Saturday, September 26, 2009

And it comes

The storm of work is just beginning to hit at once all around. It's a really weird structure for an MFA program, but since we're here to focus on the figure, it takes more instruction. The program becomes much more open and flexible each quarter. Here's the breakdown:

Structural Anatomy: 3 hours of time with the model to work on previous week's concepts in the AM 20-40 min poses thus far. 3 hours of instructed anatomy in the PM.

Figure Drawing: Same structure as Anatomy, but giving way to a 3-4 hour pose toward the end.

Art and Culture: Lecture/conversation with an artist of note or art critic Wed night. Thursday night a 90 minute seminar discussing the lecture, our readings (on the nude in art history this quarter), and gallery openings. Research paper/long art review due toward the end of the quarter.

Painting: 6 hours all instructed. First 4 weeks still life with limited palettes (mono, tri-chromatic, warm/cool, etc), last 10 weeks with a model. a TON of painting for homework.

History of Composition and Design. 3 hours of lecture/critique in the morning. Subjects for this quarter goes from the Middle Ages through Neo Classicism. 3 hours of free studio time in the afternoon with an optional model available every other week.



The homework is REALLY starting to pile up already. I'm getting to the point where I'm there from about 9AM to 9PM or later more nights than not plus doing work and readings saturdays. I'm sure I could do it in less time, but I have too much ego to turn in sloppy work. The end of the quarter is going to be some fun.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

NY, you are loved

For my Art and Culture seminar, the topic for the semester is The Nude throughout history. Firstly, no complaints. As homework, in addition to the readings, we had to head out to Chelsea to check out the "Naked" show at Paul Kasmin and take some notes. On Wednesday I headed out and there was a Cecily Brown, whose work I'd never seen in person, was what I wanted it to be. She's obviously not a great technician but it has that something that's missing in most figurative works. There were some pieces from David LaChappelle, Picasso, Mark Ryden, some artists who have been heroes at various times in my growth.
I'm looking for inspiration to push my black and white self portrait homework, planning on heading back to the studio to work on it, then at Jenkins Johnson see 3 black and white self portraits from Ann Gale, possibly my favorite figurative painter of the moment.

The city just reveals things to you, it's quite generous.


At any time during the day, I can decide that I absolutely need to see a Giacometti or a Vermeer or a Rubens or a Kara Walker and be standing in front of it within 45 minutes. It's like the internet but with more walking.

I'm eating pizza almost every day at some point and losing weight from the biking, walking, and repeated trips up 6 flights of stairs between my studio and all my classes due to my inability to remember all my supplies. Good pizza.

While I miss a night sky lit only by the stars, I'm beginning to love the illumination of the city. The sky looks like a set at times.

I am going to begin carrying my DSLR around because my iPhone cam is doing no justice to this city. Fuck my back, I can spare a few extra pounds.



settling in (paint nerd-out post)

We're just getting into the flow at NYAA.

If you're currently learning how to paint, what follows might be interesting but otherwise probably not.

My prof Jean Pierre Roy knows his business. We did a 5 hour black and white still life this week in class and, as a reward for finishing last weeks homework, we were permitted to use either a second white or a second black. It's the little things.


The most important thing I learned this week was the difference between warms and cools in black and white. Of course I know there's warm white, warm blacks, but mixing out say flake white + ivory black vs titanium white + chromatic black the resulting greys look more like a brown and a blue than the same color. There are all these little bits of knowledge about paint that you just have to glean from a variety of sources so finally getting some new teachers is helping me out quickly. When you look at a painting and it just hits pops, it's mastery of all these things that makes it do that. Also, those subtleties in temperature are something that photography doesn't capture well, neither in life nor in photos of paintings and I'm always feeling these days that we need to figure out what paint can do that no other media can do. There has to be a reason we paint rather than take photos or dance or make taxidermy sculptures.

We're painting a self-portrait as homework every week as well. He said one week we'll have to paint something like 8 small self portraits, so this is looking like it'll be a bloodbath toward the end.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

NY is so much

I'm still trying to catch up with NY. School started last week, I'm still settling into the apartment, and still lugging boxes of art books back from the post office a mile away. I love it here.

It'll probably be a little while until I have interesting stuff to post up here - it's looking like still lifes and studies for the next couple weeks.

I took a workshop with Costa Vavagiakis my second to last week in Seattle and finished up this little painting of Pigeon in about 24 hours over 4 days. It's not the direction I'm going at all, just trying to pick up those realist skills for now to put to use later on.


I'll be back with my first thoughts on NYAA and some studio photos next week.