Critically acclaimed artist Dana Schutz will be Master Artist-in-Residence at the Atlantic Center for the Arts in New Smyrna Beach, Florida from February 17 to March 9, 2014. She talked about her artistic process on February 27th during her visit to the Cornell Fine Arts Museum (1000 Holt Avenue, Winter Park, Fl.)
Dana’s work suggests tradition while simultaneously presenting innovative compositions. The artist explains, “My paintings are loosely based on meta narratives. The pictures float in and out of pictorial genres. Still life's become personified, portraits become events, and landscapes become constructions. I embrace the area between which the subject is composed and decomposing, formed and formless, inanimate and alive.” New York-based critic John Yau stated, “This is what Schutz does so well—she asks questions that challenge the answers given by others. More importantly, she asks her questions by folding them into the painting.”
The appearance of Dana Schutz was made possible by the Atlantic Center for the Arts Master Artist in-Residence Outreach Program and United Arts of Central Florida.
Dana's work blew me away. The classical paintings on the museum walls seemed shocked and surprised by Dana's work on the screen. The image I sketched on the screen answered the question, "What would someone look like if they ate their own face?" Dana works large with all her colors pre-mixed. While in school she painted portraits of the men she imagined would be right for her friends. A bright landscape sprouted body parts which people then devoured. Her imagined world is believable yet abstract with the light and color intensity dialed way up. I wish I could have seen some of her work in person. The paint looks luscious and thickly applied. There is a vibrancy and directness to her work that I admire. I left the talk inspired. What a surprise to discover another artists vision with self effacing humor and warmth.
We had one of the first warm weathers over the weekend and
therefore took a day trip to see one of the most famous ‘Rock’ in New England -
possibly even considered to be the most important symbol in the American
History too .
1 hour drive south from Boston in a small town called Plymouth lies this rock - The Plymouth Rock.
It is said that in 1620 the first European settlers called
the Pilgrims first stepped into the new world and was directly on this Rock.
The history and the stories behind the rock is impressive,
and in comparison the actual Rock was quite the opposite – it was just a small
rock engraved ‘1620’ and had a large crack running down the middle with concrete used to glue the 2 halves together.
As I sketched the Rock, I overheard many spectators say “Is
this it?” or just looked at it and walk away quietly with a look of
disappointment on their faces.
Anyway, it was a fun trip, admission is free and it’s nice to be able to say that I saw it (sketched it)!
The large parking lot of Hyundai Department Store in Apgujeong, pencil and watercolor
nearby Hyundai Apartment complex, pen and watercolor
Hyundai Department Store in Apgujeong, pen and watercolor
members of Outdoor Watercolor Artist's Group waiting for the bus, pen and watercolor
Gangnam City Tour bus, pen and watercolor
the overpass crossing Apgujeongno, pen and watercolor
FarEast Sports Center across the road, pen
Hyundai Department Store viewed from the parking lot, pen
( 21 x 29.6cm sketchbook )
In spring every Sunday morning, members of Korea Outdoor Watercolor Artist's Group used to gather at the large parking lot of Hyundai Department Store in Apgujeong for outdoor painting to the countryside by chartered bus. I've participated in the group frequently for 20 years. Recently every Sunday morning, I arrived on the spot a little earlier, and sketched here and there while waiting for the bus to departure.
This morning I met with friends at the Inez Grant Parker Memorial Rose Garden in Balboa Park. The Inez Grant Parker Memorial Rose Garden displays approximately 2,500 roses of nearly 200 varieties on a three-acre site full of fragrance, color, and beauty. These are my sketches and the group's sketches.
