Students’ work from our Abstract Painting Workshop

Marco ran an Abstract Painting Course over the long weekend.

Over seven hours, students explored colour theory, conceptual elements, tone, colour and composition in an artwork.

Students were given a number of ways to approach abstraction by looking for compositional ideas and manipulate shapes and forms. They began by creating collages using images from magazines, cut up paper, or by drawing from life using Still Life. These collages were then used to create the composition on their canvas.

This course provided a unique opportunity to explore abstraction and different compositional elements of an artwork. Take a look below at the incredible work that was produced during the workshop!

Below are the initial abstract concepts:

And here are the final works:

If you would like to join our next Abstract Painting Workshop, visit our course page and join our waiting list!

Still life and life model paintings from Term 4

We had our talented regulars, plus a few new faces in our Painting Course this Term, and it was a fantastic class. Hilmi’s teaching is based on traditional oil painting techniques, using elements of Flemish painting with a contemporary adaptation.

This term they painted from still life for four sessions, and from a life model for five. Take a look at their brilliant work below!

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Hilmi will be running his Painting Course for Term 1 on Saturday afternoons from February 4th. You can read more about it and enrol here: https://melbourneartclass.com/painting-with-hilmi-baskurt/

We did not receive everyone’s work – so if you do not see your paintings and would like them to be published on our blog and online gallery, please sent them to Lauren at hub@melbourneartclass.com!

New day art classes at MAC!

We have been asked for a long time now, when will we be holding art classes during the day?!

Well, we are excited to announce we will be running two new Drawing and Painting (Studio Art) classes during Tuesday and Friday mornings from 2017! Finally, we hear you say!

Artist Marco Corsini will be presenting these daytime art classes and they will run the same way as our popular evening Studio Art Class (don’t worry, he will still be taking our Tuesday night class)!

Vicki Mullina, oil on canvas, 2016, Studio Art Class

Marco’s Studio Art Classes are our longest-running and are the foundation of Melbourne Art Class. We welcome people from all creative backgrounds, skill levels – anyone who needs a space to be creative, become inspired, acquire specific skills, continue an artistic project – the list goes on. The unique element about this class is that we limit enrolments to only ten students, so Marco is able to provide critical feedback, drawing and painting tuition or just help you get your idea out of your head and onto the canvas.

To get to know Marco’s classes a little better, you can read about his Tuesday evening class here.

Our classes are held at Enderby Studio, 314 Church Street, Richmond.

Daytime Art Course Dates

Term 1 Tuesday mornings: Feb 7th, 14th, 21st, 28th, Mar 7th, 14th, 21st, 28th (8 sessions)

Time: 9:30am – 12:00pm

Enrolments: https://melbourneartclass.com/drawing-and-painting-with-marco-corsini/

Term 1 Friday mornings: Feb 10th, 17th, 24th,  Mar 3rd, 10th, 17th, 24th, 31st (8 sessions)

 Time: 9:30am – 12:00pm

Enrolments: https://melbourneartclass.com/drawing-and-painting-with-marco-corsini/

If you have any questions about our new daytime art classes, please don’t hesitate to email Lauren at hub@melbourneartclass.com! We look forward to helping you add some creativity to your week!

 

Still Life works from Term Two!

This first half of Hilmi’s Painting Class for Term Two focused on one composition with different Still Life objects, and we are so proud of the works they produced.

The class is focusing on oil painting techniques, with students encouraged to develop an understanding and technical proficiency in painting using a classical approach modified for contemporary use; using some of the elements of Flemish Painting technique a faster contemporary, approach. You can see their incredible progress here. The first image is the underpainting, and the second is their final work.

Jane, oil on cavnas
Jane, oil on cavnas
Jane, oil on canvas
Jane, oil on canvas
Jill, oil on canvas
Jill, oil on canvas
Jill, oil on canvas
Jill, oil on canvas
Megan, oil on canvas
Megan, oil on canvas
Megan, oil on cavas
Megan, oil on cavas
Robyn, oil on cavnas
Robyn, oil on canvas
Robyn, oil on canvas
Robyn, oil on canvas
Vivian, oil on canvas
Vivian, oil on canvas
Vivian, oil on canvas
Vivian, oil on canvas
David, oil on canvas
David, oil on canvas
David, oil on canvas
David, oil on canvas
Ivana, oil on canvas
Ivana, oil on canvas
Ivana, oil on canvas
Ivana, oil on canvas
Ilma, oil on canvas
Ilma, oil on canvas
Ilma, oil on cavnas
Ilma, oil on cavnas
Anh, oil on canvas
Anh, oil on canvas
Anh, oil on cavnas
Anh, oil on cavnas

During the second half of the term they are working on painting a Life Model – we are looking forward to seeing what our talented students produce!

