Tuesday, February 18, 2014


The still life.

I have always been a bit envious of the community that ceramic artists have. Part of it springs from necessity. Kilns are large and require attention as they burn for hours, sometimes days. Depending on the type of kiln and firing, there are critical times where the monitoring of the kiln and skill of the attendees will greatly impact the work being fired. Then there is the unloading of the kiln, when the magic of the fire is revealed. Everyone taking piece out and marveling at the transformation.

In the painting studio, that never happens. First, I don't need, or even really want help stretching a canvas. No one needs to hold my bucket of gesso for me, and there is certainly never a crowd to watch it dry. Heaven forbid there ever being a group of artist in my studio when I start to paint, that would be sheer madness and akin to the 7th ring of hell.

A good part of the reason I am a painter is because I am self directed and like being alone. I like taking full credit for my work, good or bad. I like working alone. I like being alone. However……..the romantic in me longs for a salon of contemporaries to muse over our work, idea, and plans for the future.

So, as an instructor I have an opportunity to do something. To create a community of artist, if for only two hours.

I set up a still life and placed a piece of 40" wide by several feet kraft paper on a wall. I instructed them to start drawing in charcoal, the fruit and to make it no smaller than 2" high. 

They were then told to add marks with gesso. Once the gesso was dry I had them move to a different place and draw a different fruit. This time however, they were told to only draw the outside edge of the fruit and could only add value to the area behind the fruit.

This is the result to date.

Left right.

The middle.

Far right.


Carla Davis said...

Cool idea and what tv fun to be a student in this class.

C Tanner Jensen said...

Thanks Carla! I think they like eating the apples best.