Sunday, May 19, 2013

Intensive Studies Seminar, Taos, New Mexico

Am surprised to realize that I haven't yet posted about the fabulous time I had at the Intensive Studies Seminar at the end of April this year. Four instructors (Katherine Chang Liu, Fran Larsen, William Lawrence, Christopher Schink) and eight days of painting in a great studio space in a gorgeous part of the country. It was artist heaven! While there, I focused on the figure, and I painted 16 paintings of which 3 or 4 have potential. I feel I made progress in losing edges and developing a textural style of applying paint, sort of the way oil paint is applied. Here are some of the works I did there:

With four different instructors working with small groups of us on different days, we were warned that we would get contradictory advice at times. One person said the baby's foot above was key to that painting's success, while another said it had to go. One person thought the dancer with the green shoe below was my least effective painting, while another thought it was the most effective. In a way, this sort of contradictory feedback forced us to commit to our own ideas -- I love the baby's foot and I don't think that dancer picture is very good.

Then, just to try something different, I did a nonobjective painting, below. One instructor liked it and another exclaimed, "That's not you!" I enjoyed painting it, but it's not me.

Then, just for fun, I decided to do a couple of whimsical bird portraits, after seeing a slide show of people portraits by Rufino Tamayo. There were nesting magpies near the hotel, and mockingbirds and many other birds to watch.

Tamayo Magpie
Tamayo Mockingbird
I brought home a couple of unfinished paintings, and they will get me started painting again after all the upcoming life events (birthdays, graduations, weddings) that will keep me from it for a while. I feel extremely fortunate and grateful that I got to go to ISS this year.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like a wonderful trip, so happy for you. It's so common to get contradictory remarks, but in the end, like you said, we are forced to trust our own judgement. I love the baby foot, the green shoe and your work in total! ;o) a fan!