Monday, August 30, 2010

Unfinished pastels from Monday drawing class

"Moroccan Vase and Apples"

"Bob's Cowboy Hat"

Seems like we seldom get to really finish our pastels in class, which runs for 3 hours. With setup time, instruction, and then working on our pieces, time flies. I would have finished the vase piece today after arriving home, but Bob Semans wants us to bring this piece to class after Labor Day and work on it again. The cowboy hat was done just before leaving town for Chicago, so it languished in my art room.

Bob has about 5 students who are old faithfuls who have attended class for more than a couple years. We get to work somewhat independently while Bob gives instruction to the newer students. This class is held in an art store classroom and is open enrollment. Thus on any given Monday we could have new students. This morning, two very nice women joined us. Over the years we have seen many people start, but few continue for more than a couple months. Probably there are all kinds of reasons why people leave, one of which could be lack of patience to put in the time required to learn to draw well.

Our experienced group likes to request a critique at the end of the class, so Bob obliges us. This time he opened up comments from everyone and asked people to overcome the fear of saying something could be improved, noting we don't learn from pure praise. I was rewarded this morning by Bob's comment that in many ways my piece was the most successful because I managed to sort out the values. That was not without his help midway when he pointed out some problem areas for me to work on, the beauty of having a very good instructor. I was then able to dig into those areas and improve the piece considerably.

A friend says our subjects are boring. Bob's goal is not to have us produce finished pieces for framing. He wants us to learn to draw accurately and model form. I'm okay, because my goals agree with Bob's. I can take what I learn and apply them to my personal art.


Anonymous said...

Hi Mary, I'm enjoying catching up on what you've been doing. I am intrigued by your idea for "Alternate Realities".

And, I LIKE what you're doing at your drawing class. I find it interesting that you're using still life set ups to work on. I think the study is so worthwhile. I think I know what you mean about "boring". I keep doing my shells and cups to learn to see. I wonder that other people might find my studies boring...but they're studies. I think this is how we learn to see!

Great work Mary!

AutumnLeaves said...

Mary, both of these pieces are well done! You should be proud of yourself. I think my biggest problem is lack of patience. When I do actually exercise it a bit, my pieces are way better than usual. Anyway, I can't decide which I like better! I think the hat!

Mary Paquet said...

Peggy, Bob is a painter who works from life, not photos, so we do still life set ups most times and an occasional model. You nailed it -- we learn to see -- that's what Bob continually talks about. We paint what we know, not what we see, so we are learning to know what we see.

Sherry, you are so right about needing patience. I admit it's tough to exercise at times. The hat was really fun, though some people complained it was very difficult to draw. I didn't have any problem drawing the outline, but modelling form with shading, combining pastel and charcoal, was really a challenge.

hwfarber said...

I really like the vase piece but there's something about the hat that I love.

Anonymous said...

Both of these are wonderful! You do a superb job with values- something I need a lot of work on.
Constructive criticism is a good thing when it's done in a safe environment. It's still a difficult process and in the end, you have to be the one to decide how to use it. It's sounds to me like you have a great supportive and nurturing art relationship with Bob.
And I suspect, you give fantastic constructive criticism when asked.
:-))) Have a wonderful labor day weekend.