Feed the Artist
31 July to 4 August 2017 were the best days of summer. That's a big, bold statement to make, especially since there is still a month left of break, but I will make that big, bold statement confidently because I know these days were the best.
I attended an adult education class through Tyler's Continuing Education program - Painting with the Masters. The instructor, Kathleen Eastwood, is the same person I was studying under in the spring. Our class consisted of 5 painters and ran from 9:30 to 3:30 daily. We took over a fantastic studio space and worked within three palettes on four pieces (plus some smaller things to get us going).
I'm proud of the work I did during this intense week. Time devoted just to art is really important for me as a person - it allows me to get out of my head and be present in the moment. It is also really inspiring to be around other artists who are working in different styles and from different backgrounds.
Still Life - old master's palette, traditional underpainting, glazes
We also worked on a still life in the style of the Impressionists - it gave me fits thanks to the reflective objects. Something about this approach was the trickiest for me. The idea is to avoid mixing all the colors and let the brush work create the illusion of mixed color. I struggled with this approach in our previous session - maybe because both involved reflective object hell... I didn't work on this piece much beyond the initial afternoon but I kind of wish I had.
Working from the figure - short poses (10-20 minutes), get loose, bold color choices
Long Figure Pose - stay loose, bold color choices, ahhhhh green gold
The modern palette - the best colors in the box, staying loose
To wrap up the final day, I worked on a food piece - just to have the eyes of Kathleen on me while I worked on a piece in the same vein as my "What's For Lunch?" series. It was really helpful to have her there to remind me to stay loose and to avoid over working areas. Here's the little piece I did in the final 1.5 hours of our week...
Identifying as an Artist/Educator is a trendy - but strange - thing. I may be wrong, but I think that a ton of people in this field are claiming this identity without truly embodying the parts. If I am to dissect that term, it means that I am first an artist and second, an educator. And yet - the only part of that job title that pays me is the second part.
When you don't rely on half of your career identity to pay your bills, it can be difficult to justify the need to nourish that half of yourself.
I used to be an art teacher; I was ok at that job and my middle school students were acceptably served. At some point, this was not enough and something had to change for me to feel good about what I did every day and who I was as a professional.
Deciding to define one's self as an Artist (even if it is as an Artist/Educator) is a bold and scary declaration. There is weight attached to declaring yourself an Artist - and it isn't all good weight. Despite the weight, I've decided to carry this identity and to devote equal effort (ok, maybe more goes to Artist than Educator) to both halves of this career identity.
If I'm an Artist, I have to make art. But, if I make art and no one sees it, does that still make me an "Artist"?
Lora Marie Durr
During my undergraduate studies, I spent a great deal of time in the painting studio working with traditional oils. Teaching middle school art for the past 12 years has taken me away from those roots. This "one a day" project is aimed at re-inspiring that creativity and technique.
Other "one a day" painting blogs to check out:
Kellie Marian Hill
The usual Subjects