Sunday, July 8, 2018

Summer Newsletter: 2018/2019 Academic Year


It's been a good year!
Thanks for a great year. Studio classes have done well and are still continuing until mid-August. We do have one opening in the Drawing in my Studio class on Wednesday. Email me if you interested.

As for workshops, I cut down the number of workshops from last year, but will most likely increase more in the next 2018-2019 academic year, which officially starts October 1. I am offering an interesting workshop on Friday, September 7, entitled, Watercolor with Brusho. This is a fairly new product to the US, but has been used by teachers in England for years. Check our my YouTube channel that offers a short video.

Let's plan the next year.
We often offer classes, not knowing if they are even interesting to most people. I think that one subject will be good, but may be there are others that people want. So in keeping with that, I've created a survey that's direct and to the point, asking you what you want to see offered at Glastonbury Studios this academic year. If you could take a few moments (I don't even think it will take more than a minute) to answer the two questions, I'd sure appreciate it. Here's the link:


A list of summer sketching ideas

Don't let your drawing and painting skills get rusty this summer. Instead, practice, practice, practice. Don't know what to sketch? Here's a short list:
  • Draw your breakfast
  • Draw a closet and its contents
  • Draw some flowers
  • Draw your pet
  • Draw your porch, deck
  • Draw downtown
  • Draw a store front
  • Draw a boat
  • Draw an animal at the zoo
  • Draw some sea shells
  • Draw the water--ocean, lake, pool
  • Draw some mountains
  • Draw a camp ground
  • Draw a squirrel
  • Draw an airplane
  • Draw a monument
  • Draw the inside of a restaurant
  • Draw a portrait
  • Draw your favorite things


Glastonbury Studios

Brusho Workshop
Friday, September 7
10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Come learn a brand new skill. Everything is provided, including lunch. All you need to bring is enthusiasm to learn. $85 Sign up by email to: jjgoodell@gmail.com

See my YouTube video on this product.


New fall classes  to include three morning classes.


Beginning October 1, I will be offering three morning classes: Tuesday through Thursday. I will be discontinuing evening classes for now.

Ireland in September 2019

Here's the plan so far. We will visit Dublin, Galloway, Belfast (Titanic Museum) and Cork (Blarney Castle) the first week of September 2-8, 2019. Details will come soon. We'll enjoy lots of time sketching loads of street scenes, old castles, pubs, and terrific landscapes!  If you're interested let me know by email. I'll put you on the Ireland mailing list. 






Next issue, coming in September, will cover a series on the three color, plus black system. 

Have a great summer!

Friday, June 1, 2018

"We cannot speak other than by our paintings."
Vincent Van Gogh  a week before his death



I've just watched the most captivating movie ever. It's called Loving Vincent,  the first fully hand-painted feature film. That's right. It is painted on canvases by real artists. In fact this masterpiece was created by painting over 66,000 frames by more than 100 artists, over a six year period. It's not only an accomplishment; the end result is an inspiration.

Developed by director/producer/artist, Darota Kobiela, Loving Vincent was inspired by both his paintings and letters between Vincent and his brother Theo. The story line is also unusual. We've all learned that Van Gogh committed suicide. But there has been a  theory that he was shot by some hooligans from the village where he lived. There appears to be sufficient evidence to support that theory.

All the characters and scenes Van Gogh painted are faithfully repainted in his style. Because he painted on several different frame sizes, some of the artists had to take the liberty of expanding the painting to fit a movie frame. The backstory is painted in black and white.

The story goes that Postman Joseph Roulin has a letter from Vincent Van Gogh directed to his brother and he asks his eldest son, Armand to deliver it. Along the way, Armand learns more about Vincent's life and eventual death.


Joseph Roulin

Armand Rouline

What's really cool about this film is that they found people who looked liked the portraits, while doing a faithful job of recreating the characters. Here is the official trailer.


(https://youtu.be/Gy0RVDM1sNA)
Interestingly the movie is a Polish/UK project and was co-funded by a company in Qatar. Here is a short on the making of the film.


