Friday, March 12, 2010

looking out looking in

I am excited to be part of a group show: Looking Out Looking in at Kingsborough Community College in Brooklyn. Curated by Madeline Sorel, it is a tribute to both Women's History Month and the art of portraiture by 25 women artists ranging in age from eight to eighty.

My pastel of Amelia Earhart was done for a textbook story.

She's one of those heroines I can't shake. I should see the movie, but not sure I want to. She can still keep flying in the clouds of my imagination.

I did this drawing of Johnny Cash as a personal project. Ring of Fire plays in my head way too often.

Madeline asked for a self-portrait. I used to do them continually back in school, but this was done a few years ago, for a contributors page alternative in a magazine. Here I look serious yet dotty at the same time.

Madeline and I were classmates in illustration at RISD decades ago. Now that we are both teaching, I've been thinking about those heady days of art school. How did I learn?

I recently found some slides from my freshman drawing class with Lorraine Shemesh, an amazing teacher, full of energy and good example. I remember working on this self-portrait in layers.

During the first year of school, everyone's trying to discover their identity, finally apart from family and adolescent peer pressure. It's a new kind of pressure for the art student, but drawing from the self is a best practice. Nothing like contemplating your own skull.

And then, there's foreshortening. And feet. Two big challenges.

We also did a life size self portrait, a project I've assigned to my own class. This took me hours. I think I was trying to say I was a swimmer and a skier, without being too naked.

The motel pool where I spent much of my youth became a learning curve in perspective studies. I did this drawing for a sophomore illustration class, trying to combine real reference and the imagined, with 3 vanishing points.

Both my father and that motel are long gone. This drawing is my tether to that point in time, when I was growing and changing. It also serves as a reminder that I learned by looking out and looking in. Soon spring break will be over, and I'll be back in the classroom, hoping to encourage students to do the same.


Madeline Sorel said...

love you blog!& everyone loved your work check out the pics on my facebook page

Madeline Sorel said...

love yr blog!