Monday, June 23, 2014

Paul S. Brown and His Classical Realist Friends Exhibition

Pinehurst # 2 Second Hole, Paul S. Brown

Paul Brown 
Exhibition dates for this show were June 6th  - July 11th, 2014 at the Campbell house in Southern Pines, North Carolina and sponsored by the Arts Council of Moore County. Exhibiting in the show were: Paul S. Brown, Olena Babak, Carmen Drake Gordon, Jill Hooper, Kamille Corry, Gloria Carrera, Evelyn Dempsey, Joanne Kilpatrick, Patricia McDevitt, Elizabeth Strazulla and Frank Strazulla Jr. 

I learned of this show from a friend Carmen Gordon at Oak Hollow Studios in Carthage, North Carolina. I had attended workshops at her studio.

Paul Brown

My first workshop at Oak Hollow Studio was a surprise. All of the attendees, including the model, had studied with or taught at the Academy of Classical Design with D. Jeffrey Mims. Also most were ongoing students of Paul Brown. 

Paul  Brown was raised in North Carolina but has lived and worked in London since 1994.  Currently, he lives and paints in North Carolina. Paul makes his own oil paints with carefully selected pigments and uses old master techniques and mediums working from life. 

Paul studied and apprenticed with Jeffrey Mims, and the  Studio Cecil- Graves in Florence Italy.  He has traveled extensively, painting his way through museums in England and Europe. Paul helped Daniel Graves open the Florence Academy of Art. Paul has also exhibited in the BP Portrait Award. 

C. Gordon

Carmen Drake Gordon owns Oak Hollow studios in Carthage North Carolina and attended the Academy of Classical Design, first as a student then as a student teacher. Carmen has most recently studied under the direction of Paul Brown.

O. Babak

Olena Babak a classically trained artist originally from the Ukraine currently lives in Maine. Olena has a studio art degree from the Kharkiv College of fine art and also studied with and was an assistant teacher at the Academy of Classical Design. She teaches  ongoing workshops at Olena Babak Studios. 

J. Hooper
Jill Hooper's work has been exhibited in Europe and the United States and is permanently collected by 3 museums.  She has studied in Florence Italy, the Academy of Classical Design and apprenticed with Ben Long. Her self-portrait traveled with the BP Portrait exhibit in 2007. She is the artist in residence teaching at Lavender Hill Studios in London.    

K. Corry

Kamille Corry a realist painter who currently resides in Salt Lake City, Utah. She studied primarily at the Cecil-Graves studio in Florence Italy and studied extensively with Jeffrey Mims. In 2002, she started an art academy for intensive studies in the figurative arts.   

G. Carrera
Gloria Carrera, originally from Montreal Quebec, currently resides in Pinehurst, North Carolina.  She credits the Academy of Classical Design, where she was a student and teacher, and Jeffrey Mims as being among her greatest influences. 

J. Kilpatrick

Joann Kilpatrick lives in the Southern Pines, Pinehurst, NC area and attended the Academy of Classical Design.  She studies with Paul Brown at the Oak Hollow Studios.

F. Strazulla

Frank Strazzulla lives in Boston Massachusetts area.  A new England painter graduated from Massachusetts College of Art, he attended the Studio Cecil-Graves in Florence.

E. Strazulla

Elizabeth Leary Strazzulla paints poetic and precise landscapes and still lifes. Her eye is uniquely developed to see both the architectural and spiritual essence of her subjects and to find in them beauty, peace, and harmony.

Paul Brown
The exhibit was worth the trip. 137 paintings were in this exhibit and for purchase at that time.

The Ann Long Gallery in Charleston represents the following artists: Paul S. Brown, Kamille Cory, Jill Hooper, Frank Strazzulla, Carmen Drake Gordon, Elizabeth Leary Strazzulla and Jeffrey Mims    

Thanks for joining me and please send me your comments.  I'd love hear your ideas, questions or input. Please leave responses in the comments section below or on Facebook. If you like this article please feel free to share this post with your friends or on Facebook.  

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Artfully Yours,

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Sunday, June 8, 2014

Robert Liberace and Oak Hollow Studios

Realistic, Classic and Energy Filled

Before this last year, my primary source of study for portraiture was video. I had never taken a portrait painting or drawing class. Now I have had the great pleasure of taking two classes with Robert Liberace and attending two classes at Oak Hollow Studios. Is there a theme emerging?

Classical drawing and paintings have always inspired me. Because of their richness of color, line, and information, it's like reading a good book. It's easy for me to stand in museums translating and absorbing paintings for hours, breathing in their grace and feeding my spirit.