(https://youtu.be/QE9Q_7bfHsM)

Last but not least, here is a link to an artist creating the paintings on canvas from Instagram:
 https://www.instagram.com/p/BfMQKzUB6X_/?tagged=paintinganimation

Hope you enjoyed the sneak peak. Get a copy and view it. You'll be glad you did.



What's coming up!


Classes and Workshops


Glastonbury Studios Classes
Five-Week Session 
Begins Week of June 4
Seats available in most classes

Pencil to Brush*
Drawing and painting

Every Tuesday morning
10 am to 12:30 pm
$80 Wait List

The Morning Draw
The Seaside--various media
Every Wednesday morning

10 am to 12:30 pm
$80 Wait List

Fall 2018 Classes
Watercolor Sketching (Wednesday afternoons)
Fun with Acrylics(Thursday evenings)
See website for full descriptions
Now taking reservations


*******************************
2018 Studio Workshops
All studio workshops are from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. 
Includes most supplies and lunch. 
Class size is limited to ten students. 
Pre-registration is required. 
Only payment reserves your seat. Cost is $85. 

Saturday, June 23

Keeping a nature journal

Friday, September 7
Watercolor painting with Brusho®


Saturday, November 10
Beginning acrylic painting 


Monday, May 7, 2018

May 2018 Newsletter

Graffiti: Vandalism, Street Art or Murals
TAX THE RICH
Megan Wilson, public mural, 
Clarion Alley Mural Project, San Francisco, CA, 2013
From Clarion Alley website
I dislike graffiti. Sorry folks. A lot of people love it. In fact, a friend recently went down to San Francisco to see the graffiti in the Mission District. I was surprised. Why would anyone spend money to go see graffiti? I mentioned this to my son who lives in the Bay Area and he annoyingly said, “That’s not graffiti, that’s mural art,” and he proceeded to show me some stunning pieces.

Well, that set me back.  So what is it? Graffiti, street art, murals?

Grafitti written on security roll-up doors in Barcelona
While on a trip to Spain and Italy, I saw all sorts of graffiti—from tags and blockbuster lettering to amazing “murals.”  Specifically, in Barcelona, most of the "tagging" was on the large roll-up security doors on shops. A passerby on any weekday may not see the markings, but on a Sunday or holiday when the shops are closed and the big steel doors are shut, the streets seemed to be lined with black scrawled gibberish done in spray paint. Conversely, while on the freeway, you see these magnificent pictures painted cement blocks.

I returned even more curious. Thus, I started reading about graffiti and have subsequently learned a lot. Surprisingly, it’s a complicated subject with all sorts of twists and turns as well as opinions. 
                                                                                                    
The scribbled graffiti we see today, also known as tagging, gained prominence in the 60s and 70s in the New York City subways.  Considered vandalism, the movement spread across the country and into Europe. Most American cities eventually created strict laws, including outlawing the purchase of spray paint by minors. Graffiti continues today, but with a twist. It’s becoming an art form, and when you get permission to paint the wall or surface, it’s legal.

That’s what has happened in the Mission District. First, let’s discuss what’s considered legal and illegal in San Francisco. According to KQED News, there are three forms of “street art,” one of which is legal for an obvious reason.

There is the graffiti writer who illegally inscribes letters and symbols to express him/herself on mailboxes or walls. The most famous grafitti writer is Darryl Mc Cray or Cornbread (his moniker). History says that he was the first non-gang tagger. It all started with a crush on a girl, where he wrote, “Cornbread Loves Cynthia” all over north Philadelphia. In time, he simply used Cornbread. The writing spread  to New York City. 


Darryl Mc Cray or Cornbread/Pinterest

Street artists, who may be working legally or illegally(depending on if they received permission to use the surface), use more illustrations, wheat paste, stencils and stickers to create their pieces. Here’s a tutorial on wheat paste production and use: https://vimeo.com/14623568


A wheat paste graffiti by unknown street artist in Chicago
Photo by CHELCIE S. PORTER 2011
The third type is the muralist who usually is working legally and even sometimes encouraged by neighborhoods or businesses to use their walls for art. This is what is happening in the Mission District.

