Thursday, January 24, 2013

Like a Box of Chocolates!

I really look forward to my Monday Master Class with artist and mentor, David Gallup.  I'm actually a fairly predictable person and rely on some steady routines, but the Monday class is never predictable and that, I suppose, is one of the things I love about it.  One day we'll try to capture our impression of a model in 8 or 10 or (ahhhh heaven...) 20 minutes.  Sometimes we will be asked to draw a still life using only two values.  Another day we'll discuss our goals, or watch a demo or page through images as we compare artists' work of today and yesterday.  Some days we work on our own projects, but on other days, David will have arranged a freshly caught fish head, or a (rather stinky) shark head, or even a frozen dead bird for us to paint.  Occasionally, there will even be a lovely arrangement of pots and fruit or shells... 

You just never know what you're going to get!

We had missed class the week before because David was participating in the jurying for the California Art Club's upcoming Gold Medal Exhibition.   That show is always wonderful-- more-so now to me because I've met so many of the terrific artists who are most often represented.  This year the show will be in June at the USC Fischer Museum of Art.  I'm looking forward to attending again in this new location.

Over the last few months, the class has expanded, which makes the critiques which usually start out each class even more interesting.  We learn from David's observations and from one another.  All of us are different.. in approach, in experience, interests and viewpoint. 

As the critiques ended, I prepared to work on my "large painting", but soon found out that we were to have a model.  I braced myself, because those 7 minute quick oil paintings are a lot more difficult than it would seem.  This time, however, in walked NOT a beautiful female nude, but a shirtless male model.  What a surprise when I realized who the model was!  I had first met him at a CAC holiday luncheon.  He had just joined the CAC and happened to sit at a table full of David's students during that luncheon.  I guess our enthusiasm rubbed off because it turned out Chris is now also studying with David and, apparently working off tuition by modeling and helping with other studio tasks.

So we painted.   David tries to discourage us from drawing in the figure or face... instead relying on developing masses of three values.  He feels that drawing encourages us to "paint between the lines".  He wants us to see masses of value/shapes, rather than "things" like eyes or noses, etc.  It was hard for me because I don't want to place that all important lightest highlight in the "wrong" place.   Another counter-intuitive thing David supports, is getting in the lightest light first...   So much to consider..

It's interesting ... when I paint, I try to remember all of the advice that those teachers I most admire have tried to teach me.  Much of it clashes, so my mind is just working away trying to make this painting "mine".  At the end of the three hour painting session, although clearly a study and not a portrait, I was pleased that I was able to gain a likeness and add some color into the painting before the end of class.

I can't wait to see what we'll do next week!
Chris - an alla prima figure study - 3 hrs

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1 comment:

CrimsonLeaves said...

I think you did a beautiful job, Marian. I don't often see people on your canvasses and I am surprised now, and pleasantly so. This young man reminds me of Roman or Greek men from paintings of long ago. He's a handsome one!

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