Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The Rape of Europa

Last night I watched "The Rape of Europa" on PBS and highly recommend everyone watch it. I knew that the Nazis stole and destroyed a lot of art, but I had no idea to what extent. While none of it begins to compare to the loss of human life at the hand of Hitler's regime, it was incredible to see images of the mass amount of artwork that was stolen, and to see great museums emptying their buildings of masterpieces in anticipation of the arrival of the Nazi army. Above is an image of the Winged Victory of Somothrace during it's evacuation from the Louvre. Below is a description of the program from the PBS website:
THE RAPE OF EUROPA tells the epic story of the systematic theft, deliberate destruction and miraculous survival of Europe’s art treasures during the Third Reich and World War II. In a journey through seven countries, the film takes viewers into the violent whirlwind of fanaticism, greed, and warfare that threatened to wipe out the artistic heritage of Europe. For twelve long years, the Nazis looted and destroyed art on a scale unprecedented in history. But heroic young art historians and curators from America and across Europe fought back with an extraordinary campaign to rescue and return the millions of lost, hidden and stolen treasures. Now, more than sixty years later, the legacy of this tragic history continues to play out as families of looted collectors recover major works of art, conservators repair battle damage, and nations fight over the fate of ill-gotten spoils of war. Joan Allen narrates this breathtaking chronicle about the battle over the very survival of centuries of western culture.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

New Classes Scheduled at ARTichokes

The time to sign up is now for these one-day classes at ARTichokes in Leawood, KS! All materials and a light lunch are included.

Portrait Drawing
Instructor: Lacey Lewis
Class Date: December 11th
Thursday, 10:00 am - 2:00 pm
Cost for 1 class: $95.00 plus tax
*a light lunch will be provided and all materials are included in the enrollment fee.

In this class we will study the art of portrait drawing in graphite and charcoal. Everything from lighting and posing the model to identifying good reference photos, proportion, creating a pleasing and accurate line drawing, and using value to give your portrait form and solidity will be covered. Work will be done from a combination of life and reference photos that we create ourselves. Students are encouraged to bring their own photos.

Figure Painting
Instructor: Lacey Lewis
Class Date: December 18th
Thursday, 10:00 am - 3:00 pm
Cost for 1 class: $145.00 plus tax
*a light lunch will be provided and all materials are included in the enrollment fee.

Enjoy demonstrations, discussions, and hands-on painting from a live, draped model in this unique oil painting workshop. Students will begin by drawing an accurate drawing and value map in monochromatic oil paint. They will then learn about value and skin tones. Finally, the class will refine their paintings by adding details. Lacey Lewis will guide the class through her creative process of painting the human figure. A light lunch will be provided. Class size is limited so hold your spot today!

Tiny Portrait Sketch

Yesterday I did this little sketch during my portrait painting class in my studio. It is on a tiny 7" x 5" panel that I scrubbed some raw umber onto. I started with the drawing in paint above and used an eraser to remove some of the pigment. I meant to take progress pictures with the color stages, but I forgot. Below is the final sketch.

Friday was the opening reception of "Favorites" at Strecker-Nelson Gallery. I have several drawings in the show. Jamie came along with me and I was pleased to meet some artists I had been itching to meet for some time, including Dean Kube and Louis Copt. I also had some great chats with Dan Coburn, Diana Dunkley and Ralph Fontenot. After such a busy weekend, I am spending today recovering before getting right back at it in the studio tomorrow.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

More Painting

I've gotten a bit more painting done on this. Can't wait to finish it up! Yesterday I worked on the figure in the black shirt, going over certain areas of her face, doing another entire layer on her hands and arm, and deepening the shadow on her belly. This is all helping her to fade into the background in the shadows, and then emerge from them in the light. Her belly will need more work, as right now the light area is pretty flat.

Included above is an image of the painting in black and white. These values will be adjusted to carry the eye through the painting in a specific pattern. My plan is to lower values on the belly of the standing figure, lower the contrast on the white shirt somewhat, and then lighten the flesh tones overall on the sitting figure. This should help the eye move around the whole painting, to both faces and both bellies, whereas at the moment the flow seems to stick at the sitting figure's face and shirt. Also, note how it doesn't make sense for the belly of the standing figure to receive more light than the belly of the sitting lady, since the sitting lady is closer to the light source. All these things will be corrected after I make the changes listed above.

