Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Art on my sleeves...

I remember when I decided to declare my major in the fine arts at Pacific Lutheran Unviersity. I was walking to the business building to take a writing GUR class and I saw a guy walking to the art building with a huge drawing portfolio case. It was so memorable because I remember he looked so content... who knows he could have been happy about something else, but I was certain it was because he was doing what he loved and at that moment I decided... I love art and thats what I want to do with my life!

This memory came back to me today when I was thinking about the class I enrolled in at The Gage Academy on Capitol Hill... The Gage Academy has completely won me over. I love everything about this place. From the beautiful brick architecture, to the free nature of the classes, and the vibrant artist community it has created. I have taken a Mixed Media Painting class, Art in the Renaissance Lecture class, and starting tomorrow the Features of the Head Animated Lecture class.

What is interesting about this is...

When I traveled to Paris in 2008 (can't believe it was 4 years ago!) My small class visited the The School of Beaux Art. The history of the school is that it was created to train students in the field of painting, drawing, sculpture, and architecture. There were many famous artist who taught and graduated from this school. What most impressed me though was the presence of the space. I was able to sit in on a figure drawing class and I remember feeling like it would be impossible to create a mediocre piece due to the pure magic of the space its like... well... it's like the artist of the past were there to inspire...

oh yeah back to whats interesting...

I recently found out that the teacher that I've been taking classes from at the Gage Academy Gary Faigin, studied and graduated from The School of Beaux Art.... I thought this was interesting considering that I had no idea when I enrolled. Really it's not that big of a deal, but it dawned on me that looking back through the past events in my life God really did have a plan and over time it has begun to reveal itself.

So I guess that contagious art space that is the School of Beaux Art and The Gage Academy do have a little something in common.

Just a little piece of my little life...

This is a drawing from a sketch I did at The Museum d'Orsay in Paris using techniques that are taught at The Gage Academy, and The School of Beaux Art...

Monday, April 16, 2012

Three Living Artist... that I love and why....

Susan Block
I first was introduced to Susan's work while visiting the oregon coast with my husband... we visited The Freed Gallery which housed one of her larger pieces. These paintings are absolutely stunning. The way that she uses color to compliment and build the anatomy of the horses structure is so brilliant and works so well that her paintings become almost as believable as a photograph. This is what I love so much about them. There is this uniqueness to each painting that is just not acquired by photograph...the drops of paint and streaks from smear marks are so carelessly placed but serve a direct purpose of dark and light, background and foreground. There will always be a place in my heart for these paintings as the equestrian subject matter is dear and near to me and I can't wait for the day that I can afford a original Susan Block piece.

 James Christensen
James Christensen is another beloved artist of mine. The story behind this is that every Wednesday when I was in high school... my grandpa used to pick me up from school and drive me to Flute lessons. There used to be just enough time to stop by the local gallery and see what was new every week. One of the displaying artist was James Christensen. I loved his work so much! If only for the simple reason that you could not just glance at his work and pass by with your arms crossed...his work commands a closer look. These pieces are so intricately done and the figures are so proportionally correct (and intentionally incorrect sometimes) that one can immediately discern that the artist has the knowledge of a classically trained master and is either choosing to display this knowledge or not. James has trade marks such as a floating fish seen in a majority of his work... and it is details such as this that I grew to love. 

Deborah Butterfield
One amazing artist!... People used to see my drawings and paintings of horses and ask me if I knew of "the artist that made horses out of drift wood." and it wasn't until I started volunteering at the Tacoma Art Museum that I encountered three of these artist sculptures in person. I gained a new appreciation for these pieces when I learned that they were not actually made of drift wood but of cast iron and metal made by the artist to resemble drift wood. What I love about these pieces is similar to my likes of the Susan Block painting. The use of material to create the anatomy of the horse, in taking up space and creating negative space that ones mind fills in. I could almost make the statement that these sculptures teach the anatomy of the horse in that the arches and curvature of the bronze compliments the natural structure of the horse informing the viewers eye as to what this seemingly skeletal display of the horse has in common with the musculature display that is missing. 

Monday, April 9, 2012

-Atala at the Tomb-

Thinking about pieces of art that have moved me or influenced me the most, the piece that comes to mind first is "Atala at the Tomb" by Anne-Louis Girodet de Roussy-Trioson in 1808The size of this painting and how someone could actually correctly sketch out and draw figures so proportionally correct is phenomenal. The drapery of the figures clothing was fantastic it looked as if you could reach out and touch it. Not to mention when taking a moment to ponder what the artist was trying to say through this image I immediately got chocked up and had to hold back tears from my eyes. The narrative behind this painting is somewhat watered down and I have cut and pasted a blurb of the intent of the narrative however, I just can't help but feel that the artist must have seen pain like this, of despair in loosing someone he desperately loved because the feeling flooded through the oil paint and into all my senses. Maybe he chose this subject matter due to his own loss.

After writing the above paragraph and then doing some research on the artist.... I found out that "He lost his parents in early youth and the care of his inheritance and education fell to his guardian, M. Trioson." Maybe it's just a coincidence but I really wonder if this is the reason that he was able to capture despair so perfectly through his imagery.

I'm not sure ...all I know is... out of all the paintings I saw in the Louvre including the Mona Lisa this image has burned itself into my mind and the sudden reaction to burst into tears has forever gained my appreciation for this artist and piece.

"Words are not really required to describe the scene. We have a heart-breaking image of purity, beauty, despair and sensuality, as Chactas clings to Atala’s legs refusing to lay her in the tomb, which he has already prepared. I think we have all experienced similar grief at some stage of our lives – the pain of having to say goodbye, of having to let go? We see Atala draped lightly in a white sheet with the last of the day’s sun making her radiate light, as if she were still alive, her hands clasped as if in prayer. She had such a struggle between her spiritual values of faith and her sensual values of love, but we look out of the cave to see the cross on the hill, which in a way reminds the viewer of the Christian promise of eternal life."

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Easter -Recipe-

Every holiday Paul and I try a new recipe its super fun and we get to spend quality time together. This easter we made apple spice cookies (not exactly a spring recipe) but they turned out great! My wonderful husband helped do all the apple and walnut chopping...gotta love him.

Apple Spice Drops

1/2 cup of butter, softened
2/3 cup sugar
2/3 cup of brown sugar
1 egg
1/4 cup of apple juice
2 cups of flour
1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
1/2 teaspoon of ground nutmeg
1 cup of finely chopped apple
1 cup chopped walnut

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

...Breadcrumbs... ...

I was thinking to myself today about my life and how God had shown Himself to me over the past year or so and it dawned on me that I’ve been following breadcrumbs.

Maybe it’s a strange analogy but it has made me better understand the holes in my last one. You see I used to think that God was playing hide and seek in my life one moment He was there and the next in hiding creating peaks and valley’s in my faith.  Contemplating on this though I have realized that God has been ahead of me the whole time leading the way leaving breadcrumbs to entice me to step closer to Him.

I’ve never been much of a church go-er and I really don’t analyze scripture like maybe I should however, I think a lot (being the quiet type) and picture God and His ways and I realize that he is quietly walking through the cobwebs ahead of me leaving behind breadcrumbs of hope for me to pick up. This gives me hope and the courage to keep moving forward in life… sometimes His clues are farther apart and the space between is confusing and scary but remembering that he will guide me to where he wants me to be and that the destination is nothing but pure good fills me with the faith I need to go on.

All this being said to encourage those whose breadcrumbs are farther apart than others… God is always there one step ahead.