Monday, June 07, 2010
On one hand I am behind with my posts on the other it feels as though I am living the dream...I have felt similar in the past, but it has never felt like this! Brent dropped a line early last week..."you'll be seeing everything differently by the end of the first week" he was right on point...there is something very special happening down at the pod. It's fun, focused, energy...everyone is drawing all the time, the "demos" are sessions, where one minute Mark, John, Brent, George or Gary are working something out in front of us. Meanwhile, the group is firing questions, at the same time everyone is sketching and adding to the discussion. Or... it will be dead silent and everyone will be completely focused on the advice being given or story being told.
Sunday was special because we were invited to Mark's house/ studio for dinner, it was one of the coolest things I have ever done. Everyone I chatted with was floored by the experience. Mark welcomed every last one of us as if we were part of his family...I don't want to speak for everyone but, it was a memorable night for me.
We had our first figure drawing sessions on Tuesday and Thursday, we were worked a technique where you look to flesh out the silhouette of the figure with pastel, then go back and find the highlights and mid tones. It is still very challenging for me, but several in the group are grasping it very well and putting down some really beautiful drawings. We watched some really great demos last week as well. Mark worked out a landscape using pastels, oils, wax and charcoal. It produced a very interesting look and overall a beautiful piece. John gaves a demo where he fleshed out a wonderful rendering of Vincent Vangogh using oil pastel, oil paint and wax. Friday, a group of us took the opportunity to check out the first friday art walk. I am glad we did. It was sensory overload...everywhere we walked some sort of mini event was taking place. Whether it was a man riding a unicycle while juggling fire, a women in full body paint on the roof of a building, aerialists dangling from fabric in an alleyway or 80 or so zombies roaming the streets with baby zombies in tow There was plenty to take in. I enjoyed the Von Art exhibit for his figure work I really like the looseness, and the Arts Incubator the because I learned a quick bit about how prints are made. Monday brought with it the due date for out first assignment and our first crit. Gary Kelley arrived, and reviewed our pieces to the group, he is concise and has a pleasant way about him. He is very smart and and I am often embarrassed at my lack of knowledge when he asks me questions about art including my own. I think that is what I like about his work. It is sophisticated. My eyes roam the piece looking for more, while the shapes are so simple. You should see his figure work. I will try to get some images posted.
Gary assigned Project II "Blue." I am working the process to an acrylic painting... so we will see what happens. Today, Gary gave a nice presentation on the picture books he has worked on and a bit of the bees-knees on picture book illustration. It was a good discusion and I learned some great tips.
Tuesday, June 01, 2010
WOW...it has been a little more than 35 hours since my last post, it feels as if only a few minutes have passed. We are in full swing down at the pod so much so that I accidentally left my camera behind, so no pics tonight, apologies... but I am loving it. All the artists are really friendly and helpful. I am the only artist attending who is currently living in the Kansas City area, everyone else is from afar. Diego made it in from Guadalajara, Mexico and another artist is in from Nova Scotia, Canada. I will have to apologize because her name escapes me at the moment. Because everyone is from all over, not everybody has a car here, the students with wheels have been very gracious by hooking us up with rides to and from the pod. So thanks to everyone with a car for being so generous.
We spent all day Monday shooting reference for our first piece, several went down to the River Market for lunch and reference shooting. It was a hot day, and not much was open being that it was Memorial Day. Everyone found something to eat though and it was back to the pod to start analyzing reference and thumbnail sketching.
I got home just after 11:30pm and continued to sketch out ideas for another hour and then hit the sack for a few hours of rest.
Tuesday was a blur. We arrived at the pod just at 9:15 and hit the ground running. a quick talk from John and Brent, while the group continued to break down reference images into simple value and shape sketches. We did a quick critique and got back to work, further developing the best of our ideas into a slightly more refined image, still focusing on simplicity.
After lunch we watched a Gary Kelly video demo on taking our images even further into the process and ways to manipulate the picture to get it to read the way you need or want it to. It was really cool to see him do it on the video, but I am looking forward to seeing him do more of the same type of stuff in person next week.
Tuesdays and Thursdays from 7-9 is figure drawing. Tonight we had a beautiful model and Mark English demoed his technique for simplifying the human form. It is a great way to draw, and helps you see the forms and shapes that are created as light wraps around the body. I wish the students would have been able to draw more tonight though. I was looking forward to it all day and we only got 3 poses in. Hopefully Thursday will be the full two hours with some warm-up gestures to loosen us up a bit.
We stuck around for a little while longer, but I was beat and was able to catch a ride with my new friend Steve. I was hoping to grab a full eight hours of shut eye tonight, but since I wanted to post it is going to be more like six hours. So with that...I will go rest and look forward to a bright new day tomorrow, or I guess today!