Robert Liberace, Sarasota FL- Workshop pt 1

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me (Shelli Alford) and Rob Liberace. He is critiquing my beginning efforts of a painting.

The workshop started off so great!  I was working my butt off.  Actually everyone was working really hard.  We were doing one or two paintings a day.

The Southern Atelier had a much different feel than any other school or atelier I had attended.  It was run like a well oiled machine by a very hard working and organized woman named Mimi.

I drew my lucky number (18!) in the easel lottery,  When everyone won their easel location in the lottery, we set up at our easels and painted a lovely model,  There was a male model whose body was a little extreme looking in person because of his very thin yet muscular physique.  This combination of thin and muscular on the male model made for some truly beautiful paintings.  The female model was beautiful and a pleasure to paint as well.

Rob was great about circling the room to help with the paintings and give critiques.  He is very enthusiastic about everything.  His feedback was helpful, insightful and gentle.  He had an almost encyclopedic knowledge of the human body and all the different muscles.  He was very inspiring and his grasp of the body made me want to learn anatomy.  When you understand where the muscles are and what they are doing, it makes drawing or painting a model so much easier because you really understand what is happening in the pose and why.

A super nice local student of the Southern Atelier and also a Rob Liberace workshop student.

Rob also has an encyclopedic memory of art history which was yet another fabulous side benefit of the class.

I saw myself continuing to get faster painting!  WoooHooo!!

Lunch was a little bit of a problem because the warehouse where the studio was located was a little isolated.  There were no places close enough to grab a quick bite to eat.  I had not brought a lunch because I thought I would just buy it from somewhere local..  We were only taking a 45 minute lunch break anyway.   Many people had brought their lunch and took pity on those of us who didn’t.  They graciously shared their lunches with us the first day of class.  I knew to bring one everyday after that.

I made a few friends in class, and we all went out to a delicious dinner together in the pouring rain that night…it rained every day I was there.


Shelli Alford is an artist and author, who enjoys learning from master oil painters from around the world and reviewing their classes, workshops and demonstrations.

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