Friday, September 30, 2016

Congratulations to GCA Scholarship winners!

by Dale Zinkowski
Fourteen core students won scholarships towards their continuing studies in 2016-2017! Faculty had conducted end of year critiques and awarded the prizes to students for their outstanding work as well as their exemplary commitment to rigorous and disciplined study. Scroll down for a collection of artwork by the winning artists.

We are honored and grateful to the ongoing generosity of the Morris and Alma Schapiro Fund, The Alfred and Jane Ross Foundation and the Anders Larson-Toich Memorial Scholarship in supporting the growth and development of the following artists. 

Block in
Savannah Tate Cuff - $5,000
Rubin Gabeau - $2,500

Cast Drawing
Diana Carino-Buitrago - $5,000
Emily Denise - $2,500

Cast Painting
Mackenzie Swenson - $5,000
Kathryn Kincaid - $2,500
Rachel Li - $2,500

Figure Drawing/Painting
Kevin Muller Cisneros - $5,000
Sandra Sanchez - $2,500
Kelly Foss - $2,500

Rubin Gabeau - $2,500

General Excellence
Arthur Haywood- $2,500
Dale Zinkowski - $2,500
Addison Xu - $2,500
Tsultrim Tenzin - $2,500

A Monthly Figure Structure Prix
One full time core student working in Colleen Barry's 3rd and 4th year Figure Structure class will win a $200 prize at the end of each five-week pose. Colleen Barry and a rotating member of the faculty pick the drawing that most exemplifies the artistic integrity, aesthetics and principles emphasized in the class. This school year’s first winner will be announced shortly after October 10th on social media. Colleen also writes a critique of the winning drawing on our blog.

We also offer scholarships for our Winter and Summer Drawing Boot Camps and our Summer Boot Camp for Teens. Last year's winners will be announced when we launch our next competitions. The Winter Boot Camp Scholarship Competition will open on October 10th. The Summer Boot Camp Competitions will open in the new year.

Support our Artists
GCA is committed to keeping tuition affordable and to maintaining an ideal student to instructor ratio in all our classes from full time to part time to workshops. Consider making a donation to support the exceptional, unique training we are proud to provide. Keep us in mind for upcoming #givingtuesday and year-end email campaigns. To make a gift today, click here.

by Diana Carino-Buitrago
by Savannah Tate Cuff
by Emily Denise
by Kelly Foss
by Rubin Gabeau
by Rubin Gabeau
by Arthur Haywood
by Kathryn Kincaid
by Rachel Li
by Kevin Müller Cisneros
by Sandra Sanchez
by Tsultrim Tenzin
by Addison Xu
by Dale Zinkowski

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Resident Artist Spotlight: Justin Wood

photo of Justin Wood painting at GCA by Samira Bouaou/Epoch Times
for a feature written by Milene Fernandez in print & online here.
Justin Wood is a GCA Resident Artist, a Core & Part-time Program Instructor and a graduate of Water Street/GCA. He is also a new father to his son Ben born this past April. This past summer he had a solo exhibition: Arranging Nature: Still Life Painting at Collins Galleries in Cape Cod. You can view the e-catalog here. All of the paintings featured were completed while in residence at GCA.

One of his newest paintings, Greek Satyr, is currently on view in the Eleventh Street Arts pop-up exhibition, New Arrivals. Justin discusses his process and inspiration for the painting below. 

This painting is centered around a plaster copy of a Greek Satyr. In Greek mythology, satyrs were depicted as men with horse tails and ears. They were associated with Dionysus, the God of wine and fertility. The attributes of satyrs include wine, drinking horns and flutes. These mischievous creatures were typically seen drinking and dancing. 

Drawing and painting from the plaster cast is a fundamental part of atelier training. In addition to serving as a valuable training tool, their aesthetic quality has inspired many artists from the past and present to include them in their paintings. I loved working from the cast as a student and I love finding ways to include them in my still lifes. 

