Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres 1788-1867

Ingres is part of my foundation and "Artists on Art" is studio companion of 30+ years.

"If I were asked to put up a sign over my door I should inscribe it:  School for Drawing, and I am sure that I should bring forth painters."
My art school was "Debbie Clarke's School for Drawing" following Ingres advice.  The interesting thing is that some painters were drawn forth.  BUT most of my students ended up being sculptors, designers, video/performance artists, ephemerists, collagists, etc.  hmmm.  I should have just named it Debbie Clarke's school for art.  because that is what I drew forth:  artists.  and when my students would tell me that they were there to become artists, I always told them that it was beyond my ability to create artists or teach them how to make 'art'.  all i could do was to teach them how to see as an artist, how to think as an artist, how to use materials.  the foundation was always drawing.

now, I am not a sculptor; but, i learned to see space through the eyes of a sculptor.  Andy MacMillan.  He gave me "B's".  His classes always challenged me to 'look', 'look', 'look'.  and for every 'look' there was always another way of 'looking' at the space, the figure, the picture plane completely contrary to the first look.  I would get confused.  Finally I confessed in frustration "What am I looking for?"  and Andy simply said "Anything."  and he held my gaze for 30 seconds and moved on.  he was one of my best teachers.  when I teach figure drawing, I lean into Andy's guiding words.

heh...and I thought I didn't get it or him.  He was right and i am so blessed to have had him for a teacher.  his teaching was as hard and durable as the granite this island is built upon.

By-the-way Andy studied with George Demetrios, right here in Folly Cove.  I had to go to Boston to The Art Institute of Boston to meet Demetrios' approach to seeing through Andy's classes.

sleep well Andy.  there are many deft eyes and hands as a result of your constancy.


1 comment:

Kathleen Valentine said...

Seems like learning to see, really see, is at the heart of writing as well as art. It's like Sherlock Holmes said, "You look but you do not observe."