Monday, October 29, 2012

PAFA MFA1: Week 9

 I'm finally getting to catch up and post my update during my downtime at home during the Hurricane as school was closed today and tomorrow. The doodle above was done while listening to a a lecture in my Writing and Research Seminar . As I listened to the lecture I noticed as I looked around that it seemed that just about everybody was doodling something. I guess those old grade school habits die hard! I did take notes as well.
Michael did his crit of our work but went fast this week as many of us had crits in our studios and there was a guest speaker in the auditorium, and many of the class wanted to see the lecture--so class was called early. Our assignment was to do a bad drawing, which everybody felt that I did--yay! Mike still liked it though...

I had two great crits with Jan Batlzell and Martha Armstrong that gave me some good insight and ideas to chew on about my work, process and some of my ideas. It got me thinking about why I am attracted to certain subjects and how to dig a bit deeper, connect ideas with memory and smell--to get to the core!

 While Dr. Richards was lecturing on the Masons and conspiracy I noticed that there was a sort of masonic doodle on the table, in fact there were a lot of weird interesting doodles on the tables.

I finished this painting of a house out off of Rt. 1 near the Brandywine. I had been picking at it a bit then just decided to whack at it and finish it. I like parts and some so-so, but I want to move on to other projects. The time is so short now I hope i can pick up the pace and get some big pieces going. I also dropped off 9 pieces for he next show at Rodger LaPelle which opens this First Friday--I hope things are back to normal by then after the Hurricane.

Friday, October 19, 2012

PAFA MFA 1: Weeks 7 and 8

We have hit the mid-point for my first semester MFA1 and it also happens to be my birthday today. Will I get a day off? No, so today, the day before was my birthday present to myself to go out painting.

Many people look at birthdays as a time of renewal and reflection, and I suppose that's true for me, especially this year as there are many goals to reach and bridges to paint. I have been back out to paint after a long spell without any plein air painting and boy have I issed it! Since were all so inspired from our trip to see Andrew Wyeth's studio the DPC decided to hit the Brandywine to paint twice in the last week. I can't tell you all how great it makes me feel to get back out to painting in Plein Air! It is also just about the best place to paint on teh shores of the Brandywine near the Wyeth Museum. I can certainly see why the Wyeth's loved this area so much.

The first trip a, week ago  now, the DPC crew rolled out to paint on the museum grounds and the nature trails that run along the Brandywine River. It's been really a tradition for the group to go out there in the fall to paint for the last several years and it was actually our first spot to go painting as a group.

As usual we had a pretty continuous parade of museum visitor passing by and commenting on our work and watching us paint.
Alina and Will drew a steady crowd as they were closer to the museum.

 If I had a dime for every time somebody commented "You must be Andrew's grandson" I could retire---or maybe buy a Wyeth painting! I had not been out painting since July--so I was anxcious to get out and get going. I picked a spot and plotted the angle of the sun, planning ahead to be firing in and finishing the painting during the "golden hour" or when the sun was setting and trickling everything with its golden color.
Alina and Will painting away.

Lexi painting with some kind of wedge she bought at AC Moore.

Lexi's final painting. I want to get one of those wedges!

Will's final painting which I think turned out great!

Here is my setup.

And the final painting which took about 3 hours or so.

 Once I was done I took a break and watched the gang paint and snapped a few pics, but since there was still some light left I decided to try and pump uot one more small painting of the train bridge before teh sun really went down---I had maybe about 45 minutes to try and get this little one done. It's not great, but it was fun to do.

Today Will Sentman and I both went back to paint at the Brandywine for the second time in a week.
I arrived early and decided to walk around and explore and ended up finding this whole nature walk I never knew about even though I have been going to the Wyeth Museum for 25 years. When Will arrived he and I picked a really majestic spot and went at it painting until disasters struck. I knew the tide would rise but not as much as it did, and it happened really quick--I kept at painting until I was forced literally up against the driftwood and had to stretch out over the water to the easel---that's when it was time to call it  a day!

And to top that off the sun was lost as the clouds rolled in....and my feet got soaked as I had to wade my way back trough as our access path had been cut off from the tide rising. The next purchase will be a set of waders! Nothing like driving home with wet shoes!