Clarion Alley
One such place is Clarion Alley in San Francisco that’s considered the center of the muralist community.  Begun in 1992, they received permission from all the residents in the alley (accept for two) to use the buildings as a “canvas.” Since they have permission, there is no vandalism involved (except that which is created on some of the murals). Many other streets and alleys have created the same forum for public art. See Guide to San Francisco’s Mission District Murals

Clarion alley in 1992 (from website)

Clarion alley in 2011 (from website)
The key here is permission. However, what happens to the art when the owner  of the building or surface wants to make a change? There’s an interesting case in New York where the property owner had to pay artists when he toredown his building.  Back in the 1990s Jerry Wolkoff, a developer, bought an old factory building on 45-46 Davis Street in Long Island City. He had plans to develop it but in the meantime he allowed artists to use the exterior as graffiti canvas. From the start, the art was taken very seriously and curated to ensure it was done properly.

By Youngking11 - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,
 https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=20078663

By Ezmosis - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, 
Over the years, the old factory was transformed with  hundreds of works and was even dubbed 5Pointz. The location, just like the Mission District, became famous. People from all over the planet came to see the open-air graffiti museum (as it’s been called).

Then in 2013 things changed. Wolkoff wanted to tear down the factory and build condos. In his haste, instead of giving notice to the artists so that they could preserve their artwork, he had everything white-washed one night in one fell swoop under the veil of darkness. As an artist myself, I can only imagine what it must have felt like to have one’s work painted over.

Years passed. Then four years later the artists sued Wolkoff under the federal Visual Artists Rights Act (VARA), which grants “moral rights” to artists. Although the artists did not own the property, their moral rights had  been infringed when the owner white-washed the art. The award was $6.7 million, representing $150,000 per work destroyed.  Of course this case is being appealed, and it will be interesting to see how it all falls into place. However, it does send a message to property owners and artists alike. 

Personally, I am in total agreement with allowing artists to express themselves on buildings and/or walls where permission has been given, but at the same time are the owners locked in forever? Can there be a way to preserve what has been created? It’s a very stimulating topic for discussion.

*********************
Interestingly, graffiti dates back to Egyptian times. Some even say that the cave drawings of pre-history are graffiti. While in Pompeii, I learned and saw ancient writings carved (scratched) into stone and/or pained on walls. The word graffiti is actually the plural word for graffito, meaning mark, image, writing scratched or engraved into a surface. In Roman days these marks would appear in houses, pubs, on pottery, walls--public and private.

By Plaàtarte - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,
https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=12112074
The messages in Pompeii are often rude, erotic, phallic as well as poetic, simple greetings, political, etc. To date they have found 11,000 graffiti examples in Pompeii, with the oldest "Gaius was here." To read some of the bawdy ones you can visit www.pompeiana.org.

From what I have read, there are three types of graffti: tagging with a single line with perhaps the artist's name; throw ups with two cartoon figures; blockbuster which is large piece, including block-style letters and the wild side with indecipherable words.

Creating graffiti requires speed because it is still considered vandalism. Materials used are spray paint, markers, stencils and stickers. Some graffiti have become quite elaborate including silhouette paintings and representational pieces.

And while I see the beauty in many of these pieces, using someone's property without their permission is like going into an art store and stealing the canvases. Instead, I like the idea of having safe places where artists have spaces that are specifically dedicated to graffiti that the community can enjoy at large. Otherwise, in my opinion, it is defacement.

What's coming up for Summer?

