Demo Feedback

posted April 20th, 2017 by

Here’s a quick look at how a painting is made, or at least how one was made, during a live demonstration.



Both Anne and I are sometimes invited to make a presentation in some community of artists. The one in Huntington Beach is large and active, maybe a hundred people. I’ve been there four times. For the first half I talk, then after the break I start a painting with whatever time’s left, maybe half an hour (talking then, too). After this last time I received a very nice note and these photos from the president and corresponding secretary. As the note itself carried so much information about my approach, I’m sharing it with you here.


Here I am just minutes into it. My canvas unstretched, taped to a board. Note the house-painting brush and my famous ironing board for palette.

Dear Hyatt,

On behalf of the HBAL Board of Directors and our league members we express our appreciation for your highly delightful and very informative demonstration on March 1, 2017. Your comments on your approach to creating your paintings: “Begin the painting very loosely, tightening up little by little as  you paint, but only go so far; paint with confidence and just let it happen; and practice a lot” is wisdom we painter folk can all follow. Your approach is inspiring: First to


Here’s where I left off, still quite messy and needing plenty of fine-tuning. This stage is in fast drying and watery acrylic, the masked-off white edges left for the stretching process.

paint the large areas, then the background, cover the canvas with color and then work on the drawing, using negative spaces. The idea of standing when painting, with a large mirror behind you, is novel and obviously a perfect way to check your drawing . . . as well as your advice to merely suggest things in the painting, to add mystery and create interest.

Hyatt, your demonstration was packed with information and inspiration, and as you said, “painting should always be fun . . . do not let yourself get depressed.”


Flamenco Style, oil over acrylic, 42×28, click for details.

That was the note. I was grateful, particularly as they really did capture my main points for how to approach a painting. I was impressed. I hope you find it informative.


  1. Anastasia Hansel Apr 20, 2017
    10:15 pm

    Hyatt…..YOU ARE AMAZING! and you married an AMAZING woman! Wish I could spend some time with you both…..just putting the thought out there.

    I think about your daughter and her deep loss….a deep loss for all of you.

    Special thoughts always go your way,
    Anastasia Hansel

  2. Blair Apr 21, 2017
    11:15 am

    Hyatt – The world is lucky to have you, your words, and your paintings. All, absolutely beautiful!
    Blair Relf

  3. Paul Carden Apr 21, 2017
    11:22 am

    Love it. Thank you!