MDJ January 21, 2012: Marietta Art Instructor Shares His Techniques Via New Instructional Video

At a time when many people my age think Twitter is something a bird does and YouTube is what doctors use to peek into your insides to see if everything is working properly, I am busy mixing pthalo blue and cadmium red oil paint in hopes of creating a masterpiece on canvas.  Like an oil wildcatter, I haven’t hit the big one yet, but I’m still drilling.

One thing for sure:  I’ve got one fine teacher in young Kristopher Meadows, of Marietta.  Let me say in the most understated fashion possible that I am not easily intimidated by anything or anybody but in his art class I am the grasshopper and he is not.

There isn’t a lot of wiggly room in his philosophy of painting.  He emphasizes shapes, values, edges and color.  You want to paint your way, terrific.  Just don’t expect to do it in his class.  Your painting is finished only when he is satisfied you have the right mix of shapes, values, edges and colors.  (It is no accident that color is last on the scale.  Get the rest of it correct first and then worry about colors.)

Kris Meadows teaches me and others with equal amounts of patience, humor and encouragement.  It also helps to remember that he has been teaching art all of his adult life and he knows a heap more on the subject than the rest of us.  When we first met, he told me, “If you can drive a car, I can teach you to paint.”  I can and he has.

Now, the boy is about to go all Hollywood on us.  Working with Marietta Video Productions, Kris Meadows has produced a DVD instructional series called “The SVEC Method.”  (Remember what I told you about shapes, values, edges and color?)

Kris says that, “In creating this video series, I can reach a greater number of people that might not otherwise have the opportunity to study with me or learn my methods.”

And why this DVD at this time?  After turning a ripe old 40 – bless his heart – he decided it was time to share his painting technique with a broader audience.  He says, “One day, I sat down at the computer and typed in ‘Marietta’ and ‘video production’ to see what would come up.”  To his amazement and delight, there is such a company with that very name right here in town.  Meadows calls it “a bit serendipitous.”

In July, shooting began with Meadows painting with a live model.  “Neither the company nor I had ever done anything like this before,” he says.  “Anyone who has worked with me knows I am a perfectionist.  I never approach anything with the idea that it just needs to be good enough.  If it isn’t as perfect as I can make it, then it isn’t worth my time.”   He admits there were moments when “I was afraid the editor was going to put a hit out on me because of the hundreds of edits I requested during the process. Fortunately, Marietta Video Productions survived me and I couldn’t be happier with the final product, thanks to them.”

Donna Davis, president of Marietta Video Productions calls the experience “more work than we realized, but a lot of fun.”  What started out as a project to be shot over a couple of days ended up taking several months and produced a instructional series that runs 300 minutes and one second.  You have to know Kris Meadows to understand that if it takes one additional second to say what needs to be said; he will take one additional second.  No compromises.

Davis says the finished product is “amazing.”  In watching the process unfold, she thinks everybody from first graders to old people like me (she actually didn’t say it that way, but I knew what she meant) will be able to grasp his concept of painting.   “I think even I could learn to paint,” she says.  That’s the point.

The SVEC Method video will be out in mid-February and both Meadows and Davis are talking about giving the DVD as wide an audience as possible through an intense marketing effort.  They have already sold at least one copy.  I was among the first to place my order.

Kris Meadows is a fine artist as well as instructor and will have a month-long exhibit at DK Galleries on the Square, beginning next Friday, February 3.  Plan to stop by and see him and his works.  He has made a silk purse painter out of this sow’s ear columnist in just a few short years and for that, I will be eternally grateful.  I hope the SVEC Method instruction series is a rip-roaring success and makes him rich and famous.  It couldn’t happen to a nicer man.