Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Painting with anything we learned so far in Surrealsim class.

Here are the two paintings I did today in Surrealism class. Kevin was doing individual critiques of our homework (which I like) while we painted our final live model. He told us to use any of the things we learned in class so far. I decided to do my version of Cubism.

That is, if cubism is about time, we can only truly focus on one thing and one part of a persons body at a time. So even though I am only seeing the front of the model, I can still only truly see certain body parts at a time in this front view. So I decided to show this. Ultimately, I guess it ends up being a collage to create a sense of time (like Kevin shared with us) in paint. But I would like to think it is different from what David Hockney (Kevin introduced me to this artist) has done in a way because there are "separated" squares of the bits and pieces of the model verses one big picture or scene created from parts of a model or situation.

Mine is less cohesive I guess but still a version of how time is not stagnant. To me it shows how time is necessary to truly take in the whole person. I have NO IDEA if this is making any sense, but it makes sense in my head.

BUT now that I think about it, this might lean into the realm of little vignettes which he told us is not the same. I will have to ask him. Oops.

This last one I did in terms of some of the first things we did in the class where we just pushed the figure more towards non objective abstraction. Mine is obviously still a figure, but I pushed it and I LIKE IT! Anyone else ;)

Monday, February 25, 2008

Rave Reviews for my painting of Mike!!!!

Today in Surrealism class we had our homework critiques. Can I first begin by saying that the work that the other students created was AWESOME! I love seeing from week to week what people do in this class. So original and very talented.

I am so freakin excited! I can't even tell you how excited I am. I have been walking around with knots in my stomach for the last few days because I have been so happy with my painting of Mike and yet I have received some interesting feedback from some of my peers and friends. I kept getting what seemed to be the same response when people would look at the piece while I was working on it and when it was finished. Not the response I wanted....

Here is the typical scene:

--I say "Here it is," with a huge smile on my face.
--They look and then stare IN SILENCE and then say "ohhhhh, wow he has a green face" or "that's interesting."
--(See my smile fade.)

But now that I think about it my smile shouldn't fade because I want them to be somewhat wow'd (but I want it in a positive way) because Mike makes me go WOW (in a positive way :) Cheesy but true.

No worries though....I am here to learn, experiment, improve and become the artist that I need and want to be and create art that I LOVE and hope that someone out there (IS IT YOU!!!! :) loves it too....not to mention this was an assignment and not exactly how I want to paint.

I told myself that I was just going to see what my instructor had to say. I worked my butt off and put so much thought and care into doing the assignment correctly. I was happy with it (very happy) so now I just needed to see if in his eyes I accomplished the goal. I DID! Kevin said he really liked it and that I did a great job using the paint application, brushwork, color and design to show the story behind Mike. He said that it all made sense and that I handled it well, especially with showing the layers of Mike through the physical peeking through of his black and white layer.

He only had one criticism (of which I was aware....one of my instructors said we should be able to give ourselves the same critique as our teacher.) The issue was that my background was TOO saturated and competing with Mike who was supposed to be the thing popping out. And he also mentioned that there were some minor issues that I could have fixed like making the shape of the eye better, but that this was minor especially in light of the assignment. But I think I will go back and make these changes, especially since I agree with the suggestions.

Check out Kevin's book. You can get it at Blurb.com It is called ARTITUDE (Kevin Moore.) It will give you a taste of all of his great insights and what I am learning in his class. I highly recommend it.


Oh and yes, I would have recommended his book despite being very happy about the critique I received.....come on, who do you think I am ;)


Here is the most recent version of this painting.......


Sunday, February 24, 2008

Painting of Mike-- 1st Surrealism Homework

So here they are....finally. These are pics of the progression of my first Surrealism homework and then the final piece. I am pretty happy with the results because I accomplished my goal. Granted the colors are quite vibrant and wild, but so is Mike :)

In most of my classes this would be considered too loud and it would need to be muted, but I went out of my way not to mute the colors because Mike is not muted. He is vibrant, humorous, outgoing, and crazy cool :) while at the same time serious, calm, somewhat stubborn and serious. And I have the luxury of knowing all of these characteristics of him. Yea me!

So in summary, I know this painting is out there, but I am SO proud of myself for having a plan, following through and experimenting with painting in a way that I typically would not. I am so glad that I am in this class with an instructor who is challenging us to do this. Oh and I have so many ideas on how I would like to do this painting again. I would like to see it without the green and using more analogous colors (more like what you see in his clothing and background) and not much if any of the complements....but this would not have worked for me in this assignment. I also like the third picture where only his face is left black and white. For myself, that is what I would have wanted on my wall assuming the beard was finished....

Oh and I purposefully only made the paint on his body thick because he stands out from the back ground and he is the one with the layers.

Ohhhh and I also included some close ups so you could get a feel for the texture.

And I am out!

