Friday, February 21, 2014

What kind of Impact do we have?

What sort of impact will we have on the younger generation?  We see them texting, using twitter and rarely looking at us in the eyes or having a face to face conversation.  When I am working with these students, I am working hard at establishing a connection or communication.  It is the blank canvas, an Impressionist masterpiece, paint and the students.  Each one is challenged to learnt to mix colors, look at composition and above all learn that a blank piece of canvas can tell a story with visual language.  It shows emotion through color and texture and brush strokes.  A painting can create a story that each of us can interpret differently.  It goes beyond language and each panting tells a little about the artist themselves.

Beyond our age of technology in a school like Greater Latrobe is the Center for Creativity.  This place is beyond just the classroom, having been created as a community space to share ideas, ideals and to reiterate every day the importance of the arts in every day living and beyond.  This place is a gem in a school full of gems,  Take a look at the art collection, the caliber of teachers in this high school and the fact that community endowment still perceives that the arts must come alive for students and faculty alike.

I saw a student smiling today as she mixed a color that suited her painting.  She told me that she was finally having fun with her piece.  We held it up, put is on an easel and looked at it side by side.  She grinned noticeably and told me she was pretty happy with her piece so far.  For that moment, the colors on the canvas held a life of their own and established a connection between us where words, texting and language were not important and yet.....we still communicated emotion and a story.

So, impact really is important when we can guide towards a positive experience.  Perhaps it is just as simple as generating a little better self-esteem.  Maybe it is just a moment where a story is told through music, theater or a piece of fine art.

Greater Latrobe Center for Creativity and the Arts

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Back at Greater Latrobe High School February 2014

I am happily back at Latrobe High School for a quick 5 day painting residency with Lydia Mack.  This may well be my last year at the school with our move to North Carolina.  As always it is such a pleasure to be at this school.

Per our usual format, we are working with Impressionist styles and concentrating on the following:

!)  Composition
2)  Color
3)  Brush strokes and rhythm
4)  Color Mixing

We initially start with a line drawing or painting using either ultramarine blue or phythalo blue.  Students are encouraged to not replicate the piece but to choose a section of the painting to enlarge and make their own.  We stress the use of lights and whites to help create the illusion of space and dimension.  The primary goal is to get the students to become aware of the use of positive and negative space as well as the use of composition to create a viable piece of artwork.

New things happening for 2014

After a rough fall of 2013 where I was badly cut by a piece of steel, things have changed immensely for our studio and for us.  We have bought a new home/studio in North Carolina and will be moving there in the early summer of 2014.  Our primary goal is sunshine, a great work environment and a place to have all our crazy creatures living with us in one location.  So, Shallotte here we come ready or not.

In the meantime, it is business as usual with our wholesale show in Orlando that went quite well.  We picked up 14 new accounts and with our plates full of new orders and new work, are working hard already.  Here is a glimpse of what our booth looked like in Orlando.