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