Friday, October 18, 2013

PAFA MFA 2 Fall Week 5 and 6

Sorry for the long delay in updates...I know some of you are anxious to read up on all the ins, outs, ups and thumbs down recent events. I have started a few times to update the blog only to have to postpone it due to running off to keep up with the strip and the Star wars books as well as school and teaching. We are coming up to mid-semester, my Thesis outline has been turned in and we have our MFA Open Studio this weekend.
Beautiful Lancaster, PA   and the poster for the event

The 24 Hour Comic day event out at PCAd was great! It's a great school, lots or talented cartoonists and illustrators gathered with the faculty and spent a ay drawing up some fun and weird comics! it was also great to hang out with comic buddies Bob Mcleod who teachers there along with Mike Hawthorne. I'd like to thank Robert Hochgertel  the Chairman & Associate Professor of Illustration Department, Communication Arts for inviting me out for the event.
 I brought along a lot of examples of my comics as well as some fine art paintings

                                                 My first comic cover for DC Comics

I gave a brief talk on my career in comics and animation and how the field has changed quite a bit in some respects since i started back in the mid 80's and then was joined in a panel discussion by Bob McCloud, Mike Hawthorne and Ric Remender to beamed in via Skype. Then it was coffee and snacks and powering up for the long night into day of cartooning which kicked off at 3pm and ended the same time the next day.  I spent the time working away with many of the students on their comics, penciling and even inking whole pages.

 PCAD in Downtown Lancaster. We Skyed away checking in every few hours with a big group of students in Singapore

 We also Skyped with several other schools around the world who were also participating in the event--which has gone global now.


 They plan on releasing a book of the collected strips which will be awesome. I also got to check out the city of Lancaster a bit with Mike an his awesome kids, then grabbed a few Z's and headed back to Philly and to the burning deadlines.

 One of the several pages I inked for students and Mike Hawthorne and his family read some of the comics


 Bob Hochgertle reading some of the comics, there was ever variety from superhero, fantasy to auto-bio comics.


 It was a great time though I was pretty bushed by the end after almost 37 hours straight, so I crashed at a local hotel before I rode back to Philly the next morning. I look forward to hopefully doing it next year.

As a result of all of this extra curricular action the paint brush has been a bit neglected in the past two weeks so I really have a burning desire to get back in the studio and paint---or even better back out plein air paintings. We are coming into the heart of the Fall now and the colors are going to be popping soon.

One the school front my seminar classes are chugging along and I have now had meetings with all of my critics. Some of the meetings have been more beneficial than others which is always the case, but the best so far have been the ones I've had with Scott Noel. I expressed my real frustration with elements of the MFA program as a painter and how I get the feeling the things that are vitally important to me like plein air painting are not looked at as being vital---or the word I have come to loath---contemporary. Tired old saws like "the male gaze' just bore me, time to update your software! If we truly live in times when men and women are equal then there are no sacred cows, both sexes have equal right to create art on any subject or theme. I think certain artists of the older generation still carry old axioms and ideas that I don't see playing now. As I explored a wide variety of artists using the figure, painters and photographers who also employed a wide array or subject matter from beauty, wrapping, draping, binding, blurring, collage, distorting or celebrating  the figure in a crazy variety quilt of subject matter -- from fetish to bondage, sex, gender issues to simply evoking the physical beauty of the human machine-- it seems anything goes.

One of my critics wanted me to paint male figures like the female figures in my paintings...and I did think about that, even doing sketches, but ultimately rejected the idea because I don't want to illustrate her ideas, which that would be. I just want to paint my ideas and I don't have time to paint her agendas---only mine. I feel in the end the critics are here for me and my agendas, to help me paint or ahcive them, not the other way around. So back to the paint pots as much as possible!

My Fall Uarts Storyboarding class has been going very well, the students justturned in their comic assignment and when I get a chance I'll post some here. This is a great group this year, very enthusiastic and hard working which makes teaching a joy! I'll have another update after our open studios this weekend.

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