"No piece of advice exists in a vacuum, and you'll receive lots of conflicting information. It's up to you to sift through and take what you need. What I'll share are pieces that I've found important to bear in mind as I embark on a (hopefully) long journey of seeing, listening and transcribing."Read More
I enjoy this comment from Robert Barnes; "There isn't a painter I know that is not also great at cooking breakfast."Read More
"Basically, we are learning how to see again. To most, these exercises would look like meaningless scribbles, but to us they act as maps for the environment we are depicting."Read More
"Who gets to measure the distance between experience and representation? We do. Anyone can." - Richard SikenRead More
"I am learning to take risks, to try and fail and try again, leaving ‘thousands of canvases behind me’ - as Joseph Hawthorn would say. Understanding to build each painting like moss on a rock, a patch of green, and brown, interlocking swatches of color folding into another, building into an image..."Read More
In addition to making work, we have been enriched each week by artist lectures from professionals across the country. In this week alone, we heard talks by Jeffery Reed, Sam King, and Stephanie Pierce—Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, consecutively.Read More
"...So being in this painting program right after school has been such relief for me. I am finally out of theoretic art talk and am back to what I want and who I am. Nothing is any better than..."Read More
I received an email from my grandmother who, knowing of my artistic expedition to Mount Gretna..., read the horoscope for Capricorn (my own): "Now is not the time for mild cautious, delicate turns of thought, but rather for vigorous meditations, rambunctious speculations and carefree musings." It seemed destined to be an eventful week...
...Besides sharing different art techniques throughout our daily critiques, these artists have shared interesting things that have happened during their painting sessions throughout the day to more personal things such as unforgettable stories that have made me laugh and cry. I feel strongly that these people are more than just art students they are a small group of people I can call family.Read More
Pablo Picasso once said, “They’ll sell you thousands of greens. Veronese green and emerald green and cadmium green and any sort of green you like, but that particular green, never.” I have developed a love hate relationship with the color green during my time at Mount Gretna—constantly grasping for that particular green in the particular light of a particular instant in time. For the first week or two that I was here, I was so caught up in mixing exactly the green that I saw, but it became clear to me very quickly that it is nearly impossible to paint exactly what you see As I tried to grapple with creating space and variety among a dense patch of trees, our first painting instructor Martha Armstrong told me something that I will never forget. To paraphrase, she said that you can’t always paint exactly what you see in order to paint what you see. The more I’ve painted here, the more Martha’s words of wisdom have really sunk in. Upon a first glance into the woods, or across a field, everything looks green, but as artists, we develop a unique language of line, color and value that expresses the world however we see and feel it. Our current painting instructor Xico Greenwald constantly encourages us to paint in a way that feels authentic. Like Martha’s advice, I’ll certainly keep Xico’s guidance in the back of my mind while painting.
On July 4th, we had a show displaying the work we’ve made throughout the summer. When I walked around to look at everyone’s work it dawned on me: not one of these paintings has the exact same green in it. Every one of us has learned to embrace our own artistic language through painting, whether its expressive and chaotic marks or more structured blocks of color, there is no one particular way to paint, no predetermined shade of green. Picasso’s “particular green” is different in every one of our paintings, and that to me is just awesome. I’ve learned so much here, and made so many fantastic friends. Although I’m sad that my time at MGSoA is coming to a close, I’m so excited to take everything I’ve learned here, continue to develop my own artistic voice, and carry on my wrestling match with the color green wherever I end up.
What is essential is the love we give to what we are attracted to in the landscape. Seeing is a deliberate act of caring about what I’m looking at. It operates just beneath the intellect and arouses a feeling of excitement to share my perception of the world...Read More
Week three began with an ambush. I believe that it was part of a strategic plan. Right when most of us had begun to get our bearings with landscape painting, we were exposed to some incredible artists and instructors who made it impossible for us to get comfortable or lazy...Read More
I've been at Mount Gretna for about two weeks now and I've never felt more confident that I have been on the right path. I'm at a point in my life where my enthusiasm for art matches my intensity of creating and it's bringing me a feeling of personal achievement. I'm not afraid to make failed paintings because...Read More