I've been painting a lot from life and every time I do, I realize how important it is to do so. I had a correspondence some time ago with the portrait painter, Everett Raymond Kinstler, and he urged me to always paint from life (ERK is a wonderful man and I'm truly appreciative all of his kind words and encouragement). At the time, I had been working from photos for commissions and my work was lacking a lot of vitality, it felt wooden and stiff. There's a magic quality to work that's done from life and I'll only be working from life from here on out.
To give a quick update about Novus Atelier, I'm very excited to begin classes on June 24th. I'm currently gathering supplies for still life paintings, easels and getting some work ready to bring over to the space. I'm also very proud to say that our atelier is going to be a community partner with Patch.com (a community news site). It's very cool to see my hard work paying off.
Stay tuned for more art and more updates!
I was sketching a small portrait of my brother two days ago and I had some realizations. I first realized that I never have to pretend to do my art in a certain way. I used to have this feeling like the work I was making wasn't my own and that I was trying really hard, but not in a good way. I still have my artistic inspirations whom I look to (Sargent, Sorolla, Bouguereau, etc.) but I feel much more myself lately.
I keep thinking about a friend of mine who I used to play ping pong with in college. He was a really good player and I'd ask him about if he put any spin on the ball or any special techniques. He said that he just tries to return each shot and didn't think about anything else. That hit me profoundly. I feel that way about my paintings now; I have one goal: I just want to make a good painting. There's obviously a lot more to it than that beneath the surface, but as I get more advanced, then the more simple it becomes. Everything returns to simplicity. I just feel like I keep letting go of things that I deem unnecessary. I want to shed everything away.
I've also been pushing really hard recently while setting up my atelier. I'm even in the deep stages of purchasing small business insurance because I'm about to choose a space. It's very surreal and it's a dream that I've had for a while now. I feel very at peace.
I'm so excited to announce that I found a great option for a space for Novus Atelier! I thought I had a place set, had some setbacks BUT now I've got a really solid option. I'm still going to look at one more place in Ridgewood on Thursday, but it's really nice to know that I have a strong place set. Once I make a final decision then I'll update the website and create an official announcement. Really exciting stuff for this summer!