The could wet wind swept in this week lifting the Falls beauty from the trees as we entered the final real month of school.
At Uarts the students were also feeling the same, a few even missing class this week. The class is scrambling now to finish up the last assignment which is a commercial storyboard and then finish their animatic for their Junior Film. This will be my last semester as both student and teacher, the dual roles will finish in May when I graduate, so next year I will not have to juggle as much, which should make teaching maybe even more enjoyable.
There seems to be a tagging war going on as the first tags up on the women's shelter across the street have now been tagged over.
So this little slide down the power bar is the The Deep Semester Drag---that's what I've come to call it. So now, like a character in an old cartoon, everybody will grab their collective stomachs, lift and and stuff it up in their chests, pull the belt tight with a snort, and prepare to tackle the last crazy month of school--or maybe it won't be crazy, just busy, I don't feel crazed yet because in the end it's gonna be what it's gonna be, no matter what.
Crits/final reviews start in basically four more weeks and our thesis rough draft is due on the 20th. This time last year I think I was more concerned than I am this year about the fall review. I have a bunch of smaller landscape paintings I am doing and that may be all I show. I might have a figurative painting or two if I can get some model coordination going...which due to me being so busy with commercial work might be hard. Everyone seems to be reacting so well to this new round of smaller landscapes and that makes me feel I am onto something here. I don't know why. maybe using the acrylics instead of oils gives me a bolder approach. I think oil painting can have a preacious quality to it at times. So much prep time, expense, etc., and the acrylics are cheaper and less prep. basically no prep, I just sketch it out and blast.
Kurt Knoblesdorf came to talk in the Visiting Artists Program this week. Kurt graduated from the Academy in 2005, the same year the people like Rachel Constantine did. Kurt and a funny sort of weird talk about his work. I think the audience in a way didn't get it in spots. I didn't either so much. But I had a studio crit with him later and we really connected well. he's also from Detroit, went back and spent time and we both love the urban painting as a scene as a subject.
We talked about strategies or approaches. He what I call and instinctual painter and he talked about not having a real intellectual approach to his work. He tries to basically get out of his own way when painting. I know i am more of a technician in a way. But I do try and get deep in the trance so I also get out of my own way--but I also realize that the technical is what is important to me in my process and I cannot deny that craftsmanship is vitally important to me. Craftsmanship in service of a vision. Sometimes talking to a painter who tackles similar themes or subjects but from a very unfamiliar angle helps focus back on your own approach. I know Scott Noel really wanted me to talk to him. Kurt said he was glasd to get out of school and all the voices in your head--something I so feel right now. It's not that the door is totally closed, but it's like pushing the door almost closed to stop the noisy hallway bleeding into the studio.
Kurt was a funny guy and very nice and I think we will stay in contact, he was very positive about the work, especially the "bride series". So I guess staying out of your own way is a way to think about approaching a painting-- a new way of feeling your painting or process.
Draw! 26 also dropped this week and so far the feedback seems to be great. Its available as a dead tree addition or as a PDF from Twomorrows. I am trying to finish up issue 27 and plan 28-30 now. On the Judge Woody is finally bringing the cruise part of the wedding storyline to a finish as the cast disembarks the ship to head into the jungle to see April's father. Woody told me that their is a new paper picking up the strip which is great! In today's world having a paper actually pick up a strip instead of dropping it is very rare, especially a old continuity strip like Judge Parker.