San Francisco CA: Recently I took a couple of days in the City by the Bay. I know lots of other cities are by bays as well (and this isn’t even the only city by this particular bay, nor is it the biggest), but when we talk about the City by the Bay we mean only one place: the City. Anyway, to San Francisco I came, not to sit here resting my bones as such but to draw furiously, and draw furiously I did. Not this one, however - this was drawn calmly, peacefully and without any fury at all. It is lovely down there by the water’s edge, listening to the tide as it rolls away. I didn’t fancy sketching the mania of Fisherman’s Wharf much, but just wanted to sit and sketch the Balclutha, a magnificent old boat moored near Hyde Pier. There is Alcatraz in the background, the former prison island (Clint Eastwood swimming just out of shot) and scene of Magneto's last battle with the X-Men. I sat on a bench as joggers, tourists, cyclists, and those funny looking Segway riders paraded by. At one point I took a photo of the scene using my iPad Mini, at which point a Wandering Drunk stumbled by and said loudly, “I wish I could sink that thing!!” Now here is an example of the modern world confusing common vocabulary, because I actually thought he meant the iPad, as in ‘sync’. “It’s not even American!” he continued, while swilling his can of cheap beer, and I realized he meant the boat. He perched himself at the top of the steps with a six-pack and carried on hurling abuse at passing maritime vessels, which to be fair is probably a nice relaxing way to spend the day, for all I know, who am I to judge. I did look up the sailing ship Balclutha when I got home, to see if it really wasn’t American, and apparently it was built in Glasgow, Scotland (‘Balclutha’ is Gaelic and refers to the city on the Clyde), was renamed Alaska Starand Pacific Queen for periods, and has been moored in San Francisco since the Maritime Museum purchased it in the 1950s. You can find out more about the Balclutha on the National Park Service website.
For Canada we have pretty mild winters here on the south-west coast, even so the days are short and winter doesn't exactly put a spring in your step. But this weekend was different, it was the first unmistakably warm weekend of the year. Everyone was outdoors this weekend with many sporting shorts and t-shirts and flip-flops and sun glasses even.
I took advantage of the weather by sitting in the glorious sunshine and making an urban sketch. It will surely get better and better from here - and I welcome the sunshine and warmth.
Happy spring urban sketchers!
in 'Kulturwerkstadt', Danckelmannstrasse, in our Berlin neighborhood. The locals
Marian Zabczuk (piano and arrangements) and Pablo Miró (vocals and guitar) perform a wonderfully narrative and suggestive concert.
Going on a package tour means you travel with a group of people according to the schedule. Often you can see and visit many places without worrying extra expense... But you have less free time.
Still I made the most of opportunity to have sketching.
Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, Abu Dhabi ( five minutes sketch done while we were given 8 minutes to take photo of it)
A shop assistant in the Dubai Mall, Dubai. He offered me some sample tasting of tea. He said that he is from the Philippines.
Inside the Dubai Mall. To see those Emirati people in this huge mall in their folk clothes mede me feel as if I see prince or princess ( characters) in a palace (of dream world)
After desert safari, I saw belly dance show.
And a spinning dancer.
I drew a shop assistant in the spice souk after I tried one clothing and bought it during 20 minutes of given free time there.
On our way back to our hotel, I did this tour guide sketch in the bus.
Burl Khalifa, the world tallest skyscraper. I drew this before sun set near the station called Business Bay. I guess it must be a business district.
This day, we had free time until 16:00.
I went to the Mall of Emirates early in the morning. This is another huge mall. It was so lovely to walk around, to see workers preparing to open their shops and of course to shop there.
Jumeirah Beach Hotel seen on the premisses of Burj Al Arab.
I did this after I had buffet lunch in a restaurant in Burj Al Arab.
Burj Al Arab( so called seven-star hotel) I had a once in a life time lunch.
Although I had Arabian food every day, I didn't make any food sketch. I so indulged in just eating this time.
My wife just arrived back from a conference in Turkey, so I thought it appropriate to post a sketch I did last week of my Turkish neighbor. Ever since we moved here to Clovis, I have been very grateful for the spirit of kindness I see in the people here. This man, for example, our next door neighbor, has been very helpful. First he helped us with some computer issues. Then he loaned us a car when ours broke down. Another time he brought over an armful of brussel sprouts from his garden. And it seems the general populace is like that. Another time when our car broke down, (you'd think it happens all the time), I counted at least 7 people who volunteered to help us. There's something contagious about that. All it takes is one good neighbor to get things started.
This unassuming sketch is a perfect example of why I'm hooked on Urban Sketching.
waiting on the street corner, meeting people before a show. I'm there a
few minutes early, and they're a few minutes late. It ends up being 25
minutes I'm sitting there waiting.
But this was actually perfect! I
could pull out my book and sketch the building on the corner of
Sherbrooke and Guy - which happens to be a favorite of mine. (Though
locals will see I took considerable artistic license). I've heard these
red stone hulks are called railway style? Remnants of the lost empire of
Canada's rail barons. There's a good one of these on the map for our Griffintown sketchcrawl on the upcoming 4th Sunday.
we got up to the theater, and the damn show is sold out. Since when is a
show at the MFA sold out? But this is actually even better! Because we
can go get something to eat and I can take out my half pans and add some
My point is - isn't that the classic urban sketch?