Works from our Painting Students

Hilmi’s Painting Class for Term One focused on one composition with different Still Life objects. Students could choose what would feature in their work, including shiny porcelain vases, old books, pottery and painted wine bottles. They were also challenged with a backdrop of creased sheets.

The class focused on oil painting techniques and students were encouraged to develop drawing skills, conceptual understanding and technical proficiency in painting using a classical approach modified for contemporary use. Hilmi used some of the elements of Flemish Painting technique, which he has previously taught in a three-day workshop, with a faster contemporary, approach.

We are very proud of what our students have achieved! Below are their works in progress – we hope you enjoy them!

Enrolments are now open for Term Two Painting and we welcome people of all skills levels. You do not have to have attended Term One to join us – Hilmi will help you wherever you are on your artistic journey! You can enrol and find out more via our course page: https://melbourneartclass.com/painting-with-hilmi-baskurt/

Ivana
Ivana
Luka
Luka
Robyn
Robyn
Shlomo
Shlomo
Fiona
Fiona

Sumi-e painting – my new art class in Japan

Leaving MAC to come to Japan had left a hole in me, so I began searching for an art school as soon as I arrived here, mid-2015. It was surprisingly difficult to find one in Nagoya (a city known for industry more than arts), however I found a tiny Sumi-e class (Japanese ink painting) at an English school my partner attends. By tiny I mean, most sessions it is just myself and my teacher, Tatsuo-sensei. And my limited Japanese “art” vocab makes each lesson pretty interesting (my Japanese is OK; I can now order food and know what I will be getting, though they don’t teach you specialist vocabulary in the first two semesters of basic Japanese…).

Each class we fumble through explanations of the intricacies of Sumi-e in Japanese (me with a blank face and my sensei nervously laughing), though I don’t really mind it, because he is teaching me technique through body language. I watch the fluid way he controls his brush (it really does appear to be an extension of his body) and try and emulate each stroke… again and again and again. And I have learnt that when Sumi-e was introduced to Japan from China in the thirteenth century, it began to connect strongly with Zen Buddhism. The practice of me watching my sensei’s brushstrokes – being completely in the moment, every brush stroke is a moment in time and any mistake cannot be undone, it just is – I believe is touching on these ideas. Monks used to learn Sumi-e by copying their Masters’ works, and this is how I am learning now.

Sumi-e in Japan developed a new course after it was introduced. Masters said that the will is at the tip of your brush; your mind and brush become one. It is believed that many Sumi-e masters were painting the landscapes of their mind. By this I mean that the essence of Sumi-e painting is to not just paint a tree – it is to paint more than a tree. It is to capture the essence of the tree and a spiritual force within the painting. I love how you can “feel” Tensho Shubun’s painting below. A lot of people have made parallels between Sumi-e and Impressionism in this way.

Landscape of the Four Seasons, Tensho Shubun, early 15th century
Landscape of the Four Seasons, Tensho Shubun, early 15th century

I also love the parallel drawn between a Sumi-e artist and a Samurai: “Throughout its long and venerable history, Sumi-e has been held in high esteem and became a powerful way to inculcate the values of Bushido, the Samurai Code of Conduct. For the swordsman, composure on the brink of battle had its artistic parallel in the calm and tranquillity essential before the fearless release of a brush stroke. Embodying the honourable ancient warrior codes, Sumi-e was a metaphor for the ephemeral world of the courageous Samurai swordsman. Today, becoming a Master Sumi-e artist requires the same investment of effort and time in rigorous training and discipline.” http://www.drue.net/sumi-e-history.htm

In my class, Tatsuo-sensei introduced me to the first and third of the Four Gentlemen – bamboo (summer) and Plum Blossom (winter). The other two Gentlemen are Chrysanthemum (autumn) and Orchid (spring). These four exercises contain the different brushstrokes a student needs to learn before they can paint the “landscape in their mind”. The bamboo was my very first Sumi-e painting and within the first few trials I could see how focused you had to be (with an empty mind – still trying to do that) and how once the brush touches the paper, there was no going back. It is not like oil painting where you can easily fix mistakes.

