Sunday, November 16, 2008

Toilets, Treats, and Cool Student Work

Deux Toilettes

Well, here's a nice artsy photo. The big excitement in my away from work life this weekend was getting our three toilets replaced and the pipes scrubbed out. It's a great thing to have had done, but I was concerned my life was getting a bit boring, with home repairs and breaking up fights between our two cats. I did have to document two of the old porcelain receptacles headed for oblivion.

Today I decided to treat myself. When I'm super busy I often wish that things were more quiet and uneventful. When they are, I get bored. So I decided on some simple non-boring pleasures. I went to a local French bistro and had the most delicious scrambled eggs, baguette pieces with jam and fresh fruit. Yum. I didn't think to take a photo until after I'd demolished same.

Only a Memory

I then repaired to my favorite mystery bookstore, Murder by the Book. These lovely folks will let you rent hardbacks if, like me, you don't have any more room for books in your house. I checked out The Good Thief's Guide to Paris--a funny page turner that entertained me mightily.

I have a show coming up soon at Cube Gallery, along with Kimberly Kent and Mandy Main. (Why aren't I alliterative?) This is an encaustic show and I haven't done any encaustic for awhile. I scanned details of what I did today.

Fresco Wall (detail) Encaustic/Collage

The Watchers (detail) Encaustic

Sparkling new "facilities", delicious food, entertaining reading and making art. A pretty great weekend, after all.

Coaching for creativity is never boring! Thought I'd share with you the evolution of a piece by a new coaching student. He's a graphic artist for a big company but wants to play around with painting what he chooses. He opened a large art book of mine and chose a painting at random to work from. It happened to be a piece by Velasquez that I had worked from about a year ago. He said the page number happened to be his lucky number as well!

The first stage of Wil's painting

Wil did the beginning stage of the painting with re-inkers and acrylic medium. This gave a rich ochre and umber cast to the underpainting. (See above.) He put in the basic lights and darks the first time we met. By the time he was through I could tell the painting would be wonderful. He wasn't sure, but said he'd trust me on that! Several people admired the first stage of the piece while it was drying in the studio for a week.

Wil came up with a great way to work with the painting when we met for the second time. He said he was influenced by Betty Edward's book, Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain to practice seeing shapes as they are, rather than what he expects to see. To do this he turned his painting upside down and continued to layer on color and shape. He used acrylic paint and water this time for faster drying time.

Wil looks at Velasquez' shapes and his painting takes shape as well

I was impressed with the rich Spanish colors Wil used, as well as his loose brushstrokes that made the picture look three dimensional. His character had a strong presence from the first. Below he's added more color, light, and shadow. He switched to a small brush at the end of the painting session to add the finer detail.

This guy looks great upside down. You can see the inspiration in the book under the painting on our top left.

Here's how the painting looks now! So much life in this portrait! Next week I'll have a photograph of the completed piece to show you. I'm definitely going to try the upside down method more--I'm always learning from my students!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

this is Wil, and I would like to thank you Serena for being such an inspiration when I just couldn't see it. I hope I can finish and dedicate it to my beautiful wife, Jaime, my inspiration, my love. Thank you