15 April 2008

Preparing for Scottsdale Artists School.

I am going to Scottsdale Artists School for the second time. This time I will take two classes. Both figure painting. One with Sherri Mc Graw (who i hope is in no way related to Dr. Phil!) and another with Clayton Beck III (I think those dynastic numerals are kind of suspect but I will let it pass until I meet the guy.)

Last year I enjoyed Andrew Peters class quite a lot so I decided to repeat the experience and double the commitment.

As I mentioned before, the materials list from Mrs. McGraw was outrageously expensive and not the most health conscious. But I did prepare the canvases in the way she suggested by using a knife and a mix of maroger and white flake (poisonous white lead in both ingredients, let's not kid ourselves) . These are the same materials her teacher Mr. David Leffel uses and he is 74 years old and cancer free as far as I can tell. So the point is that I will try this mix once and see if my painting takes off like a rocket or just flutter ambiguously close to where I was before. Mr. Beck's material list was a lot more accessible and I suspect that it will do just fine. I specially liked the traditional artists panels he recommended and that I tinted with burn umber and ultramarine blue.
I also received today my silver filberts so I am all ready and trying to keep my judgemental nature in check . An open mind is 50% of a class requirement. The other 50% is showing up, to paraphrase Woody Allen. Apparently there was another hidden 200% in pricey utensils!

07 April 2008

Mass production

It seems that the movie I am working on now, the "Mummy 3" is winding down (finally!). That is a good thing as I am preparing for my trip to Arizona to take a class with Sherrie McGraw and Clayton Beck. I already bought the outrageously expensive materials (Vasari oil paints, oil primed linen canvas) and I need to get ready to make good use of them. I understand that good materials are essential but I wonder if there is a point of "diminishing returns" where quality just meets the limitations of talent. We'll find out.

In the meantime. I keep attending Joe Hilton's and Tom of Finland workshops to practice. Armando says I 'mass produce' and he is unto something. Cranking out an oil every 45 minutes is ridiculous. At the same time, that's how long the models pose. I am so desperate to produce "paintings". I should just do some nice drawings or even simple watercolors. In any case, I am thinking about some larger, more careful pieces....

Here is a torso...in under 45 mins. Mass produced or the result of despair?

Winestyles Show

Our Winestyles show was a success. I admit I had my doubts because it was so hard to coordinate all eight artists but Kathy Bergstrom, the owner of the wine shop was so accommodating and gracious that everything went like a dream. The opening was comfortably crowded and very well catered. That said, the experience won't be repeated any time soon. I am very happy that I put this together.

I was so focused on the gallery part of the event (hanging, preparing bios and labels) that I neglected the "vision" part. The Mt. Washingto Plein-Air painters are a diverse group and it is good that the show reflected that but in this case we had both too-diverging and too-merging trends. Paintings that looked out of place and paintings that seemed repetitive. A show needs to have a clear theme, even if it showcases several artists. This show almost did.

But the bottom line was that it was a blast and I sold two pieces. John Byram also sold his two pieces which were splendid.