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)