Summer Break Projects

The school is on break until September and undergoing some super remodeling. I can’t wait to get back to it, it should be fantastic. My health is improving it appears so I should be able to take two classes in the fall and one independent studio day to work at the Studio. I move slowly but I keep on going. I enjoy contributing to the school administratively, doing their newsletter, some social media work and coming soon online galleries where you can purchase original artwork by students and teachers of the school. I also support the Director and teacher Lisa Silas. It keeps me out of trouble when I am not working on my artwork. I’ve been keeping busy over the break too. Making excellent progress on the ongoing Holbein Master’s copy and my Bargue like study of an angel. I have been working on both for a long time but I keep plugging along, always coming back to them like old friends just waiting to talk and catch up. Over the break I have really put in some time on them. Also on two day oil studies of still-lifes. I have never painted from life before and my Teacher Matthew wants me to work this quarter on doing fast studies, working on beginnings and familiarizing myself with putting paint on the canvas. I have always painted indirectly and alla prima or short term is really new to me, it shows but if I do enough I will get better at it. I am also doing short block-ins from a Model book, a few a week, a couple hours each.

I had a discussion with a friend of mine, scholar and curator Joseph Bravo and he encouraged me, making the analogy that my art practice is like playing scales in piano study. To really become a fluent pianist and develop your own voice, and even compose you must first play lots and lots of scales. That is exactly what my practice is. He said “Two years of playing scales and then you can start working on what you really want to paint.” I am already seeking that imagery so when I have the technical skill I will be ready to naturally progress into a more personal expression. I have found a peace of sorts with playing scales, at the moment anyway.

Quote of August:

“We work in the dark – we do what we can – we give what we have. Our doubt is our passion, and our passion is our task. The rest is the madness of art.” Henry James