Saturday, October 29, 2011

Really Nice Post on M Gallery's Website

My work has finally been shipped off to the M Gallery and it arrived this week in Charleston, South Carolina!  I'm really excited to have it there and to be working with the M Gallery.  Here is the link to the write up they did on their blog:

Raised Standards Yield Greater Results

Today in class while giving a student a critique I mentioned to her how far she still needed to go on her figure painting in order for her to accomplish something more than she has in previous exercises.  She defended her efforts being very proud of what she had accomplished up to that point.  Well, she was right in a way.  She has a great start on her painting.  But she has proven in the past that she's more than capable of good starts.  What she hasn't done yet is finish a great figure.  What she had forgotten was what the standards are in Academic study.  Good is easy, great is normal, brilliance is possible.  There are so many good students at various academies right now and doing good work just isn't enough.  Brilliance in academic student work is too common now and it just isn't acceptable to accept anything less.  I have found it to be true that when we raise our standards, our work becomes immediately better.  When we expect more of ourselves, we most often prove that we are capable of achieving more.  We can be as good as we demand that we be.  But this requires that we constantly update our context and have a constantly evolving set of standards.  It is easy to get caught up in our immediate surroundings, and for many of us we are not surrounded by large numbers of great artists or museums.  So it's easy to become complacent.  It's easy to feel overly confident about your work.  But it is important that we remind ourselves that what we are aiming for is the highest of standards, the very best in art.  And that gives us a more clear context for where we stand, how far we still need to go and how to get there.
The great thing about this students attitude is that she finds joy in her learning; that she gains confidence in each step she takes forward.  We all need to do this.  But overconfidence can be as damaging as a lack of confidence.  Both can blind us.  We must always remind ourselves of the standards in art, and as we do so, we will develop a greater discipline and a more streamlined focus.  As we raise our standards, so will our achievements follow.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

I learned a lot in this last workshop we had at the C.A.S. It was an absolute pleasure having some of my best painting friends in town for the month. As always happens when I get together with them, my requirements for my own work increase, and I become a better painter just as a result of expecting more of myself. I used to think that as a painter I could live anywhere that had access to a shipper that would allow me to ship my work to the galleries. But the more I work, the more I realize the absolute need that I have to surround myself with great painters and a deep artistic culture. It is so easy to slip into the trappings of mediocrity when you are the only one reminding yourself to constantly try harder. The more biographies I read of past painters the more I am convinced that a large part of their achievements in painting were a direct result of their close associations with other great painters and other great minds. The cumulative thoughts of so many talented people can only make everyone better. It has been my goal since I returned to Utah from Florence in 2008 to move to Paris. I gave myself a goal of 5 years to accomplish this. I think I'm on schedule. I'm hopeful that this city will prove an inspiration to me. Actually I'm certain it will. But I am also hopeful that it will prove to be a draw for many other great artists, and that together we can create our own little bubble of artistic brilliance that in some way mirrors the talent that made the city culturally significant in the first place.
Above is Greg Mortenson, Jesus Villareal, Travis Seymour and Me Below is Jordan Sokol painting in my studio
Here are all of the participants in front of the studio
Here are all the participants in the gallery area of the studio
This is my painting about halfway finished. I'll post images soon of the finished painting. I should be able to finish it this week.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

August 2011 Workshop

The Academic Figure and Landscape workshop that we put on this August was a fantastic experience. Students came from all over the country to study with some leading artists. The idea behind the workshop was to bring together the ideals and methods from the Florence Academy of Art, the Angel Academy of Art and the Grand Central Academy of Art under one roof. We had two models (one set up in a typical Academic Nude pose and the other in a fully staged figure setting) that we worked on for 5 hours a day, 6 days a week from 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. Monday-Saturday. We then went landscape painting from 4-7 in the evenings. The time flew by much faster than expected. It's hard to believe it's over. Here are some photos of our experience. The following are photos of me and my model Katie Leishman and my awesome seamstress Meadow Alexander working on designing the dress for the workshop setup.

Here is my thumbnail sketch to work out the composition.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

A Hidden Gem - Kamille Corry

Since my return from Florence in 2008, I have felt a bit isolated as a an artist. The environment, conversation and culture that I was able to experience every day in Florence didn't exist here in Utah. Or so I thought. Recently, I was able to visit Kamille Corry's studio in Salt Lake. I have met her before, but briefly. And at the time I was too naive to see what a brilliant mind she had and how artistically mature she was. I'm very excited to get to know her more. She is such a cool person and incredibly talented. I only wish I could have realized this sooner.
The photo was taken Sunday when Jordan Sokol, Travis Seymour and I visited her studio for a few hours. Jordan and Travis are in town from Florence and North Carolina to teach at the month long workshop I am putting on at the Center for Academic Study & Naturalist Painting.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Some New Images

Here's a few new things. The Nestor drawing isn't new, but I just had it mounted and got a little better photo of it. The portrait of Brody was Courtney's Christmas present. And the drawing of Olivia was a demonstration I did for students in January.

Drawing of Olivia

Drawing of Nestor

Portrait of Brody

Sunday, January 10, 2010

A few New Figures

Cassandra 11 x 17 oil
Reclining Nude 12 x 22 oil