Monday, April 30, 2012

Drawing as Experience

"....there's something that's very intense about the experience of sitting down and having to look at something in the way that you do in order to make a drawing or a painting of it.  By the time you've done that you feel that you've really understood what you were looking at...and somehow it becomes a method of possessing the experience in a unique way."  -- Robert Bechtle

I came across that quote recently in a book about drawing.  Because I have been teaching a beginning drawing class at the Main Line Art Center it really resonated with me and what my students are finding.  In their drawings I can see them thinking and re-seeing and trying to translate it onto paper, a quality I think is always important in a good drawing. 

As a result of trying to help them along, I looked for examples online of student work that seemed achievable (I always found master drawings too hard to grasp when I started out drawing myself.)  So the images here are some of my personal favorite finds by anonymous students, not mine.  I didn't show them these pieces because I don't think they would like them as they are after a more elegant look at this point -- but I find these and some of their in class drawings to be outstanding in the way they embrace intense looking at their subject.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Jan Baltzell at Schmidt Dean

Last Friday, I went to a fantastic opening.  It was a ton of new work by Jan Baltzell at Schmidt Dean's new gallery location on Chestnut.  The opening was packed and the work was exceptional.  I have always looked to Jan (who was briefly a critic of mine) for complex and inventive color and compositional choices.  The new space is very nice too, its a large square room on an upper floor with big, black beams on the ceiling which provided a nice contrast to the show.  I'm looking forward to going back between now and May 19th to really take an extended look at some of the pieces.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Yellow Glorious Yellow

While I did this painting:

I thought to myself, I have to do more yellow paintings.  But then other things got my attention.  Until I was back in PAFA's historic building and revisited this painting:

Florine Stettheimer, Picnic at Bedford Hills, 1918

And then I remembered and went home over the weekend and made this painting:

And it made me happy and I decided I must make another yellow painting but this time really big and a night scene.  And that is the story of me and yellow.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Bella Foster

I delight in the works of the incredible artist (and apparently fellow Matisse lover) Bella Foster.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Rainy Day Rain Paintings

Milton Avery, Sea Grasses and Blue, 1958
George Braque
Vincent Van Gogh Rain 1889
David Hockney, Untitled Watercolor
Alex Katz, Rain 1989
I have been amassing 'rain paintings' over the last little bit of time.  I began thinking about rain as a subject over the summer as I began a painting of the windowsill and it began to pour.  Since then I have been in love with the idea and capturing that mood.  I have since been working on another rainy painting, and with the weather again wet and miserable and perfect for my observations, I thought I would share them with you, along with some of my favorite images by other artists in my collection.