Portrait Artist Forum    

Go Back   Portrait Artist Forum > Cafe Guerbois Discussions - Moderator: Michele Rushworth


Reply
 
Topic Tools Search this Topic Display Modes
Old 03-06-2005, 11:05 PM   #1
Kimber Scott Kimber Scott is offline
Juried Member
 
Kimber Scott's Avatar
 
Joined: Apr 2004
Location: Litchfield Park, AZ
Posts: 113
I'm Having a Breakdown - Sage Advice, Please




I'm in university, a painting major. I have an independent study class for which I have a painting due Tuesday. It's a fairly large painting. A girl by a window. I'm having a horrible time with it and while I'm not asking for advice on the painting itself, right now. I know I can work it out in time. However, time does not seem to be an option for my instructor. She stresses quantity over quality. She says I can learn more in 100 paintings than I can in one. I understand what she is saying, but why should I have to make the same mistakes 100 times, if I could but spend time trying to work through them in the beginning?

For instance, in this painting, I am using a horrible photo reference as I couldn't find a model who would fit into the schedule provided for the painting. Bad start, I know. Anyway, the girl is standing by the window, which you can see through to a garage. I changed it to a landscape, but the colors were bothering me, so I told the teacher I was thinking of changing the summer landscape to a fall scene, so the colors wouldn't be so out of sink with the rest of the painting. And, I'm wondering how to subdue the "view." She says, "Maybe, you can work that out in the next painting."

I'm thinking, "What about this painting? Who says I'm going to paint another painting with a fall landscape out a window and I want it to look like it's through glass and doesn't compete with a girl in a red velvet dress with bright sun on her face? I have to paint it again? To figure out how to paint it now? I don't get it." I said nothing.

I'm tired of painting crap, or is that what I'm supposed to be doing? I know I could slap something together, make up some profundity about it, get an A and move on, but I'm 44 years old. I don't have time to b.s.. I want to learn something!

So, if anybody has any soothing, philosophical, advice - to include, "Get over it. Paint something and move on." I would love to hear it, before I bust a vein.
__________________
Kimber Scott
Facebook
  Reply With Quote
Old 03-06-2005, 11:11 PM   #2
Terri Ficenec Terri Ficenec is offline
SOG Member
 
Terri Ficenec's Avatar
 
Joined: Aug 2003
Location: Southboro, MA
Posts: 1,028
Kimber, not sure I agree with your teacher's philosophy... but it doesn't look like you're going to be able to change that. Guess am left wondering what does it mean to be 'done' with the painting for the class. Is there any reason why you couldn't just submit it in the state it's in for Tuesday and then make your desired adjustments after you get the painting back, it just wouldn't be for the teacher?
__________________
Terri Ficenec
http://www.terrificenec.com
  Reply With Quote
Old 03-06-2005, 11:26 PM   #3
Kimber Scott Kimber Scott is offline
Juried Member
 
Kimber Scott's Avatar
 
Joined: Apr 2004
Location: Litchfield Park, AZ
Posts: 113
Quote:
Originally Posted by Terri Ficenec
Is there any reason why you couldn't just submit it in the state it's in for Tuesday and then make your desired adjustments after you get the painting back, it just wouldn't be for the teacher?
You're quite right, Terri. Thank you. Then, when I get it back, I can post it here and get some real instruction!

I just need someone to talk me down sometimes. Being it's midterms everybody else is just as whacked out as I am. Thanks for being a voice of reason.
__________________
Kimber Scott
Facebook
  Reply With Quote
Old 03-06-2005, 11:59 PM   #4
Linda Nelson Linda Nelson is offline
Juried Member
 
Linda Nelson's Avatar
 
Joined: Sep 2001
Location: St. Paul, MN
Posts: 386
I think your teacher's opinion of executing paintings at a breakneck speed has value - there's a lot of lessons to be learned in that method, lessons that touch the pragmatic, the intellectual, and the analytical forces one has to contend with in producing art.

It is very important that you be open mentally to accept her method of teaching you (no fair faking it either). That said, obviously this particular canvas is one where you want to do reach a new plateau and bring it to a point where you can feel you've progressed. As your teacher she should recognize that you are a student asking to learn how to self critique (which is a must for an artist at work), and she should help show you how to do that on this painting.

As you are more concerned with learning than the grade you'll receive, I'd re-approach her and state just that - you may jeopardize your grade but on this piece you want to take this as opportunity to learn from her how to analyze and work through a painting's problems. I think as your teacher she has to respect that and support you.

Ironically, making your students drown in assignments can also be a clever way for a teacher to avoid actually teaching.

Regardless of her motives, stand up for your opinion and don't let her brush you off. You should either convince her to help you in the way you see it on this one, or allow her to convince you of the reasons behind why you should move on to the next painting (oh, and for sure I know that "fix it on the next one" is not an acceptable explanation)

Hope this helps.
Good luck
  Reply With Quote
Old 03-07-2005, 01:53 PM   #5
John Crowther John Crowther is offline
Associate Member
 
John Crowther's Avatar
 
Joined: Jan 2004
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 118
As a teacher (and a lacrosse coach) I had to smile. I sympathize with your struggle, but forgive me if I think it's a bit unreasonable to expect the teacher to modify their pedagogic approach for every student who's uncomfortable with it. My question would be, Kimber, what's the specific goal of this particular lesson, other than to paint a pretty picture? Is it about the background? Is it about color? Is it about likeness, or proportions, or something else? If there's a specific goal, other than background, why not just focus on that and eliminate background? If indeed it's about backgrounds, then follow your instincts and accept whatever criticism you receive. Assignments should never be thought of as demanding perfection or excellence. They're opportunities to measure progress and learn, even from mistakes and, sometimes, failures.

