Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Life as an art student | Days 5 & 6 of 20

Started class yesterday and today in the usual way - spending time looking at the works of those more experienced (and accomplished) then all of us students and then discussing things.

Yesterday we actually watched a video as well and it was so good (I thought) that I copied down all of the information about it to try and convince my department head to get a copy of it so it could shared with all of the art students at my school (visual, performing, vocal, instrumental). It was an interview with Sister Wendy Beckett (Part one is here but it's only five minutes of almost an hour).

This morning we looked at some Vermeer and talked about the importance of not just taking but wisely using "artistic license." I'm REALLY learning a lot and I definitely feel like this whole experience is going to strengthen not only me as a visual artist but also me as a visual art teacher. I have so many things that I want to share with my students already.

I started this piece yesterday and this is what it looked like at the start of my painting today. The original (photocopy given to me by my professor) is on the right and my version is on the left. I have been REALLY challenged by this exercise because I've kind of felt uncomfortable working from two dimensional subject matter vs. a still life. I've stuck with it just the same and yesterday (at the end of class) my professor insisted that I was pretty close to done (it was just as pictured below) and I would probably need to just "clean up the edges" today.

Today I worked on it and was able to call it done after maybe an hour and a half of working on it. I felt better about it but mostly I was feeling worn down and ready to look at something/work on something new.

My professor insisted that it was good and gave me the go ahead to go to the next exercise - still a value study from a 2D work that had been photocopied as grayscale. This time I was able to tint the grays with warms and cools (reds and blues) and that was a little more fun for me but mostly? I was frustrated and I finally figured out that 1) my eyes were worn out from looking only at value in grayscale and 2) I needed to stop holding myself back from using my hand as a palette (what I normally do) and just let go a little.

Amazingly, once I did that, I felt so much more confident and worked without realizing how close to the end of class I was - only realizing the time when everyone else around me started cleaning up. I don't think I'm done but my professor gave me some solid feedback along with some very strong assertions that I wasn't just doing fine or good but I was doing very well per his standards. He said I have very strong technique that will translate well when we finally get to oils tomorrow and that I also am really showing a good strong artistic voice while also capturing the essence of what I'm painting. Funny because when I looked at it I couldn't stop saying to myself, "Your proportions and scale are off. This is not good."

The below will get a little more work tomorrow and then I will move on to my next piece will utilized grisalle work (I'm so excited about it!!!) with more tinted value study work (of a single piece of fruit - still life finally!) followed by color glazing in oil.

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