German artist leading local classes this week

Published 12:00 am Friday, November 3, 2017

The German-born artist Guido Frick is this week teaching a plein air workshop for the LAAC for second time in two years.

Frick spends half of the year in the United States teaching workshops, and the other half in Germany.

The local workshop started on Nov. 1, and will continue through today.

Plein air painting is a phrase borrowed from the French equivalent meaning “open (in full) air.” Each session is six hours long.

“This is my 8th workshop in Alabama in the past two years, and my second time in Andalusia,” Frick said, “I may be coming back next year as well.”

The first day of the workshop was centered on still life paintings at Jo Kelley’s farm.

The second day, the group set up behind Big Mike’s and painted anything from the depot to the Centurylink building.

The third and final day will be a pure landscape painting back at Kelley’s farm.

Frick has five students for this workshop, and makes his teaching very personal.

“I like to have a small number of students so that I can go around and truly help each one through what they’re lacking,” Frick said.

When he says lacking, that can be anything from too busy brushwork to too many details in the painting.

In the early 1980s, Frick met with famous instructor and painter Sergei Bongart, and considers this as one of the most influential encounters he ever had as a painter.

“I always loved landscape and nature, but Sergei helped with my love for it,” Frick said.

Shortly after meeting Bongart, Frick was showing his work in exhibits throughout Germany, Switzerland, France, Italy, as well as England.

He was published in “Maler sehen deb Bodensee,” and also won the Prix de Salon in Fountainbleau-Paris.

Frick has a fascination with America’s landscape as whole, but primarily with the American West.

“A lot of Americans don’t appreciate the beauty of the country, but there is nothing like this in Europe,” Frick said, “In Europe there are cities so close together, but in America, there is so much space and so much beauty,”

The LAAC hosted a reception for Frick last night, and showed some of his recent work.