I make a precise line drawing of my composition on paper where proportions and placements are decided upon. After the drawing is complete, I transfer it to my canvas. 
Using white, brown, and black, I begin the underpainting working area by area. It is useful to begin in the background and then move forward.
As more parts fall into place I begin to see the composition take shape. One of the difficulties of finishing one part at a time is the lack of context. It's important that I'm conscious of what part of my value range I need to operate in for any given area. 
With the underpainting complete, I judge the value structure and modeling of the objects in relation to each other. If no revisions need to be made I am ready to begin the color layer or layers. 
I finish the picture using the same procedure as in the underpainting (back to front, area by area), the only difference being the obvious addition of color.

Over Columbus Day Weekend, October 8 - 10, Justin is teaching a workshop on Underpainting and artists of all genres (still life, figure, portrait, landscape), skill levels, and degrees of experience are encouraged to take this workshop as solid underpainting skills are crucial to meaningful expression. To read a more in-depth description of the workshop and to sign up, visit our website here.

Follow Justin on instagram and check out his website.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

This Friday: Trekell Art Supplies comes to GCA!

The Trekell team is coming back to GCA! This Friday, September 30th, join us at 5:15 in the GCA lounge. Trekell will be bringing their wonderful professional artists materials, telling us about their products, and demoing some of their materials.  And, participants that stay for the whole presentation will have the chance to take home some fabulous new art supplies! Join in and learn more about this great company.

Trekell Art Supplies Presentation
Friday, September 30th
5:15-6:15 pm 
Upstairs in the GCA lounge 

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Resident Artist Spotlight: Anthony Baus

After Marco Ricci "Carpriccio with Ruins"
Anthony working at the Palazzo Altemps in Rome
Anthony Baus is currently an Instructor in GCA's Core & Part-time Programs, and a continuing Resident Artist. He spent the past school year in Italy courtesy of the Alma Shapiro prize. Upon his return in June he was back in the studio piecing together narratives from the ancient world soon to make their way to the canvas. He is currently working on a capriccio to be exhibited this coming March in the Art of Architecture exhibit at Eleventh Street Arts. 

Over Columbus Day weekend, Anthony will be teaching an Architectural Ink Wash Workshop at the Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument located on Manhattan's Upper West Side in Riverside Park. The Beaux Arts structure provides the perfect subject for all skill levels. Anthony has written a preview demo of his process below.

New York is full of great architecture and one of my favorite spots to draw is the Grand Army Plaza at Prospect Park in Brooklyn. The plaza features a triumphal arch that is dedicated in memory of union soldiers who fought in the Civil War. The arch is complete with figural sculptures, low relief and a coffered vaulted ceiling. To complete the composition elements were added to the foreground to aid in the removal of this structure from a particular time and place. These elements, inspired by the Plaza's existing environment, include figures in admiration, a toppled lamp post and sinking blocks strewn about a muddy terrain. 
The paper is white Artistico 140lb hot press. I toned it using Sennelier brand colored inks, Burnt Sienna, Raw Sienna and Grey. The tone is slightly warmer in temperature and the value is light but dark enough to use white chalk highlights. I begin with pencil, blocking in the structure general to specific keeping in mind its placement in the composition. As the block-in progresses I implement a diminishing scale in red pencil to aid in the perspective.
After the block-in is complete the shadows are washed in with a medium value over the entire page, giving a sense of the composition and the overall light effect. I’m sure not to make this initial shadow value too dark. Values are built up with subsequent passages, because with wash there isn’t any room for error.  A slightly greener wash is used for the bronze sculpture groups and white chalk is added to the sky to separate the background from the middle ground.
When the initial layer is dry, details and texture are added using slightly darker warm and cool mixtures. I generally use cooler washes in the background and warmer towards the foreground. The building is the main subject and will have the broadest range of values.
Again the paper is left to dry and I’m continuing to build up the values and textures. The arch is pushed back into space by making the foreground dark and compressed in value. Some details can be discerned but not so much that they compete with the detail of the arch. I go back into all areas of the composition, clarifying edges and details where necessary. 

To read more and sign up for Anthony's upcoming workshop, click here. Anthony will also teach an Academic Figure in Perspective workshop in our Winter Drawing Boot Camp, January 23 - 27, 2016. The workshop will be posted and registration will open on October 10th.
Anthony is also the latest guest on The Suggested Donation podcast hosted by Tony Curanaj and Ted Minoff, listen to the episode here!

