Monday, December 17, 2007

Schools OUT! First Semesters in the bag.

It's done! The semester at PAFA came to a close today with the final classes in cast drawing with Connors and Print making with Dan Miller. It has been a great experience for me, better than I imagined and I can't wait till the next one starts even though I need some good night's sleep to recharge. So here is sort of a round-up of the semester!

This is the cast of the Belvedere Torso that Professor Connors was painting in his class demo. I really like seeing the class demos by the teachers for a few reasons. first I think as artists it is often the best way to really show how something is done, it removes ambiguity. We are visual beasts we artists, and I think there is a certain monkey see,monkey do aspect to learning, especially for the younger student. Second, I just like watching a good artist at work. the best is an artist like Noel or Conners who do the demos and really explain each step, the do's, don'ts , why's and maybe's.

Here you can see the beginning of the shadow mass lay-in by Connors.

Here is my light mass lay-in and the cast I was painting in the background. We started by toning the canvas in a nuetral grey, then when dry using a earth orange mix of Ivory Black and Burnt Sienna to tone the canvas, next adding some white and following the demo Connors gave, I knocked in the big broad shapes.
Here my classmate Christina is working on teh same cast as I am but from a slightly different angle.
We are getting three new casts for the cast hall to be installed over the winter break. The big one, a cast of Posiedon lay waiting for assembly and to join the other casts in studio 6.
Here is a class pic with our esteemed professor Oliver Grimly. Prof. Grimly is in his mid 80's and still going strong and has taught just about anyone who's gone to the school in the last 40 years. He was a student of Daniel Garber and is really an institution and a direct link back to the history of the school as he's been there except for the war since the late 30's in some capacity. He's a tough old man at times, demanding and dispite his age, sharp of eye and tongue--and some students wail and bristle under his scrutiny...but you know what? He'll make you do a better drawing than you think you can and comes from an era where teachers demanded more and were less politically correct. He busted my balls and made me start my cast over 4 times. But I made a better drawing, and even if I don't want to work in the manner he had us work in class, I opened myself to what he had to teach and learned some things. I brought in extra work I've done, and books by artists I know were conteporaries of the Professor, and then we bonded pretty well. It will be a sad day for the students body and the school when Professor grimly retires. It's great to see somebody passionate about what they do at 80 something. I hope to be like that myself.
The last day in Life painting class with Doug Martenson he took us all to the Philly Museum of Art. It was great day and the show by Antonio Mancini was amazing! The class had a good time as Doug took us on the tour and narrated our way along pointing out examples from the work what we were learning in his class. The man knows his stuff. Then we walked back, giving a Rocky, Philly "Yo!" shout out.
As the crit week wond down students all over were in a frenzy to finish up work. Here is a shot along the gang studion on the 10th floor.

Professor Connors and his palette demoing for us today. He cracks me up, he's always mentally poking at us and everyone is usually in good spirits. I think he's great at taking cast drawing wich most students whine about, and makes it a cool class. I met 4th year student, Patrick, who still uses the color palettes he learned in Connors first year class.

Here is my final cast painting from Connors cast drawing class. I didn't get to quite finish it up, but that's the way most in-class assignments are.

Here is my print making or wood cut teacher Dan Miller. Dan is a great man and a fantastic print maker. His wood engravings are just amamzing. Today was the final class and crit. I really enjoyed doing this and hope to do a lot more over the course of the next few years at school.

Scott Noel eyes my drawings in the final crit. I think the thing I am proudest of are the two pastel drawings I did for Scott's class. He gave me a great review which frankly made my year as I really wanted to do well in his class. I enjoyed and realy like all my teachers but Scotts class was tops for me. I really got the most of what I wanted from him as a teacher and we shared many a good conversation after class. It was seeing his work on-line a few years back that directly lead me to deciding to go to PAFA and recommending it to Echo as well.
Scott crits the classes work.


Jamar said...

Awesome tour you've given us, Mike. I love what your blog has become over the last couple of years. I encourage people to read the archives and see how Mike has upped his (already finely honed) craft.


Bobby Timony said...

I accidentally posted this in the "Old Stan Lee Job" thread, but what the heck. I'll post it here anyway.
Congrats on finishing up a semester!

william wray said...

the final cast paiting is a winner. My last two classes are coming up-- I love school.

Mike Manley said...

Ha, thanks Bill. I think being older you can appreciate the training, the extra bits of knowledge so much more.

I know I do.

Mike Manley said...

Thanks Bobby. Are you doing another comic yet for next year?

Bobby Timony said...

Actually, My webcomic "Night Owls" got picked up by DC's new Webcomic site "Zuda Comics".
If you've got the time, I'd love for you to see it.

I'm doing a new episode every week.