So I got back, dried my pants and I'm hoping my shoes dry by tomorrow, but I busted out the gear and set about to finish up the painting while the iron was hot as they say. I had to finish this painting up from several photos. That's OK, I had a strong block-in which really had the structure and the values pretty set in, so tickling it up at home was a lot of fun and pretty easy.  The painting is 16 x 20 in Oil.

Now I have to turn my tasks to writing another paper for my Writing a Research Seminar and another homework assignment for my Drawing Seminar.

This drawing above was for this week's Drawing Seminar's homework, which was to combine two drawings into one. So I took two recent drawings from up in Philly and put them together. I had to crank this out after finishing my week of Judge Parker dailies, so I started this about 2am and was done by 3:30--then a few hours sleep and off to class and to teach until 10 pm.  Tuesday is my LOOOOONG day! This drawings was pretty straight forward since I do this type of thing doing animation Background designs or stuff for comics. Next week it's a bad drawing and something half-abstract...

I know from this week forward time will quicken with the holidays coming, so I really want to get back out to paint before the colors completely change and go, so I figure that gives me about a week or so depending on the weather.

Sunday, October 07, 2012

PAFA MFA 1: Week 6

This was a very good and maybe the busiest week at school so far for me. There were a ton of gallery openings and artists showing all over the city this past First Friday, many of whom either teach, attend or attended PAFA. The weater was great, maybe the last great weekend of the year with warm, balmy temperatures. The drawing above was done for the Drawings Seminar with Michael Moore and is 29 x 35 in charcoal, ink and China marker on Strathmore drawing paper--the kind that comes in a roll.

I had my first crit with Martha Armstrong who is my visiting critic this semester and that went really well. I got some good feedback on the current painting I have going.

Yesterday the gand all rolled out to the Brandywine and the Wyeth museum to see the great art by the Wyeths and to take the tour of Andrew Wyeth's studio which really was a great experience. It was really great to stand in Wyeth's studio, you could really feel his presence---at least I could. They kept it in as close to the same state it was when he was alive and working there for 60years. the ceiling and walls were in a slow and awesome state of decay and looked just like the weathered and textured surfaces of his paintings. It was an awesome fall day and we all enjoyed the fantastic fall day in the museum and on the grounds. We plan on going back in the next weeks or so to paint there.

Andrew Wyeth's studio and the sign he had hanging on the door in case any curious autograph seekers came a' nocking.

The gang ready to take the tour...

I also helped my good buddy David Campbell Wilson set up his first solo show at Rodger LaPelle which opened this First Friday. Its a great show and you should definitely see it, Dave has lots of beautiful and affordable work on display.

In drawing seminar we had the usual good crit and then Mike had us all do a collaborative drawing in class. I felt sort of like a little kid as it was like a drawing you'd do as a kid with your brother or friends. We broke into groups and drew away. We decided to draw moving around in a circle. The final drawing is a real mash-up as they say. Some found this refreshing or fun and some I think much less so. Wenxing one of the students in class is from China and its great to see each week as her English gets better as well as her ability to communicate her ideas. She and Mike had a great exchange this week which was at time pretty funny. One of the things I always find so interesting in class is the poses my fellow artist get into when doing the critique. I'm always watching and observing this, sometimes people mimic each others poses or hand positions and gestures when in agreement.

I should do a drawing of this, everybody's pose is so much more interesting and vital, real, than when you have models pose.

Here is our collaborative drawing--I wonder if any of you can tell what I drew?  The High School program started this week ad we had a record turnout--50+ students from schools all over the city turned out for the college level classes that run each day from 3-5:30. The illustration class was so packed we eneded up in two rooms and I rushed back and forth doing demos in both. This week we will do something different by having expanding the set-up in one of the rooms to handle the number of students into one space to make the class run more effectively.

 I came in to pinch hit with the figure drawing class that had a huge wave of students show up on Thursday--so much so we split the group into two rooms and I ended up volunteering to be the model in the second group as we only had one model scheduled. I have to say, every time I end up modeling I really come to appreciate how tough it can be and how a good model is important. I tried to give the class some cool and fun poses and its always a kick to see what the drawings look like. Everybody had a good time and they turned out some swell drawings.

And to top it all off there is a great exhibit currently at PAFA on William Troust Richards. It is not to be missed as the work is just incredible. I attended the opening and plan on going back often to see the exhibit while its running.