Classes and Workshops

Glastonbury Studios Classes
Five-Week Session 
Begins Week of June 4
Seats available in most classes

Pencil to Brush*
Drawing and painting
Every Tuesday morning
10 am to 12:30 pm
$80

The Morning Draw
The Seaside--various media
Every Wednesday morning
10 am to 12:30 pm
$80 Full

The Drawing Studio 
Colored Pencils
Every Thursday evening
6:30 pm to 9:00 pm
$80
To register email: jjgoodell@gmail.com

*Must have experience with three-color method in acrylics

*******************************
2018 Studio Workshops
All studio workshops are from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Includes most supplies and lunch. Class size is limited to ten students. Pre-registration is required. Only payment reserves your seat. Cost is $85. 

Saturday, June 23
Keeping a nature journal

Friday, September 7
Watercolor painting with Brusho®

Saturday, November 10
Beginning acrylic painting 

Wednesday, April 4, 2018



Art Teachers
I've been blessed with some really tough art teachers. Everyone has experienced them. They have their standards and you must reach them. I've never had a teacher whose expectation outreached my ability. But nonetheless, I've had my moments and I am here to say, I learned from every one of them (good or bad), making me the artist and teacher I am today.

Let's begin with one instructor that gave me absolutely no instruction at all. It was in a figure drawing class. As they did in the old classic days, the teacher puts a plaster figure in front of us at the head of the class (we were all in rows by the way) and tells us to take out our charcoal to begin drawing the subject. He didn't time us as is done in other classes--no 30-second drawings or two-minute drawings.  We were given an hour. That sounds good, although I've now learned that those short early starts in class are perfect for warming up.


A tall, gangly man of only 30 years or so, the instructor would return to class and begin to show me (and others of course) what I'd done wrong--using his own charcoal to show me where. Egads, I had worked on this project for an hour and BAM! this guy comes along and marks it up so much, I couldn't even see the original. Talk about frustration. After weeks of this with little to no instruction, I finally gave up and dropped the class.



I've been told that this was a teaching philosophy in the 60s and 70s. It left me so torn up that I decided to change my major to English. There are definite rules you can follow with words--although we can all spring off the board occasionally to make a point. Besides, although teachers expected me to do well in my writing, they continued to help me to stay within the parameters.

I guess what frustrated me most was that everyone gave glowing reviews to artists that simply put a big red dot on a canvas and called it art. But when I tried to express myself, it was wrong.

Now let me tell you about another teacher I had. She too didn't give any instruction like I do in my classes and workshops. She'd put a still life in front of us, and here's the difference, she'd stay in class to help us along, offering advice and encouragement on an individual basis. But of all my teachers, she was my toughest. She had high standards for me--well, at least I thought so, since she wouldn't let me slide.

For instance, I liked drawing with a grid back then. As many of you know I hand them out in all my classes. I use them to help students see things proportionally. I can either hold up the grid to see the subject before me or place it directly on my photo.  
It's easier to put all the pieces together when there's a grid involved. Besides, if I wish, I can focus in on one square at a time.

No, no, my art teacher didn't allow grids. In fact, if she caught me making little tick marks on my paper, she'd make me erase them. She also taught me to look for structure when creating an abstract. I didn't understand what she meant until I tried to just throw stuff on the canvas without some sort of order or composition. It surely became a mess.

For instance, let’s consider Pablo Picasso's (1881-1973) Guernica (1937). Before learning about structure, I always disliked this work. It made no sense. Now, of course, learning the backstory was helpful. (Hitler was using Spanish countryside to practice air bombings, be damn the citizens.) Nonetheless, you can see the anguish and devastation in the work, and it really does all come together. To this day, I appreciate her lessons. While she didn't lecture, she taught all of us very well through personalized example.


So after saying all this, how should you judge what teacher is right for you? Here are some ideas.
  1. Be flexible. Give the teacher a chance to prove herself or himself. In time, you will know without a doubt if you are learning something or not.
  2. Be leery of a teacher who doesn’t help you or give you specific instruction. For example, I found a lot of teachers don’t cover perspective because it’s hard. Not every teacher has to teach it, but every one of them should have a good general knowledge of how it's done.
  3. Ask around. That seems a bit hard if you’re not in an art community, but you’d be surprised how many of your friends have dabbled in art. They usually know who is good and who is not.
  4. If you can, before buying all your supplies, contact the teacher. Ask questions regarding teaching style and why some things are done and some things are not. Be honest if you're a beginner. This will help both of you
 And most importantly, believe in yourself. I didn’t understand or comprehend color when I returned to fine arts. Sure, I knew how to put stuff together for a pleasing advertisement or brochure, but when it came to painting, that was another story. I was at a loss. It frustrated me and also my teacher at the time. So much so, she wondered out loud if I had a color deficiency.

