Sunday, June 25, 2017

Still Life Painting Competition: Day 3

At the end of Day 3, the competitors had a meeting to discuss the timing of the final day of the competition. While each spot is roughly the same, there are some variations since the studios are natural light. A few experience some hot spots in the morning, which they deflect with foam core but then in the last stretch each day, it gets darker. Therefore, the artists will start and finish an hour earlier on Tuesday, in order to provide judges with an experience that is more representative.

Revised Tuesday's hours:
Morning session: 8am - 12noon.
Lunchtime viewing:12noon - 1pm
Afternoon session: 1-5pm
The judging will then commence in private.
The Awards Ceremony hours remain 7-9pm. We plan to make the winners announcement at 7:30pm. Please also join us in the gallery for the final viewing of Self Portrait at Eleventh Street Arts.

After the meeting, the artists again relaxed in the lounge and shared a little of what they've been listening to while they work. Here's a compilation:

Mac DeMarco - "He's very chill."

80's Rock n Roll - "There was some Hall and Oates in there today."

Norma Jean, Simon & Garfunkel, The Birds "Oh, I had some Birds in my playlist too."

"A talk on postmodernism in Spanish - it was a Mexican critic talking about art."

Górecki - "He's a Polish composer." "Classy."

Cosmo Sheldrake - "He's got like 6 songs that I've been playing."

Deathcore - "a sub genre of death metal, it's slower and very Los Angeles. The chaos, the white noise, makes the process very soothing. The pace is the same as classical music and I get the same energy with both."

"I tried listening to some Bon Iver at first but the feeling of something over my ears made it too hard to concentrate. So now I hear some noise in the room, coughing and chairs moving."

True Crime Podcasts, Beyoncé, Mobb Deep "RIP Prodigy"

"A lot of sighing from me and the other people in my studio."

And two artists said they can sometimes hear Tony Curanaj who is teaching a workshop in one of our studios. They joked that "I'm trying to gain some advice" and "I've learned three different ways to transfer."

As a judge, Tony's not allowed to enter the studios, view the progress online or discuss the competition with his students, participants or other artists. The students can attend the lunchtime viewings and their workshop ends the same day as the competition. Be sure to check out the podcast Tony co-hosts with GCA Instructor Ted Minoff: Suggested Donation

And now works-in-progress photos from Day 3:

Day 3: Winckel Man

Day 3: Dedalus

Day 3: Mealy Potatoes

Day 3: Nollie-Tre

Day 3: Mondavi

Day 3: Rupert Everton

Day 3: SNOC

Day 3: Sir Mix-a-Lot

Day 3: King Chroma

Day 3: The Postman

Day 3: Bristles and Coffee

Day 3: The Milk Carton Kid

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Still Life Painting Competition: Day Two

The competitors are extremely focused as they work. The studio monitors have remarked that the artists rarely leave their easels for the four hours in both the morning and afternoon sessions. The monitors have also commented that they are getting some great demo's seeing these artists in action.

At the end of the first day, everyone gathered in our lounge for a petite fête francais inspired by artist John Morra's workshop Exploring Chardin: The Origins of the Modern Still Life. For a few hours, competitors mingled with core students, workshop students, evening cast students and Resident Artists and Faculty. On the second night, several artists again shared some drinks and experiences in the lounge.

Below are a few comments "overheard" by the competitors over the first two days:

"If I worked this fast when I'm home working, I'd have a gallery filled with work."

"I was starving the whole morning and forgot there were snacks."

A LOUD CRASH. "Does anybody have more eggs?"

"This is my first time at GCA. And it's a really nice community and I'm jealous."

"Is it really Friday?"

"My armpits smell like onions and I think I like it."

"I took half my kitchen and my neighbor's dishware and I'm not using any of it."

"I was at the store looking at a whole bass fish -- I called my wife and she said I'm hanging up the phone now."

"There were some first day heroics. Someone abandoned their set-up and arranged a new composition."

As the last of the artists left the studio last night, it was raining and it was raining when we all returned again today. But they put in a request for more sunshine and it has indeed appeared. Hopefully the sun will keep on shining through to the end when you join us on Tuesday from 7-9pm for the Awards Ceremony. 

And now, photos showing the works-in-progress from Day 2:

Day 2: The Postman

Day 2: Nollie-Tre

Day 2: Bristles and Coffee

Day 2: Bristles and Coffee (Color Study)

Day 2: Sir Mix-a-Lot

Day 2: The Milk Carton Kid

Day 2: Winckel Man

Day 2: Rupert Everton

Day 2: Mealy Potatoes

Day 2: Dedalus

Day 2: Mondavi

Day 2: SNOC

Day 2: King Chroma

So...have you guessed all 7 of the mystery objects yet?

