Sunday, November 6, 2011

Class field trip to the Cloisters!

My painting instructor Jean-Pierre Roy, took the class uptown to the Cloisters Museum! It's a castle like building filled with collections of med-evil artworks (12th to 15th centuries), mostly small scale oil paintings, tiny ivory carvings and unicorn tapestries.

Prior to entering the serene chapels, our teacher sat us down under a gingko-biloba tree and read an article written by his friend. It was to set the mood for our visit and for next weeks painting class, where we start painting from the model. The article explained the authors frustration with the art world after attending the Whitney Biennial. Feeling deflated by the art he saw, he decided to retreat to the Cloisters, hoping for some inspiration. He ended up bring transformed by the devotion these paintings contained. The amount of work and detail that went into them really moved him. He even claimed to have found the greatest painting he's ever seen at the Cloisters. And said that the emotion people feel when standing in front of a Rothko cannot compare to how this piece effected him.

The paintings were indeed impressive. The detail was painted with single hair brushes. Each strand of a persons hair and every line of grain in wood floors were rendered. The majority of themes were religious. And although I didn't find them quite as moving as I have found Rothko, they did make me re-think how I make art. The whole trip was successful, and I think more classes should take trips such as this. The article reading was a really nice touch! Thanks JP.

Scenes from the Life of Saint Augustine, 1490
Master of Saint Augustine 

 Oh, yeah... and I did my first plank.  hehe.

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