That finishing feeling

We tend to have so much happening in our lives. When we wake up we already have a list of what we need to do that day formulated in our head and on top of this, we also have constant interruptions from an electronic device in our pocket, which seem to easily distract the best of us.

Many of our students at MAC have commented on the wonderful feeling they get in our classes when they take time out of their busy lives to concentrate on sketching or painting, and then finish a piece.

Carla Murray, oil on canvas
Carla Murray, oil on canvas

 

Are you ever able to concentrating on one thing – that you enjoy – until completion?

Because of these to-do lists we create in our lives, this state of being a constant “work in progress” doesn’t often allow us to stop, take our time, complete something, then reflect and admire. Daily “stuff” inhibits the pursuit of activities that bring us joy – especially those that allow us to be creative.

Another reason why we may not finish what we start is because we get a feeling of satisfaction when we tell other people our intentions. Over a long period of time, there have been a number of studies undertaken that have shown that people are less likely to pursue their goals after they have told people about them*. This is because once we let someone know about our new idea that requires our action, we get a feeling that satisfies our self-identity, which unfortunately renders us less motivated to complete what we set out to do.

Why it feels good to finish artwork

When was the last time you admired some flowers in your garden and actually sat down to sketch them? Or walked down to the river to photograph the ripples on the water? Finishing something generally makes you feel good, and finishing a piece of art definitely has something special about it.

When we start something new we receive a dopamine rush, hence why we like to tell people about our goals. This rush is not unlike the same feel-good sensation we get from doing anything we find pleasurable. This positive sensation is linked to the increased activity of dopamine in the brain. We also receive a dopamine rush when we complete something.

Creating art is significant because it is something created and finished by the individual for the purpose (mostly) of the individual. However, it is not like writing a novel, or learning a language; these end-points seem almost unreachable. We can control the time it takes to complete a piece of art, and the completion is made all the more satisfying because we have brought an image to life from a white, flat surface which we can admire.

Although there is a sense of completion when we finish reading a novel, or watching a movie, it is different because we may feel like we have lost something; the story is over and the characters lives’ are frozen in time on the final page. Though when we see a piece of art we have completed, we may feel a sense of pride and achievement that lives on as long as the work does. Even finishing the tiniest sketch of a leaf – and being happy with it – can bring about this feeling. It is so simple, yet so special.

At MAC, we aim to inspire people who take the time out of their routine to be creative with us. Some simply pick up a piece of charcoal and make marks on paper, while others spend weeks and months touching up an oil painting they are deeply involved with, and proud of. No matter what your medium, we hope that you too feel that wonderful sensation of completion, whilst enjoying the journey of creating art. Now go and pick up that pencil!

*Peter Gollwitser, Symbolic Self-Completion

 

Students’ work from our Painting Intensive

Marco’s Painting Course in December was three days of intense energy between painters and canvas. This concentrated effort is not often exercised in our busy lives and the end results were acute, new technical skills and a finished work after only three days of painting.

The students who attended had varied painting skills; some with little knowledge at all. As you can see from the finished pieces of work below, they completed sensitive paintings with varied tone and interesting compositions. We are very happy with these pieces and proud that such detail was achieved over a short amount of time. It normally takes our students at least few weeks to complete a painting of this standard in our normal classes with two and a half contact hours per week.

We have introduced another intensive art class – drawing with Hilmi Baskurt, which runs for three days over the Labour Day weekend in March. This is a great opportunity to focus and refine drawing skills over three intensive days. You can find out more here.

Ethel, acrylic on canvas
Ethel, acrylic on canvas
Painting
Julie, acrylic on canvas

 

Elizabeth, acrylic on canvas
Elizabeth, acrylic on canvas

Summer Art Classes at MAC

Over the summer holidays many of us our leave our paintbrushes and pencils where we left them after our final art class. So we have introduced two new short courses to motivate you to continue your art practice throughout the break. These short courses are also great gifts to give at Christmas time because the gift of creativity and experience is invaluable. Be sure to request a gift certificate upon payment.

Drawing and Painting Intensive with Marco Corsini – Dec 29th, 30th and 31st

Join Marco this December for a three-day Intensive Drawing and Painting Course.

Marco Corsini, A kind of homecoming, 2014, Oil on linen, 120 cm. x 120 cm.
Marco Corsini, A kind of homecoming, 2014, Oil on linen, 120 cm. x 120 cm.

Marco will combine a series of presentations with personal tuition in drawing and painting, with an emphasis on working from observation and the development of sophisticated technique. Some of the aspects covered include composition, underpainting, representing form, space and texture, colour and its relationship to composition and form, and more.   Find out more information and enrol here

Introduction to Drawing with Hilmi Baskurt – Jan 15th to Jan 29th

This course presents a fantastic opportunity to learn the four elements of sketching with our new teacher, Hilmi Baskurt.

Hilmi Baskurt Untitled
Hilmi Baskurt Untitled

A former student of iconic British painter Frank Auerbach, Hilmi will introduce you to structural sketching, value sketching, Chiaroscuro and contour sketching. Hilmi earned a Master of Fine Art degree in painting from Royal Academy of Arts and his Masters’ thesis was on the subject of Composition. This drawing course will be extremely beneficial for beginners and artists who would like a refresher over the holidays. Find out more information and enrol here

An inspiring start to Term 4 Painting

Saturday morning painting classes recommenced two weeks ago, and the work being produced by our early-morning artists is phenomenal.

Marco will be teaching us a variety of different painting techniques this term, which a number of our students are currently using. Below you can see examples of the students’ current pieces, which are all works in progress.

