Tuesday, March 26, 2013

PAFA MFA 1 Spring Week 10

 Spring is here according to the calendar, but you sure can't tell it by the weather--greay day after grey day....we had one really nice day this week before it seemed to turn back to winter and Old Man Winter is giving us one last wedgie it seems with a early spring storm. But in 5 weeks we'll be into May and the last week of the spring semester.  But before then the whirl-wind shall ensue! Lots of activity for the MFA 2's who have their graduate ASE show.  For me it should be smooth sailing for the most part, just one paper to write and some more art to make for my final crit. This time I will have all paintings so I hope to have 5-6 painting to show in the current  series  I'm calling the "bride" that I am working on.

 Around school the last week was super busy with the Art at Lunch series and Jerome Witkin visiting for the Visiting Artist Program. Witkin was really the one artist I was excited to see this year. He did a talk and slideshow and then some group critiques. I was miffed I didn't find out in time to sign up for a crit from him, but that's the wat it goes. He was kind enough to tell me to send some jpegs to him and he would try and reply. Witkin is a very heavy and serious artist, his subject matter and even the way he paints is heavy and serious with no mirth. The Holocost, AIDS, social realism to a series he's currently working on about Vincent Van Gogh. In his talk Witkin covered his jorney as an artist and the dedication he brings to his work, series of paintings that sometimes take him years to complete. At 74 years oldhe planning on working on a series that might take him 10 yers to complete. I can't begin to imagine working on something that long--it would drive me mad!

 In the afternoon after the lunch time presentation Witkin gave some grou crits. i saw a few of them as I had other things to deal with. They were insightful and to a sharp point, he didn't pull any puches and in a way reminded me of the brusk crits and manner of George Nick who visited the school serveal years ago.


Renee Foulks also gave a great talk at lunch on her work and her process--which is really intensive. She spend years sometimes on a piece doing very finished drawings and often shooting a hundred photos to work from. Her work is sensative and intricate and very deliberate. She is a awesome person and teacher and very popular amongst the students. When I had her as a critic in the undergrad she'd give examples of paintings or ratists to look at, even down to the page number in a book.

 I returned to my friend Leigh's place this weekend with the DPC to have another little painting session. This time leigh and Ernest had some flowers so I used one in my still life and it gave it a very rich color scheme. I really tried to play with the light and the paint application, really think of how light not onlt reflects and bounces but also how you can have it "fall off' push that idea, like dropping down the background to push it back.

 Here is the finished still life which is 11 x 14 in oil. I did quite bit of painting and repainting working over certain areas and transitions, painting through and pulling things back out. Liquin relly helps here as it helps to tack things up quickly.

 We didn't have a model in painting class last week so instead Scott had us bring in some of our work and we had a group critique. I love the gestures Scott makes when he talks, he's such an actor with his hands.

 In the studio I have been working on this paining for about 10 days, or about 4 sessions or so. You can see the start in the photo above and the last two sessions below. I had three crits on it as I worked, one from Denise Green, One from Michael Gallagher and today one from Scott Noel. Scott didn't like a lot of it, but my other critics all responded well to it. He made me defend my concept--which is good. Scott wanted the background realized more, which I did on my final pass. He probably still won't "love" it as its from photographic sources, and he just can't give a lot of love for stuff that isn't from pure observation. But that's OK, he and I have been having the same discussion about that since day one year one in undergrad. So many artists I like work from photographic sources. I don't have any problem with it and think its a pretty old argument now as artists have been using them for well over 100 years.

I've been working on my personal mythology, digging in and pushing and pulling ideas around in paint-- using the figure as a medium within the mediated environments of my imagination as well as observation. The Paradox of beauty, irony, the sedduction, the illusions of and the judgement of beauty and technology, its oppositions and overwhelming control are some of the themes I'm exploring. How tech seduces us and we let it blinds us, kidnaps us in a way, engulf us with this umbillical of sorts that seems to come from everywhere---and I'm still digging in, working these ideas out on the canvas. Do we pull the bag/umbillical connection over our own heads? Often I think we do. I want to paint the figure, but I want to find a way of painting it that is beyond just the male gaze or decoration--though for me there is nothing wrong with the male gaze as a lot of women also do great work through a similar lens as well. I'm working on the painting seeking to define the quality of space/light as well as the quality of flesh.

I also went on an arting with several of my friends from my MFA track to the Barnes museum which was a very brisk walk from school. I had visited the origional Barnes museum a few times  but this was the first visit to the new museum. It was  pretty much recreated to look just like the old barnes mansion and the layout seemed almost identical from what I can remember. It have to say I had a much better apprciation of some of the Cezannes this time, but still can't abide the Renoirs--good lord, I just can't stand his work. My favorite thing in the whole mueum though is a little Egyptian sculpture, a little head from 1350 BC. Its so creepy cool!

1 comment:

Nancy Bea Miller said...

Renee's talk was super-amazing! Sorry I missed Jerome W. Sounds like a fun week! My own favorite objets at the Barnes are the Benin, or Nigerian, sculptures.