Monday, September 26, 2016

Alumni Spotlight: Emilie Lee

Emilie Lee at work in her studio with her puppy, Honey.
For seven years Emilie Lee lived in NYC, four of which were spent studying as a full-time student at GCA, and the next three years as an Instructor. When we moved to Long Island City, she helped launch our Artist-in-Residence program and taught weekly classes in landscape painting. Last year she moved back to her home state of Vermont where she's thriving in the great outdoors and raising a new puppy. Emilie and I chatted about what she's been up to.

How would you say your life as an artist and the work you create has changed over the past year?

After struggling in New York for so many years, I now feel like I'm living a pretty dreamy life. I have a large well lit studio space in Burlington's South End Arts District, an eclectic neighborhood that is home to hundreds of artist studios. We have an art supply store and a hardware store in my parking lot, and it's a 10 minute walk to the beach, 3 breweries, downtown, or my apartment! I spend about 10 hours a week teaching classes and the rest of the time I am working on commissions, studio projects, or exploring the beautiful local scenery and painting outside. I've been impressed with the level of enthusiasm for the arts in Vermont and it seems I'm not alone in choosing to relocate -  I've met at least ten other artists who've recently moved here from NYC! 

Emilie & Honey living the dream.
As far as my work goes, I've been doing a lot of small plein-air paintings purely for my own pleasure, and in the studio I am working on a series of big paintings inspired by my time in the Montana prairie, these are for a solo show coming up next year. 
I made a conscious decision earlier this year to take a break from relying on my paintings to pay my bills because the pressure of constantly producing new work was making it impossible to find time to finish my Praire paintings. I've put more energy into developing my teaching career by offering a combination of workshops, private lessons, weekly classes, and my new job as an adjunct faculty in the game art and animation department at Champlain College. 
I've found that teaching is incredibly energizing and rewarding - being able to share what I love to do with others who feel the same way is so much fun and I always learn something from my students.

In March 2016, Emilie traveled to the four corners region to participate in the upcoming Convergence Film being released by 3 Strings Productions.

You've immersed yourself in a wide variety of environments these past few years talk about some of your discoveries and the paintings you created.

When I was in New York, I was completely focused on learning as much as I could from the GCA community. I just wanted to hone my skills. In 2014 I started to feel very restless in New York, so I planned a big project that would get me out of the city. I proposed and raised money for my own artist residency at a remote conservation area in Montana called the American Prairie Reserve and I spent 5 weeks exploring and painting there. 

Immersing in Montana's great plains. 
My experience working with wildlife researchers and others involved in the effort to conserve this landscape had a big effect on my work. I gained an intimate understanding of the ecology and history of this place and it helped me feel engaged with my subject on a much deeper level. 

One of Emilie's landscape studies in the prairie.
 She encountered a variety of grasses, sage brush, greasewood, juniper, wildflowers and cactus.
The prairie seems so vast and empty at first, but the more knowledge I gained, the more it opened up to me as a rich and beautiful place. I'm still working on these paintings in my studio, but after this I plan to continue working on projects where I can learn and collaborate with conservationists. 

Praire Dog Hole, 10"x10", oil on panel, 2015.
Another recent project was a commission last summer on Appleton Farms, the oldest continuously working farm in America! Sustainable agriculture practices ensure that these 133 acres provide protected grassland, forest and wetland habitat for wildlife in the area. Visitors can wander the network of public trails or take part in their public programming in addition to buying fresh produce, milk, eggs, cheese and meat. 
Appleton Farms plein-air study, 9"x12" oil on linen panel, 2015.
It's located 20 miles outside of Boston in Ipswich, MA and my client was an art collector who lives near the farm. I was tasked with spending a day exploring the farm and making plein air paintings, that my client could choose from. When they picked one, I went back and did a careful pencil study on location. 

pencil sketch done on location at Appleton Farms, 14"x20", 2015.

A detailed pencil sketch can be extremely helpful in the studio, and I often make written notes on my sketches about colors, value relationships, or even less tangible things like emotions that are triggered or artists I am reminded of. Anything that will help me recall that state of inspiration once I'm back in the studio. 

Final painting of Appleton farms commission, 18"x11".
Back in the studio I developed the final painting using my sketches and plein air paintings as reference. I enjoy the process of working without photos, it forces me to use my imagination and problem solving skills, and it's easier to infuse the painting with a unique soul of its own. There are so many reasons to work from life rather than using photos, but I love what happens when I am under pressure from limited time and the ever changing light conditions outside. I am forced to be completely engaged with my process and make quick, confident decisions. 

