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« Belgrave Ave Plein Air SOLD | Main | Michael Grimaldi Workshop: "Curiosity" »

Michael Grimaldi: Final Notes

I've already summarized the workshop with Michael Grimaldi, but I also wanted to record some of my notes from the class:

Artists Referenced

The New Objectivists
Menzel, Kollowitz - responses to the breaking down of Victorian society because of WWI and the sinking of the Titanic. In these extreme situations, codes of chivalry and honor were broken and violated the previous conception of human dignity.

Ernest Meissonier
Successful artist of the late 19th century. Fell out of favor because his paintings came to represent something people no longer believed in.

Edwin Dickenson

Jules Bastien-Lepage

Gerard Richter

Antonio Lopez Garcia

Ann Gale

We talked about the current exhibit on view at Hacket Freedman here in San Francisco. I asked for Michael's interpretation for how it's possible to see such amazing drawing ability in Ann Gale's work when it's impossible to see any edges - all the shapes are dissolved, so I can't understand how I can feel so moved by the drawing. What is drawing without edges and shape, especially when her values and hues are so compressed? Michael feels that it's because her proportion of masses are so accurate - for example the way the hands fall in the lap of a figure so convincingly. He says her precision of drawing is like Sargent, where the actual strokes seem abstract but our brains complete even the edges that aren't delineated.

Book Recommendation
The Practice and Science of Drawing by Harold Speed

On Painting
Paint large to small, dark to light. Painting is stacking smaller and smaller and lighter and lighter shapes. Capture variations of hue, value and chroma, faceting as we move across the form.

Start in 2 dimensions - block in the color with faceted patches of paint like we block in the drawing. Slowly transition into 3 dimensional form.

Anything we know use to confirm what we see.

All of our decisions are optical i.e., paint what you see, not what you think you know. However, we can't paint what we don't know to look for.

Even when focusing on one particular area, don't zone in, look at everything.

"You don't finish a painting, a painting finishes you."

(As always, these are my interpretations of Michael's words, and I can't say if he would agree with everything as I have written it here.)

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