Thursday, May 31, 2012

"Daydreamer" (Ancrew) 15x30 oil on canvas

The last painting from my year of classes at the Academy studying with Sharon Sprung.  Figurative painting from life/model.  Andrew was a wonderful subject.  I wish a photo could show more detail that is in the painting, but alas. . .  It was a very good year of painting and I feel like I learned a great deal!  Thanks to Sharon, the most amazing teacher.  Now, a summer of painting on my own in VT.  More to follow, hopefully soon.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

"Peace" (Jesse) 18x24 oil on linen

This new painting emerged out of a great deal of struggle.  Two and a half weeks ago I started a new pose on an 18x36 gessoed panel.  The drawing and composition were a good start and I proceeded to paint only to feel completely stymied.  The paint seemed to be soaking in and getting chalky.  Not at all like oils on panel usually respond.  I use really good quality oil paints, so materials didn't seem to be the possible problem.  My immediate conclusion: it must be the painter (of course.)  I continued to work really hard, piling on the paint.  The solution to everything is usually "more paint", but by the following Monday when my teacher arrived I was terribly frustrated.  She immediately said "something's wrong", and encouraged me to "move on, get a new start".  I hate to quit, and was beating myself up something awful.  It's easy to get so DOWN (sensitive? moody? fear of failure?)  So easy to fall into negative self-recrimination.

But I'm here to listen and learn from Sharon, so I bucked up and took her advice.

She moved me to the other model in the room, Jesse.  And I found a linen support I had laying around in the locker room.  A fresh start, but with a lot shorter time to work on the painting.  Yikes!  But, Jesse has such character, great muscle definition and skin color, a great look, and I love the peace sign earring.  As it turned out, the whole thing was a pleasure to paint.  And what started as a bomb turned into a success.  And relatively quickly, for me.  Lessons learned: sometimes a fresh start is just the ticket.  And, Sharon's theory is that the gesso (acrylic) I used to prep the panel was the problem.  It probably hadn't properly "cured".  Live and learn. . .