Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Redefining Realsime by--Allison Allison Malafronte (senior editor of American Artist)

Attempting to define realism or to clarify the various styles of representational painting can be a challenging task.  When writing about today's painters, I always hesitate to use words like "classical," "realist," "contemporary," "traditional," or "modern" because they do not always fully capture what I'm trying to describe. For example, a word like "classical" by definition refers to Greco-Roman or Renaissance ideals, but by connotation has come to mean an art form that embodies a certain timelessness and order. "Contemporary" undoubtedly means anything taking place in our time, so by that definition any painter alive is contemporary. But critically speaking, I would not call all painters today contemporary--I'm more apt to use that distinction when a painting has a more modern or conceptual feel.
The Desperate Man by Gustave Courbet, 1844-1845, oil painting, 17 3/4 x 21 5/8.
The Desperate Man by Gustave Courbet, 1844-1845, oil painting, 17 3/4 x 21 5/8.
Artists themselves have felt the confusion and in an attempt to bring clarity have adopted such labels as new realists, figurative realists, classical realists, contemporary realists, and so on. These phrases have found their meaning in a Post-Modern context, which generally defines what it is by comparing itself to what it is not. The New Realists of the early 1960s, for example, made it clear that they were not your grandmother's realists reveling in Caravaggio and Jacques Louis David but rather were trying to bring elements of representation to the Abstract Expressionist aesthetic. The Classical Realists of the early 1980s led by Richard Lack were differentiating their brand of realism from other forms of representational art of the time, even though they knew that within the context of art history "classical realism" was a contradiction in terms.
Realism can mean different things to different people and has changed meaning over time, which is another reason why it's difficult to define. Most would agree that realist painters are recognized by their choice of subject matter. Like Gustave Courbet--by most accounts considered the first Realist--or any of the Russian painters throughout history, a realist paints the real world and finds beauty and interest in everyday people, places, and things that the rest of society might find mundane. The realist is also defined by his or her technical execution, which aims for an accurate, truthful representation of the subject. The stylistic differentiation gets tricky among artists, however, because many realists who work from life do not want to be put in the same category as realists who work from photographs or in a  photorealistic manner. This confusion translates to the public, who will often comment that a painting looks like a photograph, as if that were the highest compliment one could pay an artist.
As you can see, the parameters surrounding realism are rather ambiguous. I think this is because realism is redefining itself as we speak and also because a new movement is on the horizon. I believe that movement will embody a language that is not yet in our artistic vocabulary, forcing us to find new words and a new criterion.


Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Susan Lyon and Scott Burdick at WIFAS

Two fantastic painters at WIFAS this past week
Susan and Scotts, draftsmanship and color are superb and they are able to convey their knowledge very well also!
Every morning brought a new demonstration, 3 days of Susan and 3 days of Scott, they were brilliant!!

Outstanding instructors,great studio space,serious students,organized monitor,dedicated director,friendly people,delicious food-the perfect workshop experience

 Cary painting with Susan and Scott after the workshop! Lucky her!!

 Beautiful Lady with a nice apron!!

 Student / Instructor dinner




Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Golucho coming to Whidbey Island Fine Art Studio in September, can you help?

Well, we did it. Our first Indiegogo campaign through Fractured Atlas (our large arts non profit that fiscally sponsors us!)
We would so appreciate any help we can get.

This is a workshop no other art school offers and an opportunity for artists to make a leap to the next level. 

Golucho is a highly regarded European painter on the level of LUCIEN FREUD, VINCENT DESIDERIO and  ODD NERDRUM. We want to provide the opportunity for advanced level artists to glean inspiration from this exceptional artist. We request assistance to ensure that this unique workshop will be offered. The number of seats are limited and we want to make the workshop as accessible as possible. We would also like to offer one scholarship for a  qualified student.

If you involve yourself in debates about the process of painting, it will not take long for you to realize that some view the  mastery of technical skills will result in a good painting- specifically from an academic standpoint.  However, a  painting can be solid,  without strict adherence to mastery of skills.  Technical skills as a painter are important but not everything.
 What makes a painting 'great' is the unique spark that rests within it-- a spark that makes what is being viewed more than just a painting on canvas. Often the deeper you dig within yourself-- who you are-- the more powerful your art will be. So in that sense the mastery of the art of painting is not all about technical mastery of skill-- it is also about mastering yourself. In other words, mastering your authentic voice expressed visually on canvas. That connection can be more valuable to a painting than just skill alone.

Lupe Galvez: "I was involved in getting Golucho to come visit my school at that time (The New York Academy) to give studio crits. I had the opportunity to visiting  him in Spain as well while I was involved in a workshop with Antonio Lopez Garcia. Golucho's work is very amazing when you see it in person, you get a feeling that you are standing in front of something unqiue and indescribable. Golucho is someone who is incredibly intelligent, poetic and philosophical. His observations really hit at the core of something and go far beyond the technical approach."


The ongoing ability to continue to run this school, offer workshops of high caliber artists, contribute to the quality of South Whidbey Island, educating young people and employing artists, so they can continue their work.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

This is the way to use our Fairgrounds!!
Duane Keiser workshop!, thank you for coming to Whidbey Island from Virginia Duane.

More pictures from workshops this year. We had so much fun. such nice people, such wonderful instructors.

and more......

Thursday, May 29, 2014

what a day, woke up this morning singing.. can spend the whole day in the studio.
New Students, Old friends and students.
We have our mentoring class today, this is what we do, we paint and paint.
Connie and Claudia today for all day.
This morning one more gentleman. All did very well.
This happens every Thursday, Painting and Drawing from life. Cary helps with what it is YOU want to do.

Thursday, May 22, 2014


Really this is a great video with Duane. His workshop here still has space and it is going to be so interesting!!

Premier Coup Oil Painting
 June 24 - 27
 $650  All levels
Originator of  ' A Painting A Day'
Through painting sessions, demos and critiques, Duane Keiser will lead a dynamic four-day workshopon premier coup oil painting. Included will be a series of talks on being a painter in the digital age which will include Keiser's unique take on the current state of the internet, social media and the business of art. 

Spring is here in full and the leaves are out, everything is blooming, just beautiful!
We hope you can make it.
We had a wonderful demo with Pam Ingalls last night her painting of Celina in one hour and 45 minutes was fabulous!
A portrait is finished when there is something else left to do........
this is fresh and a perfect likeness!

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Workshop with Qiang Huang
Fabulous demos with this artist during our workshop. Qiang has a distinct style, one can recognize it from far.

"Qiang Huang is the most thoughtful artist I know and an excellent communicator, both in words and writing. Before he makes a stroke on canvas, he has fully evaluated the hue, the color value, the intensity, and whether the color is transparent or opaque. Only then does he place the stroke exactly where he wants it. Working with Qiang has changed my thinking about oil painting. Wonderful workshop!

Barbara Benedetti Newton
Qiang also did a wonderful portrait demonstration: 

Here in Langley our 2nd Street has been torn up for a couple of months for a major remodel and will be finished mid June. There has been heavy equipment all over the place, and pedestrians have been detoured to alleys and back ways. Getting from place to place is a bit more of an adventure than usual. It will be over soon and the result will be wonderful.