The Art League of Fort Myers is hosting a workshop with Florida Highwaymen artist Robert Butler on Wednesday, September 18. Sponsored by the Calusa Nature Center and Planetarium, the workshop will cover the history of the highwaymen artists as well as a demonstration of artist Robert Butler's techniques.
The Florida Highwaymen are credited with starting the "Indian River School" art movement. Self-taught, they developed their own individual techniques and captured waterscapes, backcountry marshes, and inlets the way they existed before incursions by modern day tourism. They broke with convention by eschewing canvas, linen and panel supports for inexpensive Upson board, and substituted crown moulding for more expensive gilded frames. But formal galleries shunned their work. Undeterred, the Highwaymen simply sold their paintings from the trunks of their cars along area roadways, which is how they derived their name.
Robert Butler is one of 26 artists who were inducted in 2004 into the Florida Artists Hall of Fame as the "Florida Highwaymen." The Georgia-born painter is best known for his portrayals of the woods and backwaters around Florida's Everglades that date back to 1968. In the early days, he often sold his paintings door-to-door or on the roadside. He honed his skills by creating upwards of one hundred paintings per year. Despite a lack of formal training, Robert developed his own style, which was exemplified by dramatically-lit and romanticized portrayals of landscapes.
Workshop participants are responsible for bringing their own #3, #4, Flat #2, #4, Round #2, #3 or #4, Angle 1/4 or 3/4 and Strip Liner #1 or #2 brushes; a Fredrick Red or Blue Label 18 x 24" or 20 x 24" canvas; and Titanium White, yellow ochre, yellow Hansa light hooker's gree or sap green, burnt sienna, burnt umber, Alizarin Crimson, Cobalt Blue, Ultramarine Blue, magenta (medium or light) and purples pigments.
The workshop takes place from 6-8 p.m. on Wednesday, September 18, costs $100, and will be taught in the Art League's gallery at 1451 Monroe Street, on the ground floor of the City of Palms parking garage in the downtown Fort Myers River District. For more information or to reserve your spot, please telephone 239-275-3970 or visit http://www.artleagueoffortmyers.org.