I just got back from a visit to San Francisco where I went to the De Young museum to see the Girl with a Pearl Earring show, along with Etching from Rembrandt and his contemporaries. I found it very inspiring, especially all the etchings, they are so intricate and invite you to spend several minutes with each piece, I was surprised to find them even more engaging than many paintings. The etching pieces varied in technical ability, some being astonishing in their technical prowess and some (the Rembrandts) were stunning in their communication of humanity and emotion. There were goofy ones, ones that glorified the state, religious scenes that were moving (Rembrandt), religious scenes that were like crazy pageants, simple home scenes, landscapes and on and on. Then came the paintings – wonderful banquet tables with meats and lemons and cloth, the flowers that I so love and the stunning Vermeer. That Vermeer is absolutely wonderful. (Side note: Like the Mona Lisa, she has no eyebrows.!? Curious.)
My artist buddy Ted Helard and I have been kicking around the idea of having regular co-dependent (I know, I know, but not the co-dependent that’s bad!) anatomy study sessions where artists take turns picking the model, picking the area of study and kind of leading the group for three hours. We all contribute but none of us are anatomy experts, just big fans who study it as much as we can.
It was my turn this week and I chose arms. My study guide included the Paul Richer book. There is a wealth of information in the pictures, but just imagine if I read it! (It’s on my bucket list) We also referred to this fantastic, unbelievable artist from East Germany – Gottfried Bammes. Check his books out – there are a few small ones in print in English, but the good one is in German, is very hard to get and seems to cost a pile of money. Well worth it. It explains through pictures how the bones and muscles move and is clearer than anything I’ve seen. I actually don’t even know what it’s called because my old teacher bought an old copy online for a billion dollars and one of his students scanned it and we all got copies that lacked title page, etc. Vanderpoel and Wynn Kapit’s Anatomy Coloring Book both figured in as well. And Stan, our 3B Scientific plastic skeleton does his part. Bottom line – I’m slowly learning what I want to know….
If you’re around Ashland, Oregon on a Thursday, come and join us (Ashland Art Center, 357 E Main St, Ashland, OR). I’ll also put in a plug for the Drawing and Painting Class I teach on Wednesdays. Essential basics that many, many, many artists lack – proportion, perspective, value, understanding light and shadow. A good chance to eat your artistic vegetables. Put your time in. Trust me, it’s valuable.
Get the Look is a regular feature on Etsy that I always enjoy and I’m super stoked to have been included in today’s post! It’s a sweet loft on Airbnb in Detroit (somewhere I dream of going to do landscape painting, maybe I could stay at this place…) Check out the full post here.
Here is the work of Q Quast – “I am this Space. I am this Place.” It’s sitting on the floor, waiting to be taken home. Originally it was hung on the wall – of course. Q is doesn’t believe in websites so she doesn’t have a link for me to share…
I’ll be showing a shadow painting installation at Ashland Painters Union starting January 4 – opening party is from 5 – 8 pm. The show is up through the end of January, gallery open 1:00 – 5:00 on Fridays and Saturdays. Q is showing sculptural prints. Together we were goofing off at the Ashland Art Center Print Lab and screened some flyers just for the fun of it.
And on another experimental note: my chef brother in law recently asked me to make him a drawing of his knife and fork.
He’d probably want you to know he needs to go back in to get some touching up done. You’re really not supposed to go on a wilderness rafting trip for a week the day after you get a large tat. I guess conditions were less than perfect for healing…. Worth it though, I’m sure.
I have been thinking about it for months and it will soon be a reality. I am cutting way back on my administrative job in January to be able to paint full time (and teach a little bit). The prospect of not working for a regular pay check is a little scary but as my friend Amy said to me, “If you’re going to be an artist you have to be brave.
I drive through this intersection at least twice a day on may way to and from my day job.
And the newest life drawing group in the valley is over at Atelier LaRose – Steven put together a successful kickstarter campaign to hold free life drawing sessions open to anyone. They are kind of a free for all – models swing from the rafters, lighting comes from several directions, and of course, these sessions are totally fun.