Friday, March 21, 2008

Week Twenty-Five: March 17-21, 2008

Art Centre - Week Twenty-Five

Week six of semester two of year one - four days of classes this week.

Monday Morning – Printmaking

Disappointing progress today – two trial prints of the etching of E. at the easel showed me that I needed to do more aquatint and so I got the teacher to help me with that – she dons the mask and shakes the powder and I paint over the areas I don’t want to expose with ground. As to the other plate, my scratching of new lines didn’t go deep enough and the trial print of that plate showed that I needed to repaint with ground and rescratch the plate – this will be the third time for that.

The first of the presentations on printmakers was given – T. presented on William Blake.

Wikipedia also provides information on this artist.

Monday Afternoon – Ceramics

I spent much of the class time working to complete the coil piece and by the end of class, the ceramics technician who oversees all of the firing of pieces asked me to bring along both my pinch model and this coil piece for her to put in the kiln. As I went out, the teacher commented that it still was a bit lumpy and I agreed however, I do need to move on and work on the slab project.

My friend, M. rolled out some slabs for me then realized that the three slabs she rolled out last time would not be enough for her project. Projects have to be done all from the same slab production so I took her three older slabs and cut out the three pieces I plan to assemble. She continued to roll out more slabs to have enough in the next class to create her piece. We are away on Easter Monday so again it will be two weeks between classes.

The slabs I worked with were almost too dry, a bit more than “leather” hard. I broke the point off of one of the star shapes and had to take an extra slab to work with. The technician applied some “magic” water to the broken piece when she helped me wrap the pieces up to continue with in two weeks. No promises but sometimes it heals.

I continue to be most taken with the cubist painter, Juan Gris. Here is my favourite painting of his, “Landscape at Ceret” done in 1913. The image is from the book,

Picture this century: an introduction to twentieth-century art by Felicity Woolf

I made a wonderful discovery this week about finding images of artists’ works online. The Toronto Public Library has a link to the Grove Art collection and there I found five pages of Gris paintings – the following are ones I like and which influence the piece I plan to create from slabs.

Images from Grove Art Online

Tuesday – Design

The teacher returned the two assignments we did in the last class - a worksheet on which were numerous shapes/forms and we shaded them according to the directions given for the light source that fell on them. We also did a drawing of an egg and an onion. I received favorable comments on both of these assignments.

This week we selected three fabrics which we will try to replicate using whatever medium we choose – I practiced using pencil crayons but expect I’ll need gouache in order to get deep enough colours. Here: are the three fabrics I chose:

We also have to find three small objects to replicate. I’ve not chosen my objects yet.

WednesdayDrawing Fundamentals

I asked M. to hand in my shading assignment as I was unable to attend class. N. was kind enough to take pictures of the still life set up we were asked to draw. The pictures taken were quite large so I reduced them in size to 600 X 800 and put them on a web page and mailed the link to the class for anyone who wants to be working on the drawing as homework.

Using Photoshop, I cropped one of the pictures to draw.

I was sad to miss class – I enjoy this class very much especially the stories and tips we get from our teacher throughout the period.

Thursday Painting


Last class I began blocking in the green yellow and orange sections of the painting and for this class, I filled in the brown. I decided not to use dark lines to outline the shapes. The teacher suggested two other areas where I could add a small orange shape and I did this – one at the very last minute. I also went into each part of the painting and exaggerated the brush strokes to give the painting a feeling of movement. Before the shapes were quite flat and now they seem to have a bit of depth and dimension.

About a half hour before the end of class, all easels were turned to the centre of the room and the teacher commented on each painting. For most of the paintings, he turned the canvas to see how it would look in all four orientations. By doing this, we could see how the composition when turned in some directions could look disjointed and certain sections seemed cut off from others.

Naturally I was keenly interested in what he would say about my work and to my relief, he thought it had potential in all four directions. He gave me tips for what I could do to “tweak” the painting to make it better. I got the impression that I was somewhat successful in spite of having spent only about 4 hours painting this particular work of art.

Even this very slight exposure to painting abstract non-representational gives one freedom.

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