Structure and Imagery: In Process with Valerie Brennan

Structure and Imagery: In Process with Valerie Brennan.

I have posted this article today that I got through a blog that I follow…. I always enjoy seeing other artist’s studios and their work in progress.

I am struggling these days with what I want the purpose of this blog to be. Last year whenI started it I had a different intention in mind. I went through wanting it to be a self promotion type of site, then an educational site, an inspirational site, and now, lately , I’ve been finding articles and writings that I like so much I want to pass them on. Maybe they’re all one in the same and I just have to be more – uh – regular with posting.

Enjoy the article.

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Art Quote for the Day

WHEW!!!!!!!

I just finished another Winterim session at my place of employment, Edgewood College in Madison WI. This is a 2 week long period of time that students can take classes and get a full semester’s worth of credit. We meet EVERYDAY  for 3 hours and I had one class in the morning and one class in the afternoon.  Six hours of classtime,  2 hours of prep-time, I was out of the house everyday at 7 am and home by 4:30 pm……. with maybe 30 minutes to gulp down some kind of lunch.

I’M EXHAUSTED!

4 days off , and then, the real semester starts and back at it!

I LOVE IT !!!

The Winterim is proof of  how much can actually get done in a very short time if that time is concentrated and focused. It is proof of what students are capable of learning and doing in that same amount of quality time.

The morning class I taught was in Figure Drawing. Drawing the nude…. everyday a live model, everyday a new set of skills to be learned: proportion, measuring ,bone structure, musculature,modelling 3-dimensional form, gesture/motion, media,patience, focus, imagination. We ended today with a 2 hour long pencil drawing of 2 poses in one drawing that related to each other in some way. Students had to draw a sitting pose and a standing pose that would relate to each other , switching back and forth about every 5 minutes….. After only 9 days of intense instruction and LOTS of practice they all managed to complete a pretty accomplished drawing! Some of the students had never had a drawing course before so I’m pretty proud of them!

The afternoon class was called Art Structure and it is specifically for NON-ART majors. Again, everyday , a new set of skills and information: drawing, color theory, design, painting, abstraction, printmaking, sculpture….. total chaos everyday…. CREATIVE CHAOS! And , once again, the work completed was fantastic.

Some of the work is posted here Enjoy!….

Art Quote for the Day

” Key works in every field  draw upon the wisdom of seemingly  unrelated disciplines.  Charles Eames learned how to mold plywood under heat and pressure while working at a naval shipyard, and later folded that knowledge into the design of his world-famous Eames chair. Physicist Howard Edgerton invented the high-speed strobe light, and then spent a good part of his career using it to reveal the unexpected beauty of fleeting events like the arc of a golfer’s swing or the splash form a single drop of water.  Ansel Adams combined the discipline from his early training as a musician with his knowledge of photographic chemistry, to create the Zone System for controlling the tonal scale of photographs.  There was a even a time late in World War II when a lone American military researcher saved the city of Kyoto from destruction by convincing military planners not to target it for saturation fire-bombing.  Why? Because he had once visited Kyoto’s gardens and shrines – and was moved to protect their beauty.

Real-world examples are wonderful things, and for good reason: precisely because they are real, they cut right through virtual worlds of theory and abstraction.. They also raise large questions about how the process of education actually works.  After all, if there’s no predicting which particular piece of knowledge or experience will alter prove essential, we’re faced with the disconcerting possibility that everything matters.  And if that knowledge or experience could come from anywhere , the clear implication is that teachers are everywhere. That line of reasoning may appear extreme , yet after field-testing those exact premises for about a half-century now, I’ve reached an inescapable conclusion:  YES.Everything does matter.  Teachers are everywhere.

Where, then, do you start?  Well, fortunately, you already have.  Conceptually speaking, that ever-changing instant of reality we call the present is merely a point in time weaving its way through a universe of potential we call the future .  One undeniable consequence of this is that everything  you learned or experienced in the past has somehow delivered you, at this moment, to this sentence .  You may be traveling a path that will closely parallel mine for years to come , or one that  fleetingly intersects at right angles – but right here, right now, we share this common ground.

The View from the Studio Door – How Artists Find Their Way In An Uncertain World by Ted Orland

Art Quote for the Day

EXCERPT TAKEN FROM AN INTERVIEW WITH ARTIST, ROSS BLECKNER

Do you work on one project at a time or several?

I usually start a group of paintings in case I get bored of ne or I exhaust my  interest in the imagery or the painting, and then I change.  Sometimes when I change, I actually feel like I want to change the way I am painting.  I don’t only want to paint with a brush that moves back and forth, four inches up and down. Then I will do something else, and I will paint a diffferent kind of painting, where I have to refocus myself.

So your process of working seven days a week for four months or so involves you staying concentrated and focused, and then you finish that particular group of paintings. Then it seems you just let all that go and forget it and a month later start from scratch?