Lynne Oil Painting 18 10 2014
Lynne’s oil painting in progress

This is Lynne’s oil painting. She has chosen to work from a photograph and is using a “layering” technique with opaque colours, which also can be called a tonal painting.

Lynne has been with MAC for two terms now and continues her art practice in her spare time, which we like to encourage all students to do!

Marco will be demonstrating this “layering” painting technique later in the term.

Leigh's oil painting in progress
Leigh’s oil painting in progress

To the right is Leigh’s current oil painting. She is working from still life, which Marco arranges every lesson.

Leigh has chosen a “blocking out” technique, using a local colour on the vase and a yellow underneath the apples.

Rivkeh's oil painting in progress
Rivkeh’s oil painting in progress

Rivkeh has joined MAC this semester wanting to learn different painting techniques.

She is currently working on one of the busts we have here at MAC. Rivkeh began with a dead colour painting but has continued to model the form using the semi opaque and opaque white for the second layer.

You can see the burnt umber that she used in the first layer and it demonstrates how effective this painting process can be when creating shadow and variation in tone.

Spencer's oil painting
Spencer’s oil painting in progress

Last term we had a model sit for us and Spencer is continuing this work.

He has also used the glazing technique; he began with a monochrome underpainting and has since applied several layers of colour. He achieved the sensitive skin tones using glazing and layering techniques.

Spencer has been with us for two terms now and we are excited to be part of his creative journey!

Meagan's oil painting in progress
Meagan’s oil painting in progress

Meagan is also working on her painting of the model from last term.

She also began with an underpainting, which has helped her achieve the skin tone (especially on his forearms) and his vest.

Meagan’s technique for painting skin in striking; when you get up close to her painting, the different colours on his face almost looks like patchwork, but as you can see, our eyes make all the colours work together.

Jude's oil painting in progress
Jude’s oil painting in progress

Many students bring in current projects they are working on so Marco can offer feedback.

Jude, who has been with MAC all year, always has several paintings on the go, and we love seeing her progress.

She learns a considerable amount with every painting she completes, from the reflection of water on skin, to how to realistically paint cloth. Jude has been working on the painting to the right for a few weeks and at the moment she is working on the difficult task of painting a newspaper at that angle.

If you would like to watch the progress of these paintings, and works of art from our other classes, follow Melbourne Art Class on Facebook and Instagram.

David Palliser’s ‘send nurse’ at Chapman and Bailey

David Palliser, Triptych, at Chapman and Bailey
David Palliser’s Triptych at Chapman and Bailey

David Palliser’s exhibition ‘send nurse’, opened at Chapman and Bailey in Melbourne last night with this work being a highlight. The exhibition continues David’s exploration of gesture, tone, colour and space. They reflect David’s dedication to the subtleties of the painter’s craft and his work as a experimental musician.

With a seemingly perpetual visual play of elements, the works are anything but static. They reveal themselves slowly, reordering themselves in the viewer’s perception with any final resolution of the image, always postponed. Of particular interest to me are several works including the smaller works which seem to mark a development from David’s previous work. These have an exciting new fluidity which until now has been most evident in David’s drawings.

1 September – 8 October 2014
Gallery hours: Mon – Fri 10-5    Sat 10.30-4.30
Chapman & Bailey Artspace
350 Johnston St, Abbotsford 3067 Vic
Ph. 03 9415 8666

Marco Corsini

 

 

 

Allende and Pinochet, Jesse Dayan

Image

MAC Drawing tutor, Jesse Dayan will be exhibiting at C3 Contemporary Art Space with Adrian and Daniel Stojkovich. The exhibition entitled, ‘Where Were You? All Things’, features reproduced images from major historical/political junctures in Latin American history. The artists are attempting to recover something from history that is only perceptible from a distance. Perhaps a narrative or an indication of the primordial conflict beneath the political?

‘Where Were You? All Things’

June 25 – July 13

Opening night Wednesday June 25th 6 – 8 pm

C3 Contemporary Art Space

1 St Heliers Street, Abbotsford VIC 3067 Open 10am – 5pm Wednesday to Sunday

Tony Irving

Tony Irving, Dutch Perspective 2014 oil on linen 92 x 122 cm
Tony Irving, Dutch Perspective 2014 oil on linen 92 x 122 cm

Tony Irving will be speaking at Enderby Studio Art Program next Tuesday.  A Melbourne-based artist, Tony’s figurative work often originates from everyday life and contains playful narrative nuances. The work demonstrates a mastery of colour and composition, borrowing from the great painting techniques of the past to create relevant work for our time. You can find out more about Tony at http://tonyirvingartist.com.

 

New painting course

Marco Corsini, The unforeseen, 2013, oil on linen, 60 cm. x 70 cm.
Marco Corsini, The unforeseen, 2013, oil on linen, 60 cm. x 70 cm.

With a full Studio Art Program during recent terms, we have decided to start a new program which is similar in format but with a focus on painting. Our new painting program will be coordinated and tutored by Marco Corsini and will run on Saturday mornings.

For more information regarding the program, please follow this link.

http://melbourneartclass.com/painting/

 

Andrea Smith

Andrea Smith, Garlic on Green, 2007, Oil on Canvas, 25.4 × 25.4 cm, (Forum Gallery)

Our guest artist speaking at Enderby Studio Art Program this week is Andrea Smith. Trained in the academic tradition in Florence, Andrea Smith fuses classical technique, sensitive use of tone and a subtle play of light with a contemporary boldness. She has co-founded an art school in New York (The Harlem Studio) and later founded another in Rome (Atelier Canova). Smith has exhibited in Europe, the U.S.A and Australia.

Smith lives in Rome where she teaches at Atelier Canova. You can find out more about her at: http://www.andreajsmith.com/