Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Last Day: Weekend with the Masters

Sorry it has taken me a few days to wrap up the final day of the event, but after an early flight, no sleep, and a lot of catching up to do back home, I'm finally getting back to a normal routine.

I had the privilege of having the entire morning of the last day free, and sat in on Nancy Guzik's still life workshop. Nancy is such and incredible teacher who talks non-stop about how and why she is doing each stroke or color mixture. She works slowly and accurately, making every stroke, shape, and color exactly what she wants . . . if a color isn't "pretty" or the stroke doesn't give her an "ahhh" feeling, she removes it and tries again. She reveals that there are no tricks or secrets to a good painting, just focus and a determination to make it exactly what you want.

Later in the afternoon, my friend Taaron and I were also able to get a critique from Richard Schmid. It was a memorable moment for us both, and I will take to heart the comments he had and apply them to my work.

American Artist magazine has really created something special with this event. I have no doubt that it will alter the world of art for the better, continuing to create and instruct artists into technically skilled and passionate people, advancing high-quality representational painting for the good of us all.

Thanks to Allison and the other editors and staff at the magazine for giving me this opportunity, it will be a memory that will never be forgotten.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Day 3: Weekend with the Masters

Today was a little more relaxing. I checked out a few of the various workshops and demos during the morning, then jumped into Dan Gerhartz's workshop and watched a few minutes of the demo and then set-up with the class and painted the model.

I didn't take many photos today, but here are at least a few from Morgan Weistling and Carolyn Anderson's workshops.

Here is the plein air I painted on Friday and the quick head study from today:

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Day 2: Weekend with the Masters

I can't write much because it's getting very late, and I'm getting very sleepy, but below are a bunch of photos from today's events. I made my way into many of the workshops, including Gerhartz, Lipking, Mundy, Weistling, CJ Beck, Albert Handell and Nancy Guzik.

There was also an evening duel demo with Scott Burdick and Dan Gerhartz that was really fantastic. It was great to see each of them tackle the same subject (which was artist Michelle Dunaway) in a unique way, while still resulting in well-executed final results, Scott Burdick was more immediate with a "slap it down" style, blocking in everything and then refining from broad to focused, while Dan Gerhartz was more slow and reserved, getting down an initial drawing and then working right with final color and placement.

In addition to the crazy day, I was also able to get a little painting in,  I'll try to get a photo of it later and post it tomorrow night. Till then, here are a few of the pics.

Lipking Workshop

Morgan Weistling Demo

Dan Gerhartz Workshop

Nancy Guzik Workshop

CW Mundy Workshop

Evening Duel - Brudick and Gerhartz

Richard Schmid book signing

Friday, September 24, 2010

Day 1: Weekend with the Masters

Had a great first day at the event, both seeing many great demo's and lectures, and also meeting many of the top painters alive today.

I started off the day helping out in a David Leffel demo. He doesn't use any solvent like mineral spirits or turpentine, and only cleans his brushes by wiping them off on a paper towel. He said that he can't waste the time of washing his brushes or palette . . . He does use a gel medium from a tube. (I'm trying to find out the exact name and brand, so I'll post it if I find out.)

I then jumped into Scott Christiensen's demo where he was painting from a previous study and explained his approach and techniques.

The highlight of the day was Richard Schmid's demo. He painted a still life of oranges, peaches and carnations, and had a ton of light conversation and jokes--keeping the crowd very well pleased. (Sorry for the poor photos, it was really dark in the large hall.)

The rest of the afternoon was spent peaking into Sherie McGraw's head study demo of Morgan Weistling, Scott Burdick's lecture on the beauty of art and the craziness of the modern art movement. I was also able to jump outside for a minute and peak in on a plein air workshop.

To top off the day, there was an absolutely extraordinary panel discussion with Richard Schmid, Quang Ho, Sherie McGraw, Jeremy Lipking, Scott Burdick, Rose Frantzen, Dan Gerhartz and Carolyn Anderson. The topics began around technology and it's place within representational painting, and then also drifted into modern art, social media, and photo manipulation. If you can find a video out there on the internet, it will be well worth the watch. I was literally on the edge of my seat, and each of the artists statements had some great nuggets of truth and inspirational little quotes.

Well, it was a great first day, and I'm looking forward to tomorrow which is very workshop intensive and filled with even more demos. I hope to do the same as today and as I'm around helping out with the event, try and jump into all of them for at least a few minutes.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Blogging from Weekend with the Masters

I'm headed off to CA tomorrow for the Weekend with the Masters event held by American Artist magazine. A friend of mine, Taaron Parsons, and I will be assisting the staff and master artists during the event. I'll try and post each night some pictures and any of the great info I hear.

Can't wait to meet anyone else that is going . . . See ya there!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Stillscape - The Art of Sean Beavers

Golden Light, 34 x 21

Still life as a subject matter has always left me underwhelmed. I'm not sure if it's the in-animate objects, artificial light or over planned compositions, but even the most well executed painting will lose my interest much quicker than a figure, landscape, or even interior.

Flowers or other natural items certainly help, adding that touch of life and nature to the still objects, but yet a certain aspect of "air"and life always seem to be missing.

 From Available Light, 15 x 10

Like usual, my conceptions of a specific painting style or subject get completely thrown. This time it was by Sean Beavers and his "Stillscapes." They are changing my mind on the art of still objects by infusing life with scenic backdrops and compelling natural light. Not much needs to be said about his technique, he has a highly refined style, nailing each value and temperature creating not photo-realistic paintings, but in-person, life-realistic paintings. Upon seeing them, I was instantly captivated by the beauty and have almost daily peaked back at theses images over the last few weeks.

Anjou Evening, 30 x 30

Sean earned a BFA from the School of Visual Arts in New York, and graduated with the Rhodes family medal for outstanding achievement. He currently lives in southern Maine and teaches drawing and painting at the New Hampshire Institute of Art, the University of New Hampshire, and The Sanctuary Arts in Maine.

Sand Box, 15 x 9.75

There are many other captivating still-life artists working today,  Daniel Sprick & Daniel Keys are two more of my favorites.  Although this love/hate relationship for still life continues, I can easily respect the artists for their masterful techniques, and perhaps like many things, if I spent more time painting still objects, then I would discover their beauty just like these artists have.

The Secret Light of Dusk, 15 x 15
 Evening Voluta, 22 x 14.5
 In Light of it All, 12x8