Yes, that is what I try to do, that’s the plan if it works well. The fantasy and the pleasure of being in your studio have to do with the invention of yourself in different roles…. Earlier you asked, “Do you contemplate?” Well , you do  contemplate somehow, but lots of times I think I don’t contemplate.  I just come to the studio and work.  I come to the studio, and I want to feel like a little synchronized machine.  In that way I think of Warhol. Then , alot of times I think of myself as the amateur scientist who is concocting these strange potions and doesn’t know where they will lead and hopes that something new or different will come out of it.  Sometimes it does, and sometime it’s a mess.  You have all these head games that you can play with yourself while in your studio – sometimes you are just a kid playing and enjoying yourself, cutting school while everyone else is at work.

Do you have a motto or creed that as an aritst you live by?

I do.  LIfe is short. Life goes fast. And what I really want to do in my life is to bring something new, something beautiful, and something filled with light into the world.  I try to think of that every day so that I can remember why I am coming to my studio.  And then the other thing, just go , just show up.

Inside the Painter’s Studio by Joe Fig

Art Quote of the Day

Martin Luther King Day- would he be happy with our progress in Civil Rights?

Inauguration Day – with President Obama being sworn in I think he would be , but still a long way to go!

Here in Wisconsin it is  minus 25 degrees !!  With a windchill added in it’s going to be even colder. This is the kind of winter day I had in mind when I made the short little video (home page,video section) of my back yard after a summer’s rain… I’m going to look at that frequently in the coming days and DREAM of warmer times!

“Every element that you add to a piece has an effect on every other element already in place.  As you work, try to see both the big picture of the overall design and the details that define its elements.  How could this new element best be added to the composition? Does this new element’s placement leave room for others yet to come? Should this item dominate or support certain others?  Should it dominate/support through size, position, color or something else?  Does it enforce the meaning and the message of the piece?  Do other elements need to be altered, repositioned, added or eliminated?

Add to the composition only those items which agreee with other elements thematically and add to the message and/or informational value.  Be prepared and willing to restructure existing elements every time a new one is added. EXPERIMENT, EXPLORE, EVALUATE.

Creative Sparks – Jim Krause

Art Quote of the Day

“Your role in [ creating art] , if not easy, is at least clear: learn the things you need to learn in order to do the work you need to do. To learn and grow, artists  need to be able to take comfort in their own small steps, especially at the beginning.  Almost all progress comes in small steps, not wildly improbable leaps.  If you need to paint a hundred paintings before you’re satisfied with one, then your job is to paint the hundredth painting. Truth is, caring about the work you do is the single best indicator  that others will also care about it.”

Ted Orland – The View from the Studio Door

Art Quote of the Day

” To give body and perfect form to your thought, this alone is what it is to be an artist. “- Jacque Louis David

Good Morning….. 6 AM , my usual time of waking up and working on my blog here, but starting today I begin teaching again . I have been on Christmas break from Edgwood College , since the first week of December and boy has the time flown by!  I’ll be spending alot less time here for the next couple of weeks  seeing as how I have to be at school by 8 AM at the lastest (ugh) and won’t get home until 5 this afternoon. It’s a long day but I love it. The next 2 weeks are called Winterim and students get a full semester’s amount of work and credit by coming 3 hours a day , every day for 2 weeks. It’s so intense and so much more like working as an actual artist in an actual studio setting. So , in the morning I teach Figure Drawing which is for Art Majors who’ve had alot of drawing already. FUN! Then in the afternoon I teach something called Art Structure which is a class that NON-ART majors have to take ,( these students are nursing students or finance students or criminal justice students who usually haven’t done any art since grade school !) This class offers a ‘sampling’ of everything; drawing, painting, printmaking,sculpture,design, color theory and the experience of not having THE RIGHT ANSWER to most of their questions! Also Fun !!

Soooooooooo, why tell you all of this? In my still -new-at-this-blogging-place, I have been told that I should write some more personal stuff in my posts  , rather than just post an art quote everyday. I want you all to get to know me a little bit , go to the other pages on my blog, take a look at my work…. y’know? See what Jane (that’s me) DOES!!

For the next 2 weeks I will be posting images of the work done by these most fantastic students…. in the future posts I will talk about Teaching, Edgewood College,my own work , AND , yes, of course  THE ART QUOTE OF THE DAY. I hope you will enjoy following the ramblings of another blogger and I’m looking forward to any comments you all might send my way.

Art Quote of the Day

” In talking about how hard artists work I am reminded of the story abut the man who asked a Chinese artist to draw a rooster for him and was told to come back in a month. When he returned the artist drew a fabulous rooster in a few minutes.  The man objected to paying a large sum of money for something that took so little time, whereupon the artist opened the door to the next room in which there were hundreds of drawings of roosters.”  -author unknown-

 

The tragedy in Connecticut weighs heavily on us all today….. if  I can do any painting today every brushstroke will be made in memory of all of the victims. Things have got to change!!!