Today, during yet another snowstorm, I spent a quiet day indoors planning and preparing for my spring term oil painting course at NOA Gallery in Groton, MA. I'm quite excited to start this course again; it's been a while since it was offered and I've revamped it and modernized it. That sounds odd, but the fact is that a few years ago I didn't have an iPad, and while I've always made use of the internet in the classroom to show images (thank you, Google Art Project!), there are a few ways that I use digital media now that I didn't before. Primarily, I now have an extensive library of excerpts and tutorials from Artist Daily and the North Light Shop, and several really super instructional videos. I'm also getting more into blogging, which is to say that along with becoming increasingly verbose, I've also found some wonderful, wonderful art blogs. I've already mentioned James Gurney's blog, gurneyjourney.blogspot.com (worth mentioning again); today I direct you to Ann Trusty and John Hulsey's blog The Artist's Road http://www.theartistsroad.net/ . If you love being outdoors, and painting, then check out this generous collection of advice about plein air painting.
Anyway, when I got to the end of my syllabus, to my last topic, Mixed Media--in which I get to throw out all the conventions and play around with all the amazing materials available now--I revisited the website of one of my favorite mixed media artists, Nick Bantock. Remember the craze of the Griffin and Sabine trilogy? Well, I was delighted to discover that Mr. Bantock has a blog, so please check it out: http://nick-bantock.blogspot.com/ . His unique voice is such fun to read!
Almost two weeks ago now, I was lucky enough to be invited to the Winsor School in Boston to co-teach two Upper School art classes on acrylic medium transfers and acetone transfers, with my good friend Sara Macaulay. What fun! Those are lucky kids, with a studio art program like that, and teachers like Sara! I was impressed with their solid foundation in drawing, observation and composition--so necessary for art in all mediums. The students were great, and the time flew by. If anything, I wish they'd had time to slow down a bit. I know that my life out here in the country affords me the great luxury of taking my time with things, and that it's unusual in today's world. I'm used to being able to spend two to three hours with an art class, and half a day at a time in my studio if I like. That's just not true for high school students, I guess. They had one hour to get settled into the studio, watch two technique demos and try it out for themselves, and get cleaned up, then they were off to the next thing. I have to wonder if that's a good way to learn, at top speed? Well, they seem to be thriving, and that's the normal pace of things these days. Anyway, a good time was had by all, and I hope the transfer techniques will be useful to them in the future. And by the way, it was very strange to be introduced as Ms. Wilber. Very odd indeed.
Alexia Rosoff Wilber
News and notes about art.