Monday, December 29, 2008

Art Lessons for All Ages - Learning from the Masters - Collage and James Rosenquist

On the short list of my New Years' to-do list is to clean out my studio! (Of course right above that item is "make new work"! ) As I was straightening the studio up a little, I came accross several projects I created while teaching various classes to students of all ages - from 4 to 80! I often drew inspiration from famous artists, and adapted their styles and techniques for whatever age group I was working with.

Most of these lessons can be adapted for any age group - elementary, middle or high school, even college and adult art classes - it depends on how much of the background you want to delve into - just the idea, how it was created, or to dig deeper into the artist's intentions and the art historical context in which it was originally made.

I will post several of these projects, and give you a few major points to consider if you want to utilize the project idea for yourself, or incorporate it into your own lesson plan! These are by no means fully fleshed out projects - just an idea that I want to share!
Inspired by James Rosenquist
James Rosenquist is an incredibly accessible and inspirational modern artist and a wonderful artist to look to for an interesting technique.
In an excerpt from "Modern Art" by Hunter and Jacobus... "Rosenquist...summarizes with epic grandeur America's taste for objects, material progress, and social optimism". Rosenquist painted these billboard-sized paintings that were composed of images taken directly from mass produced magazines and newspapers. The images to the left show a compositional study and an actual painting.
While your students may not get to paint on the same monumental scale of Rosenquist, they can still incorporate the technique of collaging images taken from multiple sources such as newspapers or magazines, and combining them in an interesting composition.
Encourage your students to consider elements of design, but also to move beyond just copying the collage that they create - perhaps change scale or color, play with layering and filling in negative spaces with inventive techniques.
If you want to take it to another level, students can develop an interesting narrative to accompany their images.
These are just a few suggestions to get you started - if you are interested in taking the idea further, I suggest looking into the following points-
James Rosenquist (especially his background as a billboard painter)
American Pop Art
The last two images are a collage that I created and the painting that followed.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Figure Drawing - Mike Drawing in the Sand

I was able to draw from the live model last night for the first time in a couple of I really miss it when I don't go at least once a week! I think it's fair to say I'm addicted to drawing from the live model!

And of course last night was a wonderful drawing session because Mike was on the stand. This is the long pose from our drawing session. Shane recommended something "compact" - which I love (Mike IS the "human pretzel")

Staging the pose is very important. When working with a large group, goal number one should be to provide an interesting pose from all angles.

This pose was reworked a bit as we all surveyed it from our different vantage points. The outstretched arm was repositioned several times, and we settled on this suggestion from Shane that he called "drawing in the sand". What's nice about the outstretched arm was the "nook" it created behind it where mike's legs were tucked underneath. From the other angles, it added a nice negative shape to an otherwise compact pose.

Plus it played up Mike's structure in his arm and back - the lighting and the pose came together and we had a wonderful night of drawing.

Well we've had 48 hours of rain here in Woodstock, GA so getting a phot of the drawing in natural light is not happening. So I was trying to get a good picture of this drawing indoors...which is hard because the lighting is difficult, but also because every time Ari sees the camera she runs over and says "Cheese!"'s my little peanut and the drawing!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

SOLD - Some recent sales...

Sent out two more original drawings this week! They are both gifts so SHHHHH if you know who's getting them!

I get so thrilled to hear that someone likes my work. I think it's an even greater compliment to know that they are confident enough in the purchase to give it as a gift! I am truly honored when I hear that my work is a gift to someone else.