I Often Think of Ted



In the mid 90s I was lucky enough to take a workshop from the inspirational Ted Goerschner. A tall, manly man with a “Tom Selleck” mustache and a gun rack in the back of his truck, Goerschner was a contradiction in terms. His paintings ooze color, beauty and romance with subject matter ranging from riotous florals with tea-cups to stormy rugged landscapes or peaceful Italian villas.

His brushwork is strong, assured and never overworked. He was a master at simplifying complicated imagery, turning it into bold brushstrokes, rich neutrals and glorious light that danced in patterns across his canvas. And of course, there are the famous “Goerschner Flowers” – colorful bursts that only “grew” in his paintings.

Goerschner Mendocino Farm

Goerschner Mendocino Farm

Ted was a superb teacher. Straightforward and direct he could “cut to the chase” and pinpoint exactly how to improve a student’s painting. About fifteen of us were painting plein air during this workshop, in the tiny town of Harmony, California. All diligently concentrating on our work we heard Ted suddenly stop his critique, look up and say, “You know what problem you all have? You guys all just need to paint more.”  There are many lessons that I learned from Ted, but “You guys all just need to paint more” is the one I remember daily.

Everyone needs to paint more, myself included. The more you paint, the more you improve, find inspiration, discover subject matter, develop narrative, become authentic. It is the ONE THING that you have complete control over in terms of improving your work. No teacher required. Simply paint more.

So, I’m off to the studio. What about you? It’s time to SHOW UP. TALK LESS. PAINT MORE. NO EXCUSES. I think Nike has a slogan for this…..

Ted Goerschner 1933-2012  Miss ya

Ted Goerschner
1933-2012 Miss ya


images-3If you want to learn more about Ted Goerschner you might like his wonderful book “Oil Painting, The Workshop Experience.” I used this book to help me teach and illustrate concepts of shape, color and composition for years.

You can still see his work at the following galleries.

Gallerie GabrieJones and Terwilliger and Judith Hale Gallery


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6 Responses to I Often Think of Ted

  1. Lucy Chen says:

    Thank you for introducing us to Ted Goerschner. He is amazing!

    I am trying to paint more, Melinda. I’ve found a routine that works for me at this stage of my life. I paint on Mondays and Tuesdays, from 10 or 10.30am to 2.30pm, when both of my kids are at school. And on the other week days when Chloe goes to school only half day, I study (like Richard Schmid’s book), read, write a blog post, and think about what I’m going to paint the next week.

    I wish to paint daily though, so I’m going to see if I can paint on the other days, too.

  2. sheila leclaire says:

    Very nice article about an inspiring artist. I think he inspired you! (<:

  3. Rue McDonough says:

    Thank you Melinda, as always, I very much enjoyed this article. It was great to see Teds art. Just as you said, it’s beautiful !


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