Saturday, April 28, 2012

Staying After Class

Springtime in St. Martin, oil on linen, 20" x 16", ©copyright Richard Luschek 2012
I have been teaching a Beginning Painting class at Chatfield College in St. Martin, Ohio. It has been a bit of challenge, as I am used to teaching students that have generally sought me out after seeing my work, hearing a lecture, or because they are physically attracted to me (I am pretty sure this has happened at least once- and I was already married to her).

In this case, I am teaching a class it that is one of the required electives for people that are not art majors. So, most in the class have absolutely no experience in drawing and painting. Most struggled to even name a single artist other than Picasso or Van Gogh.
But, in all honesty it has been a lot of fun. It is a great group of students, who if they were not interested in painting, are doing their best to do what painfully difficult. My hope is that after the class, they will be able to name a few other artists, see the world in a different way, graduate, make a lot of money in their respective careers and due to their new found appreciation for art, buy tons of my work. Is that selfish?

Here I am in teaching action- I am the one sitting. We have been mostly been working on still life in the class room, but I thought it would be a good lesson to take them all outside to paint. It was probably a bit overwhelming, as plein air painting is still painfully difficult for me. It was more for the experience and they were very excited to get outside on the lovely spring day.
Chatfield is a small two year liberal arts Catholic college started by Ursuline Sisters. I actually used to come to Catholic Summer school when I was a kid. They had a great old building there that I remember sneaking through that in my memories looked like the school in the Harry Potter movies. Though I may have made it slightly more impressive in my head, it was very lovely. It was unfortunately torn down in the 80's. It is located on some beautiful property and I have been wanting to do some of my own painting after class ends at 3:00.
I finally had both the time and favorable weather. I decided to paint one of the many statues on the grounds with the church behind. Here is a shot of the scene and my painting after about 30 minutes.

After about 3 hours it looked like this:

 Lay in of Springtime in St. Martin, oil on linen, 20" x 16", ©copyright Richard Luschek 2012

I was fairly satisfied with the first day. Some of the drawing had issues, and I realized later that the grass looked very over chromatic and acidy.

I worked on it the next week, though it was a tough day with strong winds and lots of clouds changing the light effect. I tried to maintain the feel of the initial lay in and just push it to more of a finish.
I brought it back to the studio to make correction and work the light effect until I was satisfied- another hour or two and I was done.
Springtime in St. Martin, oil on linen, 20" x 16", ©copyright Richard Luschek 2012
The painting is framed and hanging in Rottinghaus Gallery.

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