Archive for the 'Personal Thoughts' Category

Moving and starting over

For ages I have had my work and my blog scattered all over the web and it became increasingly difficult to keep up with it all. I now have one site where my galleries and my blog will be living:
http://www.dorothygrayart.com
No more frustrated artist. I’m no longer frustrated!
Please come visit me there and update your bookmarks.

Winter break.

I may post a bit during the next month, but mostly I am going to be organizing my house and recovering from this hellish semester. Next semester, I will be taking Figure Painting and Portraiture classes, so lots of painting people. Painting people isn’t my best thing, so that should be interesting. My midpoint review is coming up this summer, so I need to be putting that together as well.

Lots going on …

… but not too much to show. Over the past weekend I attended a course in the technical aspects of making art, which was held in Massachussetts by Rob Howard of Art Boot Camp. It was pretty wonderful – not only did I learn a lot, I met some great people and had a fun time, even though I missed my boys.

I am currently working on four large projects for school: two portraits of my husband for Head Drawing; a 30″x24″ landscape painting based on the Pescadero Beach study posted just below; and two 30″x24″ paintings for situation and Environment class which are due in a couple of weeks. Time permitting I am also sketching and working on a more casual assignment from Rob at the Cennini Forum, and also packing up my house for a move in less than two weeks. Can’t say I don’t have anything to do, that’s for sure! Image posting may be sporadic for the next few weeks, but if I have something interesting I will try to put it up.

Thursday

So I took the grisaille to my teacher to critique, and he obliged. He didn’t rip it to shreds, but he chided me for not adhering closely to what he’s taught – or, not adhering as closely as he’d like. He teaches a fairly rigid adherence to the use of certain formulas to make pictures look realistic. The formulas can be summed as: things closer to you have more contrast and things farther away from you have less contrast, and things that are most important have the most contrast. Good ideas all, but he took exception to how I applied them.

I’m different from the majority of his students in that I have prior art training and practice, and therefore while I do exactly what he says in class, when I get home I simply file away what he’s taught me to use in addition to what I already know. If I had painted the grisaille of Gus exactly as if it were a class exercise, I’d be frustrated, because the painting would not have communicated what I wanted to communicate.

However, he did have some useful commentary on how I painted the eyes. I am pretty rough at eye-painting and I need a lot of practice and study.

I’ve got several paintings going right now and ideas for more. The next few paintings I do will be on hardboard and in two sizes, since I got a couple of sheets from Home Depot cut in specific sizes. There’s a ton of reference material I’ve gotten in the past three months in North Carolina and on the coast. I suppose I should finish the ones I’ve started before starting new ones. My problem is that I’ve been approaching every painting differently and can’t seem to settle on one way of working. I guess I’m trying to integrate all that I’ve been learning.

About that grisaille.

I did that little grisaille of Gus on a whim starting last Thursday. I used Studio Product’s premixed grays set to do it. That set is one of the more useful art items I have ever bought. In addition to using it to do grisaille paintings, it’s also great for mixing into tube colors to lower the chroma. Anyway I’m trying to decide whether to tweak the grisaille, or start glazing and fix those little things as I go.

I’m also trying to decide whether I should take it in and show my teacher. It’s certain that his training on how to work with value helped me do this painting, but I have a feeling that if I show it to him, he will rip it to shreds, because that’s what art teachers do. I sound like a real wuss, don’t I? I guess I have to take it in now, after writing that. He does have a nasty habit of drawing on his students’ works. I will have to tell him up front that if he touches that painting, he’s lost a student. Politely.

So here it is, nearly a month late. I did not finish the portrait – it is still in slow progress. I will post a work-in-progress photo soon. It’s cool, but man, is it tough.

I spent two weeks at St. Simons Island, Georgia, and took a million photographs. Some I may share here, but many will hopefully become paintings.

Introduction

This is a relaunched personal art blog. I initially set this up at *shudder* MySpace, but I’ve decided their blogging interface is primitive and the ads are more than annoying. So here’s a link back to that blog, and I will also add that link to the sidebar.

I first began blogging on Blogger in 2002, and have continued intermittantly since then. The first incarnation was simply a personal journal; a few months in, I began blogging about politics and current events; by the summer of 2003, I was posting drawings and paintings as well as opinion pieces. I took a break that fall, restarted again briefly on a Type Pad platform (which I hated), took another break, then started the general-interest blog up again on Blogger. I kept that one up decently until this spring, after I had my son Augustin. It’s still there for anyone who is interested. This time I feel the need to focus on mostly art, so that’s why I am doing this. I may post at the Blogger blog again at some point, should I feel the need to write something extensively non-art-related


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