Tuesday, May 21, 2013

A Taste For Modernism

On Friday, May 17th ten of us traveled to the Portland Museum of Art in Portland, Maine to see the exhibit  The William S. Paley Collection: A Taste For Modernism

Pierre-Auguste Renoir Strawberries
Before looking at the homework or making art, we discussed the exhibit at length. The take-aways included the joy of feeling as if we were in William Paley's home viewing the art, even to the color (white) of the walls; the surprise of seeing paintings and works we were familiar with owing to their being masterpieces and the artists, famous; and the drafting skill that undergirded all of the works. A preview of the William S. Paley Collection tells how he collected with a few descriptions and photographs of some of the works.

Next we looked at the homework. Two works from Grisaille II, and two works by the same artist in wax pencils and watercolor pencils.
JoAnne Fossa Amsterdam

Mary Vetere Snow

Chris Dougherty Lillies

Cathy Ebling brought Lilacs and we all worked hard at pushing the medium of watercolor to paint what we were observing. 

The HOMEWORK for the two week hiatus (no school on Memorial Day) is to portray the Lilacs in a way that they deserve: strongly!

Class resumes on June 3rd

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Mothers' Day Bouquets

The Homework Challenge

Last week we tackled Grisaille II: techniques to draw and paint monochromatic grey works with a color bias. We used photographs that were made to look like paintings from a calendar called "The Impressionist Camera". Hugely challenging, so work is being continued on the project.

 Three works - one complete and two in progress were presented for appraisal.
September: (Hugo Henneberg) Hill 1899) by Katie Bull.
Note how she capitalized on the rough side of MiTientes white pastel paper. 
May: (Bernard Eilers) Amsterdam 1901)  WIP by JoAnne Fossa.
Using only three pencils on blue toned MiTientes paper,
her challenge is to edit out the mid ground details
June: (Leonard Misonne) Children 1908) WIP by Linda Harvey.
Note Linda's preparatory work on the right side. She is using toned gray
 MiTientes paper.
This week there were several bouquets to choose from: Tulips from Xuan's garden, Lilacs from Cathy's garden, and the WBUR Mother's Day Bouquet from Cricket.


The demonstration was the use of water soluble colored pencils on canvas as an end in itself or to use as an under drawing for an oil, acrylic, or pastel painting. We used as inspirations, portraits of bouquets painted by Édouard Manet (1832-1883) at the end of his all too brief life:

Starting with a neutral gold pencil, the shape of the lilac bouquet was loosely sketched in; corrections made or  lines erased with a moistened paper towel. The drawing was gradually built up, adding color and opening it up with a brush. Three brands of pencils were discussed: the above shown Crayola, Derwent, and the Instructor's favorite: Albrecht Dürer by Faber-Castell. 

You could have heard a pin drop!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Grisaille II

Artists Choice: Week three: Grisaille II

Mary Vetere
Linda Harvey
Last Week we turned to our neighbor Stefaan and Nancy's Magnolia tree for inspiration. The homework wall this week sported three Colored Pencil renditions and a finished stone painting.
This week, we turned our attention to other ways to use Grisaille:
grisaille |griˈzī-ˈzāl|
a method of painting in gray monochrome
So say our good friends at the New Oxford American Dictionary
So we turned to the Nocturne Paintings of James McNeil Whistler(1824-1903) where the technique of Grisaille was ratcheted up a notch to include many color biases. 

Applying Whistler's oil painting techniques to Colored Pencil was a challenge, especially so as we had no grey in our pencil case. Starting with the black and white pencils then adding a color bias of blue, green, brown, or red, say......renditions from Impressionist photographs began to emerge.
Ann Pulver 
Katie Bull

Then, in the early evening, the fog horn announced the arrival of a soft fog. The "why" of learning Grisaille.