modern art

Composition with Nathan Fowkes on Schoolism

schoolismJust a quick post for those of you who might be interested in great composition / concept art courses. Schoolism only offers a lower priced yearly subscription every September – it caps after the 1st 2000 signups. There are 18 courses that you can take all together.

I’m starting with Nathan Fowke’s Pictoral Composition course (LACAD, LA Figurative Arts Academy) it’s really helpful – for both traditional as well as digital artists. It’s a 9 week course, but self-paced – each week has about eight 10-minute videos. There is weekly homework and videos of other student’s work. The cheapest option is $144 which doesn’t come with video feedback and redraws from Nathan – but it can help people like me who are attending school full time or working full time. Even if you’re on the cheaper plan, you can look at his critiques and redraws of other students who are taking the premium course – at $1000-1500 per course, so there’s plenty to learn from just watching. Whenever you’re finished, you can switch to another class.

composition-piet-mondrianI’ll show one of my exercises in a following post, but here’s an example from Piet Mondrian that I liked. I had seen Mondrian’s geometric work, but I had never seen his early work and how his art evolved. The point Nathan was making with the Mondrian example was that he was exploring the internal structure underneath what was being seen – so he was continually abstracting and simplifying – but also keeping connections and relationships, balance, harmony etc. I appreciate all the thought and time that has gone into Nathan’s course.

School at RMCAD starts back officially tomorrow. My classes this term are Mastering the Pencil and 3D Design.

Interpreting Art – Rothko

rothkoI had an assignment this week that required me to interpret Rothko’s Orange, Red, Yellow. This work sold at auction for over $86 million dollars at Christie’s.

Here’s my response to several questions posed by the teacher:

“1. Mark Rothko has spoken at length about the intent and significance of his artwork.He maintained that the purpose of his art was to convey emotion through color, and that he was not specifically concerned with abstract relationships.With that in mind, his artwork seems to be experimenting with how much an image can be reduced while still having an emotional impact.

2. Rothko’s artwork breaks with most of the culturally-accepted norms of “good art”.There’s no attempt at depicting the physical world, little real skill in the actual execution, no explicit ideological statement.Rothko makes the case that these factors aren’t necessary for artwork to have an emotional impact on the viewer, and that mainstream art culture’s idea of “great art” isn’t the only way to produce great art.

3. Rothko’s artwork seems to be directed at a more intellectual art viewer, one who is willing to appreciate more abstract forms of art.His paintings aren’t that obvious in their aesthetic appeal; it takes a more conscious effort to be emotionally impacted by them than with, say, Vermeer’s paintings.This type of viewer would probably be older, and if I had to guess, I’d say they’d tend to lean more to the upper class.”