No I didn’t. I just needed better instruction on color theory, which I eventually sought. Anyone who has taken my color course of late would never worry if I were suffering from color ineptitude because I can create hundreds of colors from the three primaries* (plus black and white). The moral here is if it doesn’t sound right, then it probably isn’t. Go with your instinct. Learning color takes a long, long time—just like everything else!

Hopefully, you are all taking classes or workshops from fabulous instructors. However, if you're feeling frustrated, maybe it's time to share your frustration with your teacher or to look around for someone new. But be warned though, the teacher that demand the most out of you are probably the best.

*Magenta, cyan and lemon yellow
 


What's coming up?

Classes and Workshops

Glastonbury Studios Classes
Five-Week Session 
Begins Week of April 22 - Ends Week of May 20
Seats available in most classes

Pencil to BrushDrawing and painting
Every Tuesday morning
10 am to 12:30 pm
$80
Prerequisite: Studio Acrylic Workshop*

The Morning DrawEvery Wednesday morning
10 am to 12:30 pm
$80 Full

The Drawing Studio 
(Watercolor Sketching)
Every Thursday evening
6:30 pm to 9:00 pm
$80
To register email: jjgoodell@gmail.com

*Must have taken previous Acrylics Workshop/Class conducted by Jill Goodell

*******************************
2018 Studio Workshops
All studio workshops are from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Includes most supplies and lunch. Class size is limited to ten students. Pre-registration is required. Only payment reserves your seat. Cost is $85. For detailed information on each workshop, go to workshop offerings.

Saturday, May 5
Flowers in watercolor/pen and ink

Saturday, June 23
Keeping a nature journal

Friday, September 7
Watercolor painting with Brusho®

Saturday, November 10
Beginning acrylic painting

Registration closing May 1
Watercolor Sketching Cruise
September 14-21 2018
Autumn in Watercolors
(watercolors, pen and ink)For more information go to this link.

Monday, February 26, 2018

March Newsletter: Interpretation vs. Imitation

What you see is what you get. Not necessarily.

One of the hardest art concepts I teach is interpretation instead of imitation. All of us want to draw or paint something recognizable. It would be awful if you drew a seagull and someone thought it was a rooster. Having said that though, you don’t have to be a slave to your subject (be it still life, plein air or a photograph).

In the beginning, most of us experience drawing something and stumping the viewer. Mine was when I drew a spool of thread. My dear husband and my then middle-school son were so sweet. They really didn’t know what I had drawn, but they struggled to be kind. Of course, I was crushed, even irritated. “Can’t they see it’s a spool of thread?” I was that bad. Fortunately, I was in the early stage of my art career, so I just crawled onward. (I had the good fortune to have a husband and son who encouraged me through thick and thin.) I obviously had a lot to learn.

A few years later I took a painting class where everyone traced from a photograph. The finished products were astounding. I couldn’t believe what I saw—a complete replica of the photo, down to the smallest of objects. With my natural tendency to feel frustrated back then, I thought, "I’ll never paint or draw like that." At the same time, I also didn’t want to be limited to a photograph to create my art.  Aargh.

I don’t know when or how it happened, but one day I had an epiphany. I don’t have to be exact, perfect in my drawing or painting. I can interrupt what I am seeing instead of creating a photographic resemblance. Wow. What freedom, what a breakthrough. From that point forward I tried to express myself. Now I understood the Impressionists, the Expressionists. I even started to look with a new eye at Picasso’s crazy work (at the time I did think it was crazy). 

