The idea of coming to France seemed unrealistic, yet exciting, until I landed in Amsterdam on Monday,June 13, 2011 at 7:30 am. It was a direct flight from New York City. Around noon I was in Marseilles. The director of The Marchutz program Alan Roberts was waiting for me at the airport. Thereafter, we begun our journey to Aix. From the moment he started driving I was filled with amazement and excitement at the scenery. I immediately felt myself being transported back in time.
On the other hand, language, culture and a change in schedule, among other factors became a great challenge.
I want to share with you what my experiences at the studio has been so far. Also, the seminar discussions and journals are very important in this program.
After the welcome talk from the Marchutz director, we started drawing from a life model. We did about 15 quick poses as a warm up exercise. I felt great after a long time without drawing.
That day I also went to the Granet Museum. Besides their excellent permanent collection, they have an exhibition called Collection Planque. They were displaying notable artwork by Cezanne, Renoir, Monet, Van Gogh, Degas, Leger, Picasso and many others.
During the rest of the week, we continued drawing from the model and copying from the Old Masters. By doing this, it helps to understand why those works are masterpieces.
Below is the first journal from the seminar.
REMBRANDT ON DRAWING
By Erick Sanchez
Understanding the concept of Rembrandt’s drawings teach us to be aware of the whole.
By definition, whole is an assemblage of parts that are viewed as a single entity. Adding to that, an object or space will vary as its surrounding diversifies. These variations affect the whole. For example, one object or space will be perceived brighter as its shadow becomes darker. This also allow us to manipulate the atmosphere of the artwork.
The atmosphere of an artwork can be related to its tones and mood. This might trigger different feelings. The atmosphere will also define the character of the whole.
As the Rembrandt’s student stated, the luminous effect of the whole will depend on the placement of the shadows and their harmonious rapport.
REMBRANDT ON DRAWING
Journal 1 – Part B
In reflection to the question: In the process of copying, is the artist’s atmosphere predefined and necessary to incorporate in your copy? Is it malleable?
In my personal viewpoint and as discussed in the seminar, the atmosphere of a copy will be ultimately determined by your inner self. By doing the copying exercise, I personally experienced that I copied forms, composition, space and many other components of the original image. However, tone and atmosphere came from my inner self. That copy stopped being a copy and became mine. Specially in the one from my memory were I let the drawing grow itself in the space. I let the paper the power to act by itself in order to give birth to light.
In the discussion was also brought that our feelings may converge with the atmosphere. That the mood of the picture might be determined by our personal previous experiences in live. This includes good or bad experiences.
The drawing scale and the images position are also very important. Those are also responsible for making clear the artist’s statement. What does the artist want to communicate?