A new works in progress page!

I’m on a new mission to complete at least one ten minute sketch per day. After the time limit has been reached, I have to stop and leave written comments on what needs work and what was done well. I’m hoping this will strengthen my work as an artist and make me more aware of my weaknesses. In addition to creating a tumblr page that I use to find and post references for my work, I’ve added a works-in-progress page where I plan on creating an online diary with images of my progress.

Click on the image below to see how things are developing.

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Spring classes open to the public!

I’m excited to announce a list of late afternoon classes I’ll be teaching in the Spring at the New Art Center of Newton, MA, just ten minutes outside of Boston! Teaching at the center gives me a little more creative freedom than I have in public school and I’ve begun to happily plan out the term starting in April.

Cartooning and Comics, Gr. 2-4

This class is designed to introduce students to the basic techniques of drawing humans, objects, and animals cartoon-style. Students will learn to give realistic expression to their drawings of original characters and caricatured celebrities. Studying anatomy, proportion, movement, etc will allow students to become more confident and creative cartoon designers. Class discussion will focus on the work of classic cartoonists to better understand and appreciate the art form of cartooning.

Graphic Novels and Manga, Gr. 5-8

Explore the genre of the graphic novel with comic books and manga. Delve into the history of the medium and its influences on animation, anime, music, and film. Students will create their own graphic novel and focus on story structure and pencil and ink art. Students are required to bring a sketchbook to class.

Drawing and Painting, Gr. 9-12

This class is designed for beginners and advanced students who are serious about drawing and painting. Different techniques and a wide range of materials will be used to explore and help redefine students’ art class experience.

Drawing and Coloring Media, Gr. 6-10

Working from still-life, photographs, magazines, and independent ideas students will be introduced to specific drawing fundamentals and techniques.  Various mediums will be used such as, graphite, ink, charcoal, chalk pastel, oil pastel, graphic markers, and conté crayons. Personal style is celebrated and encouraged!

2D/3D Mixed Media Art, Gr. 8-12

This class will offer students the opportunity to make art using different materials and various media. Painting, collage making, blogging, directing, building — anything goes for the serious artist who has something to say. Students will be inspired by modern and contemporary art as they interact with the New Art Center’s current exhibition in the main gallery. A great class in particular to use the creative process to express oneself by thinking outside of the box!

Counselors-In-Training Through the Visual Arts, Gr. 7-10

Would you like to become a young leader in the art world? If you’re interested in visual art, photography, music, dance, theater, and/or organizing events — this is the perfect ‘class’ for you! Led by K-12 art teacher and Teen Program Coordinator, Steven Wilber, participants will learn important leadership skills and tools to organize art-related activities, develop budgets, and plan programs like field trips, community art projects, teen night outs, art exhibits, and more.

Learning from the comics

“Superman” by Paul Kupperberg, George Tuska, and Vince Colleta, 1982.

Because I love comic books and superheroes so much and because both subjects got me into art, which lead me into teaching, I incorporate a lot throughout the school year. Thankfully, none of my students complain. I’ve begun collecting old random comic strips from daily newspapers for various lessons and for different grades. Earlier today I came across this gem.

The process of an artist, Step One.

ImageIt starts with an idea.

Planning for my latest painting began from a backup story in Wonder Woman #316, 1984. I loved the dramatic pose of the Huntress with a long, dark cape draped down her sides with her arms raised high. I remember a similar pose from a production still of Batgirl (Yvonne Craig), from the Sixties, Batman, TV series.

Then I remembered Frank Langella as the evil sorcerer, Skeletor, from the Masters of the Universe film. I loved the actor’s flair with his black cloak, as his extensive skull makeup allowed little movement of his face, but the makeup/mask was terrifying on its own. Fashion is an extension of one’s self, of their emotions, this is utilized in much of my work. The Huntress (great name) pose, the cloak, and the skull face would be used to show a duality between beauty and ugliness. Sex, tainted with evil. But because I’m predominately a happy person, I want this painting to reflect that as well.

As of late, I’ve been digging into Diana Ross’ back catalog of lesser known music from the early Eighties. The music videos Dirty Looks, Eaten Alive, and, Pieces of Ice are prime examples of fashion and fades of the era. I appreciate Ross’ commanding presence in front of a camera or on stage. The latter two videos resemble bad B horror films, a notorious source of regular inspiration for my work. I could incorporate Ross’ beauty and the beastly nature of her videos into my skull faced heroine. This would soften the wickedness of the figure, but also enhance the over all mood of the piece.

Within minutes I suddenly had a reference sheet cobbled together and I’m now eager to begin sketching out designs for the upcoming, “Glamor Gore” painting, working title.