Monday, March 31, 2014

Workshop experience this weekend

I attended a workshop at the Huntington Museum of Art this past weekend (9-4, Friday - Sunday). Thank you Barrie Kaufman for the encouragement. It was part of the Walter Gropius Master Artist Workshop series. This session featured Hung Liu, a Chinese-born American contemporary artist and was titled Self-Portraits and Selfies.

I had a great time. We did some life drawings with class participants volunteering as models. I've been meaning to join a local group that holds a class every Thursday evening, now I think I'm ready. But the main push of the workshop was the relationship between self portraits and "selfies". I've been kidding my daughters about the "puckered mouthed" images on their cell phone, now I needed to bring in my own selfies to work on, but not with the puckered mouth. There's only so much I'm willing to sacrifice for my art.

Hung Liu shared her experiences growing up in China. She started each day with a lecture and slide show. She introduced the class to lots of different contemporary artists in China and throughout the world. 

During the workshop, we were treated to beverages, snacks and lunch. Kind of hard to go wrong there.

Below are my efforts. After going through the three days, I do see one advantage of getting older....with more wrinkles and contours I have, the easier to draw yourself.  I also see the value of shooting photos of your work as you move toward a finished piece... it makes it easier to see the imperfections, kind of like looking at your drawings in a mirror. Didn't recognize that value until I posted these today.

Day 1: Selfies (not just drawing yourself, but using your imagination to make a statement with your image.)  Yeah, I know, scary.  First one is me releasing all my bad thoughts and artwork.  Second one is just, my nose really that big?

Day 2: Selfies, painting, same concept. Don't just draw your image, work out a composition. First image is life drawing from the day, the second image below is a painting with me and my daughter Maddie sporting a fake mustache and beard, standing below a painting I did of her a few years ago. My, how things have changed.

 Life drawing

Day 3: Black and White photo composition painting (I still have more work to do on this one)

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Girl in a Quilt

I've been working on this piece for a few weeks. My lovely daughter Suzanna is my model. I wanted to develop a more decorative style with this one. The realistic approach to the figure that is draped in a quilt, that becomes a flat, pattern design. This is also a very high key color palette which I don't usually work in. 

I had trouble with the photography on this, so I'll need to re-shoot when the weather clears. (I'm told that there is something called "Spring" coming soon. So I'm looking forward to that) Notice the glare on the left side of the painting. Ugh!

It's always nice to have girls that will indulge their father's art by becoming models when needed. I'm very thankful.

24" x 24" Oil on canvas

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Late Evening Stroll

Well, I haven't posted any new material in about 6 months or so. I actually had planned on letting the blog die a slow death, but I've been instructed to begin again, so here it goes.

Though it's been 6 months, I have been working on my art. Tonight's masterpiece was conceived while I was pumping gas one late evening. I liked the way the last rays of the winter sun were lighting up the distant mountains. I added the cat for fun.

8" x 10" Oil on canvas