Saturday, July 20, 2013

July 20, 2013

Hurrah! The heat wave has broken and we're all inspired again! Lots of interesting paintings to see today. We're starting with an  "awwww...." (After all, what goes together better than kittens and the internet?) And the excitement never lets up. Nor does the color—notice how color makes everything more exciting—people, places, fruits and food.

Some especially interesting things to notice: Sara's use of delicate color to carve out a portrait. Susan's memorial painting, where color adds life, movement and focus. Marva's new lighter, brighter palette. Not to mention the glowing abstracts by Ken.

And it's 3-way fruit day! It's one of our favorite exercises, where we have one class period to paint a fruit or vegetable three times: as wet as possible, as dry as possible, and in any combination. It's a little frustrating to do, but the results are amazing. This time, we've posted the paintings as triptychs so you can get a better sense of the exercise.

You might have noticed some drawings and collages and thought, "Wait! Those aren't watercolors!" You're right, of course. But let's look a little closer. Elaine B's torn paper collage is a study for a painting. She's taken a photograph and is now exploring color and value with paper before moving to paint. John does story series; for this one, he's using colored pencil instead of watercolor and wants to maintain consistency. And Mark's sketches serve two purposes—besides warming him up for painting, he's getting ready for Saturday Summer Sketching.

That's right. We're gearing up again for some sketching. Next week is our last class before summer break. After that, we'll be meeting on Saturday mornings for some informal sketching. You're all welcome to join us (come on, you know you want to!) Watch this space for details. And join us!

Saturday, July 13, 2013

July 13, 2013

We've only been off a week, but we have so much to show and catch up on that we'll just get started. No time for small talk here!

First of all—the paintings! And we really have some lovely paintings to show you today. It was a perfect summer day, so is it any wonder our thoughts (and paintings) turned to things like strawberries and popsicles, summer outings and long naps, friends, family, fairy tales and flowers. And, of course, color—the rich, juicy colors of summer.

So let's start with the paintings...but keep going. There's more ahead—experiments, field trips, poetry and a great diet tip. Grab a tall beverage....we'll wait.....

So, did you notice the cool mixed media color wheel and lovely swatches? These newbies are really something, aren't they? And one of our newest artists is responsible for today's art experiment.

Experiment of the day. Magda takes credit for this comparison. She painted the triptych above. Each panel is painted differently. All are on prepared canvas. From left to right are: watercolor, oils with a palette knife, oils with a brush. Isn't it interesting that the watercolor seems the most "painterly" of the lot? Lovely brushstrokes!
More mixed media. Can't say we don't have fun. A fabric bolt roll has been sitting in the classroom for months. So last week, everyone painted something on it....a cat, a color, a motto, whatever. We share our room with cosmetology students, so there are often heads, curlers and giant fingernails around. This week, spurred on by Ken and Mark, we combined artifacts, placing a cosmetology head on our giant totem pole. Here it is below....with Ken offering his latest abstract for approval.

And from the ridiculous to the sublime...Poetry. We may be all about creativity and fun, but we're still a class, with attendance and assignments. Ever wonder what happens when we miss a class? Elaine B. (yes, there are three Elaines!) shared a link answering that very question from Poetry 180, a great site with a poem a day for high school students—and it's overseen by Billy Collins, a past U.S. poet laureate. Click here to find out Did I miss anything?

Interested in having your art seen by the public? Mark shared the following call for public art:
CTA seeks artists for Red Line south stations. The CTA has kicked off a search for artists to create public artwork for rail stations currently being renovated and improved. In addition, the CTA will also seek an artist for the Wilson Red Line station (hey, that's us!) which will be rebuilt next year into a modern Red-Purple line transfer station. Want to learn more: Click here for more details and to download the request for proposal (RFP).

Field trip recommendations. More on this in the future, but Sara used her long holiday for some field trips. She highly recommends the Art Institute's newest blockbuster, Impressionism, Fashion and Modernity. It features 75 major paintings by Caillebotte, Degas, Manet, Monet, Renoir, and Seurat, including many never before seen in North America, and explores the role of fashion in the Impressionists goal of painting modern life in modern style. This is the last stop on a world tour, so don't miss it!

And if you're in the mood for a road trip, try Detroit. Specifically, the Diego Rivera fresco murals in the great court of the Detroit Institute of Arts Museum. Sara says they're incredible and worth the trip alone (she spent over two hours looking at them), and the rest of the museum is equally fine. Admission is only $8, too. You can't go wrong. Tune in again soon for a more in-depth report.

Finally, a diet tip. We all laugh when Pat suggests we paint our Thanksgiving dinners before we eat them. Turns out, she's not so far off. Sara found an actual study that says people who paint food before eating tend to eat less and gain less weight than those who don't (of course, they mean painting a portrait of the food, not attacking it with a paint roller.)

See you next week! We'll be a whole lot less chatty....we hope!