we begin – with line

We don’t need shading or even perspective and we can understand the image. It’s all in the placement of the lines of the work; the pressure and direction of the line.
Rick Rotante

IMG_3743

Adriana: I never thought of drawing a pine cone. 
Me: Did you enjoy it?
Adriana: Yeah, I did. 
Me: Do you like the end result?
Adriana: I’m really proud of it. I didn’t know I could do that.

In-class subject-matter: Pinecone
Focus: Inner and Outer contour – which basically means they are working with the design element of line. A fluid, simple line is arrived by careful observation and careful putting down what one sees.
Out of class: complex natural object of their choosing.

igotthepineconeblues

I Got The Pinecone Blues by Adriana

bellpepperandonion

Bell Pepper and Onion by Adriana

alyssatilted

Tilted by Alyssa

jalapeno

Jalapeno by Alexssa

IMG_3746

Pinecone by Kyle

curvycone

Curvy Cone by Katie

innercone

InnerCone by Jesus

lelacone

Orange by Lela

Below: Drawing 2 students.
They have to stay connected to line. But they get to pick their subject-matter and drawing medium. I’m pleasantly surprised when they each choose to work with charcoal and pastel. All of them have studied with me before, basically they pick up where they left off.

artichokeale

Artichoke Flower by Alejandra

gonewiththewind

Gone With The Wind, by Manny

Is the drawing believable? Carefully observed? Do lines flow? Does your eye move through the composition?
We take a 15 minute break mid-class and usually the class goes out to the courtyard. This time I notice many return to the drawings and take a closer look at each others work. Already their understanding has expanded.

…. clearly we are off to a good start … 

primordial energy

Pri·mor·di·al (adjective )

1. constituting a beginning; giving origin to something derived or developed; original; elementary: primordial forms of life.
2. Embryology .first formed.
3. pertaining to or existing at or from the very beginning: primordial matter.


This morning, Meg our yoga instructor, informed the class about the energy that is currently in motion and will continue to be until Friday. It happens to be the primordial energy of the ovaries and the testes. It’s a tumultuous time in our country.
Find clarity, stabilize. I don’t know where we’ll land but we always seek balance.

hers

Hers

His

His

I completed His and Her pelvic studies which will show next month when Creature Man Nature opens. Below are process videos of each.

CREATURE, MAN AND NATURE
Works by:
Carolyn Lavender, Monica Aissa Martinez, and Mary Shindell
@ Mesa Contemporary Arts in the North Gallery
January 11- April 28, 2013
Opening Reception: January 25, 2013 (6-9pm)
visit → The Blog

“the pine-cone doesn’t lie”

Art is the lie that enables us to realize the truth.
Pablo Picasso


New semester, first critique. Students put up one wall of very good renderings of a natural object.

I quote Jose, a Drawing 1 student, in this post title.  He says during critique, The pine-cone doesn’t lie.  It always tells the truth. I came back to it over and over and it never changed, it was always the same. I’m the one that changed. I was the one that was lying.

I consider calling it a day, so the class can go home and meditate on that one single thought, it’s pretty wonderful. Jose also notes how he had drawn and redrawn, and because he was not at all familiar with a pine-cone, he was forced to look and then look again, and again. He titles one of the studies CSI because, he explains, if his pine-cone was killed or went missing he would recognize its DNA, because of all the intense observation.

Excellent!

His last (and 4th study) drawing is below.  He only had to complete one, but obviously, he wanted to get it right. Here is a simple (though not so easy) and well observed contour study of his one unique pine-cone.

Pine-Cone Sunrise by Jose

The drawings that follow are all Drawing 1 student’s work.  Some of them have never drawn before. And though the assignment is a focus on inner and outer contour, a few do include texture. Clearly, this group is already paying attention. For the record, they work 18″ x 24 and use a Sharpie Marker…no erasing, forcing them to work slowly and really consider what they put down. It’s not effortless, but they sure make it look that way.  I know better though.

Androa by Alexis

Pine-Cone Slam by Bri

Ultima by Eddie

by Michelle

Recognition by Alberto

Cono del Pino by Kyle

Pillars of a Pine-Cone by Andres

Below are a couple of the Drawing and Composition II students. Crystal (working in oil pastel) and Kim (working with charcoal and conté) have studied with me before. They pick up right where they left off in Drawing 1.

Seed-Pod by Crystal

Pine Cone by Kim

As the students are working they talk about the spiral form that they begin to note in their pine-cone.  During critique when they are commenting on the accuracy of other student’s work they bring up this spiral pattern again. It helps them identify if what the work we are discussing is real (based on what the student sees) or imaginary (based on the imagination). We really are off to a great start.


…and here is an explanation of the Fibonacci Spiral seen in pine-cones…as well as many other things in nature.


more seeing

When it comes to value, that’s when we find out why most paintings are boring and others will knock your socks off. Harley Brown


This assignment is not just a Value study, it’s also the student’s first complete Charcoal (or color Pastel) drawing. They work at controlling a medium that is not easy to control, in relation to the marker they just left behind. They can move this medium, pick it up, and put more of it down. They pay attention to the surface. They learn to develop edges. This is about the time many students stop taking breaks, and the classroom gets very quiet. They focus. I particularly enjoy the intensity of class at this point.

I ask them for a different sort of seeing. Most of the students are drawing in Charcoal and have to translate a color into a value. They explore lights and darks and shadow. A few students work in color Pastel.

They’ve learned to look closely and now their seeing is so much more heightened.

Ivon

Kim

Art

Yeda

Erica

Julieta

“art’s never the same thing twice”

Art is the product or process of deliberately arranging items (with symbolic significance) in a way that influences and effects one or more of the senses, emotions, and intellect.


We’ll be doing it again. Mary, Carolyn, and I have met a few times since last March.  A new plan for working together took hold yesterday.

My favorite comments (paraphrasing) of the afternoon:

Mary Shindell:

On our working together again:  Art’s never the same thing twice.

On crap and coziness: Right now, I’m working over at the Jackson studio. I put crap everywhere. I want to make it cozy. I want to feel like I am working close to my stuff, not be in vast space.  I want cozier.

About her work: I want to take the most insignificant, inconsequential things in nature and make them have significance.

Carolyn Lavender:

On what she might show: I plan to have new large work.  And also a large grouping of my Journal pieces.  The Journal pieces (each alone), are not very defensible.
(That is to say, they are strong as a grouping.)

About a working title for the exhibit:  Particular Purpose…I like the particular.

and me:

To Carolyn about why the cat is free to roam my studio:  I don’t try to control her.  Cause I mostly control everything else (…in the studio).

To Carolyn: How did God come into this conversation? 
Carolyn: You brought it up! 

…and I won’t say who said it exactly or about what:

WTF!

Do you see why we want to do this again?
New work. New exhibit. New blog.  New media. New Venue.
Museum. Center for the Arts.

culture seen

Culture Seen is Lisa Marie Sipe’s newly launched blog. She’s collaborating with artists Angela Cazel Jahn and Christopher Jagmin to interview artists, visit their studios and talk about the art world.

click here → Studio Visit – Monica Aissa Martinez

Thanks Lisa. Thanks Culture Seen.
Click here to join them on facebook for updates.