Friday, January 18, 2013

PAFA MFA 1: Spring Week 1

 The first week of my Spring MFA 1 semester just wrapped up and I sit here in my studio on the 9th floor on a Friday evening, 7-11 coffee in my hand looking at my latest painting fresh out of my mind onto the easel. I just had a great impromptu crit with Michael Gallagher--in fact my second one of the day as he gave me some great feedback on the piece above, which he saw this morning nearing completion in our first critique of the semester. That's a great thing about the school, and of course about Mike, the ability to snag somebody and drag them into your studio. As we discussed the piece we also went down and looked at a few pieces on the 3rd floor by several of our faculty including Kanevsky, Noel, Pyfrom, Shils, etc.
 I had meetings with all of my local critics ( meaning critics at school) and have to meet the visiting critic soon. The biggest change is that I have gone from drawing almost exclusively last semester back into painting--firing on all jets and working large. I started out with the painting above which is 30 x 40, and painting from life. I have an old wedding dress and had my friend model for me with it and then I set up a cloth running from the ceiling down and wrapped about here head. I blocked it in and set about painting it in and after about 3 hours or lass I reached this point and decided to stop. I have been reading and looking at a lot of Edwin Dickenson as well as Andrew Wyeth, I'm currently reading his biography. I was very interested in Dickenson's drawings and the Premier Coups or one shot paintings he did. I love painting something in one session if I can, even if its a long one. I want to keep that sense off relaxed-anxiety I get when painting  in Plein Air. Its relaxing in that you are outside, its beautiful--but the whole thing is alive and moving and the sun is moving--time is rushing. I go from calm to anxious, to calm--and that feeling I want when working in the studio or from photographic sources.
This was the next painting, done in one sitting working from the same sources I shot with my model, I shoot many pictures and move the camera and work to not be a slave to the photo, I don't project them I draw them onto the canvas. Again working fast and a bit unsure...working looser and more abstract--which I am not always sure or as sure as I am with my more tradition closed form tyoe painting. Anyway I figure art school is about risk, so I should risk more in hopes of growth. After painting on it a while I got a bit frustrated so I scrapped it down quite a bit and ended up liking the results.

I was also happy to be back in a painting class as a spot in Scott Noel's MFA Painting Seminar opened. It was Old Home Week as it was the same classroom, same models, same props and the same Scott--all be it maybe a bit more open to us and our processes as Master's students than in the undergrad. I have been loving these KAFKA Brushes .These are my favorite brushes right now, hold paint great, are flexible but stiff enough to almost use them like a palette knife. I have used them on most of the paintings above and completely on the painting from Scott's class. I have my first class in my research Seminar with Kate Moran---hmmm, well it will be interesting, we are covering my least favorite type of art and period of art, from the 70's on--ugh. We already had some interesting exchanges and she said she could see I was going to be trouble--to which I replied--yesss--with a smile. Lots of what I consider t o be BS about the artist taking their hand out of the work, which I didn't buy or agree with. Anyway I am up for a great debate and to toss some rocks too, I will stand up for craftsman ship, skill, painting as well as ideas.

1 comment:

Nancy Bea Miller said...

I think Mike Gallagher is possibly THE best all around teacher at PAFA right now. I can't actually speak to his "how to do it" studio classes since I never had him for one of those, but for anything involving theory, history or critique he is amazing. An unusual combination of the cerebral and the practical! Plus he is kind and has a great sense of humor!
Have a great semester Mike!