360 Studio Slideshow

Jamie and I have been doing a lot of work on the studio. Yesterday I took a break from painting to take these pictures. Check out the painted panels, and my new little manikins. You can also see some of Jamie's work on the fence above the cubbies. Still much more to do, but the place is coming along.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Checkin' In

Unfortunately, I have no photo today. I will rectify this soon!

Last Friday was the Follow the Dotte Art Walk/Holiday Art Sale at the studio. I got to chat up lots of familiar and new people, and it was a good time. I'd also spent the day painting the panels and pillars the same green as the wall, so the place is almost looking spiffy now. The sale went on Saturday as well, but that was my wedding anniversary so I skipped out while Jamie held the place open for me. (Thank you!)

Yesterday (Monday) evening I gave a presentation to the Lawrence Art Guild and had a really great time! I think it went over pretty well and hopefully I made a couple new friends. Also found out about a possible open studios event for several counties in Kansas in the spring.

Today was for errands and a private lesson. Coming up this week I have days with 1/2 each day spent teaching and the other 1/2 day hopefully in the studio. Friday I have an opening out at Strecker-Nelson in Manhattan, KS followed by a painting class on Saturday.

Sunday I am going to sleep in!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Plugging Away and a Figure Drawing

Yesterday I continued to work on the face, hair, and shirt here. Still so far to go! Today I was at the studio but was doing some framing and a lot of cleaning.

Below is my sketch from last Saturday's figure drawing class. If I am lucky, I can get the model back in so I can finish it!

2nd Friday Art Walk and Holiday Art Sale

The Pressroom Studios is participating in the 2nd Friday "Follow the Dotte" Art Walk and KVAH's Holiday Art Sale. I will be at my space during the open hours this Friday, and my apprentice, Jamie Bone, will hold the studio open on Saturday. (I won't be there because it's my anniversary... sorry!) I have some new artwork on display and also have a small handful of affordable paintings and a few copies of my Feminae catalog available for purchase.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Weekend Studio Update

It might not seem like it based on the lack of reports on this blog, but it has been a busy week! In the last 7 days I've had 5 private lessons, a figure drawing class (see the picture above), worked in the studio and on the studio space itself, painted a bit at home, collected reference material for my next painting, worked on a children's CD design, and more. I have several little projects going on at once. Whew!

In the picture above, you can see there's now a big wall-thing behind the model. Seamus was kind enough to deliver these large 8' x 4' panels to my studio and he, my husband, and new artist to the Pressroom Studios Ron (pictured on the right) were kind enough to hinge the panels together for me. This week I am going to paint the panels the same color as my wall, with the hope that they will help control all that light bouncing around in the studio. I still *need* to get some curtains up there!

The picture was taken during class on Saturday. In the middle there's my apprentice, Jamie Bone, the aforementioned new artist in the Pressroom, Ron Smith, and Stephen Sweigart of Lawrence. I had my easel set up on the far right. Everyone in this class is an artist and is aimed at making a professional career out of their craft. It's so exciting to be working with such serious artists!

While I didn't get to do a lot of painting done at the studio with everything else going on, I did get to do a quick layer on expecting chick #2's face. I almost even made it to her hair! There's still so much adjusting to be done, but at least the value has been knocked back.

Now the values are falling into place. I feel like it's been so slow-going with this painting, so it's a little tough when I think to myself, "OK, just one more layer over the whole thing!" Maybe this will be the week, though. I have very little in the way of lessons this week, though I do still have other projects, a grant proposal, and a presentation to prepare.

While at home, I did manage to sneak in a quick session on this one morning. This time I was in the zone and ready to cover the whole canvas, but I had something scheduled and had to leave. My plan, right now, is to try and maintain this hectic schedule through the end of the year. Then I will try and take several months in early 2009 to focus primarily on painting.