Friday, September 24, 2010

Scott Noel's Painting Class

I had another great class this week with Scott, the best one yet, maybe it also had something to do with the fact I had a bit more sleep than usual...

Scott is my favorite teacher, he's demanding, dynamic, talented as hell and challenging. He's right there, like a keg of TNT every week, POW! BAM!

Scott revs you up and takes you to the mat at the same time. Its always my most challenging class and often I have the greatest feeling of absolute failure and frustration---though I probably learn the most.

This week Scott had us painting in the 4th floor elevator landing and racing the sun. He's really trying to force us think think quick, but think well--make good choices and plan, but to also be brutal and be willing to wipe out and change what we have done as the world changes before out canvases. He always brings plenty of books to cite examples of what he,s talking about--this week it was Antonio Lopez Garcia, the great Spanish, realist painter. You can see an movie of him on youtube of him battling the crowds and elements live as he works on one of his monster size landscapes.
Scotts wants us to see the big picture, the inside vs outside and to push our thinking and grouping of colors to create these domains of envelopes, of color. Its observational, but its also not literal, it very much a very demanding idea. Is this a cool or a warm? A warm cool? Do you need to push that color more into this group or that one?
Scott doesn't abandon you but he will ride and chide me a lot, which is good, I will flat out get him to paint on my painting to demonstrate a point--too me that is the best way to work--to see what he means literally. He did this on this painting by taking what I already had down with the male figure and basically just mashed it more together, unifying the model and the foreground shadow and then basically mashed the lights there together there as well. To little moves and it really united the two distinct areas. Working fast is where my years of doing storyboards and comics give me the upper hand with the drawing chops--that really helps when you have to block in fast so you can race the light.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Fall Semester 2010 week 4

The semester is cooking off fast--the fourth week has come and gone already, or really the third and a half week. I had my first crit with Bruce Samuelson this week which was really a way for him to get to know me better and to see what I am working on and what I'm about right now in my artistic development. It was a good conversation and he gave me some ideas and points to explore further, painters to look at like early Dibencorn , Soutine and Nathan Oliveira and some of the bay area painters, knowing that they also might not quite be my taste. He also suggested looking at Rembradt and Rubens. He liked my train paintings, the night scenes and the interiors, and thought some of my other work was not as interesting, though well done. he also liked the idea of me pushing my color where Scott noel likes the idea of me compressing the color range---this is where I have to decide what works for me as it will be very common for the critics and teachers to give you very opposite opinions that clash and contradict each other.

I am still working on the painting of Lou in Bruce's class, I hacked at it again this week, but the time I can effectively paint on it gets shorter every week as the light will change after 90 minutes to the point I really almost have to stop painting.
Bruce giving me the "once over" in my studio...
In Pat Traub's class we brought in some objects to draw, she wanted us to bring in something from nature to draw, so I brought in some cool funky old pieces of wood from the woodpile in my back yard. Then she had is draw that object for a little over and hour, put it away and draw it again from memory. Most of my classmates stopped after 10 minutes or so, but I kept going to the point pat basically made me stop. In a way I think she expected me to be weak or fail in this part of the exercise, but my memory is really very strong I think from all the years I've had drawing which trained my brian to retain as much info as possible. next week we start a drawing we will work on for several weeks in class, I think I will combine drawing some of the great selection of animal skulls we have along with something from nature. All in all a good week, I still struggled in Scott's painting class this week, I was pretty beat after working late so I'll make sure I get rested before the next class. I also subbed for Al Gury for his Life Drawing class over at Uarts on Friday, it was fun to teach that class for the day, it was a good group of students and i even had one former student Paul in the class from my days teaching at DCAD.

I will also be taking a portrait class with Kerry Dunn over at Studio Incamminati starting this week, I like his work and I've wanted to take a few classes over there for a long time and now finally have a spot in my schedule to do it.

Its gonna be a busy week!

Judge Parker

This week's Sunday strip.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

judge Parker

This week's Sunday strip

Fall Semester 2010 week 3

The third week has come and gone at school, next week will be the 4th and the fullest week so far. Due to the early start and the holiday the weeks have been broken up, so while we are in the third week some classes have met only once. These two paintings are from my figure painting class with Bruce Samuelson.
He's a popular teacher at school and his classes fill up quickly, so I felt good I was able to get in this time. The class is large and the heat and light in Studio 1 are notorious this time of year. Bruce is noted for setting up these poses where the figure is either laying down or just standing in a rather non-dynamic pose under natural light. The study above was done in my first class as a way to just get the juices rolling and was a once class painting. The one below is a much larger painting of the same pose I started last week. You can see where I started in and then started making a lot of changes, especially to the legs. This next week I'll jump in on them first and work my way back out to the rest of the figure

I have a lot planned for this fall painting wise and Bruce is also one of my critics for my 3rd year, we haven't met in my studio yet, so it will be interesting to get his feedback on what I am working on. Right now I have a few more SEPTA or commuter paintings in process and have plans to start my biggest painting to date which might be roughly 50 x 80. Bruce is noted for doing very large works so between him and Scott Noel I think I should get a lot of useful feedback.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Arizona Clouds

This is the latest painting I had going in the studio this week, its based on some pics I snapped on vacation last month.

Sunday, September 05, 2010

The Dells and Scott Noel's Studio

I did this painting yesterday afternoon in my studio after coming back from Scott Noel's studio in the morning. he had several students from his class over to his studio in Manayunk. it was a great morning and very inspirational, very revealing as well. Scott is a firebrand type, he's like a preacher fired up to give you the best sermon from the pulpit you've ever heard, and he always gets me fired up and inspired. I also think seeing an artist's studio is like seeing them in the raw, in the buff, it reveals them to you in many ways. Scott's studio is almost alarmingly spartan in set up and decor. There is no show off lushness, no rich carpets, not a lot of toys or trinkets, now even a lot of books.

Its clear Scott's is there to work, not to hang out or socialize, not that obviously he isn't a passionate caring and sharing person. But he's serious and you feel that when you walk in, his two studio rooms are chocked full of his work, pastels and paintings line the walls, you are as radiated by the power and aura of his work as you are from the sunlight shining down from the skylights.
Here is Scott's palette and set-up. He likes to mix large quantities of paints, he even has one palette knife he's used for almost 30 years!
Scott and Me.