stuff and things

12 April 2015

Today's Art Class: Pastels and the Renaissance!

Today was my second art class at San Diego's Museum of Art. It's a great series, super reasonable (okay, cheap) and very worthwhile. We studied several paintings with the excellent docent Dianne, who led us from the medieval through the Renaissance and into the modern, in only 5 galleries (only spotlighting one or two paintings in each). We spent a litte more time in the first gallery, the Italian Renaissance. I learned so many new things! Gosh, given my bad hip, how I wished I'd signed up for a docent training at the Museum instead of Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve. I digress.

After observing the changes in styles of painting and materials (Tempura!!!) we headed down to the Museum's art workshop: a fantastically organized yet artistically grungy place of brushes, paints, sinks, and lots of roomy tables. Each one had a vase of sunflowers upon it. (Ours was a little droopy.)

First, instructor Susan Roden, an expert artist in the pastel medium, had us do a quick sketch out of what view we saw of the sunflower arrangement. She had us use a blue pastel for the quick, "gestural" sketch, and then a white for any highlights we noticed in the glass jar, etc.

Then we went to color, finding a background by quickly using the sides of broken chalks to color vast areas. Then, more and more layers ...

Here's my Gestural and "finished (not quite) "painting" not quite). I'm very fond of gestural. Let's just leave it at that.
On right, my first, quick sketch to "solve Problems." On left, I added many "Problems!"

This was not quite my first experience with pastel, although this other technique used a monochrome style and Caran d'Arche pastels that only come in like, four colors. Similar to the stuff Leonardo used, I guess. Anyways, this first one I did remains a favorite: I was lucky enough to study with our local great, Anette Paquette, who takes us all to the Zoo (and we try gestural sketches doing monkeys in flight: yeah, right! maybe monochrome is meant for me!
Warthog Love (just kidding) but it's one of my few "loves" of my art
Sorry for the poor lighting, but it's night and I just wanted to get this post up.

finally, here is one of our teacher's works: She's awesome, in every sense of that overused word:
Deep 4, by pastel artist and teacher Susan E. Roden
Oh, and most finally, several students felt the medium wouldn't be something they'd be returning to, so gave me their chalks!
A limited palette, but I will become the Sunflower Queen of the World!
Maybe I can work on that second "painting" a bit and incorporate Susan's excellent advice. Pastels are a notoriously difficult medium but I would like to put some work into it and see what comes up. Oh, and don't go to the Facebook Pastels group unless you want to just ... die of intimidation! ;)

Hugs, Tina in San Diego

1 comment:

Susan Roden said...

Hi Tina,
So happy you enjoyed the class and the San Diego Museum of Art is a wonderful venue!

I do know there is so much to learn that 3 1/2 hours are not quite enough. You, as well as the others did a tremendous job and thank you for coming.