Sunday, September 25, 2011

Judge Parker

New bus, new problems...

Friday, September 23, 2011

Fall Semester--Week 5 US Artists in the House

This week the US Artist show rolled into PAFA again for it's second annual 4 day show featuring galleries from all over the country bringing the work of top tier artists from the past and present. the event is hosted by the Women's Board of the Academy and it's always a good show and honestly a great opportunity to see lots of great art. As soon as I walked in the show today I was face-to-face with a piece by Norman Rockwell. there were several Rockwell's at the show as well as two painting by Dean Cornwell. From Arcadia to Principle Gallery and more, there was work by Sargent, Koch,Eakins, Mann, Sloan, Hopper and more. After my morning class with Peter Van Dyck along with my buddies Dave and Will we trucked around the show taking in, literally gorging our eyes on art. the show was smaller this year but i think there was just as much good work, maybe less contemporary or abstract work this year, but I saw enough of that last week in Chelsea. We all snapped away with our cameras and just ate with our eyes. Its always amazing and sort of shocking to find some incredible new artist you never even heard of before at an event like this. I was really stunned by this painting by Alexander Bower--it just jumped out at you. It seems 100-125 years ago there were so many great painters working that are out there in obscurity like ships in the sea waiting to suddenly be discovered again. You realize how high the painting skill was in that age.
I think this show being at the school is a great thing for us students and fans of great painting to be able to see so much great work in one space. I also spent time talking to gallery owners and art dealers. I hope I was laying seeds which might sprout down the road for me gallery wise and as I am learning more and more it's vital to meet and greet a lot of people in the fine art field.
I was very excited to see this excellent painting by John Koch who's work i have always liked but until today only seen in reproduction. There were so many great passages in this painting.
A great painting by Sloan. This show and last week's trip to NYC were really big art recharges for me. i have a great collection of books, but nothing beats looking at great paintings in the flesh!
What a great Dean Cornwell painting!
John Innes.
JS Sargent.
Jeremy Mann who's work I came to discover and love 3 years ago at the first US Artist show I attended. They already have the date for the show next year--which happens on my birthday weekend so maybe that will bode will as a good omen for me and the show next year.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Fall Semester Week 4 -Mega Post-DPC in NYC-Desiderio, Saville and More

This was a good, busy week for me. I had been fighting a bit of a head cold so it took a bit of edge off in the beginning of the week and then just like last year, now I know I will have this annoying little cough for a month after. But despite that it was a good week for art. Along with my DPC buddies and a few other friends I hopped the Megabus and headed to New Your to see two openings by two renowned artists, Vincent Desiderio and Jenny Saville. We also tromped around Chelsea and looked at a lot of good, weird and strange art at a lot of galleries. We hit Gallery Henochwhich had their new season show up and represents David Kassan and Kim Cougan, one of my current favorite artists. Alina posing between two painting by Lucong in Henoch--she'd make a great model for him!
We saw some great sculpture by Nick Cave in Mary Boone Gallery
We also hit Elanor Ettinger.which closed their old gallery and has opened up an new gallery on 25th street in Chelsea and another location up town. They gad several painting by Steve Houston who's one of my favorite figure painters right now.
One of Kim Cougan's new painting they were getting ready to hang for his show. We saw all kinds of things as we walked around Chelsea, from Lego sculpture to 3D paintings--which we all really liked.
Nick Cave's cool sculptures
Vincent Desiderio's painting that to me is his version of Sargent's Madame X
Yours truly with Vince and Will.
It was a fun day even though we had to jump around some off-and-on-rain showers, but the crisp fall-like air was great. It was great to see the new paintings by Vince, some of which he showed us last spring when he taught his workshop in PAFA. They were really spectacular, in some cases and I think this show was better than the last one I saw in Marlborough three years ago. It was interesting to see the textured surfaces in some of the paintings, Vince had talked about using both asphaltum and Rustoleum in working on the beginning stages of the paintings when I saw him last. he gave me a great critique and encouraged me to try using both--and I did many paintings last semester with the Rustoleum. There were several painting by Vince that had an almost NC Wyeth feel to them in design, paint application and subject matter--being paintings of old frigates or their masts. I think Vince is one of the most important figure painters today, he really demands attention with his intellect--his passion for painting--and his craftsmanship or as he calls it, his" technical narrative." His work challenges you to not only look, but think, its pretty or beautiful but not for beauties sake. Their are many paintings in this show of what appear to be asylums and almost circus freaks or something like Schlitze the Pinhead. I think all of this still resonates or is connected back to the theme Desiderio has been painting since his son Sam was born with chronic birth defects. Jenny Savilles another contemporary realist who's new show also resonates with Desiderios theme of suffering or "poetic discomfort' as I call it. We have several large canvases featuring the face of a young boy who's face seems to be a gigantic blow-up of almost a police or medical photo shot after a crime or before an operation to show the injury or abuse. It seems that all of these images are themes or images Saville has been exploring for a while, painting or repainting or revisiting them in a serial of paintings.
You can see Chuck Close in the middle of the picture as he moves through the crowd.
I like Savilles work, but I am also a bit repulsed at the same time, the powerful and lushness pulls me in, but the beat-up people repulse me too. I suppose that makes great art that you can't be impassive about. I think I like the drawings more, the large charcoal and pastel drawings of her "Madonna and Child" themed works head my attention the best. I am always a sucker for good drawing! Both shows were well attended, Chuck Close showed up at Saville's show just beforllee we left and I bumped into my teacher Alex Kanveski on the way out. We grabbed a burger and headed back to Philly and were treated to a beautiful sunset in the city. Everyone was inspired and we all hit the studio yesterday and painted away!