Friday, February 22, 2008

First Stage of my Surrealism Homework

So here are two pictures of my Surrealism homework so far. The assignment is to do an over sized portrait of someone we know and are close to, so of course I am doing Mike :) The portrait is not supposed to be academic in fact he wouldn't mind us pushing towards abstraction and potentially not making it looking like the model. The painting is supposed to be about the paint application, brushwork, color and design. He wants us to be able to show the story behind the sitter through the paint and not through the expression on the model.

My plan so far is to show the two layers of Mike. The serious (black and white), sensitive, calm (smooth and thin), stubborn, in his head layer compared to the vibrant, wild, crazy, humorous, outgoing side. In this first stage, I am showing the former layer and now (today) I plan on showing the latter layer via thick, colorful, vibrant, expressive stokes. BUTTTTTTT I plan on (somehow) having parts of the black and white version showing through to represent how if you are close enough to him and are able to get through the thick outgoing layer that you will also have the pleasure of seeing his other deeper layer.

We'll see how it goes. This is TRULY an experiment.
Wish me luck!!!

Monday, February 18, 2008

Still Experimenting in Surrealism Class

Kevin told us to once again push our paintings today towards abstraction. He said he didn't even want it to look like our model in the end. I did 3 paintings of the model.


I am pretty happy with all of them. I don't usually paint this way, but I have to say I really like it. Oh and the two criteria Kevin gave us was PORTRAITS only and we HAD TO USE A PALATE KNIFE in some shape or form. I never use a palate knife to paint with so I dove right in and decided to challenge myself to use it for most of the painting. I love it!

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Copy of a Rembrandt 2007

This is a copy of a Rembrandt painting that I did last year.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Quick Study of Mattie the dog.

This is another one of the six quick study assignments that we had to do for class today. It is from a picture my friend took of her dog in the bathtub. I thought it had character. Turns out it would have been a better composition if I had panned out a little bit and shown more of the dog in the tub (says my instructor.....Craig Nelson.)

This is my first painting of a dog and I have to say I like it. There are things I can do to fix it, but I will probably do it over again if anything at all. Mattie is a cute dog though. I hope I have done her justice.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Blown away even "Moore" by Cubism

In class my Surrealism instructor Kevin Moore (awesome artist, teacher and person...check him out at hespe.com) broke down cubism in a way that just blew my mind. I have ALWAYS loved Picasso and I loved his work even more after I saw the gamut of his ability and mediums at El Museu Picasso de Barcelona. And yet, after our lecture this week I learned so much more about how he created his cubist work.

Kevin told us that "cubism is a collage to create a broader sense of time." It is about being four deminsional. Why paint from one angle? It is not how we see things. "Cubism is NOT a style, it is a way of thinking."

He gave us guidelines and we did some exercises to help wrap our minds around this way of thinking. So we created a painting as cubists. This painting makes me happy! :)

A couple of Quick Study Assignments 2/10


These are a couple quick studies that I did the other day. I really like the first one. I like the second one too, but it is not well done. That is, the colors and paint application aren't great, but I am drawn to it for some reason. I was trying to not use any new paint because I only had the last 15 minutes to do it in the workshop. So I forced myself to stick to the paints that were left on my palette from class earlier in the day.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Copies of my instructors paintings

So I am trying to get better at quick studies so my instructor let me borrow his paintings. I tried to copy them....I TRIED to copy them. Not even close to the beauty of his work BUT I am learning a lot. By the end of tomorrow (night) I should have 6 paintings (OF MY OWN) done for this class. I'm crossing my fingers.

OH and by the way, it is A LOT easier to COPY another persons painting so it shows how far I have to go. When copying another persons painting they have already done the work to edit what they see and interpret it into paint strokes. I am just copying their strokes (well trying to.) My goal is to be able to consistently interpret and create my own beautiful stokes.....which I can, but it is harder to do in an hour or less painting like these and the others from my Quick Study Class. I am learning so much from Craig Nelson. Thanks Craig! I will say it again. These are my COPIES of Craig Nelson's paintings.....NOT my original composition etc...etc.

Old Works (2007)

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

2nd Day Quick Study Paintings...

This is a quick study that I kind of liked today. I like the composition. The class is challenging for me because it really forces you to edit what you see and hone in on creating good color. I am fine with this though because the instructor is great and he is showing us exactly how to be successful.

Monday, February 4, 2008

"In The Spirit of Thiebaud"...

Today we were asked to do a painting "in the spirit of Thiebaud. That is he wanted us to exaggerate color, brushwork, composition, design, shadows, and color accents.
I wanted to do an extreme crop, but it is not that extreme. Looking at it now it could be SO much better. It is lacking life for me right now. Very dull but I am happy with what I was able to do with it. I might go back after it dries and glaze in some more vibrant colors. Or heck I just might redo it. It is all about learning, right?

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Landscape Paintings from 2007

One of my favorite landscapes from my class with Bill Maughan because I pushed the color. I also love it because the original photo was taken by my good friend Mark (amazing photographer!) I know it is vivid, but it was a lot of fun. [The first picture is the original before I pushed it even more with the red accents.]

Clothed Figure Work 2007

These are a few of my favorite sketches from my clothed figure class in the spring of 2007. Great instructor!

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