Thursday, October 16, 2014

Portrait- Video Review

   Yeah yeah yeah, so I tend to use my blogs for doing homework.  I usually do so on a different one, but I am going to try to just use this one from now on- mainly because more and more of my papers will be art- related anyway.  I am taking an oil painting class this semester, and have to write a review on a video, any video that's relative.  Well, if any of you are in college, you may be aware of Films On Demand, which is an awesome resource for free educational films.  I went through and, while I found many that looked interesting, watched Portrait- a film documenting UK artist Tai-Shan Schierenberg's portrait of Lord Hartington.  
   The film was only just under 30 minutes, so it flowed smoothly and went through Tai-Shan's entire process, from his initial call to set up the meeting with his sitter, to the presentation of the finished portrait.  Narrated by the artist himself, you feel intimately into his studio. We start out with Tai-Shan leaving his modest apartment and soon arriving at Chatsworth House, a beautiful estate that also holds one of the most extensive private art collections in Britain.  Tai-Shan begins with just two three-hour sessions where he initially paints his subjects head and face only and then photographs the sitter in various poses to use as reference for a full body painting. I was surprised to see that he made no other notes and drew no sketches while with his subject.
   Back in the studio, Tai-Shan spends the next month on the large painting (approximately 4x6'.)  Tai-Shan sits in a chair at the back of his studio, often staring and contemplating the progress of his portrait.  He continuously scrapes the paint away that had portrayed the Duke's face and repainting it.  His brushstrokes tend to be large and sweeping.  His subjects hands are very large, as the artist admits he has a tendency to do, and he leaves them that way. The final portrait is quite serious and rather formal, despite the quick and casual style Tai-Shan has with his brush.  Stoker Cavendish feels in the end that his tie is quite nice, and it is hard to be objective when presented with a larger than life portrait of oneself.
  This video offered a nice peak into the day to day of a portrait artist.  He mentions the fact that about 50% of his portraits are either disliked by the sitter or their spouse, as they most likely had an image of what it should look like already in mind.  Painting royalty has changed greatly since Van Dyck and the days of Henry VIII.  History buff, art student, or anyone looking to catch an interesting glimpse into an artist's thought process should pick up this film.

Monday, October 13, 2014

A Few Updates

Okay, so I am not very adept at utilizing social media, and am slow to get the ball rolling here as well, but this semester I am finally taking my Portfolio and Resume class, so I need to get my butt in gear!  I have added a separate page here dedicated to my trimmed down and properly flowing portfolio.  The pieces chosen are the most recent and relevant, placed in an order that makes sense- there is actually a narrative that I could include, and perhaps one day I will, but for now I will let it speak for itself.
Also, I am excited about a new group I am part of on Facebook- Sarah's Street Gang. This is not mine, but Sarah Pekkanen's Street Team group.  Way back when I first started this blog I was also working on getting books for the 302nd Bookworms I sent an email to Sarah requesting some copies of The Opposite of Me.  She was awesome, keeping me posted about getting some from her publisher.  With crazy shipping restriction, we couldn't get the books, but she did send us  All Is Bright- her just released short story.  As part of her "Street Gang," I get to virtually hang out with other awesome fans and continue to share her books.
I am such a book nerd, and still hope to one day have the time to do some paintings inspired by some of my favorite books.  So many projects, so little time!  Well, I am learning a bit about oil painting at the moment, so expect to see another twist in my paintings as I find a way to integrate it!  Since I have been working on my Tyrion in Different Media series, looks like I have to throw another one in there.  I will leave you with it's current progress.  So far, Watercolor/ Mixed Media, and about half way through silverpoint.