We artists are always trying to improve our craft. The established wisdom is that it's most important to paint more. Hours of "easel time," like flight time for pilots, leads to more experience and better skills. True enough, but it's also important to observe better, fine-er art. Which is how I excuse myself for the hours spent caught in the world wide web looking for artistic information and inspiration. To be fair I've "met" some wonderful artists online but nothing beats seeing paintings in person.
|Studying Jacob Collins paintings at Adelson Galleries, Inc., NYC|
Getting up close and personal with artwork is as much about taking in the full essence of a body of work as it is about examining details.
Viewing artwork in person allows you to really appreciate the nuances, see texture and examine the subtle color shifts that add complexity and bring a richness that can't be appreciated online.
|©2011 Todd M. Casey "Bottles with Books and Letters" at Rehs Galleries|
This painting, which is one of my favorites by Todd Casey, can be seen at Rehs Galleries in New York.
Take a close look at those letters! Such variety in the edges and shadows! How fine is the highlight on that open book! And the amber color where the light hits the bottle lying down is just perfect! It's really exciting to see this painting in person. There are several other wonderful Caseys at Rehs.
|detail of "Bottles with Books and Letters" by Todd Casey|
Currently Rehs also has an exhibit called SEXES featuring work by instructors and artists at the Ani Art Academy, of which Anthony Waichulis is a founder. You can read more about this exhibit and the philosophy of the Ani Art Academy on the Rehs website here. It's interesting stuff.
|"A Love Story" by Anthony Waichulis, photo Rehs Galleries|
Again, when viewed in person the details are clear and it's an enriching and educational experience.
So what did we learn on our field trip from the classroom/studio to the big city?
Galleries are spiritual places to renew the soul.
And observing fine art is somehow calming and invigorating at the same time - which is the perfect mindset for creativity.
And, finally... no need to pack juice boxes for this field trip, since New York cafés serve wine. Win - win!
Get thee to a Gallery!
|Taking in Jacob Collins works at Adelson Galleries|
PS: It's not lost on me that there are few female artists on this *list - where are Angela Cunningham, Sadie Valeri and Stephanie Rew when you need a fine art fix! But our time was limited and I'm sure some of these outstanding artists are exhibiting somewhere in New York... more online research needed. And another field trip!