Sunday, January 4, 2009

The First Meeting

Welcome to the DPC! Pull up a stool, or a chair, and don't worry about cleaning your brush or palette, you are amongst friends.

The DPC is a group formed mostly of fellow students from the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art, but also includes other artist, animators and cartoonist from the greater Philadelphia area. The initial impetus for the group grew out of the desire on the part of my fellow students and I to get out of the classroom at school and draw and paint. While we do love working in school, we desired to get together outside or the same classrooms set-ups and draw, paint, sculpt, what-have-you and share and learn from each other as we enjoy the journey of ourselves as artists. I for one, just got tired of drawing or painting the same people in the same studios. So our club is a movable ensemble and we want to take the art to various locations and to the streets.

We however started our first meeting at my house right before Christmas and spent a fun afternoon posing for each other to do short portrait exercises.
Here Dave and Will have a go at painting me as I sit and model.
Here is Will's first painting of me.
Here is Dave's quick painting of Will, who took a turn posing after me.
Here is my painting of Will in the same pose.

One of the goals was to do quicker paintings, to try doing 2-3 paintings per session to get more practice at starting a painting, which is the most important part. to concentrate on blocking in with the bigger shapes and then working to detail as time allows.

After each session then we have a little crit and share, talk and even demo a bit to share what we are learning as a group effort. Leave your ego at the door, if there are any rules, this is the biggest. To really grow you have to be open to listen as an artist, so often people take a critique as a personal attack, when in reality it is people telling you what works, and how to make what doesn't better, or different. The thin skinned artist learns so much slower or not at all.

These quicker paintings also allow for a bad beginning or go at it to easily be wiped out and started over. Sometimes the rag is the best tool.


Mike Thompson said...

Very cool, Mike! Congratulations on the new blog and your efforts to enter juried competitions. It's an honor to be among the first to comment. Here's to a wonderful new year full of more of your posts/commentary. You are a real inspiration.

Mike T.

William R. Moore said...

Congratulations to all involved in this venture. This should be a very worth while effort. Looking forward to seeing your pursuit of artistic growth through the many painting challenges you confront.

I have enjoyed following your blog, especially the post as student/teacher.

Most times school is so academic and it is only after leaving/graduation that the personal expression and art begins. Who said that has to be postponed during school ? :0)

I think that with your teaching and life experience/maturity you bring a perspective to art education that younger student can not. I hope the younger members of this group realize how lucky they are to have you in their classes. I am sure their are influences that work both ways,learning from each other.

Your recent commuter series is going well and a good example of getting away from the academic. Smart Move! Return of the Ashcan. :0)

Nicely designed masthead to this site. Is the font for DIRTY PALETTE an available font or one that was altered?

Mike Manley said...

Thanks Mike, that might be the best compliment an artist can get.

Mike Manley said...

Willaim, the Dirty Palette font was a font I stressed in Photoshop, glad you like the logo--that is actually the dirty palette I am using now.

As both a student and a teacher I can clearly say I am a better student now than I was at 20 because I have more patience and I'm willing to work even harder,not that I didn't work hard then, I'm more patient and I have a wider taste for sure. I also realize even more how rare good teachers are and that hard work will pay off, but the pain is harsh sometimes, and fun too. I think fun is something that is overlooked. This is where having a good group comes in really handy.