Judge Parker

Here comes the romance!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Fall Semester 2011 Week 3

The second full week of classes have come and gone and I'm heading full into the thrird week at school. I also started teaching my fall Storyboard class down the street at Uarts. I have 11 students in the class so it's a bit smaller than previous years, which in a lot of ways is better for me and the students as we'll have a lot more one-on-one time and the crits will be shorter. Last week we started the second pose in my painting class with Peter Van Dyck, we now have one pose on the instructed day and another one on the uninstructed class. This one we as a group came up with the set-up and pose. I decided to go back to a smaller size and paint on the museum baorrd as these paintings are so short you really don't get much going an you just will not have a finished painting out of these classes.
This is where I left the first painting. Though Peter encourages you to work on a large canvas i feel its a waste as you will only just start getting into the meat and then you will be done. I will probably paint over this and use it again at some point. i like parts of this, but mostly it's a wash.
This painting is the first go at the second pose on Wednesdays. I went smaller and I think that worked better, next week I'll hack at it again. I guess if I don't get what I want I wont care as the cost of the paper is far less than the canvas.
This is Peter's painting after the second session.
After the class was done we all lined our work up to talk about it.
Peter pointed out what he thought was working or which paintings there seemed to be a good sense of space and values. This week we have a new pose so I want to try something different than the previous work, maybe play around with the composition a bit more.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Judge Parker

Is Sophie's new romance going to get of the ground with some hot licks?

Sunday, September 04, 2011

Fall Semester 2011-- My final Year- Week 2-MEGA POST

All hail the mighty Paint Brush!! This week was the official opening of the Lenfest Plaza and the grand social experiment that will be happening daily on the steps of the school. They opened the side door of former gallery 128 and grilled up hamburgers and hot dogs for the student body and faculty--almost a Noontime Nuggets Mixer.

We all sat at the new benches and ate as we enjoyed the beautiful summer afternoon. I would say the paintbrush or Paint Torch (it's official name) by Claes Oldenburg doesn't seem very popular to say the least with most of the student body. I think most everybody I know would have prefered it be something other than a paint brush and that there would have been a competition hosted at school and offered some of the great sculpture alumni or faculty to compete. I also think it just clashes with the Historic Landmark Building too much. It would have been great for Pennslanding or Love Park.

It looks too pop-camp for what I think should represent our school. Out of sync and out of date are what I feel about it in the end--though I do like the design of the plaza. I think however the fact we have a women's shelter, family court coming, drug and metal health facilities all within a block of school and a growing and aggressive homeless population means the plaza is going to be natural draw for a grand social experiment. The only real good is the fact it will be a tourist and art draw to our campus, however I think the idea that it will somehow boost the attendance at the museum or benefit the school in other ways is yet to be proven.

What has been proven is the fact that the cities skate boarders like it and the plaza--they already scuffed the paint dob ground sculpture within the first days of the plaza's official opening. It's only a matter of time before someone, some asshole will write on the thing. I wonder if the people who thought of this whole thing have really spent anytime of the ground in Philly, especially around city hall? This city is full of messed up people and assholes and jerks just looking to mess stuff up. Philly is a great city, but it's held back by there being too many ****ed up people living here and the stress of the underperforming/funded city and social services and the growing amount of underemployed and undereducated.

That being said progress is being made, and no one thing, person or event can totally define an institution like PAFA, overall it is the quality of the artists and teachers who work, teach, study there and the influence of their art on the art world that do, and even if I disagree with certain aspects of the plaza, or Torcho Brush, that beautiful summers day was I'm sure what the people who came up with the Lenfest Plaza would have had in mind, 100's of people eating,laughing and enjoying each others company on the plaza.

This was the first full week of school and so all the 4th floor was buzzing--what wonders of art are being created behind the yellow cutains?

Here is my painting The Morning Signal hanging at Parke Scaffer Fine Art.

Week 2 of my fall semester flew by, I only have one class but it was a busy week. I attended the opening of the Parke Schaffer Gallery, a new gallery in Wayne PA where I have five peices of my work for sale and I also did First Fridays, all with my DPC buddies. I did manage to finish another painting in my SEPTA series and plan out another which I will start this week.

You can see the final painting on

Peter Van Dyck decided to not have the model sit on the couch, so we started a new pose with the model, and we'll have a separate pose with her on the uninstructed days.So this is where the painting of the blue sofa stops for now

The class is supposed to be a portrait class but it's really just a painting class. I'm 50/50 on this, I'm kind of disappointed it isn't a portrait class as I'd love to see how Peter handles the portrait.

It's more like his painting the interior class I took with him a year ago. I enjoyed that class a lot, so I'm looking at it as a second pass at that class. Van Dyck like Noel is all about starting your painting by building in these big shapes and pushing or almost inventing/reinterpreting changes in tempuature /color/value between the figure/objects or the inside of a room vs the outside or a passage of light--( it took me a while to actually understand this, I was very frustrated for a while, but I finally understood their language and point during on Sunday painting session.)

This is my block-in-we'll see how far I get by next week, below is Peter's block-in that he did with us in class

This paintings a is a great example of what Van Dyck is teaching us--notice how close the value range is here, no high key lights or dark, darks.

The big thing is keeping the values range pretty narrow. You paint these shapes, large and bold, thick paint, and then into these bigger beds of color you start to paint the smaller things, the smaller transitions paying attention to contour and shape, but also being ruthless and painting through or repainting some passages many times, often scrapping of most of what you did during the current session and revisiting it later in the next session. It's definitely not closed form painting!