On the first day, we all went to a creek bed at the back acres of a ranch for plein air oil painting. Martin demonstrated his methods first, and then offered assistance. And wouldn't you know it? I accomplished what may have been my worst painting ever, right in front of my role models. Ugh. But Martin and Bruce were encouraging and helpful.
On the second day, they offered critique of student art. I had purposely brought two of my weaker paintings for their review because I didn't want to try to impress them, I wanted them to point out where my work wasn't successful. To develop skill as an artist requires a thick skin and a diminishing ego; I had to sit and take it while they demolished my work's errors. The most important things they taught me were about using value contrasts to create depth in landscapes, and to improve my depiction of horse anatomy.
I brought one of the failed paintings home and redid it, incorporating their instruction. At once, it became a successful painting--in fact, a prominent showcase work in my portfolio. I also bought and studied several veterinarians' textbooks on horses, devoting many weeks' practice. Being willing to humbly accept critique improved my work vastly.
Martin's last advice was, "just cover miles of canvas. Study the work of artists you admire, and then go paint more miles of canvas."
Best homework assignment ever!