Wednesday, March 20, 2013

A Saturday Class At The Art Students League And The Annual Class Show.

If you are an artist, you know that painting can be a pretty solitary activity.  So, it is important to either get together with other artists who will give you a candid critique of your work or take an art class with an instructor who will.  I take an all day watercolor painting class Saturdays at The Art Students League with artist Naomi Campbell.  This is the second year I've been in Campbell's class.  Her enthusiasm and high octane teaching style is truly inspiring.   (It is very easy to get discouraged when paintings don't quite work out, so just being around someone upbeat is helpful.)  And regular feedback makes me think more analytically about my work, which can make the difference between creating visually arresting paintings and merely pretty ones.  I find Ms. Campbell's criticisms to generally be spot on; although I like to think for myself, so I pretty much never agree with anyone one hundred percent.

The Art Students League is quite the bargain too.  In fact, I know people who go there because the classrooms provide a comparatively inexpensive alternative to renting studio space in the New York area.  ( I certainly can't afford to rent a studio; instead I work out of my rent-controlled apartment when not painting at the League or en plein air.)  And the student body is very  diverse; running the gamut from neophytes to semi-professionals who have gallery representation.  Campbell's class is similarly diverse.  Although there is no one there who could by any stretch be described as a professional artist.  Many of my classmates, though, are accomplished painters who have shown and sometimes sold work.  Since they are fairly knowledgable and talented, I learn a fair amount from them too.  And the camaraderie that being around other artists provides is important.  It makes the creative process seem a little less eccentric than it is.  (No small thing!)

The class has an annual show, which is open to the public.  I am participating, as I did last year.  It runs from Monday the eighteenth to Saturday the twenty-third.  I hope you will see it!  The show is on the second floor of The League, 215 West 57th Street, NY, NY.  The hours are Monday-Friday 9:00-8:30, Saturday 9:00-3:00.  Bellow, one of five paintings I have on display:
Lobsters & Crab, 2012.  All copyrights reserved.

This painting received a red dot, which stands for "best in show."  (I am very pleased of course, but I wish the honor sounded a little less like something out of the Westminister Dog Show.)

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