Some painting students at the Creative Workshop are lifers. Like prisoners who exercise at different times during the day we don’t get to interact with people in the other classes. But when the the staff hangs a show in the Lucy Burne Gallery we acknowledge the common bond we all share, the struggle to more clearly express our visual take on the world. Rose Mary Hooper, in the day class, always knocks me out.
Last night in class I made just a few marks on a piece of paper. When the class officially started (the moment Fred Lipp enters the room) I became entangled in a confrontation with Cezanne’s “The Watchmaker.” Fred wanted me to study it because it demonstrates Cezannes power to animate a sitter. He does so by advancing the right side of the painting while the left side recedes. The eyes lead the way but the whole right side of the body follows. The slant in the wall, downward to the lower right accentuates the twist and convincingly opens the space around the sitter.
My task is to look for clues in the essentially straight on, dead pan mug shots, clues that convey a movement, an expression and use these clues in the structure as tools to bring more life to my subjects. It all seems so obvious but I couldn’t see it until I digested it and I spent the whole class trying to do so.