There are a lot of similarities to how I feel when I am rock climbing. When I trust my intuition and make bold moves, there is no time for doubt and I am capable of things I didn't know I had in me!  

To view more of Emilie's work check out her website and instagram

Thursday, September 22, 2016

A Look Back: Summertime with GCA's Instructors

Today is officially the first day of fall and before summer becomes an even more distant memory, here's a glimpse into how our GCA core and part-time instructors spent the longer and perhaps more leisurely days (aside from teaching classes and workshops in our studios!)

And to further celebrate the change in seasons, LIC Arts Open has launched a new initiative in which several neighborhood museums and galleries will be open to the public every Third Thursday of the month. To kick it off, our adjacent gallery, Eleventh Street Arts is hosting a pop-up exhibition, "New Arrivals" featuring several of GCA's locally based instructors and our new and returning Resident Artists. Join us for the opening tonight, Thursday, September 22 from 6 - 9pm.

Jessica Artman
photo of Jessica by Fred R. Conrad for the New York Times
This summer was spent hitting the books, both text and sketch. I resourced all the figure drawing books at my disposal to do anatomical studies of the figure. While this is an on-going project, my goal is to better understand the figure without always referencing the model so I can draw from the model quicker and more efficiently. Once a week, I also worked in the new ICAA cast hall. This cast collection used to be integrated with Grand Central Atelier before our school moved to Long Island City. I was inspired by their redesign of the room and enjoyed the nostalgia of working in that building again. 

Jessica's finished painting of the ICAA cast collection
My focus was the subject of studying from the classical. I wanted to capture the interior of the new space and the amazing light effect from its North facing windows. A fun added bonus was being featured in the New York Times along with colleagues Charlie Mostow, Anthony Baus and Nina Lomeo (graduate of the ICAA's former Beaux Arts Atelier).

Jessica also brought her cat back from the brink of death!
Jessica teaches our new Sunday Foundations of Figure Drawing class this fall.

Colleen Barry & Will St. John
Eve St. John at one week old by Colleen
Graphite and chalk on paper.
We're enjoying our two month old daughter Eve St. John. Eve was born on July 6th, 2016.

Colleen loves drawing her new muse and has recently joined instagram - follow her @colleenbarryart

Colleen teaches in the core program and will return to Evening Figure in the new year. Will teaches in the core program and Evening Figure class this fall.

Anthony Baus
Santa Maria Maggiore, ink wash and pen, 2016 by Anthony
This drawing began in Rome during the Autumn of last year. I set up an easel across the street from Santa Maria Maggiore for three days. First laying in the architecture, rearranging it to fit my paper, then settling on the perspective while referencing 18th c. prints of the same subject by Guiseppe Vasi and Piranesi. The foreground was lightly designed with a vague idea of its role in the composition, knowing that it would later be finished in the studio. 

Anthony at work in Rome
Completing this drawing was my first project upon returning to New York at the beginning of Summer. The rich history of this church became the inspiration for the ruins and figure arrangements that lay strewn about the foreground. I included stories such as the Miracle of the Snow, the kidnapping of Pope Gregory VII and an old icon reputed to have been painted by the hand of St Luke the Evangelist.  

Anthony teaches in our core program and Evening Figure class. He will also teach an Architectural Ink Wash workshop October 8 - 10.

Patrick Byrnes
"Flowers in a Mason Jar" painting by Patrick 
This summer I made quite a few floral sketches, often sharing bouquets with friends in the studio. Some of the paintings went up to a gallery in Massachusetts. These one or two-day oil sketches were really fun and challenging and a nice change of pace from my usual work with live models. We had a really hot summer here, so I also frequently rewarded myself with a spritz at the end of (aaand sometimes midway through) the day. I think I called this one "Flowers in a Mason Jar"; it was my favorite of the lot. 

Cheers! We loved having you as an Artist-in-Residence for two years, Pat!

Patrick teaches in our core program as well as our Evening Portrait and Sunday Portrait Sketch classes this fall.

