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. Hi paintings ooze color, beauty and romance with subject matter ranging from riotous florals with tea-cups to stormy rugged landscapes or peaceful Italian villas.

Hi brushwork is strong, assured and never overworked. He was a master at simplifying complicated imagery, turning it into a 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.

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…..


If 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.