Friday, June 23, 2017

Still Life Painting Competition: Day One

Yesterday, we welcomed 12 finalists to our studios for our 2017 Still Life Painting Competition. Spanning 6 days from June 22- 27, the artists work 8 hours a day for a total of 48 hours.

The morning began with breakfast and a review of the rules. Competition Judge, Tony Curanaj revealed the mystery objects. The artists then drew tokens for studio quadrants and promptly got to work arranging their set-ups and compositions.

Each competitor creates their own composition but must include at least three of the seven mystery objects. We'll post about the objects this weekend, in the meantime, can you can guess what all seven are?

At 6pm sharp the artists are directed to step away from their paper and/or canvas and depart the studio to clean their materials and lock up their work. The artists start up again the next day at 9am.

Each day we'll post images of the works-in-progress photographed at the end of the previous day. The works will not be credited to the artist's real names until after the winners are announced. For now, we'll use each artist's personally chosen Nom de Plume.

You are invited to stop by in person from 1-2pm every day to see the progress during the artists' lunch break. Just wait until the monitors open the curtains to each of the three studios.

Please join us this Tuesday night from 7-9pm for The Awards Party. The event starts in our adjacent gallery, Eleventh Street Arts, with a final viewing of the Self-Portrait Exhibition. Once the winners are announced, everyone is invited into the studios to view all the works and celebrate the achievements of all 12 of the artists.

Day 1: SNOC

Day 1: King Chroma

Day 1: Mondavi

Day 1: Nollie-Tre

Day 1: The Milk Carton Kid

Day 1: Sir Mix-a-lot

Day 1: The Postman

Day 1: Dedalus

Day 1: Rupert Everton

Day 1: Mealy Potatoes

Day 1: Bristles and Coffee

Day 1: Winckel Man

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

New Summer Figure Workshops with Anthony Baus & Jessica Artman

Raven by Anthony Baus
Graphite, black chalk, gouache on toned paper. 11 x15 in. 2017
Announcing a new workshop added to our 2017 Summer schedule. The "Studio Figure." This is a revised version of the perspective drawing workshop with a focus on the figure within a studio environment.

This five-day workshop will be split into mornings and afternoons. Mornings will be spent drawing the figure from life using toned paper which we will learn to do on the first morning class.

In regards to the figure, we will begin wish a block-in focused on correct proportions and use of anatomical landmarks.

We then proceed to an economical modeling using hatching and the tone of the paper with added white chalk.

The use of a dynamic contour will be emphasized in regards to the figure's relationship to the environment.

Illustrating the use of linear perspective. In Anthony's drawing of Raven, the studio casts were organized to conform to the pose with respect to rhythms and central mass of the composition. Papers strewn about the foreground open up a path leading the viewer into the picture. The background of easels and canvases fades with minimal treatment.
Afternoons will be spent on the studio environment complete with casts and drapery. Artists will learn to manipulate the value hierarchy in order to dictate depth.

Basic concepts of linear perspective will also be introduced: horizon line, vanishing points and the manipulation of each in order to achieve a desired effect.

This workshop is ideal for anyone wishing to create convincing spatial relationships within an observed or constructed environment.

July Summer Drawing Boot Camp Week 4: Studio Figure with Anthony Baus.  July 24 - 28, 2017 (5 days) 10am - 5pm. Monday - Friday. Read more on our workshop page.


Jessica Artman's 3-day workshop is an intensive on how to begin a figure drawing from life with a focus on finding and maintaining the model's gesture.
Nessa by Jessica Artman
Gesture is defined as a movement of part of the body to express an idea or meaning.

During the 18-hour pose, you will study the models proportion through anatomical landmarks that build upon that idea or gesture of the model.

This "idea" could be a dramatic outreach in the air, or a quiet shift in weight with a soft gaze toward the ground. Drawing concepts surrounding proportion, anatomy, geometric solids, value and form will all be discussed.

Jessica will give personal critiques as well as demonstrate a simple method to analyzing the figure from life and maintaining a model's gesture from start to finish.

June 3-day Figure: Obtaining the Gesture with Jessica Artman. June 24 - 26, 2017 (3 days) 10am - 5pm. Saturday - Monday. Read more on our workshop page.

Friday, June 2, 2017

Interview with 2017 Graduate Tsultrim Tenzin

I recently had the opportunity to catch up with Tsultrim Tenzin, a recent graduate of the Core Program, about his experience at GCA. A New Jersey native, he began his education here in 2013, and graduated earlier this May.

What drove you to apply to GCA?
I was looking for proper art training and I knew of the ARC (Art Renewal Center), where I found GCA. It also happened to be close to home and it was financially the only choice for my art education. Seeing the instructors' work really was a big indicator of the quality of the program as well. It felt like everything was in the right place and the circumstances were perfect to attend GCA.

