Saturday, September 26, 2009

Work from some of my students and some new pottery from me!

I wanted to post some of the work being done by my students in the art classes I teach both at the Benson Center in Sandy Springs as well as the Woodstock Community Center. I had 3 students enter work in "Art of the Golden Age". This was a juried show for people over 50 and is being shown at the Cobb/Marietta Art Museum. Go by and check it out!

Juana Giles
Juana has been painting with me for the past 5 years and does pieces along the line of this painting of places and people. Most of her subject matter is about other cultures or the blending of foreign with American culture.

Joy Potter
Joy has always been interested in painting portraits and slice of life scenes like this one. She has become a very solid painter and taken on some commission work.

Cate Dodd

Cate got two pieces accepted to the show, each of which are wonderful on their own. Her work has also gotten some very favorable responses from all of you on Facebook. I'll make sure to pass on your comments to her.

The following portrait sculptures are from my class at the Benson Center in Sandy Springs. I had a small class of 7 to start with and each student produced an almost life size bust of someone close to them. Each bust took quite a bit of time and I feel each of these students were successful in capturing their subject. Not bad work for the first piece of sculpture any of them had made!

Doris Brassfield. Bust of her niece.

Rosemary Dashiell, "Wilson" her nephew.

Mugsy Cole "Penny" her husband!

I've been having fun teaching the classes at the Benson Center but I've also had the opportunity to work in clay for the first time in over 30 years. I've always loved and collected pottery as well as sculpting but haven't kept it up due to space limitations as well as time. Finally I get to play in the mud again! The following are pieces I've made in the past month or so.

This group of pottery are pieces I've produced as samples for my hand-building class. My skills need a bit of work still but it's coming back to me slowly. The pieces to the right were made using the coil method and the ones on the left were made using the slab method. I teach techniques like creating stamps and textures for surface decoration as well as combining glaze methods to create interesting and organic forms and surfaces.

Sculpting has always be of keen interest to me and in particular figurative and portrait sculptures. This is a small demo sample to show students how to model a bust and finish the surface. The look is rather classical so I added a dark bronze finish to the surface of this clay sculpture to reinforce that idea.

On the far less traditional side is this fellow! I teach students in the Adult Day Care Program at the Benson Center. I was asked to head the project of creating a scarecrow to be shown at the Atlanta Botanical Garden this October. The participants suffer from a wide range of cognitive and physical limitations but by working together were able to complete this very involved and extensive project. I created the face out of clay by draping a slab into a bowl till it set up and was rigid enough to be worked on. I added the features of the face by building clay up on the surface and where needed cutting openings in the clay shell. I then drew in the lines to show were the color breaks would be. The participants painted the face and even added glitter. Glitter always makes everything better, right!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Creative Projects at work!

Today I'd like to share some of the projects I've been working on at the Dorothy C. Benson Center . It's been a bit busy the past few months and I've had a great time teaching art classes there. For example the collage piece which was done as a sample demonstrating several techniques in my Mixed Media Class or the vase which I made in my Hand-Building Class.


Hand-built Vase

I've been teaching oil painting, drawing, clay hand-building and mixed media classes which have given me the opportunity to explore and work in areas I haven't for some time now. Teaching gives me the chance to get outside my normal realm of painting and stretch myself into areas not often traveled. I've just completed my second session of classes at the center and people are finally coming around after seeing some of the work being produced in my classes. The students are great to work with and recently the center had sign-ups for the next session, where I filled all of the 6 classes I'm teaching. I'll be teaching 2 painting classes, one in oils from life and the other in acrylics. I'll also continue my mixed media class as well as drawing. Two new classes I'll be teaching are sculpting in clay which will cover both representational as well as contemporary abstract sculpture techniques and an open studio class on Fridays where I can help students on a more personal level with their class projects. I'm looking forward to the start of the new session which begins on October 5th.

The following photos are of a scarecrow in progress being entered into a competition at the Atlanta Botanical Gardens. I uploaded the drawing yesterday so wanted to add the following shots so you could see the real thing. It was delivered to the Atlanta Botanical Garden on Friday of the week.