Devin Cecil-Wishing
Process collage of Devin's self-portrait
I've been meaning to do a self portrait for a while now and somehow or another I kept putting it off for other projects. I finally decided that this summer was going to be the time to do it. I'm primarily a still life painter and it had been a while since I had painted any people so it was fun to get to paint a portrait again. 

Process collage of Devin's "Guacamole" painting
They say paint what you love and what do I love more than Mexican food. This summer I painted the main ingredients for guacamole. I started this right before I went to Texas in late July and then finished it in August when I returned. 

Devin teaches in the core program as well as the Evening Cast, Saturday Light & Color and Sunday Cast classes this fall.

Zoe Dufour
Zoe's 1st place winning sculpture
This portrait was done for the National Sculpture Society's Head Start Portrait Sculpture Competition. It was only three hours long, so it's much less time than I would have liked to spend completing a piece. It was fun to see what everyone accomplished when pushed by the time constraint.

Zoe at work at StudioEIS in Brooklyn.
This is us gearing up to resin harden some costumes on British soldier sculptures. I sweat so much doing this that you could see an underwear outline on my shorts- it was the only dry part of my clothes!

Zoe teaches in our core program this fall.

Katie Engberg
Katie's portrait of Sonia
I wanted to create this painting because I was interested in exploring another culture, while staying in New York City. My model, Sonia, moved here several years ago from Mumbai, India. I was interested in exploring the different colors and textiles of the sari, the rich darkness of hair, and her warm and glowing complexion.

Sonia's "stunt-double"
The biggest challenge was by far painting the sari. With each break between poses the sari inevitably moved slightly, so I ended up creating a Sonia stunt-double (aka a really creepy head on top of a cardboard box) and draped the sari the way I wanted it. If I were to do it again, I think I would spend more time in the design stage of draping the sari exactly the way I want it…and maybe I wouldn't use a cardboard box. 

Katie's fiercest critic
Katie teaches our Evening Portrait class this fall.

Brendan Johnston
Dune painting by Brendan
I spent the summer plein air painting on Long Island. Because the weather was crazy hot I gravitated towards working near the water. This is a Dune painting completed during two afternoons. Sand and dunes are tough to paint. I found that compressed values are key. 

Brendan and Theo soak in the sunset.
Brendan teaches in our core program this fall.

Emilie Lee
Emilie chasing storm clouds in the mountains of her hometown.
The highlight of my summer has been my Farm-to-Canvas weekend retreats. The idea came about when I befriended the new owners of the farm that was my childhood home (Golden Well Farm and Apiaries). We've worked together to create a unique experience based on my idea of a perfect weekend in Vermont: it's a combination of plein air painting, farm-to-table meals, yoga, swimming in the river, playing outside, and quality time making new friends. 

Tail End of Summer (Charlotte, VT), 9"x2" oil on linen. 
I painted this from the tailgate of my car while Honey took a nap inside. 
Painting is a very solitary activity, so it's a real treat when I can share the experience with other artists, and Vermont is such a dreamy place to do it! 

Honey and I showing off our big accomplishment of the summer!
My other goal this summer was to teach my puppy Honeycrisp to ride on a stand up paddle board as we cruised beneath the sunset on Lake Champlain. The beach is only a 15 minute walk from my studio, so we practiced a lot and I'm happy to report that she now jumps right on the board all by herself as soon as I put it in the water! Follow me on instagram @emilieleelee for pictures of Honey and all the paintings we make together!  

Emilie will return to NYC for a long weekend this fall to teach Plein Air Painting in Central Park: September 30 - October 2.

Edward Minoff
Painting by Ted. Add the Dordogne region of France to your bucket list...
This is a small sketch from the Dordogne. I was in France for 10 days and did some small sketches in preparation for a larger commission.

Wish We Were There! photo by Kate Lehman
I also had a brief stay in Paris and spent some time with Travis Schlaht and Kate Lehman. 

Ted teaches in our core program this fall.

Greg Mortenson
"Orveda" graphite on Stonehenge
On view through September 29
at Arcadia Contemporary in Culver City, CA
Conversation I had with my 3 year old when I found her coloring on a drawing I was finishing for an upcoming show. 
Me:  Lily, you can't color on my drawings!
Lily:  I wanted to make you happy.
Me:  Listen, you can only color on the papers I give you, not my drawings.
Lily:  But that's my job... To make you happy.
drawing by Greg with embellishment by his daughter, Lily
All aboard! Greg, his kids and his friends' kids rule the playground
Greg teaches our two Saturday Long Pose Portrait classes this fall.

