Student Carol Ross

Student Carol Ross

Renowned artist returns to Okanagan to share techniques

New York based artist Kristy Gordon is returning to Lake Country to teach two oil portrait painting workshops.

Brillo Pad-headed artist Bob Ross often used the technique when he painted landscapes live on his PBS TV show, The Joy of Painting.

Dutch painter Rembrandt used the technique when painting his oil portraits.

The practise of painting alla prima, or wet-on-wet, may seem tricky at first, but with some instruction, the results can be bold, expressive and atmospheric.

New York-based artist Kristy Gordon should know. She has perfected the alla prima technique in her figurative, portrait and still life work, which she has exhibited internationally, and which has earned her numerous awards.

Born and raised in Nelson, Gordon is returning to B.C., Lake Country to be precise, to teach two oil portrait painting workshops.

Gordon has given a number of art workshops previously in Lake Country, where her mother Bev Gordon resides. This time she is hosting a three-day alla prima painting workshop (location to be determined), Jan. 7 to 9 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., which will point participants’ brushes towards figure painting.

“The workshop is designed for artists who want to learn the alla prima painting technique through observation of the live model,” said Gordon, further explaining that alla prima means “at once” in Italian and is an approach to painting that is done in a quickly executed wet-into-wet fashion.

“Artists of all skill levels will have an opportunity to develop a painting each day, utilizing a different palette. They will explore a monochrome palette to develop their ability to perceive tonal values, a warm/cool palette to investigate temperate variations and finally utilize a limited palette that provides a full range of colours while maintaining colour harmony throughout.”

The other workshop is a four-day oil portrait painting intensive that will be held at the Winfield United Church Jan. 14 to 17 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

“Both courses will include demonstrations, discussions and individual instruction at the easel,” said Gordon. “Discussions will include proportion and structure of the head, stages to developing a painting, as well as form, value, edges, balance, unity, light and modeling with colour temperature.”

A full-time professional artist since 2004, Gordon will bring new inspiration from fellow artists she has studied with, including Jeremy Lipking, Yuqi Wang, Odd Nerdrum, Vincent Desiderio and Jenny Saville.

Represented by Galerie L’oeil du Prince in Paris and Cube Gallery in Ottawa, Gordon has been widely featured in numerous magazines, art publications, radio and television shows, including The Artist’s Magazine’s 28th Annual Art Competition, Southwest Art’s Emerging Artist: 21 Under 31 and Bravo!’s Star Portraits. Her paintings hang in more than 500 collections worldwide including the Government of Ontario Art Collection.

Her works have earned her numerous awards including the Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation Grant, an Award of Excellence from the Portrait Society of America, a Merit Award from Daniel Greene in the Salon International 2009, as well as being named Top Finalist in the Art Renewal Center’s International 2008/2009 ARC Salon.

More information on Gordon is available at

To register for the workshop, or for further information, contact Bev Gordon at 250-766-1126 or by e-mail


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