Sunday, September 14, 2008


Boy, this was a week for the record books it seems. It was such a weird week too. Lots of good stuff going on art wise. I am really enjoying my "track' this semester in school. It's rough on the sleep schedule, but that's something I am willing to put up with to get the results I want. this will be the third week already, so soon the semester will be 1/4 over.

Friday night was the reception for the CE Faculty show at PAFA. I had two pieces in it as I taught a Cartooning Class there this summer. Wine, Cheese and a good time was had chatting with many of my teachers who also taught CE classes this summer, then I was off to the Sketch Club for our September dinner.

The crowd turned out for the CE show despite the rain.
I got to hang my work right next to Stewart Shills...

I also got into a fight this week, the first time I had an actual fist fight in almost 20 years. I won't go into the gory details except to say I actually feel sorry for the person who fought me, they were intoxicated and I didn't want to fight them, but they insisted-so we danced on the concrete a bit. I put them in a submission hold and tried to stop it--twice. The person, a fellow student had to be hospitalized I learned later as a result of our fight, and has perhaps withdrawn from school. Besides a few scrapes, I broke my buddhist beads I got in China and a bruised toenail, otherwise I am fine. Your actions in the world toward others can have real mean consequences, so it is best to try and always consider what your actions might return your way. Though I am not a religious person, I am spiritual and believe we should try to avoid confrontation if we can. I hold no ill will toward the person, sometimes we all do things we later regret.

So, that added a weird bit of spice to the week to say the least and the rumor mill in school runs hard and fast, and as a result, the figure drawings I did Thursday night were not that ho--as I wasn't as focused as I could have been. They are running another weekly figure drawing session at school on Thursdays, and this time it's run by a bunch of friends like Dave, Debbie and Paul. What's great is that we have two different sessions running, a long pose in one studio and in the next studio short poses--I love the shorter ones as we have so many long poses in class and I really want to do some loose gestures and shorter sketches to loosen up. I hope next week's drawings are better, I admit, having spent the summer doing no life drawing made me rusty.

But I was back at it the next day in John Horn's class for 2D anatomy and had better results. I will say, some days it is a struggle, I have to fight to get my result on paper and it can be so very frustrating. I often feel that only by the end of class that I am really cooking--and then we are done.

Next are a few drawings from Mike Gallagher's Still Life Class. Sonce i finished the last drawing Mike wanted us to do 5 more thumbnails and then pick one to do another line drawing of.
These are my five sketches

This is the one I'm going with.

Then yesterday in the steamy September heat our group of Pafites, Dave, Nicole, Judy and her hubby Bob and their dog penny went painting in Laurel Hill Cemetery in Philly.

Man, it was so humid I felt like I was slowly steaming into the graves there, but it was a great day out with the gang; though I am only so-so about the painting I did. I can't imagine being all dressed up like they were 100 years ago in suits and all, painting on a day like yesterday. There is a lot to be said for the progress of our society just for that fact alone!
Nicole and Judy enjoy the balmy weather.

After a spell I needed to take a break and we had lunch.
Sadly dave didn't come back loaded down with cheeses steaks.

Nicole's and my set-ups.

My painting in progress as Dave inspects the troups...

Here is the result of everybody's sweat shop labor amongst the tranquility of the tombstones...
A close up of my final painting which I did a few adjustments on when I got home.

I want to go back though and do a lot more of these paintings with our group around Philly, it's such a paint-able city. Not enough can be said for having such a great group of talented and supportive friends to go out painting with. The support and encouragment is something that I feel is essential for one's growth as an artist, and one of the things I love most about school is that we are forming a group of like-minded fellow students who do this.


Mr. Hawthorne said...

Hot damn, what a week! Exciting times to be an artist,I guess! ;)


william wray said...

I love SS! give him my best!

CCG Coordinator said...

You are cranking! Well, I hope your not really cranking...but you are on a art making steam locomotive these days Mike! Those figure sketches are beautiful in their austerity and simplicity and accuracy! And I need to take a trip to our local Lexington Cemetery for some plein air sketching or painting - what a concept to want to go to the cemetery!! I think you are getting something out of all these here fancy-smancy art classes! Don't blow a gasket though, keep the throttle set for the long haul! Hope to catch up with you sometime soon?

Mike M said...

Thanks J,it's all about the flow....