Sunday, November 2, 2014

Tales from the Emerald City, Seattle Washington, Part 2

Seattle International Airport, Seattle, WA

Tales from the Emerald City, Part 2 continues the story of my recent trip to Seattle. Please refer to Tales from the Emerald City Part 1, if anything is unclear.  

The day after visiting the Frye Museum I decided to write an article about the visit. While doing research on the both the Frye and Gage I learned of the Gage's community-based approach. Several events were scheduled at the school the following day and open to the public.  

Gage Academy of Art 

Several events interested me; ArtTalk a lunchtime lecture featuring three of Gage's Artist Teachers, Mitch Albala, Barbara Fugate and Terry Furchgott, an evening class - Photographing your Artwork; and an Exhibition and studio sale at the schools, Steele, Rosen and Entry Gallery.  

Juliette Aristides
Juliette Aristides of the Aristides Atelier is how I originally became aware of the Gage Academy of Art.  Juliette is a classically trained artist whose work I have followed for several years.  At the Portrait Society's 2014 Conference in Washington DC, Juliette and I met had the opportunity to meet. She was at the conference to teach and paint in a painting demonstration.

"I have a simple belief that the goal of learning to draw and paint is attainable by anyone who is willing to pursue it.  It is as accessible as learning to write or play a musical instrument. There is more than one path a person can follow to be a well-trained artist. What is necessary, however, is a passion for excellence, discipline, and an unflinching desire to pursue truth." Juliette Aristides            

Arriving at the Gage, I saw Juliette and took a moment to introduced myself and spoke of our meeting at the conference. Juliette then offered to give me a tour of the school, and her studio. She showed me a few  paintings she was working on and invited me to attend a life drawing class the next morning. 

The lunchtime ArtTalk was a presentation of slides and a discussion by each artist about their work and processes.  The three artists were diverse in their artwork and their thoughts.

Mitch Albala, the first speaker began by reviewing slides of his work. As he spoke about his methods something seemed deja vu but I couldn't decide why. Mitch focuses on simple compositions with simple shapes, and looks for patterns first. He loves the abstraction of pattern and the losing of the subject not just lost edges.  Artists he considers his mentors are Turner, Monet,and Vuillard.  

Mitch began to speak of Notan the arrangement of dark and light patterns that serve as the foundation of any composition.  The deja vu feeling was over.  He had written 2 articles for International Artist on "The Power of Notan in Landscape Composition."    

The next speaker Barbara Fugate, works from observation, never using photos. Barbara likes to work large and gesture is the basis of her work. She likes the intensity of quickness and avoids being calculating - wanting everything flexible - and likes the idea of being loose with an accurate sensation of a form in space. She wants each mark in a piece of work to be meaningful. She wants to know how that form exists in space, the rhythm of the edges of the object, the edges of the paper,  the edges of colors and the shifting of positive and negative space. 

Terry Furchgott loves the narrative relationships in her work and blends eastern elements into her paintings. Terry wants to present women positively in art, to show strong women, from a woman's point of view. "The traditional male dominated view is turned on its head in favor of a strong female subject." (Terry's website)  Her work is bold in color and style, blending elements of Persian art and story telling. She works to use color to enhance emotions and believes color is intuitive. She is interested in the women she paints, who you are and what society does to women.    

After the lectures, I visited the Asian Art Museum in Volunteer Park on Capitol Hill. Later I went back to the school and attended  the evening class given by Scott Moore of Bellevue Fine Art.  That evening driving home across Lake Washington an incredible Supermoon rising over Bellevue a spectacular way to end the day. 

The next day I arrived for the life drawing class, led by David Dwyer. Two second year students whom I had met at the Frye were also in the class. The class welcomed me, loaned me supplies and the session began. While everyone worked David walked around working with each student.

After class, several people commented on how brave I was to join the 3 hr session. Admittedly I had been a bit anxious but concluded it was a good opportunity and had been a nice offer.

The trip was eventful and I enjoyed my time spent at the Gage and meeting so many new people.

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Until next time...

Artfully Yours,

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