Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Week-8-Mid Semester

This week hist the mid-point for my fall semester at PAFA and it finds me very busy and rushing about between commercial work and my school classes and teaching. The Vincent Desiderio workshop is coming up this weekend and I'll be one of the monitors this time. The drawing above is from my Monday morning drawing class with Pat Traub. I'm slowly working on it every week under natural light, so that creates obvious issues when the daylight is radically different, such as rainy days or sunny days. the fall weather has really been very changeable week to week. I'm doing this on the smallish side just to avoid the hassle of working larger in a classroom that really isn't very ideal at all for a drawing class. Its on a piece of rives BFK which I coated or toned with a neutral gray No. 6 and then I'm working with a selection of charcoal pencils , hard to extra soft- 6B. I'm also using a white charcoal pencil and spraying the drawing with a workable fixative as I go along. I figure i have a few more weeks on this drawing to bring it to finish. I just don't feel super energetic on Monday mornings and want to kind of milk the class a bit.
This painting I am working on in Bruce Samuleson's life painting class, and its oil on paper, again a sheet of Rives BFK which I taped down to a piece of foam board and coated with clear matt medium. This piece is a fight and the pic I snapped with my cell phone isn't the best, but its a real fight to deal with the natural light here, which is dim in the afternoon in Studio 1. Some day I can't really see my values well after about an hour or so as the sun just fades and on cloudy days--ugh! I understand the challenges Bruce is setting here but honestly I am just not digging this too much. I would want to go at something like this for longer stretches many days in a row and pick better more consistent lighting. I do like oil on paper though--I love that surface.
this is a two class-though abbreviated painting from Scott Noel's class. Since i have to bug out early in order to teach class, i always miss at least an hour to an hour and a half of class, so i really get only a quick wind sprint that these paintings, this one is probably a little over one full class worth of work. Again Scott is really pushing me on these things to create a much closer envelope and relationship between all of the colors, so it's observational painting in only a limited or non-literal fashion and many colors as shifted or pushed in order to create a very specific envelopes of a specific atmosphere of light. details as all shunted aside in the quest for this and only painted in after the bigger issues have been addressed. Its a great--if very frustrating class at times, but Scott is just a fantastic teacher--the best I've ever had and while at times it feels as if some weeks he sticks his leg out and trips you up, he's always there to help you back to the palette.

I feel real growth this semester and also frustration, I don't feel I am painting enough of "my paintings" and I was disappointed my portrait was rejected from the student show. I had a feeling it was likely to be based on the esthetics of the judges and the overall esthetics held in some quarters of the school, but in the end rejection is as much if not more than acceptance the process of being a working artist, and I feel the painting was a new high point for me, and thats the most important thing. I am honestly in many ways looking forward to the semester being over and the winter break to do more of my own work.

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