Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Star Wars: Visions

There is a new book out called Star Wars: Visions. The book includes work by several artists from the Water Street Atelier and Grand Central Academy community. The book includes work by over 100 well knows artists who were invited by George Lucas to create work inspired by the Star Wars series.

by Scott Waddell

A Good Find: Portrait of a Tusken Raider, by Tony Curanaj

Rancor, by Arantzazu Martinez

Tony Curanaj at Akus Gallery

Emit by Tony Curanaj, oil on canvas, 48" x 34"

The Akus Gallery in Willimantic, CT has a group show coming up that includes work by GCA instructor Tony Curanaj. The show, "Solemn and Sublime" runs from October 21 - December 2. There will be a panel discussion with the artists on November 3 at 3 PM followed by a reception and refreshments at 5:30.

Akus Gallery

Shafer Hall, Room 1, Lower Level
Eastern Connecticut State University

83 Windham Street
Willimantic, CT 06226

Gallery: 860-465-4659
Office: 860-465-4647


Tuesday-Wednesday 11am - 5pm

Thursday 1pm - 7pm

Saturday-Sunday 2pm - 5pm

Monday, October 18, 2010

Thomas Kegler solo show

Thomas Kegler is a senior fellow at the Hudson River Fellowship and he has a solo show coming up in East Aurora NY. The opening is Friday 10/22 from 6-9 PM and the show runs until 11/20. Kegler will be there for the opening as well as the evening of 11/12 for East Aurora's Gallery Walk. The show includes over 40 works completed in the last year (he's a painting animal!) American Art Collector Magazine will have a feature article about him in their November issue, so keep your eyes out for that. Kegler was also featured in the last issue of American Painting Video Magazine doing a landscape painting demo at the HRF.

Hemlock Grove - Proverbs 3:13, 16 x 12, oil on linen

the show is at
Meibohm Fine Arts
478 Main Street
East Aurora, New York 14052

Notes on Jiwoong Cheh's Approach to Cast Sculpture

Foreword: I've found this method of approach to be equally successful in cast drawing, Bargue drawing, and even figure drawing.

Gen 3.21 by Jiwoong Cheh
Plan your method of attack before you start - It is important to understand your process and how you will begin and complete your cast sculpture copy before you even start. This prevents dawdling and aimlessly pushing around clay (or your pencil while cast drawing), hoping for results.
Plan a time limit - If you place time restraints upon yourself, you will be forced to optimize your workflow and keep your brain running at full speed. On a cast drawing, you might say, "I'm going to render this form in two hours." If you make it a manageable but tough goal, you will continue to push yourself, and you can always put in  another hour afterwards.
Plan an efficient workspace - In cast sculpture, this might entail making sure both your cast sculpture and cast sculpture copy face you will you work, reducing time spent moving back and forth to check each from the same perspective. In cast drawing, this could mean ensuring that there is sufficient light on your drawing, that you have well-sharpened pencils and the means to sharpen them, and a comfortable proximity to your cast.

Try to work as far as you can before searching out critiques. The cast sculpture is your teacher; if your sculpture does not match the original sculpture, then you must fix it. Try to find the errors yourself. For those of you with a teacher: that teacher will not always be behind you pointing out your errors.

Periodically clean and analyze your sculpture. We (humans) view the world in an analog manner, however, cast sculpture is very much a digital experience. For example; which is easier to measure, the volume of water spilled on the ground (analog), or the number of bricks spilled on the ground (digital)? It is impossible to accurately measure the volume of water by eye alone; on the other hand, the bricks can be counted by eye. As you work on your cast sculpture, the messiness and bumps in the clay can deceive us; a messy/bumpy sculpture is an analog sculpture. Once that sculpture is cleaned and smoothed out to a finish, it becomes possible to understand what is occurring in a digital sense. Now you can accurately compare the plane changes and forms and proceed accordingly. Cast drawing/figure drawing block-ins lines' should also be cleaned up periodically; thick or messy lines can trick you to believe that the line is placed correctly. Erase the thick lines down into the correct thin line (this can be disregarded in some cases; while working through the beginning of a block-in, those extra "pentimento" lines can be useful for identifying the correct line without continually drawing and erasing new lines.)

