Saturday, July 26, 2008

Catching Up

Marin MOCA has such an incredible setting. For those that don't know where it is, it is located in the Hamilton Field area of Novato. The buildings are old (former Air Force Base) and architecturally beautiful. The classroom is a wonderful size, many windows for natural light, lots of area for work surfaces and set-up, and sinks in the room for easy clean-up. Marin MOCA consists of three buildings filled with artists studios and their works as well as a gallery. It was thrilling to be in that environment all week and to share with the kids all the different aspects of art and the different approaches practicing artists take. At the time they were receiving hundreds of entries for their next show. Rumor has it that it was over 1500 pieces!! Nice! The buzz in the air was marvelous.

Meet China and Jade. I have known both of these girls from the time they were born. I grew up in Arizona and met their dad when I was the lovely age of 18. Since then we have both moved to Marin and are raising our families here. I was thrilled to have them both in Studio 4 Art's fine art camp this week! Love you guys!!
Artists experimented with printing techniques in this week's camp, as-well-as complimentary colors and a bit about color theory. This piece is called It.
I begin to teach about layers while working with acrylics on canvas. Many students have not worked very much, if at all, with acrylics before they come to Studio 4 Art. Their initial reaction to painting the "whole" canvas a background color is one of shock and disbelief. Questions arise as to the ability to paint on top of the existing paint without it showing.

Ultimately it is more than just an exercise in paint. But also an exercise in taking the time to mix colors, seeing the whole canvas, not having the frustration as if they had painted the object first and having the eye-hand coordination as well as the dexterity of then painting around the object. The icing on the cake when creating a painting in this fashion is there is no trace of "naked" canvas. Yes, after this exercise they can then break the rules and leave exposed canvas, if it is intended and "helps" to create a unique and well painted piece of art.

We began with a background color. Choosing a color that would compliment the still-life, in this case an orchid. After the paint dried we then created a sketch and talked about placement and size of the object. The two photos above are the finished products of the artists orchid paintings. Everyone worked approximately 5 hours on the painting...impressive.
This is a daily exercise that the children begin with. Everyone picks an object out of a bag. Then begins with just a contour line. Usually that is the extent of our warm-up. But some of this group wanted to go a step beyond and add texture, shading and color. Great training for creating an "eye" that "sees" like an artist does!

I want to give an extra "thank-you" to my dear friend Yu-Ling. Yu-Ling is Jade and China's mom and she helped us for most of the week. It was great having her in the classroom and I look forward to working with you again....soon! xo-k

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Camp in Kentfield

As the summer continues to keep me busy with camps I am also working on a few other surprises I hope to share with you soon. In the meantime I want to quickly let you see the amazing portraits the artists made in last weeks private camp in Kentfield. The age of the children ranged from 5-10. We studied the face all week long looking intently and training our artists eye. Each day we specifically looked at just one feature on the face (ie: eyes, mouth, nose, etc.) and then compiled our new learned knowledge into an 11x14 canvas painted with acrylics (using only primary colors)!

Talking about the nose and realizing that it is made up of mostly shadows and highlights. Learning also how to blend our pencil lines to create contour.

Eyes, the window to the soul as I like to say. Well, if this is true this group has souls that soar: vivid, colorful, dramatic, detailed and focused.

Although these look daunting at this step, this is the layered technique the students were taught. We began with the background colors, mixed together primary colors to create a skin tone, then measured where the eyes would be placed on the oval shape. We then let this dry to begin again the next day.

And with a lot of incredible focus over the five days that it took to create these masterpieces, this is Ana's result of her self-portrait. I love it (and so did she!)