Lauren Ottaway, ink on board, August 2015
Lauren Ottaway, ink on board, August 2015

Below are the plum blossoms I am working on at the moment. The way the Japanese celebrate nature and the four seasons is really something to behold; last week I went to an ume matsuri (plum blossom festival) in Tokyo. We hired a straw mat for 100 yen and ate fried noodles beneath the plum blossom trees with all the other Japanese families. And this is what they do throughout winter when the ume trees bloom, all through cherry blossom season. Most parks have flowering trees at the moment, from white blossoms to deep pink hues. This really is a beautiful part of the world.

Lauren Ottaway, ink on rice paper, 2016
Lauren Ottaway, ink on rice paper, 2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lauren Ottaway, Hanegi Park, Tokyo, Feb 2016
Lauren Ottaway, Hanegi Park, Tokyo, Feb 2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lauren Ottaway, Hanegi Park, Tokyo, Feb 2016
Lauren Ottaway, Hanegi Park, Tokyo, Feb 2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have also painted coi:

Lauren Ottaway, ink on rice paper, 2015
Lauren Ottaway, ink on rice paper, 2015

And capsicums (which contain, believe it or not, contains only 5 brustrokes):

Lauren Ottaway, ink on rice paper, 2015
Lauren Ottaway, ink on rice paper, 2015

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have so much more to learn about this art form and Japan, and I am so grateful to be here; though I feel like if I live here for the rest of my life I will never know the intricacies of either. But I kind of love that idea too (I believe the unknown is good for you).

If you would like to see what I’m working on in Japan, feel free to follow my art page on Facebook! https://www.facebook.com/laurenottawayart/

Written by Lauren Ottaway.

I learned to mix black – this may have changed my world

Ivana’s inspiring experience during our Summer School

Ivana was one of a few students who undertook the challenge of completing both our Painting and Drawing Masterclasses in-between Christmas and New Year (not to mention the challenge of the heat)!

She has had previous experience in painting, however it was the first time she had ever experienced life drawing. We gratefully received her feedback and detailed experience below, and hope you also find it helpful and an insight into the classes we hold here at MAC. Thank you Ivana for allowing us to share your wonderfully candid account! This is why we love what we do.

“My objective in these classes was twofold. To refine my eye and hand; to learn specific technique and refine accuracy in representation as these are areas where I am poor. Also to dive into the Flemish technique as I’m obsessed by light and form but am yet to represent them in a way I find satisfying. The class was a remarkable opportunity to do that.

I see an immense difference and again, must say I’m thrilled with the result. I think I’ve come a long way in a short time. At home, I paint something I am more often than not unhappy, sometimes to the point of wanting to go all ninja on it, beat it with nun chucks and chuck ninja stars… You’ll be pleased to know that these works remain safe from Japanese implements of combat. J

…I’m also practicing Flemish technique on some small canvasses at home (I’m intent on capturing that light, dammit!) and am happy to share those once done and if I’m happy with them.

Ivana Dash, Still Life Imprimatura
Ivana Dash, Still Life Glaze (work in progress)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My focus was on learning; the technical in these two specific areas (refine my eye and hand; to learn specific technique and refine accuracy in representation) and that goal was achieved. I am thrilled with the results.

I think it’s also important to point out that these are my first still life and portrait paintings. Ever.

Now, with my drawing skills they are significantly less progressed and in respect to the drawing class, I think I was probably on a par with the others. I spoke with Hilmi about this before signing up as it was a Masterclass, and he encouraged me to do so as refining skills in this area would only be of benefit to my painting… even if I was slow and didn’t totally rock the class.

He was right.

First time working with charcoal, first time life drawing – I Loved It!

I don’t think my drawings will be hanging anytime soon, however even I could see the progress as the days progressed. See what you think:

Day 1: Still Life Gestural  
Ivana Dash

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 1: Still Life, Charcoal. Structural. Dark Base w/ shellac and Day 4 painted highlights
Ivana Dash

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 2: Still Life, Charcoal. Structural. Light Base.
Ivana Dash

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 3: Life Drawing #1. Pencil + Black Charcoal:
Ivana Dash

 

 

 

 

 

Day 4: Life Drawing #2. Pencil + Black & White Charcoal:
Ivana Dash

 

 

 

 

 

Once again, I was thrilled by the results and have become slightly obsessed with life drawing. I need to do more. Soon!