At last he came together, time for a well deserved beer at the Botanical Gardens! This is Judy who helped sew the hair pieces together and myself

He stands about 8 feet tall and 5 feet wide. Not a small undertaking! The project took about two months to complete with the participants working on him about 6 hours a week. In total about 30 people added there hearts and hands into the making of this fellow.


This photo shows the participants and staff who contributed to the project. I'm the rather large fellow dressed in black with the hat on to the right side of the photo.

This is a composite of several photos showing parts of the project.

The happy fellow above is a concept for a scarecrow I'm helping to create with my students at the Adult Day Care facility. One of the students came up with the concept which the group then took and developed further. We are calling this a psychodelic scarecrow but the theme is really more about the 60's and the peace and love movements which were so much a part of that time. The scarecrow will be part of a display at the Atlanta Botanical Gardens starting next week. I look forward to seeing him there and would encourage you to go and check out the gardens before the weather cools off.

Above is a wall graphic I developed for the Benson Centers 10th Anniversary. It provides a map of the facility and an outline of the responsibilities of the three entities who share the complex. I designed, photographed and produced the piece using Adobe software on my mac laptop. This was pretty run of the mill stuff in my past advertising life but seems well appreciated with the people I'm working with currently.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Day at the Atlanta Zoo

As part of a benefit to raise money for Zoo Atlanta and the Panda's I and several other artists spent the day drawing and painting plein air. I thought I might share some of the many incredible sights I and others saw that day. If you get a chance go check out the animals!
Special thanks go to the Cobb Marietta Museum for helping organize this event.

Eating ...

Eating ...

Eating ...

Are you beginning to see a pattern develop here!

This guy was incredible and sort of made my day at the zoo. What a beautiful animal. He is an Asian Lepoard and very rare and endangered. Amazing to watch!

Wow, what can you say after that!

Here Kitty Kitty Kitty. . .

OK, the Bengal Tiger rocks! He was very playful and needed to cool his heels after a good 15 minute bought of being active and checking out the crowds of people watching him.

Here are some of the more usual but no less stellar stars of the show! Enjoy!

South American Monkey


Black Rhino, very endangered and really cute in a rugged sort of way!

African Elephant, She is a real sweet heart and very photogenic!

Zebra, common on the African Plains but wonderful to watch.

Hope you enjoy the photos and it inspires you to take a trip to the Zoo!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Labor Day weekend, New Art!

"Farther down the track"
Happy Labor Day, I'm toiling away at pushing some paint around this 3 day weekend. This first little offering was painted plein air yesterday from 5:30 to 8pm. It's just across the street from my loft and since moving in I've wanted to paint it. Something about those strong vanishing points as well as the many layers of greens. Personally I think it was a success.

" Three Bad Apples"
In spite the fact that this appears to be a still life, it in fact is a narrative piece with personal meaning to me. It is in fact a portrait of my relationship with two friends, each of which are going through a personal crisis. I myself have a few of those beautiful blemishes that life provides us and have the scars to prove it. In this present time I see more of my friends struggling not only financially but with relationship and health issues, lack of work and in general low self esteem. This too will pass though as all things do. I'm an optimist, OK!

"Metropolitan Nude Study"
I've found a hidden treasure in my neighborhood! There has been a group of artists meeting for the past 8 years for figure drawing on Wednesdays from 6:30 to 9:30 at Metropolitan College.
The group is organized by James Taylor and is small, but talented. We meet in room 343 in building 500 and the cost is $10.00 USD. We meed in the colleges art studio so there are easels and tables available to use. Painting and drawing is OK and the group does one long pose for most of the night after a few gesture poses to warm up. I like it because the long pose gives me an opportunity to paint something nearly to the complete stage. Come join us!

"Terry and Sue Powers House"
I was invited to paint at a friends house with several of my painting buddies. What a wonderful day, sitting out painting the best that summer has to offer before the fall comes and most of the flowers go away. Terry is a big gardener and this year everything really took off. It's almost jungle like getting to his front door but the color and smells are well worth the trip. Terry doesn't drink coffee so bring your own!

"Ellijay Creek"

I started this little acrylic piece two years ago and since have walked by it every day with it talking to me. So since I had the paint out I added just those final touches to finish it. Ahhh,
all better now!

Hope you had a happy and productive Labor Day, now get back to the paint brushes!