Jolie Guillebeau

Archive for January, 2008

Ending the week…

Thursday, January 31st, 2008

There’s no motif painting this week, because my big project is working so well. I’m really enjoying working on it right now, so I thought I’d stick with it until I hit my first bump. Here’s today’s progress:

It doesn’t look that different from yesterday, but that’s mostly because I was double checking my measurements and wanted to take my time. Also, because we talk about Art History in the studio on Thursdays, there’s not as much time for painting.

And on that note, today I’m going to talk about my teacher– Gary Faigin. I first heard of Gary several years ago when I was taking my first art class with a group of lovely little old ladies. He had written a book about facial expressions and these little old ladies were just in love with this book. I spent several hours sitting on the floor in Barnes and Noble looking at the book, but never bought it because I was just too intimidated and not quite ready for it.

Fast forward a few years– Chris and I were getting ready to come to Seattle and I was looking for a place to study art. I found Gage Academy online and recognized Gary’s name immediately. I knew that I wanted to come to this school and study with him– it was almost an immediate decision. But once again, I wasn’t sure that I was ready. So I enrolled at Gage in the Foundation Painting program and worked my way through that last year and this year I’ve finally gotten my own studio space and an opportunity for Gary to critique my work.

He comes in Tuesday afternoons for individual critiques and Thursday mornings to talk about Art History. I’ve learned so much from both–plus, I love the freedom that comes from just painting and painting and painting every other day of the week.


Wednesday, January 30th, 2008

That’s how this painting seems to be going. I haven’t hit a snag yet, though I know one is inevitable. Meanwhile, I’ll just keep sailing along and enjoying the process.

Here’s what the painting looks like today:

Question of the week…

Tuesday, January 29th, 2008

How much does it cost?
*Hmm, this is a bit out of focus…I think I need a better camera.

Painting progress

Tuesday, January 29th, 2008

Here’s what my canvas looked like yesterday morning:

Here’s what it looks like now:

Progress, no?

More snow…

Monday, January 28th, 2008

The view from my studio:

Um. Never mind. I don’t have the cable for the camera, so those pictures will have to wait until tomorrow.

Awkward silence…

*Look, now I’ve got the cable!

So, anyway, how was the weekend? Mine was a bit manic. A new show opened at the Frye, and it was pretty crowded both Friday and Saturday. The Frye Museum is my other job– it’s the one that actually provides a paycheck. I love that I get paid to look at paintings. I learn a lot just by looking at the work on the walls. Plus, I love the group of people that I work with. We have a lot of fun together. It’s the perfect job for me right now. I usually work there Thursday evenings, Fridays and Saturdays. Which is why I only post here Monday-Thursday while I’m actually in my studio.

And then last night I hosted Hysteria. That’s the group of girls (we don’t feel old enough to be a women’s group) who get together every Sunday night and do crafty things. Well, some of us do crafty things, and some of us just sit around and chat and eat. Either way, we have fun together.

The big plans for today include starting my new painting. I’ll take pictures and post progress of it each week–if I can remember to bring the cable for the camera.

Thursday again…

Thursday, January 24th, 2008

Since Monday was a holiday and I wasn’t in my studio, this week has gone very quickly. I have a lot of painting to catch up on, so I’m just jumping straight to this week’s influential artist: Vermeer.

For many years he was almost forgotten, but now Vermeer’s work resonates for many as the definitive Dutch ideal in painting. Though we don’t know much about him as a person, his work is easily recognizable. For me his work is really simple and complex at the same time. I’ve tried several master copies of his work and each time I learn something new about painting. The world he creates is his painting is quiet and thoughtful.

My great disappointment in life is that I haven’t actually seen his work in person. In 2001, his work at the Met in New York wasn’t on display, then both times I was in Amsterdam we went to the Van Gogh Museum instead of the Rijksmuseum because it was being remodeled. When I went to New York in September, seeing Vermeer was at the top of my list. BUT, I went just a week before this exhibit opened. And no matter how much I pleaded, the guard would not let me in to wherever they were storing the painting while they were hanging the work.

So I guess I’ll just have to go back.

In between…

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2008

I should be painting, but instead I’m eating lentils and listening to iTunes. I’m in between paintings and feeling a little lost. I suppose I’m back to stage one.

I’m finished with a project that I’ve worked on for more than two months–and I’m glad. I’m just not so sure I’m ready to invest myself in to a new painting like that. It’s the stage of uncertainty and insecurity. For me, it’s the stage where I get the most frustrated and anxious. Others in my studio love it. They’re excited about a new project and a fresh clean canvas. They’ll spend hours and hours just planning and sketching. Meanwhile, I will just throw anything on the canvas to get something down and then later spend hours and hours correcting it. Or even worse, I’ll encounter a problem I hadn’t planned for and have to begin all over again.

I’m trying to be more comfortable in this stage. Trying to plan and think through my ideas. Though what I really want to do is just throw some paint on this big white canvas. I’m definitely looking forward to stage two.

Tuesdays are for review…

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2008

Look, it’s already Tuesday again!

Last week, I turned in my self-portrait for a show here at Gage, I wrote a first draft of an artist’s statement, I read 2 books,I worked 17 hours at the Frye, I completed filling out my planning calendar for this quarter, I finished 2 small paintings, I did a value study for my next big project, I went to the gym three times, I walked more than 11K steps everyday, I was deliberate about my eating choices (except for one day), I finished knitting a sock, I sewed a button on a pair of pants (actually, I convinced someone else to do it for me–thanks, Kelly!) and I climbed a mountain (with snow!).

BUT, I forgot to clean the bathroom (Chris did it for me–thanks, love.) I forgot to get the ingredients for making creme brulee, I didn’t keep up with my expenses so well, I was in a bad mood for a good part of the weekend, and I went down the mountain on my butt (mostly because of the snow). Ouch.

Discovery of the week: Getting down an icy mountain is much harder than going up. Also, if you slide down a mountain, your butt is going to be really sore the next day.

Wrapping up…

Thursday, January 17th, 2008

Thursday comes so quickly! With lots done this week, I’m ready to shift gears and go to the museum for a couple of days.

Meanwhile, Thursday I talk about an artist. We’ll stick with Impressionists for awhile and I’ll talk about Camille Pissarro.

A few years ago (wait–many years ago) Chris and I were in Boston visiting friends and we went to the Museum of Fine Art. There are 46 paintings by Monet and I couldn’t wait to see every single one of them. But somewhere along the way I got distracted. I walked through a gallery and a small painting on a far wall grabbed my attention. The light and colors really gleamed. I sat and sketched trying to capture what it was that I loved so much about this painting. Later in the store, I bought a small white book with other paintings by this artist and read as much as I could about Pissarro in the back seat of my friends’ car.

Pissarro was born in Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas (I’ve been to his house!) in 1830. Later he trained in Paris and relocated there with his family. He was a committed Socialist and is known somewhat as a fatherly figure to the other impressionists. He mentored Cezanne, Van Gogh and offered a calm stabilizing force to the other more rash members of the group. He was also willing to learn from younger artists.

He took his art seriously, but didn’t seem to take himself seriously. That’s one of my goals as well.

More questions?

Wednesday, January 16th, 2008

Question of the week: What time is it?