Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Master Class, Days 6 and 7

To wrap up....

Day six was the last push to get as
finished as possible. The whole faculty was on call from 9:00 am to 2:00am. Scott Fischer and Greg Manchess tag-teamed and quickly got a reputation for being the "Car Talk" guys of the art world. (There must be a web series in this!) Everyone seemed primed to stay up late-late and some stayed up it until 7:00 the next morning. Considering they all took a project from start to finish in six days, while having three hours of lectures and three hours of figure drawing each day, they all got really far on the assignment.

Day seven was sad and exciting. The paintings were brought to Wunderarts Gallery. While the faculty set up the exhibit, the students on their own imitative, hired one of the models to come in for more figure drawing and reference shooting. After lunch, the students came into the gallery, hopefully with semi-fresh (if exhausted) eyes to view the work. The Amherst paper had run an article on the class so we had a number of townspeople in to see the show. The exhibit and the following dinner was full of signing each other's "Master Class 2008" sketch books. High school was never so much fun.

This truly was an incredible group. Everyone was open to all suggestions. Even when we threw out conflicting information, they all took it in and digested it as best they could. We had students from Europe, Australia, and all over the States. They ranged from 19 to 50 years old. Some are respected working professionals and others had not drawn or painted in years. I particularly admired the students coming into the class after a long hiatus -- for them to paint in front of Boris Vallejo must be a bit like me handing Stephen Hawking my math homework. Their bravery paid off, each of the instructing artists treated every student with the same respect they treat each other. If Rebecca chooses to do this again, I have no doubt that it'll be even better...And yet, there can never be another inaugural class and we all felt an intense bond that we'll carry with us forever.

Just so you know, it was not a 100% positive experience. I did gain five pounds in just seven days. Not only did we have dessert every day, we had dessert with every meal of every day. Sometimes two. Or three. And somehow my plan to eat tofu and steamed fish to cancel out the pizza and hot dogs every lunch and dinner didn't quite work out so well.


I told everyone at the class not to apologize when showing work...and here I go apologizing: These photo's are poorly taken by me. They are off color balance, keystoning, and the works themselves are still in progress. That said, they are still some kick-ass paintings. I only got a few shots in - there are many more cool paintings to see. I believe they will be shown on the Master Class website once everyone has had a chance to put some finishing touches in.

Dorian Iten, Eric Deschamps, Rob Alexander, Bud Cook. Below: Alan Williams, Kristina Carroll, Scott Murphy, Mark Winters.


Kurt Ankeny-Beauchamp said...

Irene: Thanks for posting all of these and showing the world what was going on in Amherst. It was truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience and we all owe all of the teachers a great debt for their time, kindness, and guidance. The paintings that people turned out in a week were often stunning and there was an energy during the class that one doesn't often get to experience.

Hats off to Rebecca, her amazing assistant Sara, and all of the faculty for bringing us together.


Eric Braddock said...

Absolutely awesome. So jealous of this bunch, can't wait to be part of it next year. Get some rest Irene, haha.

Ian T. Kirkpatrick said...

Looks like an amazing experience and absolutely incredible artwork comes out of it! I should look into this program at some point to re-energize my creative juices! Thanks for posting Irene!

Brad Smith said...

Truly an awesome experience. THANK YOU for creating something great for all of us artist to grow together. I really encourage anyone who wants a crash course that works beyond what you can imagine to keep your eyes out for another one and go!

Ray Lederer said...

Absolutely incredible is the only way to describe the experience. I learned so much in just one week and became much more confident in my oil painting skills which were nil at the beginning of the week. I've already begun my next project:)I've been showing my coworkers here at the studio the sketches from all the faculty and students and they're kicking themselves for not going. I think if Rebbecca does this again next year could have some serious competition for available slots.

Thanks again Irene for participating, and it was a real honor to finally meet you and everyone else on the faculty. What an unforgettable and truly inspired week!


Anonymous said...

It was TOTALLY FANTASTIC! And trust me when I say the faculty was just as touched and inspired by the hard work the students put in, as they were touched by us.

It went beyond all of our expectations. It was magic!

Scott Fischer

Anonymous said...

It's unbelievable what kind of pictures were created in this short but intense time. Thank you for the detailed updates, this was fantastic to "watch" even from afar. One of my artists also participated. Never a better and more motivating chance for growth!

Even if this was a unique event, I hope the "intense bond" that was created will truly last. The experience and things learned will for sure, and for a long time.

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