Monday, September 12, 2011

September 15- Inspired by the Artist

(I've made a slight change in the direction of this class. Hope you all find it ...well, inspiring!)

If you could paint like another artist, who would it be? Why? what does that artist do that catches your attention? In this week's class you have a chance to emulate that artist's work!

You’ll need to do a little research ahead of time for this class: find paintings by an artist who truly inspires you. You may not paint like Degas, but that doesn't mean you can't derive some inspiration from what he does--or anyone else does--to add to your work.  

The idea is not to copy one of the artist’s paintings. I want you to examine a small body of work and ask what it is about that work you’d like to learn to do. 
  • For instance, I don't think there is anyone who does floral still lifes better than Richard Schmid. If you want to paint flowers like he does, search out examples of his work and see what he does so beautifully. 
  • Likewise, I think Marc Hanson paints the best nocturnes. In 2010 he did a nocturne every night, and you can look at some of his results on his blog. If night paintings turn you on, explore this work! (Page down to look back over the range of paintings there.)
  • Do you want to learn how to paint juicy, expressive portraits that are gestural and strong? Karin Jurick painted 100 faces last year. Check out what she's done, and ask yourself how she did it!
You need to be able to look at a range of paintings on the subject you want to explore, not just one. I suggest a minimum of five paintings that have some commonality. For instance, if you want to emulate Degas, choose five of the ballet dancers. Don't mix up figures and landscapes. Stick to one subject. Bring these five pictures to share in class this week, ready to post so we can all look at them (from books, magazines, or the Internet--email a link so I can easily access it online, if you want to look at them together on the computer.)

Think about this ahead of time: what are the  most salient elements--the color, gesture, line, detail, contrast, or...? Ask yourself what this artist did that makes you want to imitate the work. Yes, you can translate from one medium to another to some degree, so if an oil painter inspires you, go for it. 

Then I want you to derive a composition using the key elements you observed, and give it a shot in class. Keep it smaller in scale but not miniature in size. Any subject, any paper, any medium is fine. 

Do your homework on this one!