Saturday, August 1, 2009

Academic Art

. . . is boring, but necessary.

It's boring because it doesn't saying anything; not that I make art to make a statement, per se. There is no emotional release in it either. All the pencil sharpening, technique developing, basic shapes practicing, light studying, highlight/light/core/cast placing . . . it's all so analytical.

But extremely important.

Not only does it make you a better artist, but it slows you down and builds patience, stamina and analytical skills; so, when the time comes for you to make your statement or emotional release, you are in complete control of what you're doing and how you're doing it.

As I continue my path towards my MFA in Figurative Painting, I become excited about the possibilities. Success as an artist not only means selling your work and living well off the profits, it means being able to regularly and accurately portray what you want. There have been so many times in the past when I started off with a certain vision, and ended up with something completely different. While this wasn't always a bad thing, it is frustrating when you can't successfully put your render you vision.

So all this academic 'stuff,' while extremely analytical and sometimes even painful, is critical to the development of the visual artist and should become habitual before we decide to play.

I've posted some of my figure drawing studies in previous posts - no artistic statement or emotional releases are present. What IS present is the analysis required for accurate representation and a demonstration of the process to getting better.

Below are two academic figure studies:

Ingres, Study for 'Vénus à Paphos,' 1852


Steven Assael, Amber with Peacock Feathers 5, 2002

(Steven Assael is a genius, by the way. There's a link to his website in the links section of this blog).

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