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Tuesday Lecture: Vasari Paint on Color

WHEN & WHERE: Tuesday, October 19, 4:30-5:30pm in the GCA Cast Hall. Free & open to the public.
Reserve your spot: rsvp.gca@gmail.com

Working her way around the palette, Gail Spiegel will use actual samples of her handcrafted colors to visually demonstrate mixing. She will speak about the characteristics of some colors as well as the history of the pigments they contain. She will explain her method of “thinking in pigment” that is the key to good color mixing while focusing on the Greek 4-color palette of red, yellow, white and black that underlies classical color palettes.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

A Prize to Study in Rome - Applications Due!

By Jeffrey Mims, 2009 Alma Schapiro Prize Winner


The ICA&CA and GCA invites students and professionals committed to the classical tradition to apply for the 2011 Alma Schapiro Prize! The online applications are due by November 1. The winner will spend 3-months at the American Academy in Rome in 2011. The prize includes room, board, a working studio, roundtrip airfare, as well as a modest stipend for expenses. The jury, selected by the ICA&CA, consists of seven individuals whose combined experience will allow fair and well-informed consideration. Previous winners include Michael Grimaldi (2007) and Jeffrey Mims (2009).

Painters or sculptors working in the classical tradition are invited to apply!

Applications are due November 1!

For details posted on the ICA&CA website, click here!

Email application questions to: alma.schapiro@gmail.com

No phone calls please.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Edward Minoff at John Pence Gallery

Edward Minoff has a solo show at the John Pence Gallery in San Francisco. Minoff will be at the opening reception on Oct. 15th from 6-8 PM. The show runs until Nov. 13th. There is also an article in this month's issue of American Art Collector Magazine about the show, which includes work done at the GCA and the Hudson River Fellowship. Edward Minoff teaches in the core program at GCA and is a founding member of the Hudson River Fellowship.
First Light, oil on canvas, 40"x60" by Edward Minoff

Friday, October 8, 2010

Finding Shapes - Part 1

Comparing and using internal shapes is a key factor in the drawing process at GCA. We are introduced to the idea of finding and using shapes via the Bargue drawing course. This drawing course included a series of cast sculpture block-ins created by Charles Bargue, a relatively unknown but incredibly talented 19th century French academic artist. By copying Bargue's drawings, we learn to understand proportion through shape and comparative measurement. This will allow us to move on towards more complex tasks with an understanding of the drawing process.

To aid us in objectively comparing shapes, we like to imagine each shape as either an animal, or an inanimate object. It requires a dose of imagination, but once a shape is identified as an object or animal, it becomes much easier to understand the shape's intricacies. It's easier to say (and understand visually), "the dolphin's head is too big," rather than, "these three lines need to be compressed to varying degrees."

For an example, here is a Bargue plate that I am currently copying.

Now here is the shape I have chosen for this example.

Stumped? How about a mean shark!

Not feeling it? How about we turn our heads 90 degrees clockwise and check out the bird...

And just for good measure, take a look at this snail (back to the original position).

Note: Do not actually draw extra lines on the Bargue to help the animal visually appear; instead, try to maintain that image inside your head. 
Also note: Choose only one animal/object per shape. It would be confusing to continually change the animal/object you see in the shape.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Sarah Lamb at John Pence Gallery

I'm a little late writing about this, but Sarah Lamb currently has a show up at the John Pence Gallery in San Francisco. It closes on Oct 10th, so get in there and see her work if you're in the bay area! Sarah Lamb studied with Jacob Collins at the Water Street Atelier before it merged with the Grand Central Academy of Art. In the past she has taught still life painting workshops during the summer program here.

Sarah Lamb, Model Schooner, Oil on canvas, 48 x 48 inches, 2010

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Field Trip to Studio EIS

Chris Waddell, GCA sculpture teacher and member of Studio EIS, treated the first year students to a field trip at his workplace. Studio EIS is a high-end sculpture studio with a focus on figure and portrait work. It is one of the few studios in the world producing quality figurative sculptures for museums, memorials, monuments, etc, so we counted ourselves lucky to be allowed a glimpse at the working process in the studio. 

