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.

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