I enjoy this comment from Robert Barnes; "There isn't a painter I know that is not also great at cooking breakfast." With these words I get a mental image of Max Ernst making an omelette. It sheads light on a way the artists shared life together. I can relate to Bob this morning in Mount Gretna as I enjoy Quinn McNichols potatoes.
So much is being made with and around us; the food on our plates after a long day of painting, the cottage we rest in, the relationships with Mount Gretna locals, faculty, and students of MGSoA.
Another idea that keeps coming to my mind is Jay Noble's comment, "artists don't simply keep ideas in their heads, they (ideas/thinking/dreaming) happen physically (in the medium)." The vision for artists working and living cooperatively has been shared through and with each of us here.
Mount Gretna School of Arts doesn't happen to us but with us.
Dialogue is a word I hear at least once a day, and it is so fitting for describing painting. Our teachers welcome us to engage different modes of cognition. We are working with a language that has so much to it. At some point in each of our group critiques a teacher will say, "That's enough from me, let's hear what you are thinking."
Many of us would rise to point out shapes, repetition, and dramatic narratives within each other's work and in projected images of master paintings. We learned to be more receptive and active. The care to learn from one another felt richer than imagination. Fingers danced across the surface, it was rythm, it was music.
It is beautiful to see artists fully engaged in their work. I'll sit for a moment and just look and I'm in awe at the drive and focus I see. I can catch moments like this during late nights in the studio, or watching someone sing their heart out on stage.
On July 8th. Our class spent the evening listening to Jubilant Sykes & Christopher Parkening. At the Mt. Gretna Play House.
On my right, I hear a student's pencil as she sketches the activity on the stage.
Colorful silhouettes are cast upon the white grided wall behind the two performers.
The curtains that line the outer ring of the play house have been drawn open, and the birds are joining the songs.
Sykes acknowledges the birds and is delighted, the crowd laughs with pleasure.
We often get excited about tensions within a painting that somehow contribute to the unity of the image. I like to draw parallels between the act of painting and living together in the summer intensive.
Matt Phillips, during his artist lecture at the hall of philosophy had an observation about his experience with the program as a visiting critic. "I can't find the boarders. I can't identify where the school ends and the Mount Gretna Community begins."