When I painted a pear or a flower, it was MY flower. Don’t get me wrong. I still have the structural parameters of making sure the object looked like a pear or a flower, but I wasn’t restricted to making an exact copy. I could use my camera for that.

As an example, let’s consider Paul Cézanne (1839-1906). Like me, he was a very slow painter. So much so, his fruit would often rot before he finished his painting. Some say he was the father of modern art because he broke the rules.  

Cézanne was born and worked mostly in Aix-en-Provence, France. He was friends with the Impressionists but didn’t really like their messiness—just way too loose and chaotic for him. Stil, he didn’t want to be a perfect draughtsman (technical illustrator) either, which was required in days gone by.



His basic philosophy was that there are three shapes: the cone, the cube and the sphere. I actually adopted this idea to create my own method of three lines, three shapes. He also broke the rules of perspective—a fun thing to do when you’re expressing what you see in front of you.  I have read that he would look at a still life, walk around it and paint from different points of view. That’s why his fruit paintings look a bit different than others. By the way, Cézanne did agree with bright, vivid colors, but outlined a lot of his work. 

If you look at a picture of Mount Victoria and compare it to his paintings, you see that he was interpreting what he saw, not imitate it.


From fr.wikipedia en: Image: Ste Victory Cross.jpg 
Photo taken in: Aix-en-Provence , Bouches-du-Rhône 
© Jérôme ALEXANDRE
Not from the exact location. But notice the colors, the form.

I personally love Cezanne’s people, especially the Card Players (1894-95). What a cool interpretation. 




There are many other artists I could cover who influenced me in my journey to create the way I want. What is more important is that now, I paint for myself.  We should all be painting the way we feel most comfortable. The way to get us into the "zone." So if that means we feel most comfortable tracing a photo and then coloring it in, then that’s okay. If we want to go our own way and try our hand at drawing the subject, while interrupting what we’re seeing, that’s fine too. Moreover, if we feel more abstract and want to push the envelope to create our art, that is perfectly acceptable in my book.

Now having said all this, I have to admit that drawing realistically haunted me for years. So I had to try to draw exactly what I saw (no tracing). But I have to admit, even though, I got really close, I never mastered the exactness you can achieve with tracing. I still interpreted. Perhaps it was one line off, one angle different, a shadow not quite exact. The difference today than in years past, is that I don’t care. I draw and paint for me, no one else. That’s the way it should be.


What's coming up?

Classes and Workshops
Glastonbury Studios Classes
Four-Week Session 
Begins Week of March 5 - Ends Week of March 26
Seats available in most classes

Pencil to BrushDrawing and painting
Every Tuesday morning
10 am to 12:30 pm$65 per four-week termPrerequisite: Studio Acrylic Workshop*

The Morning DrawEvery Wednesday morning10 am to 12:30 pm$65 per four-week term

Watercolor JournalingEvery Wednesday afternoon1:00 pm to 3:30 pm
$65 per four-week term

The Drawing Studio
(Watercolor Sketching)
Every Thursday evening


6:30 pm to 9:00 pm$65 per four-week term
To register email: jjgoodell@gmail.com

*Must have taken previous Acrylics Workshop/Class conducted by Jill Goodell

*******************************
2018 Studio Workshops
All studio workshops are from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Includes most supplies and lunch. Class size is limited to ten students. Pre-registration is required. Only payment reserves your seat. Cost is $85. For detailed information on each workshop, go to workshop offerings.

Saturday, March 24 (seats available)
Drawing Cats

Saturday, May 5
Flowers in watercolor/pen and ink

Saturday, July 14
Keeping a nature journal

Friday, September 7
Watercolor painting with Brusho®


Saturday, November 10
Beginning acrylic painting


Only two spots left
Watercolor Sketching Cruise

September 14-21 2018
Autumn in Watercolors
(watercolors, pen and ink)

Page from my journal, Boston

Mural in Old Town Quebec

New England and CanadaSeven Days only $839*


*For cruise: PP, DO; rates subject to change