Charlie Mostow
2 hour Portrait Study by Charlie in plaster
At the end of the spring semester I did a demo for my Evening Portrait Sculpture class; the result of which was this portrait (pictured in plaster):

It is smaller than life size, about 10 inches tall. From the bottom of the chin to the top of the head is about 6 inches. I didn't measure for this portrait. I just went with my gut for scale, proportion, and likeness. 

In my final critique as a student in May, Josh Larock looked over all my other work and said, "You've got something there." I was surprised! That little dinky two hour portrait study? A few weeks later, a client wrote me and wanted the piece in bronze. 

I made a mold and shipped it to a friend and fellow sculptor Joey Bainer in Colorado. He poured the wax and took the piece to a foundry. Here is the result in bronze. 

Portrait by Charlie in bronze
Next month I'm going to fly to Colorado and weld the cap on, chase the metal, patina the piece, and mount it with Joey. 

This is cast 1 of 8. Other copies are available for purchase.

photo of Charlie by Fred R. Conrad for the New York Times
Charlie teaches in our core program as well as our Evening Figure Sculpture and Ecorche class this fall.

Lauren Sansaricq
"The Basin in Evans Notch" by Lauren
I started this painting outdoors at The Basin in Evans Notch, N.H. at the tail end of the Hudson River fellowship. I have been increasingly more interested in doing larger works en plein air. This painting, although not small, ended up being the precursor to a much larger piece I recently have been working on. The piece is 24 x 48 in. and my largest outdoor painting to date! I feel the practice of working on a larger painting outdoors very strenuous, yet very gratifying. All the information I need and all the beauty of nature is right before me!

Lauren at work on her largest outdoor painting to date!
Lauren will be at GCA this fall teaching a studio landscape workshop: Understanding the Sky for Artists November 18 - 20.

Katie Whipple
"A Celebration of Peonies" 12"x30", oil and 23k gold leaf on wood
painting by Katie
I completed this piece in June for Collins Galleries' annual Summer Salon show. It was my first time showing with Collins and I was inspired to put my best foot forward since I would be showing alongside some of my favorite painters. Little did I know when I started, it would become the thesis of my summer. I spent nearly the entire summer, and now still working into the fall, painting pictures of white peonies. It began as the simple desire to paint this gorgeous seasonal flower, but quickly grew into other commissions and side projects. Currently, I am working on a large, 2'x4', version of this painting that is headed to an Indianapolis Public Library in October. 

All eyes on peonies
This painting was painted "flower by flower." I did not set up a bouquet to paint from, but rather painted it one flower at a time, one day at a time; composing the piece as I went along by painting the most beautiful or interesting flower each day. These are the methods I developed while making demos for my students in my "Designing Nature" class. I am excited to continue the class this fall and teach these methods to my wonderful students, as well as work on developing my own studio habits in painting nature.
Katie & Brendan's puppy Theo is very skilled at hide & seek...
Katie teaches the Designing Nature class on Tuesday afternoons this fall. She'll also teach a workshop on Drawing the Portrait in Chalk: Renaissance Inspired Portrait November 11 - 13.

Justin Wood
"Honey", 11"x14", oil/canvas on board
I painted still life's for most of the summer in preparation for my solo show at Collins Galleries. One of the works included in the show was a still life titled 'Honey.' I had the idea to make the painting after being lucky enough to find a piece of honeycomb at my local farmer's market in Queens.

Justin's son Ben, born 4/26/16
"Daddy's poor and needs to feed the baby. Please take his class."
Justin teaches in our core program as well as Evening Cast, Saturday Cast and Thursday Still Life. He will also teach a special 3-day workshop on Underpainting October 8 - 10.


Registration is open for our upcoming fall workshops, come draw and/or paint with Emilie, Anthony, Katie, Justin and Lauren!

And while our fall classes are underway, there are a few spots available in some of them to join late or for the next pose. View the weekday afternoon and evenings list and the weekend list for more information.