I also learned to mix black. I think this may have changed my world.

I really enjoyed Himi’s teaching style. He’s quiet and confident, firm and precise but also gentle. I think one of the most important things in a learning environment is to have the freedom, comfort and latitude to feel free to make mistakes; countered with a confidence in your lecturer that they can pull you up on these without making you feel like an arse and have the skill to pull your work back from the brink so you can move forward. That’s a tricky balance.

Hilmi did this with me many times and I am hugely grateful and inspired to continue.”

We are very appreciative of any feedback we receive and also encourage students to share their work with us so we can share it with everyone at MAC!

We have two painting courses beginning this Saturday, running for seven weeks – Painting from Still Life with Hilmi Baskurt and Painting from the Life Model with Marco Corsini. These classes are open to all skill levels and our teachers will focus on drawing fundamentals in the beginning for those of you who are new to painting. We also have students in the class who have been returning for many terms. If you are interested in joining these classes, you can find out more information and enrol here: http://melbourneartclass.com/painting-courses/

Students’ life model work from Painting Term 3

We had a full class for Term 3 Painting and our students produced some incredible work which we are very proud of and would love to share.

Four sessions over the ten weeks were dedicated to painting from one life model, in an ongoing pose. Painting the figure is difficult but a wonderful way to develop as a painter. Marco is able to guide students through the drawing foundations of the painting through to the final techniques. The focus in these session was on establishing fundamental processes for painting in a short time. Marco helped students create fleshy tones, finding the lights and darks, and using colours you wouldn’t normally associate with flesh.  He was also aware of the different painting techniques of his students, and made sure his tuition only enhanced their personal style. You can see the different works produced below:

Long-time student Felice has a background in folk art which meant that she has a good mastery of certain brush techniques which have gradually expanded with her recent participation in the course.

Felice, Term 3 Painting, 2015
Felice, Term 3 Painting, 2015

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Megan has been with Melbourne Art Class for a couple of years now and is a prolific oil painter. Megan returned to painting after many years away and has become an extremely effective painter.

Megan, Work in progress, Term 3, 2015
Megan, Work in progress, Term 3, 2015

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Monika is a Graphic Designer by day but maintains a love for painting and continues to develop her painting technical skills. She has a natural disposition to describing the figure through painting.

Monica, Term 3, 2015
Monika, Term 3, 2015

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Learn how to paint the Figure with Marco Corsini

This term we have introduced a short painting course – Painting from a Life Model with Marco Corsini. During this seven-week course, students will be encouraged to develop drawing skills, conceptual understanding and technical proficiency in painting.

When: Saturdays, 7th November to December 19th, 9am – 11.30am

Where: Enderby Studio, 314 Church Street, Richmond.

Cost: $375

Read more about this course and enroll here.

“Marco teaches traditional/proper painting techniques and methods from the basics, taking time to explain all facets of painting. I find the content inspiring and extremely beneficial to my art practice. I trust in Marco’s experience and knowledge and appreciate his very personable style of teaching.”

Monika, Term 2, 2015 student

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

Where is Painting? Lecture by David Joselit (lecture notes)

Thomas Eggerer, Floor Piece
Thomas Eggerer, Floor Piece

“Despite its status as the presumed art commodity par excellence, painting has regained new conceptual force. This lecture will argue that part of the reason for this is painting’s singular capacity to store time, and to articulate it in a range of different tempi. Painting can occupy several time zones at once.”

On the 19th of December 2013, American art historian David Joselit gave a lecture at MADA (Monash Art Design & Architecture) faculty on the subject Where is Painting?. This is a brief summary of the lecture based on notes taken during the talk, all direct quotes from the lecture are made by Joselit and are in quotation marks. (Thank you to Melissa Corbett who has passed on these notes. M.C.)

http://www.artdes.monash.edu.au/fineart/archive.php#!/fineart/events/david-joselit-carnegie-professor-history-of-art-yale-university.html

The lecture began with Joselit placing the role of art within the context of our current society. He started out by saying that “Art is a signifier of value in speculative economies”, with terms associated with art used to impart connotations of glamour and mystique on a variety of luxury consumer goods from wine to cars, to new boutique apartments springing up in residential neighbourhoods that used to be home to vibrant artistic communities but have long since been driven out by gentrification. This ability to confer meaning onto other commodities within the economy makes art a meta-commodity.*

According to Joselit, it is “Modern art’s unlimited capacity for meanings and action, standing for the passage of time, futurity. For eternity unlike changing realm of politics.” This ability of art to transcend time, to reside in a state of both timelessness and timeliness   can be illustrated by the way that a painting by Velasquez can still be appreciated by us today and relevant to a contemporary audience long after the disappearance of the Habsburg dynasty from Spain. This transcending of time happens in the very act of creating a painting or as Joselit stated the “Marking and storing of time in painting occurs at the same time.”

