Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Master Class, Days 1 and 2

Two days into the Master Class and before I say anything else, Rebecca Guay is a god for having put this thing together. This is the most hard working and inspiring group I have ever been in.

Class is run from 9:00am to 11:00pm and every minute is packed with information. The focus of the week is serious hands on, nuts and bolts, instruction. Studio time is spent with the attendees working on an assignment. Afternoon and evening lectures have covered concepting, inspiration, reference and lighting, business practices.....And we're only two days into the program.


A few weeks ago we gave a choice of five assignments: Robin Hood, a character inspired by Jay Lake's short story Green, Toby Buckell's Pepper character, a futuristic Amelia Earhart (steam punk or far future) or a plant life creature. We told the attendees to have some rough thumbnails to show, but warned them that we may ask for any number of changes.


The first hours of studio time was spent doing crit of their sketches, including digging in drawing over the attendee's sketches. All of the instructors have been stressing the importance of careful planning before picking up a paint brush.


I was amazed how open the students have been to changing their ideas on the fly and working out new drawings in such a strange environment, on such a tight deadline, and surrounded by so much other activity. Hallways have turned into photo studios, people are grabbing the guys next to them to help figure out a hand position or twist of the hip. By Tuesday morning people kept walking us through a series of drawings saying, "This is where I was around midnight. A few hours later I got to this point...."
It’s now day three and, as I type this, I can smell that jars of paint and medium are starting to open up. To be continued.....

14 comments:

Gringo said...

wow... i definitley have to attend one of these someday. greetings from ecuador..

Eric Braddock said...

sigh.. i so wanted to be a part of this.

hope Rebecca does it again next year :x

Pablo Defendini said...

Wow, it must be such an energy-filled, heady atmosphere at Amherst this week. I can't wait to see the product of everyone's hard work!

jaylake said...

Will the resulting art ever be made public...?

Anonymous said...

Hmmm...ecuador might just trump Amherst..maybe. ;-)

Eric - No promises, but everything is going so well. It's certainly is looking promising for next year.

Pablo - love _is_ in the air.We're all kinda high on it.

Hey Jay - I meant to warn you about giving Green as an assignment. I will be sure to show a few here. We used only a loose description and let people stray a bit from that, but it's fun to see what they are doing with it.

jaylake said...

I am awesomely flattered. (By coincidence I am also turning in the revised novel of Green next week.)

Annalisa said...

"Intense" is definitely the word for this week, although "awesome" would do just as well. I'm sitting here trying to put it into words, but I think Irene's last paragraph describes the experience best. It's immersive, and you're immersed in both craft and fantasy. As I'm walking out of a building or going through the lunch line I overhear things like, "I like using Galkyd best..." or "She has this dagger, and you know she's there, and that's the last thing you see! She kills you!" We're constantly talking about it, even when we're eating or "relaxing." Because that's what we want to talk about.

I also love how people are just walking up to a new person and having lunch with them. Even I'm doing it and I'm usually shy. It's a really comfortable atmosphere and a lot of that is directly due to the instructors, I think. They are all so available, frank, funny, casual--and yet intense and passionate. I think this could be a yearly thing for 15 years and it would be booked up every year. (I hope that thought isn't frightening to anyone!)

ces said...

Irene, I'm curious - what's the composition of the attendees - males/females, young/old/ experienced/newbies. It looks & sounds like folks are having fun, as well as learning.

Irene Gallo said...

Annalisa - I can't believe it's almost over. Noooes!!!!!!

Ces - I'd say it's about 2/3 guys. Our youngest is 19, oldest is....maybe early 50s - with the bell curve peaking in the early 30s. It's an incredibly sweet group.

Tobias Buckell said...

Holy Cow, people were illustrating Pepper? I'd give anything to see the results!

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