Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Work in Progress in the South Studio

We've been drawing and painting Esteban in the afternoon this last month - here are some work in progress shots right off the easel.

Andrew Payne
 Anthony Baus
Connor de Jong
Grant Perry
Elizabeth Beard
Patrick Byrnes
Rebecca Gray
Susan Wu

Friday, December 13, 2013

November Works from the Core Program

Here are a few drawings and paintings created by the core students (1st - 4th year) in the past month and a half.

Anthony Baus
Alex Berrios
Athena Kim
Connor de Jong
Jessica Artman
Kevin Müller
Lauren Perry
Liz Beard
Mark Popple
Mary Jane Ward
Michelle Palatnik
Niki Covington
Patrick Byrnes
Rebecca Gray
Sally Cochrane
Susan Wu

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Monday Portraits

Here is a batch of quick portraits (under 4 hours) from the afternoon Monday afternoon session. 
Edward Minoff

Kevin Muller
Emilie Lee
Raina Dai 
Mary Jane Ward

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Self-Representation in Paleolithic Art

I recently stumbled across an intriguing paper by Professor LeRoy McDermott of UCMO, where he presents a new take on the ancient "Venus" sculptures from the Paleolithic European continent and beyond. Their perplexing distortions of the body led me to consider them as only fertility symbols  - however, McDermott posits that the sculptures are in fact representational depictions of the female sculptor, looking down upon her own figure.
Photo Credit: M Burkitt 'The Old Stone Age'
The above sculpture is a restoration of the Lespugue Venus, a Venus figurine created in the Gravettian culture sometime between 24,000 to 26,000 years ago. It was discovered in a cave in the Pyrenees mountains of France in 1922.

Below, you can see the same sculpture, photographed from the top down, with the head as the viewpoint. This is then compared to a photograph of a 26 year old adult Caucasian female, whom is six months pregnant.
Front View
Side View
Back View

 There are a few curious elements in the above images that make a lot of sense as a representational, rather than symbolic, work. Note the clear notch of the sacrum on the back view - its appearance is only so blunt from this sort of viewpoint. In the side view, the rectus femoris and vastus lateralis appear quite familiar, as does the rhythm of the gastrocnemius. McDermott also informs us that these figurines usually began with a rough shaping of the head, and then continued with refinement throughout the body. The stomach and reproductive organs were to be detailed last, at an advanced stage of pregnancy.

This form of self-representation explains the lack of detail or attention to the head, as well as the feet (hidden by the hips and legs). It also reveals the odd choice of proportion to be a preference for the viewer's perspective of the self. 

I find this theory to be an attractive explanation, but it also begs the question of why? As representational artists, we are concerned with depicting things as faithfully as we see them, just as our ancient ancestors may have concerned themselves with depicting their bodies in a manner that made sense to them. Even in our attempts to describe what we visually see, we can often arrive at such different understandings of what that may mean. 

Click here to read McDermott's paper in full

Monday, December 2, 2013

HRF 2014 Application Deadline Extended

Daniel G. daSilva and Savannah Tate Cuff painting at Jackson Falls, N.H.

Good new artists! Due to the recent holiday and student requests we have extended this years Hudson River Fellowship deadline to December 13th. Fellowship dates are July 13 – August 2, 2014. Accepted artists will paint the landscapes surrounding Jackson, New Hampshire in the White Mountain National Forest among some of the finest artists in the country.  Fellows will bunk together in cozy ski chalets with stunning mountain views and lectures will cover history, science and the methods and materials of 19th Century landscape painters who flocked to this region. 
How to Apply:
1. Click here to fill out the online application.
2. Complete the following and email to gca.leeanna@gmail.com
  • 5-7 digital images saved as jpgs at 72 dpi or pasted into a Word or PDF document. Do not include your name in your image titles. Please include images of work done from life. Subject matter is not limited to landscapes but can include figure, cast, and still life. Drawings are encouraged, particularly figure drawings. Please do not submit artwork made from photographs.
  • A statement of intent of under 500 words.
  • A resume (optional)  

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Annual Thanksgiving Lunch Party

Our annual Thanksgiving lunch party at GCA was a great time with classmates, models, friends and family. We all enjoyed potluck dishes and deserts with some delicious Cuban food!

And of course, our atelier-wide famous limbo competition was the central event! We had a great turnout and fierce competition this year, with the bar set lower (or higher?) than ever before.

Connor limboing

Onlookers abound

Left to Right - Liz in 2nd, Peter in 1st*, Connor in 3rd

Friday, November 22, 2013

Andrew Bonneau - Moran Portrait Prize Finalist

Andrew Bonneau, GCA alum and Australian painter, was recently awarded the distinction of being a finalist in the Doug Moran National Portrait Prize, one of the most prestigious art prizes in Australia. Mr. Bonneau graduated from the GCA core program last year and returned to his native Cairns, Australia to further his career.

Self Portrait with Landscape
The above painting will be on display in Sydney for the next several months at Juniper Hall, located at 250 Oxford Street, Paddington in Sydney, Australia. Afterwards, it will continue to travel throughout regional galleries across the country. We're happy to see Andrew Bonneau keeping academic art alive in Oceania!

Check out his website to see more of his work.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Interview with Edward Minoff

Read up here on GCA teacher Edward Minoff's interview by Brad MacDonald - it provides some personal insight into Minoff's hijinks, as well as his approach to crafting paintings and what it takes to be an artist.

