The first painting class I ever took was at the Boston Museum School of Fine Art. I entered the class with no expectations and a frenzied fearlessness a lot of 19 year olds are fortunate enough to have. I was intoxicated by the arty smell of turpentine, linseed oil, a paint splattered cement floor and the large slanted skylight romantically reminiscent, I imagined, of a Parisian atelier. Easels set up. First assignment: paint model (clothed ) in chair with striped horse blanket on back of chair. Boring. What was not boring was a primitive mural of a cow in a pasture on the distant wall.
The instructor of the class was T. Lux Feininger, noted artist and son of the famed Lyonel Feininger. The obvious direction I went of course in order to make this a not too boring painting was to incorporate the cow, thereby giving it some meaning and interest. I was slightly unsure and insecure of what I was doing but had the confidence at the time to not really care and follow my own vision. (It has been said that confidence is the feeling you have before you really understand something). I looked around at the other paintings which were far more academically structured and anatomically correct with form and shading in the right places. The torsos were not foreshortened and the noses did not look like those of a cartoon character.
Group critique time came around. At this point I was starting to get a little nervous preparing myself for what I hoped would be only a little "gentle criticism".
From T. Lux : what are your thoughts on this piece?
I'll tell you what I think. I think it is the only piece in the room with any art sophistication.
I did another painting and another..... with many more to follow.
|Portrait of Michael|
|Reclining model art school 101|