Monday, January 4, 2016

Workshops 2016

Workshops 2016 

from Jef's First Light Studio

The workshops this year are the same as last year, although they are always evolving as my own studio practice evolves. 

Oregon High Desert

two workshops:

June 7 – 11
October 14-19

Last year we met in October, which was beautiful and with pleasant weather. The daily schedule involved painting near the Diamond Hotel early morning (first light was around 7 AM) until about 10. Then we'd go off in search of other views until lunch back at the ranch. Then, after an afternoon break, we'd start again near the hotel until supper at 6:30. Thus, we painted for three sessions at 2-3 hours per session. There was one demo on the third day and a last day critique which was fun and helpful for all. 

I think we all did well with this format which pushed us a little past our comfort zone. As I told the group on orientation during our first scrumptious meal together, I want you to feel pleasantly exhausted, like you just achieved something worthwhile. This year, I'll probably add another demo or two.

This four-day workshop is for artists with painting experience. We will explore on-site landscape painting (en plein air) in the heart of Oregon's stunningly beautiful sagebrush desert. The workshop will focus on creating the feeling of expansive, even limitless, space through the development of subtle color relationships and the abstraction of the observed physical forms – buttes, valleys, mountains, plains and sky. The painting group will work out of Diamond in Harney County, the gateway to the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, Steens Mountain, Catlow Rim and the Alvord Desert. Selected painting sites include McCoy Valley, Buena Vista Overlook and Frenchglen. Lodging and meals – scrumptious meals - are available at the Diamond Hotel. 

Four day workshop. $420
If you are interested in this workshop, please make a 
reservation at the Hotel Diamond at 541-493-1898
and let me know too.

First Light Last Light

Tentative Dates: Friday, July 15 - Monday, July 18

Portland, Skyline Blvd

(Truth is, I am still working on the four paintings I started last summer during this workshop, so I'm posting this older painting Crepiscule of a place on Sauvie Island.)

This was a wonderful and challenging workshop last year. It will be this year too. Meant for experienced painters. Please contact me if you're interested.

Each of four days:
First session 6 - 9 AM
critique: 9:30 - 11 AM
Last session 6 - 9 PM

From a hill view that looks far to the East and to the West, paint with friends at the beginning and ending of the day.
First light, last light.
The distant brought near, the complex made plain.
The obscure made clear, the vastness intimate.
In a rigorous routine yet relaxed air, meant to bring out your subtlest work.
A four-day workshop
Lightly guided by Jef Gunn.

A deeply inspiring place. And exciting idea. The same locale at different times of the day – beginning and ending :
 lights and shadows from the East; lights and shadows from the West.

Not easy to do.
Light changes fast at the ends of the day.
When faced with fast-changing circumstances, you must become


and act quickly, trusting your sight, your training, your feeling.

Even your fumbles take place within a vast stillness.

When you miss that stillness, you’re laboring after something you think is real.
None of it is real.
You might get a painting.
It might not look like what you think of as a landscape painting.

This workshop is for experienced painters ready for a deep challenge.

Four Days. Eight Sessions. Total hours per day: 8

Plein Air and the Dao of Seeing

Sitka Center for Art and Ecology  

Monday, August 29 - Thursday, September 1, 2016

From Sitka catalog:

Painting from nature, out in the open, is a pleasurable challenge. It calls for a sustained effort of looking and repeated painting. The key to better painting is learning how to slow the mind in order to SEE, and then to flow with the tide of creation. This workshop on the repeated practice of looking and painting will take place between the studio and the open air. We will learn specific meditation methods, color mixing, painting wet in wet, Western and Asian composition strategies, using ebb and flow, and seeing through momentary conditions. Playful experiment and grounding in meditation will be integral to our workshop. Only expectations limit the possibilities.

Last year this was the first time I've introduced formal meditation practice into the regular routine of a four day workshop. Our focus and painting practice was enhanced by this. We also had an intensive theory-and-practice color mixing session first day. We'll do all this again this year.

Please go to for more information or to register for this workshop.

If you have suggestions for other workshop possibilities this year, please contact me through the Contact page on my website . Thank you.

– Jef

Quick review of art in 2015

June: Dreaming of One and Two at Augen Gallery, Portland

June: Inaugural Show at i.e. gallery in Edison, Washington

November: Lummi Invitational, also at i.e. gallery

Happy New Year


What's new this year from Jef at First Light Studio


A lot of exposure this January!

January 20 - February 29
Visions and Revisions: A Five-Year Conversation
Group Show at Jeffrey Thomas Fine Art

2219 NW Raleigh AvenuePortland, OR. 97210

This show will be from the Painting Club, a group of wonderful Portland artists with whom I meet every month to talk about what is always developing in our studios, other art that we see and our lives outside the studio. The other painters in the show are:

Clinton MacKenzie, Trude Parkinson, Pat Barrett, Stephanie Doyle, Claire Browne, and Andrea Schwarz-Feit

Also in January:

A couple of pieces in Augen Gallery (Portland) group showing of gallery artists
Preview First Wednesday, January 6
Opening First Thursday, January 7

Also, In January in Seattle:

meditations group exhibition
january 7 - february 27, 2016
opening thurs, jan 7, 5-8pm

William Traver Gallery
110 Union Street #200
Seattle, WA 98101
206.587.6501 phone
206.587.6502 fax

In June :
Group show at Cannon Beach Gallery

And later in the year :

a group show of encaustics in Port Townsend, Washington
curated by Martha Pfanschmidt

And a landscape show in Joseph, Oregon
curated by Bob Procter