In his attempt to rehabilitate art from it’s current role in commodity culture, Joselit is interested in referring to the scoring experience within painting, as an alternative to Debord’s idea of the “accumulation of spectacle”** within art criticism. This idea of scoring – the way that time is marked within an artwork, is explored in further detail during his analysis of the painting by Eggerer.

Joselit observes a definitive break within the history of painting in Western art, noting that “After Pollock the gestural stroke became external rather than an expression of the internal.” Artists have tried to address this relentless trend towards the external within modern civilization in a number of ways; some contemporary strategies as identified by Joselit listed below***:

–  Scoring painting’s circulation: series or ensembles eclipse unique individual works;

–  Use of technological application of painting: inkjet printer; evolving digital animation;

–  Souvenir of life, subset of life in the artwork eg. reproducing a blog as a painting.

After going through this list of trends within contemporary art, Joselit suggested the idea of the interface as a way for artists to mediate their role between internal and external reality or experience.

Interface: “A way of bringing the edge to the centre. A way of communicating the reality of something that was previously unseen or inaccessible.” For example the development of the GUI (graphical user interface) in computing enabled users to easily give commands in natural language to a computer to execute certain functions and see the results of these commands / functions, without needing extensive knowledge of the inner workings of the computer itself.

The lecture then looked at the enduring influence of Marcel Duchamp on contemporary art.  This was summarized as: “Duchamp’s Doubt = remediation”. An in-depth lecture by Joselit exclusively on Duchamp is available here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9zh-rSG5rpU

The final section of the lecture is an analysis of the Thomas Eggerer painting Floor Piece. It is a demonstration of how an artist can use a variety of different mark-making techniques in a painting to result in a scoring of time.

Painting marks the movement of pictures:

–  Collage – “the entry of something from the world into art, the traffic between the world into art, the traffic between the world and internal of representation – internal threshold of interfaces.”

–  Scoring of time – illustrated in the table below.

Scoring of time

Sketching = fast

Effect of artist’s actions

Stuttering = repetition of elements

Effect of artist’s actions

Dripping and staining = slow movement of paint

Effect of painting itself

“Paintings that employ a combination of these techniques result in the painting occupying a range of different time zones, in the case of Eggerer’s Floor Piece the dislocated body occupies different zones of the physical painting and time.”

“Painting slows the image down to a geological pace.” A kind of “modulation of velocity”.

“Painting can present a composition of complex time signatures – capacity to be both slow and fast, resulting in painting having a timeless quality that is able to communicate to us through the ages.”

At the end of the lecture members of the audience were able to ask Joselit questions in regards to the lecture. One of the questions related to the common site of people taking photos of artworks in galleries and museums. Joselit’s thoughtful response to this common practice was that the way galleries and museums were frequently laid out and the large numbers of people moving through the exhibition spaces did not lend itself to people spending a long amount of time contemplating a single artwork. This sensory and information overload resulted in people taking photos of artworks for electronic storage which could then be returned to for future contemplation and perhaps be curated into their own private exhibition on a computer or social media.

*  Within Marxist analysis this process of commodification within capitalism is summarized as the subverting of the use value (the amenity of a house to live in with your family) in favour of it’s exchange value (the realization of what your house is worth in financial terms when you sell it) within the economy.

** “In societies where modern conditions of production prevail, all of life presents itself as an immense accumulation of spectacles. Everything that was directly lived has moved away into a representation.”

From the landmark 1967 text “The Society of the Spectacle” by the French Marxist philosopher & sociologist Guy Debord, see here for online version:

http://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/debord/society.htm

To briefly summarize, within late capitalist society the image is the primary mediator between the individual and social reality, best exemplified by the important role of advertising and marketing in contemporary society and economics. “The spectacle is not a collection of images, but a social relation among people, mediated by images.”

*** Explored in more detail in David Joselit’s article “Painting Beside Itself”:

http://www.reenaspaulings.com/images3/0911djoselit.pdf