Energy is high even is thoughts are starting to blur. Bonding is....bonded-er. Anyone that did not start painting yesterday has been given gentle-yet-firm pushes. Those that started yesterday have struggled through every painting's inevitable ugly phase and they are starting to see the light again.
Michael Whelan gave the afternoon lecture. He talked about his career and process. About having turned to gallery work as a means to wake himself up from a creative block -- and how his illustration and gallery now work in tandem. Story telling is clearly important to Michael. He talked a lot about being true to the source material but also adding details and nuances to enrich to the narrative of the image.
Donato gave the evening lecture. If you ever need to remember how inspiring and regenerative fantasy can be, call Donato. He was born of Star Wars, Richard Scarry, and Tolkien. (A favorite moment of mine was hearing Charles Vess quietly laugh, "I did one of those" when Donato showed a Balrog/Gandalf drawing he had done as a teenager.) When Donato speak s about influence he isn't talking about technical ability so as much as an ability to inspire imagination and create moments of great emotion. Donato's work is always going beyond the job as required by the client and he spoke a lot about how that has helped him advance, both in terms of his career and creatively. When asked about times of strong growth in his work he replied, "When you are in the midst of it, you can't see if you are successful -- all you can do is be passionate about what you are doing."
And then it was back to work for everyone. Students painted. Michael Whelan did a demo. Charles decide to jump in on the Lady of the Lake assignment and did a large drawing which looks like he's nearly ready to start inking. Instructors continued their hands-on cris. We got collegiate and played frisbee. (Now people can hate Justin Gerard for being a great painter and for being the best frisbee player.) By 2:00 am everyone left to get enough sleep to be productive on day four.