The Best Advice My Oil Painting Instructor Ever Gave Me

by JoAnne McFarland in Choosing Subject Matter
Many years ago I studied oil painting with Andrew Reiss, a Brooklyn painter and instructor. A group of us set up our easels and painted together at his studio on Sunday afternoons. Andy would go from artist to artist, helping each of us perfect our skills. It was a warm, welcoming environment. We worked from the model as a way to see complexity in form, nuances in color, and gain an understanding of spatial relationships and how to create a sense of volume and distance on a two dimensional plane.
Over and over Andy would repeat ‘Remember, you’re not painting the objects, you’re painting the light.’ More than anything else, this has stayed with me, as a way to animate any subject.