Thursday, 30 May 2013

New York New York! A great big adventure.

I might not have mentioned this in the blog, except that I'm getting so many emails and calls from worried students and people wishing me well that I need to set the record straight.. Yesterday I was honoured to be named the first Beard Scholar at Belfast School of Art and I'll be using the scholarship to attend a course in the Grand Central Academy in new York, a school of classical realism, started by Jacob Collins. I 'discovered' GCA a couple of years ago and have wanted to visit ever since, so its is fantastic to have this opportunity and I'm very excited to be going.
However, the newspaper has said that I am going for a year - in fact, I am attending a course for a WEEK! (but I'll do my best to cram in a years-worth, honest!) It will be late in the summer, and I'll take a big empty suitcase to put all my knew knowledge in, to bring back to share.

Meantime, it's business as usual back at the ranch, and now that my term has finished for my Masters, (see I'll be posting more of the artwork that's been produced in my studio recently.

And yes, I DID go on my bycicle every day to college, and YES it's quicker than driving, and YES it feels great - even in the snow.

Friday, 3 May 2013

Tulips in water colour, student work

I carried the tulips arrangement into a second session as students loved it so much and wanted time to get the painting onto a second stage. Well, this was a spontaneous decision, and it was 'interesting'  having two tables festooned with cloth for two weeks, trying not to move anything, especially as I had a weekend drawing workshop in the middle... Obviously the tulips wouldn't last, so everyone worked on those in the first session, leaving the cloth etc for the second hit. 

The results are wonderful, I am so pleased.

Jayne McC - several hours work
Thomas R, showing the scale. Lovely neutral non-colours. 
Sarah B - showing the whole table around her
This close up of Sarah's painting shows that she drew a larger area first then decided to crop in closer to a more intersting section for painting. 

Nisa V - lovely washes 

Jean C-E - lovely use of the paint, very sensitive. Jean have only just begun working with water colour. Note the colour dots along the bottom of the page, excellent!

Ruth T - interesting cropping, allowing the leaves to pop out over the boundary. This lovely background colour is Antwerp Blue.

Deirdre G

Chad - a beginner to all things drawing and painting

Chad is a lovely student. His family bought him a term of classes as a Christmas present as they were 'fed up hearing him say how much he wanted to paint, but never got around to it!'. Luckily he really enjoys it. However, the most wonderful thing about Chad as a student is that not only is he amazed at what he produces every week, but he is also PLEASED with himself for doing it. This is a marvelous attitude and one we would all do well to aim for. The act of producing something, associated with the pleasure in the attempt, is the reward, more than the result on the page. Of course, this is easier to cultivate as an attitude when we have more success than not, but most students don't notice the success, they see more of the struggle. Let's accept the struggle as part of the success!! 

Jayne had relatives visiting from America during this session, her cousin Jen and her mother Margaret, who were pleased to join in. But as they were new to water colour, they escaped the tulips and enjoyed the famous Banana exercises!

Jen, seated, and Jayne (foreground, bananas, yum!)

I still have some space on the free event for ireland's national Drawing Day on 18th May, which will be held at Belfast School of Art. If you would like to come along, please contact me for more information and to register.