Saturday, July 24, 2010

Student Saturday

In the month since my last Student Saturday post, a lot of new work has been completed and started. The images below represent mostly students who have been taking lessons for several months to over a year, with the exception of the final piece being the first completed work by a relatively new student.

Over the summer, my assignments have been largely focused on observation drawing, working in a variety of media. One of my students has been working on quick sketches in her sketchbook en plain air in front of my studio. Others, as seen below, are working with charcoal and graphite.

Gargoyle Study, Charcoal on Ingres, 12" x 16", ©2010 Phoebe Nezamis, Age 14

Toaster Study, Charcoal on Ingres, 16" x 12", ©2010 Phillip Nezamis, Age 11

Figure Model Study, Charcoal on Ingres, 12" x 16", © Andrei Burul

Pencil Sharpener Study, Charcoal on Ingres, 16" x 12", ©2010 June Nezamis, Adult

The above four charcoal studies were rather quickly completed over the course of a couple of double sessions. Each of these students attend as a group, June, is mother of Phoebe and Phillip, and Andrei is a family friend. They're a very animated, enthusiastic group to work with and have each pushed their perceived limits of their artistic abilities in their drawings. Their assignment was to pick an object in the studio, become very familiar with it, sketch it in two minutes with vine charcoal, then go back and refine. Final shading was done with compressed charcoal to intensify the blacks.

Self Portrait, Graphite on Ingres, 12" x 16", ©2010 Jake Scordato, Age 15

Quacking to Singing in the Rain, Watercolor / Colored Pencil on Illustration Board, 20" x 15", ©Molly Romania, Age 13

Jake and Molly have been taking a semiprivate together for the past few months; Jake has been studying with me for about two years, and Molly just enrolled around the time of my relocation. Both are continuing to impress me with their focus, technical ability, and creativity.

As the caption states, Jake's piece is a self-portrait, and his first one at that. A self-portrait is probably the most difficult subject in traditional art to produce, not only are you dealing with the complexities of the face structure, but you also add to that a person's self-perception and you have the makings for quite a challenge. I felt Jake was ready to tackle this. He studied several examples of old master drawings of portraits, learned about the structure of the face and its proportions, and then finally had to persevere looking at himself objectively in a mirror for many months. In the end, after many sessions of self-doubt, Jake surprised himself with the success of his portrait.

Molly's piece, Quacking in the Rain, is both an observation drawing of the famed TraillWorks' "Harry" the over sized rubber duck and a tribute to the movie, Singing in the Rain. This is an example of Molly's first piece with me, and an approach to the first project all of my students develop. Molly selected a very challenging view of "Harry" from a top-down perspective. Not only did she achieve that, but she also successfully rendered the granite and metal textures of the Hollywood star that she invented very well. 

I have more completed student work, but will save it for the next Student Saturday. In the meantime, if there are any art teachers reading this that have any experience teaching virtually via Skype or other platforms, I'd love to hear about it. I have a student who is relocating out of the area and she wants to continue to study with me.

Look for hand painted tiles, ceramic sculptures, sketchbook drawings and more in the next Student Saturday on TraillWorks: The Blog. Visit our Facebook Page or website to see more examples of student work and learn more about lessons at TraillWorks.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

More Vintage Apron Strings Painted

       Apron Strings #3, Oil on Canvas, 5" x 7", ©2010 Jennie Traill Schaeffer
$125, unframed

Apron Strings #4, Oil on Canvas, 5" x 7", ©2010 Jennie Traill Schaeffer
$125, unframed


Apron Strings #5, Oil on Canvas, 5" x 7", ©2010 Jennie Traill Schaeffer
$125, unframed

More explorations of the apron, in particular the phrase, "apron strings".The last two pieces were painted on canvas collaged with a batik stripe paper which I kept exposed through the painting, acting as a compositional device. I've been including collage a little bit in a few recent paintings; unlike a blank canvas, the collage dictates somewhat the direction of the painting. Not to say I don't have to think, but there's a foundation that informs where I will end up which is a refreshing, more immediate approach than some of my more planned works. The pink, brown and orange toned paper worked well with the pink tulle and chocolate brown velvet apron that hung in the studio.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Am I a Leading Mom in Business?

StartupNation, a web site for entrepreneurs, designed by entrepreneurs, is hosting its 2010 Competition: Leading Moms in Business, sponsored by Ladies who Launch and The National Association for Moms in Business. Mompreneur has been a popular buzz word in the past couple of years which has directed more interest in women who are launching businesses while being the full-time caregiver for their children. All of this flurry around mommy business owners has given a new interest in mommy-owned businesses, which I believe is due in part to the way this generation of moms (Generation X) were raised without limitations of career or personal goals. You can read more about "Third-Wave Feminism" which is not your mommy's feminism, where women can have their cake and eat it, too, through articles I referenced in a recent blog post. I think the competition is indicative of this movement and am appreciative of the attention us moms are getting.

The StartupNation competition is not limited to mompreneurs, but in order to enter you are required to be a mom and a majority business owner. That's it. So I fit the bill, now the question is do you think I'm one of this year's 200 Leading Moms in Business? You can read a brief business description and explanation of why I think I should be voted as one of the Leading Moms in Business. You can actually vote daily here. Thank you for your support!