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Archive for July 27th, 2010

During the Renaissance artists were trained in a master’s workshop to paint exactly like the master.  The commissions were often so huge that one artist, the master, could not work on it by himself.  So he trained one assistant to duplicate his way of rendering drapery, another for landscape, another for architectural detail, et al.  We don’t do that anymore.  Not quite.  We know that Damian Hirst, for example, has assistants paint paintings that he will sign. But at least the system that trained you in a master’s workshop is officially defunct.  Good riddance.

I don’t know of any artist or art teacher who claims the title of master in our time.  The predictable response to such a claim would be out right ridicule.

In my drawing class I frequently draw at a wall to make a point and to illustrate the approach I’m suggesting for that particular drawing exercise. Suggesting, mind you.  What I say may be just the thing for one student and another may take a different turn entirely and  store my demo wisdom  for possible future application.  This unpredictability is one of the reasons teaching is so stimulating—for the teacher.

During the last class I set up a still life with drapery, pottery and the odd apple here and there.  The introductory remarks and demo were concerned with negative space and the possibility of making it scintillate.  Half of the class had worked with me before and half were new.  The results were all over the place.  I love the surprises.

Drawings shown here are by Danielle G., Karen G., Sarah R., Laura F., and Vera C.  Please, click to see enlargement and forgive the poor lighting.  I’m working on it.

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