Edward Minoff
Here's a little excerpt:

Do you still practice? If so, what do your practice sessions look like?
Practice never ends. In my case, I feel like there is some linear trajectory to my artistic career, so in some way each painting is practice for the next painting. I think this is particularly true of my ocean paintings. I spend so much time studying wave forms and the nature of water and air and the interaction between the two. Each painting reflects an attempt to better understand some aspect or property of the ocean environment. They all start with an idea or an emotion, but once the painting is underway it becomes a puzzle to solve. I guess my solving that puzzle, or acceptance of a lack of resolution is practice for the next painting where I will try to overcome some new obstacle or carry on trying to resolve an ongoing challenge.

Click here to continue reading!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Love Letter to the Sculpture Studio

The sculpture studio in the GCA has been hopping lately! All core students are required to create several figure sculptures at some point in their scholastic career.

Left to Right - Sam, Mark, Rebecca, Zoe, Connor, Abigail, Liz... and Cheh!
Click for zoom
My experience with figure sculpture has been truly illuminating. Sculpting the forms of the figure is a chance to re-examine figure drawing in a manner where proportional, gestural and anatomical misunderstandings quickly become obvious. Weaknesses and strengths are more apparent, and gaps in knowledge that were previously waved away suddenly take center stage.

In my own humble opinion, after cast drawing, sculpture must be one of the best ways to sharpen the eye and the understanding of space. I look forward to continuing onwards with my classmates as we familiarize ourselves with the sculptural mindset.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Zubin Mehta presents Mobilize Art

I think we can all agree the internet is an important marketing tool for artists.  Even if you do not already have a website or a blog I am sure we can find you posting your latest works on Facebook or Pinterest. On Tuesday Zubin Mehta will introduce Mobilize Art, a new tool for artists to sell their work online.  Please learn more by joining us Tuesday Nov. 12th from 5 p.m. - 6 p.m. in the cast room.

Contact Zubin Mehta to join his mailing list and learn more about Mobilize Art at ZubinM@mobilizeart.com

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Drawing the Skeleton

While drawing the figure, it's great to take a little time out of the day and draw the skeleton between sessions. Fortunately at GCA, we have access to a model skeleton, and we like to set him up near the model in both the sculpture and drawing/painting studios.
Rebecca Gray Drawing a Skeleton Alongside Her Figure Drawing
Last Wednesday we had a little extra time between poses and Rebecca took the time to set up the skeleton according to the model's position and lighting. It's a great exercise and very informative!

Monday, November 4, 2013

GCA Salon - "Imitation and Emulation in Art" Lecture and Discussion

The Grand Central Academy cordially invites the public to attend its second Salon event of the year, Imitation and Emulation in Art, an evening consisting of two short lectures and a moderated roundtable discussion. Caroline Ting, M.A. (Sorbonne) will be delivering the lectures, which will focus on the history of Western Art and methods of study employed from the Greeks to the 19th century academicians. The lecture will be split into two parts across the evening, interspersed with an ongoing moderated discussion of the topic.

Creation of Adam
The event will take place this Friday, November 8th, from 5:30 to 7:30 PM. It will be located on the GCA premises at 20 W 44th St, in Manhattan, New York.

Hudson River Fellowship Applications Due Dec 2!

Travis Schlaht, Ted Minoff and Emilie Lee HRF 2011

Apply today to the 2014 Hudson River Fellowship!

Application Deadline: December 2, 2013
Fellowship Dates: July 13 - August 2 (July 13 & August 2 are travel days)
Location: Jackson, New Hampshire

Based out of Jackson Village nestled in New Hampshire's White Mountain National Forest, the Hudson River Fellowship will gather twenty landscape painters for a three-week collaborative fellowship to paint the landscapes that drew over 400 painters in the 19th century. Among these painters were Thomas Cole, Asher B. Durand, George Inness, Sanford Gifford, Jasper Cropsey, Albert Bierstadt and the New Hampshire native credited with founding the White Mountain School, Benjamin Champsey.

The dates of this summer's fellowship are July 13 - August 2. (July 13 and August 2 are travel days. ) The fellowship provides all accepted fellows with full tuition and free housing in one of two snug mountain chalets with gorgeous views. There is no application fee. There is a $100 non-refundable participation fee and a $100 housing deposit to be returned at the end of the fellowship. Fellows are responsible for their own transportation and food.

We are so lucky to have excellent local fellowship hosts! Painters Erik Koeppel and Lauren Sansaricq live and work in Jackson Village along with Warren and Leslie Schomaker of the Jackson Historical Society. Warren and Leslie help us book the lecture venues and gather the fellows for a Meet and Greet Sunset Party and organize an End of Fellowship Exhibition. Leslie also does a great job allaying concerns about black bears & ticks. Erik and Lauren help the fellows get oriented in the landscape, organize rainy day activities, invite Fellows to their studios for various art-related salons, demos and show and tell evenings.

Apply Now!

SCROLL DOWN FOR IMAGES from the White Mountains
both historic & from the 2013 Fellowship...

Crawford Notch by Thomas Cole
Echo Lake by Jasper Cropsey
Mount Washington by George Inness
Mount Chocorua by Sanford Gifford
Mount Washington by Albert Bierstadt
Artists Sketching in the White Mountains 1868 by Winslow Homer
2013 Fellows at the Mountain View Road Chalet

A Critique by Sr. Fellow Ted Minoff 

A Demo by Sr. Fellow Erik Koeppel

Koeppel Demo for Fellows & Workshop Students

Mount Chocorua by Erik Koeppel

Steady-Hand Lauren Sansaricq!!

Ted Minoff painting water...whhaaat??

Sr. Fellow Tom Kegler Demo

Tom Kegler Paints a Sunset

Click here for MORE IMAGES of 2013 Fellowship work!

To Apply, click here!