Robert Liberace

Robert Liberace's paintings and drawings have been a favorite of mine since first seeing his work. Rob's work and enthusiastic teaching style evoke his love for what he does and the great classical spirit. Rob brings a very present energy to a class, and he expresses that passion through his gestures and drawings while engaging the students.  

Rob holds workshops throughout the country offering a range of classes on the portrait and figure. Living in the greater DC area, he also teaches workshops and ongoing classes at the Art Student League in Alexandria, VA. Both are popular and fill quickly. Rob's website keeps an up to date list of all classes offered.
Wonderful Lunches

My  first workshop with Rob was at The Art Student League in Alexandria this past December. During that workshop, I learned of the upcoming workshop for 3-color drawing at Oak Hollow Studios. Working with 3-color was a process of great interest to me, so I quickly signed up. To study with Rob so close to my home was a great opportunity. Another advantage was the workshop size. The class size was limited and offered more one-on-one interaction.   

Carmen Drake Gordon owns Oak Hollow Studios located in Carthage, NC, a neighbor of Pinehurst, NC. Oak Hollow Studios is a unique place to study. It's truly an art/life experience. The studio located on a beautiful farm is replete with chickens and gardens. Included in the workshop are incredible lunches prepared by Carmen and her helpers. Of course dessert is never forgotten.   

Robert Liberace

This workshop focused on a process that was used for centuries, drawing using three colors red, black and white chalk. Traditional materials of charcoal and conte (red clay) were used in the class. DaVinci, Rubens, and Watteau excelled at the three-color process using these materials. 

In this workshop, we also used new materials, Prismacolor Verithin pencils in terracotta, black and white. Our paper was Twinrocker handmade paper from Indiana. Prior to the class, we prepared our paper. First, we toned it with watercolor. Next, we allowed the paper to dry, and then coated it with a shellac mixture.

Red and black chalk simulate skin tones very well. The red and black chalk when hatched or blended, create a blue color. In conjunction with the tinted paper, this approximates the appearance of skin tone.

The workshop was four full days. Each morning we gathered before class for coffee, greetings and set up. Because Oak Hollow Studios is located on a farm away from any distractions, everyone was able to focus intently on the work. The days seem to fly by, and the 20-minute pose sessions seemed like 2 minutes. Our model for the 4-day workshop held difficult positions remarkably well. 

Robert Liberace
Daily demonstrations were insightful and fun to watch as Rob created sketches with ease. The rest of the day we worked as Rob traveled the room, giving feedback to each person.   

provided so much information over the 4-day span it's hard to include everything in one article. Here are a few highlights from my notes.

The gesture of a pose is very important. Establish the gesture within the first few thoughts. It's what animates a pose. Exaggerate a gesture if necessary to give the form better energy, and use it to create a spark. Maintain that original gesture all the way to the finish. Don't just pack on information. Keep drawing looking lively, loose, relaxed not heavy. All detail is included to support the gesture and make it more convincing.

Robert Liberace
Boil down to a simple form and fill in. Exploit areas of form with occasional contours but not solid heavy contour lines. Create balance between big important shapes, intermediate shapes, and finer shapes. Create the illusion of dimensional form with animated poses, and make a lively realistic impression with an energy filled drawing.

Try to discover and understand the figure, and then allude to key points. Refine and suggest information, and tell a story of dimension. Before going into any detail establish the overall pattern of light and dark before going into any detail to get a lively impression of the figure. Definition and contrast moves the shadow.

Allow the detail to appear slowly. Allow the lines to flutter and fly. Getting it correct is not the point. Extra lines or pentimenti help you see where you've been, giving your drawing a vibrational effect. Keep pencil points sharp and change pencils often. Use pencils on their side, as this gives a painterly line and can be easily erased or adjusted.

Draw in a way to allow yourself to change or adjust the drawing. Draw quickly and move to the next thing. Keep lines diagonal to the direction of the form then transversely, occasionally use one unifying diagonal line. Use hatch lines in a way so as to feel the form. Varying lines gives a dimensional quality and a nice pattern. Create smokiness or sfumato at the edge by spraying lines beyond form, this helps create realism. Sharp edges appear flat and cartoon-like, use them well.

Carmen and Rob

There was so much more that we learned!!! I'll have to end here or write another blog. Hopefully, this will inspire you to take a closer look at paintings, visit a museum or to create more with you own images. The workshop was a blast, and thanks Carmen for hosting another great workshop. A big thanks to Rob, who is such an amazing teacher. 

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Until next time...

Artfully Yours,

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The Class