the WHY. Scott helped me think differently.


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