Something you can do in any spare moment. A slice of life, as you find
it. Time waiting isn't lost - it's turned into something creative.
I haven't been carrying a book at all times lately (because winter) - but I was inspired in Savannah when I saw Gabi Campanario make an entire drawing in the time it took the rest of us to find a restaurant on Google maps.
So that's my self-refresher on what's so awesome about carrying a sketchbook 24/7.
Editor’s note: On February 20, Ukraine lived one of its most tragic days in recent times when dozens of antigovernment protesters were killed by security forces close to Kyiv’s central square, known as the Maidan. As many as one hundred people were reported dead. In this guest post, local urban sketcher Natalia Litvinenko describes her experience that day and shares sketches she made on and around the square after the massacre.
Feb. 22, 2014. Marks from burned tires were still fresh on the pavement as a passerby paused to reflect on the scene. The sight of sharp anti-tanks hedgehogs contrasted with the gentle shape of a Ukrainian flag waving from a leafless tree.
Feb. 22, 2014. Orange helmets worn by protesters lied over a wall of cobblestones. Another sign of the violence could be seen in the background: The burned walls and windows of the Trade Union building.
Feb. 22, 2014. The remnants of canisters from Molotov cocktails and piles of cobblestones that were used as weapons became the subject of an impromptu still life.
Feb. 22, 2014. People brought flowers to remember the victims.
The subway system was shut down, few buses ran and it was impossible to hail or phone a cab. Many people don’t own cars here, so they had to hitchhike to get transportation. My friend had to walk five kilometers in the snow to get home. My office email was filled with messages from people offering rides to those who needed them.
Then the offices were shut down and we were told to work from home "until the situation stabilizes," as it was very unsafe to go outside. Thugs hired by the government were roaming around, ransacking the city and beating people up. Some guys would patrol the neighborhoods to protect people from those thugs, some would go to Maidan and help with what they could. They brought food, warm clothes, and dug up cobblestones to be used as weapons. They also brought helmets and bottles for making Molotov cocktails. They also burned tires hoping the smoke would protect them from pro-government snipers firing at them.
On February 22, 2014, two days after the sad events, I went to Maidan to see the scene for myself. Black dirt and ashes from burned tires covered the bare ground. In some places, you could still see stains of blood. Thousands of people brought flowers and candles to remember the victims. The smell of burned wood that protesters used to keep warm was still in the air.
Now the situation is much safer and stable. We hope for a better future as our country comes together again. But there are still barricades in the center of Kyiv and people still remember the "Heavenly Hundred," as the fallen protesters were called.
On April 6, I did the last sketch (below). Two dummies dressed like protesters and a pile of tires are now a so-called monument to remember why people rose and what they fought for. The writing on the container says "Share warmth [with others]." The other one says "Heroes are not dying."
April 6, 2014. A makeshift monument honors the lives lost during the February protests.
Natalia Litvinenko works as a technical writer for a software company and sketches during her free time. “I don't have artistic education, but art is my passion, something that I love doing more than anything else,” says Natalia. She recently started a flickr group for urban sketchers in Ukraine, and this is her first guest post for UrbanSketchers.org.
I was invited to run a SketchCrawl in Manchester a couple of weeks ago, by the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators. I had told them about Urban Sketching during a lecture at their conference a while back.
We spent the day at Manchester's science museum MOSI, which is a great place. You could spent a year sketching in there and still not scratch the surface. It was challenging though: lots of stuff crammed into the space. The building itself is lovely too. I must go back and tackle the Victorian ceiling above this tri-plane:
There are fantastic views out of the windows at the top too:
Because SCBWI includes authors, a couple of people on the SketchCrawl were grabbing impressions of the day using words instead of pictures. I have invited people to try that at some of SketchCrawl North's events in the past, but nobody has ever given it a try before. It was an unusual twist and the perfect compliment to the drawings when it came to the sharing at the end.
Experimenting on the train with my Strathmore sketchbook, the one with the grey paper we got as a lovely freebie in Barcelona. I'm so pleased with it (thanks Strathmore!). The spring flowers which someone had laid on the table were an unusual detail and provided a great splash of colour:
On the flag: Johannesburg sketcher Cathy Gatland sketching outside Kippies Jazz Club in Newtown.
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