Did you set any goals when you started the program?
Coming in it was more or less that I just really wanted to learn to draw and paint and get really good at it, but after that I did set some goals. It's a work in progress that will continue for the rest of my career.

What did you struggle most with as a student?
My first year I struggled a lot with form - just getting on the form. I understood the concepts that the teachers would talk about but just couldn't translate it to paper. I remember rendering over 20 spheres trying to practice, constantly practicing to build up that dexterity and handling. That was the biggest struggle, getting on the form early on.



Is there a particularly memorable or helpful critique that has stuck with you?
That's a tough one, because I feel that a lot of critiques were helpful. If there's one thing, it's not quite a critique, but more a bit of advice from Colleen Barry. I remember her telling me that it's about the long run. So for me, as an emotional person who gets upset whenever I do something wrong, that advice felt like she was telling me I need to calm down - this art that we do is really hard, and I need to take it easy. It's a step-by-step process and it's not about who gets there the quickest. That's something that really helps me today when I'm feeling down. It's about looking at the bigger picture.

What are your future plans?

Some of them would be to improve my abilities even further. Studying the masters even more closely will be a big part of it. I'm a particularly big fan of Rembrandt and Velasquez. So copies. Down the road, I definitely would love to, if I could, do a portrait of the 14th Dalai lama, Tenzin Gyatso. I also want to do a Tibetan series, depicting Tibetans in exile, but I want that to be a really special show where I'm technically really proficient and ready.

What advice would you give incoming GCA students who are starting their education?
Have humility and be open minded. You can't be egotistical as if you're more important than anyone else, because you're not. And be open minded - don't pretend that you know everything. Your teachers have your best interests in mind, so listen to them. Don't take your teachers for granted and don't be afraid to ask questions. You just can't think that you're better than anyone else; you have to be grounded and you can only do the best that you can.

Photo courtesy of Mariana Hernandez-Rivera

Thank you to Tsultrim for the time, and congratulations and good luck to all you 2017 graduates!

Monday, May 15, 2017

Sunday 5/21 Concert: Russian Piano Trios - 1pm

Join us this Sunday for Russian Piano Trios our final chamber music concert of the academic year!

Enjoy works by M. Glinka, I. Stravinsky, and A. Didorenko
Aaron Irwin, clarinet
Andy Didorenko, violin
Valeriya Sholokhova, cello
Yuliya Basis, piano

The concert will take place among the SELF PORTRAITS on display in Eleventh Street Arts. 
Click here to find a link to the show's catalog.

Doors open at 12:30pm. 
Refreshments will be served. Enjoy Mimosas, Kir Royale and mini pastries. Orange juice for the kids!

Afterwards, you are invited to tour the GCA studios to view the The 2017 Salon, a group exhibition featuring portraits, figures, casts, still lifes and landscapes of over 45 artists training in the core program at GCA and highlighting works by the graduates. Part of LIC Arts Open.

Concert tickets are $20 in advance - click here for online purchase.
$25 at the door.
$10 for 12 Years & Under.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Announcing the 2017 Still Life Competition Finalists

The following twelve artists have been selected to compete in this year's Still Life Painting Competition: Liz Beard, Julie Beck, Lucas Gabriel Bononi, Kevin Müller Cisneros, Emma Christine Hirst, Samuel Shih Hao Hung, Brendan Johnston, Rodrigo Mateo, Ron Richmond, Alex Joseph Venezia, Justin Wood and Dale Zinkowski.

The Competition will be held June 22 - 27, 2017. The studios will be open for daily lunch-time viewings from 1:00-2:00pm. The awards ceremony is held Tuesday, June 27 from 7:00 - 9:00pm and is free and open to the Public. Refreshments will be served.

This year's competition judges are Tony Curanaj, William Gerdts and Sarah Lamb.

Michael Klein won the 2014 competition and was among the judges choosing the finalists.

Liz Beard: Citrus on Canvas
Julie Beck: Bones in the Ground
Lucas Gabriel Bononi: Untitled
Kevin Müller Cisneros: Wild Roses
Emma Christine Hirst: Awakening
Sam Shih Hao Hung: Family of Trinkets
Brendan Johnston: Phaesant and Wicker Basket
Rodrigo Mateo: Copper pot with apples

Ron Richmond: Exchange
Alex Joseph Venezia: Longevity

Justin Wood: Mandolin and Music

Dale Zinkowski: Sabot

Finalists will compete for 48 hours over 6 days to paint a still life. The participants will be allowed to include  a few objects of their own choosing into a composition built around some secret objects selected by the judges.

First Prize: $10,000. Second Prize: $3,000. Third Prize: $2,000.

The GCA and advent of this competition are made possible through generous support of the Morris and Alma Schapiro Foundation.