Monday, December 14, 2009

(Son of the Return of) Observation, Experience & Imagination

"I put in my pictures everything I like. So much the worse for the things – they have to get along with one another." - Pablo Picasso

And so we came to the last day of class (excepting this week's final critique & portfolio turn-in): worked one final session with a model, and also got in what is supposed to be my last mini-lecture that ties everything up from the whole semester's worth of artsy-fartsy.

We did the "Observation, Experience & Imagination" in-class exercise: a ten-minute sketch in pencil of a figure based on direct observation of the model; then a ten-minute sketch in pencil of an environment based on memory of any of the previous assignments (such as their Interior, Exterior, landscape gestures etc.); and then a ten-minutes incorporating some random, weird elements from their sketchbooks of reference sketches on our many field trips; and finally ten-minutes spent with charcoal tightening up and refining the composition so as to arrive at a unified image with value.

It always surprises me (and them) to see what happens with this little spontaneous "quiz." Even if it's only a 40-minute exercise and expectations aren't terribly high, it serves as a great example of the three essential elements (to varying degrees) that go into creating any work. And it's an even better demonstration of just how many different and wild ideas lay around fallow in folks heads until poked out onto paper.

"Art is the sex of the imagination." - George Jean Nathan

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