Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Final weeks and Final Crits, 2013

It's the final week for many students, the 2nd year's final crits are this coming weekend, Friday, Saturday and Sunday and many of us are working around the clock getting our work together for the end of the year presentations, first and second years alike. Though some classes will be held after this weekend, most of the work needs to be done in the next 10 days or so.

Students working on large paintings in room 201.

Before I get into the photos, here's a brief quote from Robert Henri, the great American painter and teacher, one of the founders of the "Ashcan School" and the author of "The Art Spirit" one of the most important books about art and living the life of an artist ever written. He's always a good source of insight and perspective, especially in times when the artist's emotional mind is at battle with the rational mind...which is so often.

This is for all the students at the NYAA and specifically the second year students getting ready for your FINAL CRITS this weekend. Kick ass!

"If you want to know how to do a thing you must
first have a complete desire to do that thing. Then
go to kindred spirits—others who have wanted to
do that thing—and study their ways and means,
learn from their successes and failures and add your
quota. Thus you may acquire from the experience
of the race. And with this technical knowledge you
may go forward, expressing through the play of
forms the music that is in you and which is very
personal to you."


My studio during the MFA open studios.

Sleep and exercise are taking the back seat as I see the impossible task ahead of getting all my pieces done in this limited time. It's strangely like the final push before a solo show, but much different in so many ways. Different pressure and different expectations. Trying to let go of any expectations at all, it's still difficult and every day is an emotional roller coaster.  I'll just do the best I can knowing that most of my pieces will have to be "finished" this summer. 

More progress on my history painting, "Seppuku", 80" x 96".

In Progress detail of main figure, "Seppuku".

People's nerves are running thin and the intensity is as dense as the morning fog over the lake in Maine that I'm longing to be relaxing at right now. But even with the stress there is still a smile and a friendly, helpful and enlightening conversation to share with a fellow student going through similar experiences.
The community here at the Academy is beyond special and unique.

Tatiana Ortiz Rubio with her newest painting.
It's interesting that in the midst of all this stress, anxiety and self doubt I had a bit of a break through in my drawing, which has been an on going challenge this year. Once the semester is over I'll be posting more explicit details on some of the learning and realizations I've had this semester...I'll need some time away from school to digest and process it all before I try to put it to words. In the meantime, here are a few more pics of new work and scenes at the school...hope to see you soon!

Graphite sketch for my drawing class with Harvey Citron.

Anatomy Homework
More Anatomy Homework

Underpainting for a new piece on the movement topic.

Charcoal sketch for the new movement series.

Maria Teicher on the other side of the camera!

Maria Teicher at work.

Sam Detch self portrait.

Sam Detch head study.

Roberto Osti teaching Anatomical Drawing with his great in class demo work.

Wade Schuman with his color charts...
and my samurai sword...
No pressure!

Jessica Benjamin in front of her History Painting.

Chris Law with his History Painting.
Martin Saar with his horse Ecorche.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Post Ball / Pre Open Studios and Some New Work...

Tribeca Ball was last week, MFA Open Studios this week so the activities never end here at the NYAA. This blog is a little assemblage of photos taken in and around the school over the last two weeks.

Only about a month left of class before the summer break and I'm scrambling to get everything done...seems like an impossibility at this point, five paintings and two presentations to do on top of everything else. The push is on.

I'm JUST getting into the sketches and studies which I plan to develop this summer and into next year as my Thesis work. In addition to all the class work I need to get done, I'll be trying to get a grasp on this new direction as well. So in my next blog I'll have more to report on that. I have one charcoal sketch below that represents the beginning of the beginning in this direction.

In the meantime, I hope to see everyone at the Open Studios this Friday the 19th from 6-9pm!!!

One of my newer pieces, in progress:
"Crow Pose" 48" x 60" Oil.

Detail of  "Crow Pose".
Here's a working charcoal drawing of mine,
beginning the "movement" series.
30" x 22" Charcoal on Tan Canson Paper.

My Palette.

Sweet Graphite pencils! 
Alfred Rosenbluth, MFA 2013 
Zoe Suenson Taylor, MFA 2013

Wade Schuman and his Band, Hazmat Modine at Terra Blues.

JP Roy's Painting II Class Crit. 

Sunlit Studios

Sunlit Studios

John Jacobsmeyer lectures during our Composition class.
Ilsa Brittain, MFA 2014 with some casts.

Some of the casts.

Wade Schuman's "Man and Beast" Class.

Roberto Osti Drawing during the Tribeca Ball.

My studio prepped for the Ball. 
Models getting ready for the Ball

Models getting ready for the Ball
Models getting ready for the Ball

The night of the Ball, music and art. 

Zoe Suenson Taylor, MFA 2013 at the Ball.

Cast and the stars.

Students working on Anatomy on a Sunday evening.

Katie Fogg, MFA 2014 working on Anatomy.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Michael Grimaldi Master Class

This week's Blog will focus on a weekend Master Class with Michael Grimaldi.

I attended the class in the midst of trying to get caught up with all my homework, which seems to be a never ending state here at the Academy, so when the opportunity to spend an entire weekend away from my studio, the weekends being the only solid time of the week I have to actually spend on my class assignments, it's a difficult decision This was no exception, as with the Tribeca Ball coming up and MFA Open Studios two weeks later, coupled with the intense amount of work I have to get done by end of semester, it was not a perfect weekend to spend doing something other than my own projects...

The Master Class proved to be totally worth the two days away from studio, Michael's teaching methods and communication skills are strong and clear and his easy going approach makes it a pleasure of a learning experience. He did two demos, one graphite drawing demo and one oil on canvas demo, and he also presented us with a powerpoint presentation of his work and some of his process.

Overall a great weekend, especially after the incredible stress of the previous week and my lack of energy after that Friday. The Academy continues to be a roller coaster of emotion and mental challenge, and though the weekend with Grimaldi wasn't exactly a vacation, (we were there working from 10-6 on Saturday and 12-6 on Sunday and then I got back to my studio for the rest of the night till school closed) it was a positive and energizing reprise from the escalating intensity of the daily training at the NYAA.

Below are some photos from the weekend. Hope you enjoy!

Michael's Drawing Demo - Day 1.

Michael's Drawing Demo - Day 1.
Michael's Drawing Demo - Day 1.

Michael's Drawing Demo - Day 1.

Students at work - Day 1.

My value sketches on day 1.

Michael taking about value and temperature relationships.

Michael working with students.

Getting focused on the first day.

Michael working with students.

Measuring it up.

Day 2

Day 2

Michael teaching through doing.

My value sketches at the end of day 1.
Starting out day 2 with a larger design.

Michael demonstrates with oils.

Michael demonstrates with oils.

Michael demonstrates with oils.

Michael demonstrates with oils as students look on.

Michael demonstrates with oils.

Michael demonstrates with oils.

Michael demonstrates with oils.

Michael demonstrates with oils.

My sketches on day 2, Michael in view.

The announcements at school.

Thanks Michael!