This unimposing door in Brooklyn serves
as the entrance to Studio EIS

Unfortunately, due to the production environment I was not allowed to take pictures, however, Chris did shed light on the process of creating a figure sculpture at the pace and quality necessary for the level expected from the studio. Essentially, it occurs as follows:

1: Chris receives a project brief with photo reference, model statistics such as age and body measurements, and any direction on the feel/pose of the sculpture.
2: Studio EIS hires a figure model that fits as close to the given measurements as possible. This model is covered in plaster bandages (usually) over their entire body, much like a medical cast for broken bones. This cast is then cut in half, removed, and placed back together, before being filled with foam and reinforced with a metal armature. This method of casting from the live model allows Chris to cut down on unnecessary time spent sculpting parts of the figure that will be covered by clothing.
3: Chris will now use his photo reference and understanding of the human form to sculpt the portrait in water-based clay. Translating the 2d images into an emotive and proportionate 3d sculpture requires much skill; while we were there it was astounding to see Jiwoong Cheh’s (another GCA sculpture teacher and member of Studio EIS) sculpture of a horse jockey done from several press and family photos. Cheh has even sculpted the Kennewick man, a prehistoric man who lived in the Americas, using only the skull provided to him by the historical organization.
4: The head will now be attached to the body, and the figure will be clothed. Often times the organization commissioning the sculpture will provide historically accurate clothing (especially in military sculpture commissions). The figure is dressed using these clothes, and the clothes are then hardened into place using a resin.
5: If there are any parts of the sculpture that are visible or have an effect on the draping of the clothing, Chris will whittle down/build up the plaster cast to be more anatomically correct, since the live figure casts are almost always messy and require clean up and extra work to add that final touch of realism.
6: The sculpture is now complete and ready to head to the foundry to be cast into bronze, steel, wax, etc.

Although GCA is known for its drawing and painting program, the sculpture program is also very robust. We’re required to take sculpture through our years at GCA, beginning with cast sculpture and ending in figure sculpture. I’ve found that sculpture is a lot of fun and has a direct effect on my understanding of form, so I wholeheartedly recommend it. It is also a great way to get some hands on action and take a revitalizing break from the pencil and paper!

See Studio EIS's website: http://www.studioeis.com/
See Chris Waddell's work: http://grandcentralacademy.classicist.org/cwaddell.html
See Jiwoong Cheh's work: http://grandcentralacademy.classicist.org/cheh.html

Saturday, October 2, 2010

September 2010

Here is a sampling of what's been going on at GCA during the month of September:

by Angela Cunningham

by Carla Crawford

by Carla Crawford

by Brendan Johnston

by Ken Salaz

by Carla Crawford

by Katie Whipple

by Victoria Herrera

by Student-Who-Wishes-To-Remain-Annonymous. This is what second year students are doing as part of their figure studies. There is a whole class on saturday devoted to this kind of figure study called "Structure Drawing" taught by Colleen Barry & Will St. John.

Devin Cecil-Wishing in sculpture class

Chris Waddell working with Tony on cast sculpture

Liz & Connor

Gregory Harris Studying in the Cast Hall

this is a demo by Jiwoong Cheh for his figure sculpture class. I didn't get any photos of the student work before they packed up for the month, but they were sculpting from a live model and focusing on defining the muscles and learning their origins and insertions. The sculptures were essentially ecorche figures.

Adventures in hue/value/chroma/composition: here's what everyone's still life paintings looked like on Friday- (they're all still in progress)

by Neal Esplin

by Connie Netherton (she's doing a poster study here)

by Victoria Herrera

by Sam Worley

by Emilie Lee

Friday, October 1, 2010

Connor de Jong joins the blogging team at GCA

Hey everyone, meet Connor de Jong - he has just started studying at GCA and will be contributing to the GCA blog from the perspective of a first year student. You'll be able to tell which one of us is writing on the blog by looking to the bottom of each post. Welcome to the team Connor!

the serious student contemplates the task before him

Connor killing it on the ear at school today