John C.
  Reply With Quote
Old 03-07-2005, 04:38 PM   #6
Kimber Scott Kimber Scott is offline
Juried Member
 
Kimber Scott's Avatar
 
Joined: Apr 2004
Location: Litchfield Park, AZ
Posts: 113
Quote:
Originally Posted by John Crowther
My question would be, Kimber, what's the specific goal of this particular lesson, other than to paint a pretty picture?
Hi John,

Thanks for taking the time to address my problem. What is the goal of the lesson? It's an independent study class. I choose the problems and work to find the solutions. With occassional guidance from the teacher. I believe the confict arises when the teacher must document some sort of progress and to her idea progess is in numbers and to me there are a number of problems in every painting.

What mark can she put in her book to indicate I have just discovered I can indicate the transparent glow of a whisp of hair with a glaze. Or, how I figured out how to make the dark side of the face look like it still exists in the darkness by using similar dark values of warm and cool color? (You see they don't teach you these things in class.) I'm still thinking about the window. I'm beating myself for not working out my composition better from the beginning How to fix it? I've decided to re-stretch, but I don't know how. Another problem in search of a solution. I'll do it later. My painting's ready to turn in now.

Here's something else I've just figured out, though. I am not going to try to paint any more finished paintings, (especially not 5' x 3'), for this class. I'm going to work on studies. I will break my problems down into small pieces so as to make it appear I'm doing more paintings. But, here's the problem with that... I don't know what my problems are until I stumble upon them in search of a picture. (I do have a mental list with which to keep myself occupied for the rest of the semester, though.)

And so, my college education continues... I'm paying a lot of money to figure out how to get a grade, not learn how to make pictures. I guess I can do that after I graduate.
__________________
Kimber Scott
Facebook
  Reply With Quote
Old 03-07-2005, 05:13 PM   #7
John Crowther John Crowther is offline
Associate Member
 
John Crowther's Avatar
 
Joined: Jan 2004
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 118
Good post, Kimber. It sounds to me like after you got through your "crisis" you worked it out for yourself very well. I hope I didn't come off like I was taking the teacher's side necessarily, but you evidently took what I was saying exactly the right way. Actually, you went me one better, and have found a way to balance dealing with the teacher and at the same time satisfying your own needs. Yes, the challenges we face never go away, the list just keeps getting longer. But by all means keep on painting!

John C.
  Reply With Quote
Old 03-08-2005, 07:42 PM   #8
Kimber Scott Kimber Scott is offline
Juried Member
 
Kimber Scott's Avatar
 
Joined: Apr 2004
Location: Litchfield Park, AZ
Posts: 113
Thanks, John. I turned the painting in today. We did a small critique. She made many helpful suggestions and I'm feeling much better about the painting and the "class," altogether. She addressed all of the issues I was worried about.

I'm glad this board was here for me. I tend to get a bit over-dramatic, but that's what's going on inside my head. Every painting problem becomes Titanic. Life is so perilous. The world will stop turning any moment if I can't paint this cheek, or that hand. And why can't I paint it? Then to add to the torture I begin looking at Bouguereau and wonder why I can't paint like that. It's got to be because nobody will teach me!

And, there it goes and here it is. The painting has been turned in, talked about and brought home and the world is still spinning. Of course, I will keep painting. I couldn't live without it!
__________________
Kimber Scott
Facebook
  Reply With Quote
Old 03-08-2005, 09:25 PM   #9
Chris Saper Chris Saper is offline
SENIOR MODERATOR
SOG Member
FT Professional, Author
'03 Finalist, PSofATL
'02 Finalist, PSofATL
'02 1st Place, WCSPA
'01 Honors, WCSPA
Featured in Artists Mag.
 
Chris Saper's Avatar
 
Joined: Jun 2001
Location: Arizona
Posts: 2,481
Dear Kimber,

You live so close, please come visit me ( 602-957-8107). I think you are at cross purposes. You need the grade to graduate and open up whatever options academically you might want to pursue.

Matriculation is something that I think is essential, and that is important. That being said your university (Where?) experience is independent from your art experience. First things first:

Graduate with honors. This is a degree, not a post graduate experience. Real portrait education will occur for you outside the university setting. Both, though, are important.

Quote:
She stresses quantity over quality. She says I can learn more in 100 paintings than I can in one.
Actually I agree here.

And only Bougeureau can paint like Bougeureau. You will paint like yourself.
__________________
www.ChrisSaper.com
  Reply With Quote
Old 03-08-2005, 09:31 PM   #10
John Crowther John Crowther is offline
Associate Member
 
John Crowther's Avatar
 
Joined: Jan 2004
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 118
Chris is so right, Kimber, you will learn more in 100 paintings. Remember, we get good at what we do. It's hard to see progress from one day to another, or one painting to another, and without the stimulation of progress it's easy to lose heart. But a year later, after 100 paintings, or whatever, you'll be astonished at how much you've grown without even realizing it, even when you don't have the benefit of a teacher.

John C.
  Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing this Topic: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Topic Tools Search this Topic
Search this Topic:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Similar Topics
Thread Topic Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Advice on agents? Heidi Maiers Business, Marketing & PR 19 02-01-2009 01:23 AM
Studio start-up advice? Lisa Gloria Studio & Equipment 3 10-02-2003 10:33 PM
Background advice Christina Common Composition 8 12-31-2002 03:29 PM
Need advice on priming board Tito Champena Paints, Mediums, Brushes & Grounds 10 11-01-2002 09:18 PM

 

Make a Donation



Support the Forum by making a donation or ordering on Amazon through our search or book links..







All times are GMT -4. The time now is 05:29 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.6
Copyright ©2000 - 2022, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.