Snapshots in Giverny: a Hedgehog, beautiful Landscapes... Divine!

Faculty guide Wade Schuman shares some more snapshots of things he likes in Giverny.

Wade sketches a local hedgehog.

Alum Steve Forster presents his work for a critique.

Titian at the Louvre.

Expansion/Renovations: Connecting

Mike Smith, Operations Manager at the Academy, invites us to walk through the new opening which will connect the two buildings for the new New York Academy of Art.

Follow our blog and see regular updates on the project! See our Flickr page for more photos, and our YouTube page for more videos. Please click here to contribute to the project.

CE Offers Something for Everyone (Fall 2010)

A new year is starting (school year, that is) and Continuing Education at the Academy has many exciting new classes. Resolve to improve a technique, learn something new, and improve your studio skills. Click on a class below for scheduling details and enroll now.

Current MFA students and Alumni receive a 20% discount off tuition!
 To register, email John Cichowski – or call him at 212 966 0300 x968.

Sometimes You Have to Fight Fire with Water

by Jason Sho Green (MFA 2011)
My project for this residency began as an investigation of the evolution of memory.

"Third Prettiest Girl"
Initially my concept was to do a series of paintings in Giverny, then stash them away and attempt to re-create the paintings from memory, then to do so over and over again until I arrived at a series that began with something completely from observation and ended with images completely fabricated from my memory. From that idea, my project has evolved into a similar thing dealing with memory but with the subject being a portrait of a young woman I know in NY, whose face I knew I wouldn't see for the four weeks during my residency in Giverny and travels in Barcelona and Madrid.

Hill Top View
Monet's Gardens

Musée d'Orsay
But upon beginning work on this series, I found that the final paintings were too similar. I could draw her face too well from memory, however didn't have the time during the residency (only 2 weeks) to fully explore and render the paintings.

Concurrently, I had been working in my sketchbook daily, drawing panoramic views of my surroundings, in the airplane (see here for the sketch), in the gardens, in front of museums, etc, and those turned out to be far more interesting than my original project. 

Working in this vein, I have combined all the small linen panels I'd prepared (including the ones with already painted portraits) into one large canvas. I have been doing a panoramic painting of our large studio, capturing the movements of my studio mates and the architecture and light of our workspace. Hope this will capture both the evolution of my project and the passing of time as the other artists move in and out of the studio in the coming week.

A while back, an ex-girlfriend/model was looking at my paintings and said, "You're going to hate this, but why don't you just paint like you draw?" She was spot on. I had gotten stuck in one of those things where I got wrapped up in painting as I had been taught to paint in class and forgot that there are other ways to solve visual problems. Now I'm trying attack this conceptual problem with a technical strength. Switching it up from "fighting fire with fire" to "fighting fire with water" is how I think of it.

The studio... works in progress.
I think we're all perversely looking forward to the critiques with Wade Schuman. Everybody seems to have gotten a good start on their works: Ian has a butchered pig head in his studio for a still life, I have a canvas resembling Frankenstein that's quickly being filled, Amber is working on some exciting drawings with all these odd French materials. It's been sweet to get on an early start for the second and final year of our MFA program.

Expansion/Renovations: Press, Sculpture Studios, Ventilation

Mike Smith continues the tour of the Academy's summer renovations and expansion. He highlights the new Griffon lithography press and takes us through the new sculpture studios in the Garden Level. He also steps into the dedicated classroom on 2nd floor, pointing out the new fresh air ventilation system.

Follow our blog and see regular updates on the project! See our Flickr page for more photos.
Please click here to contribute to the project.

End Days of Summer

A Review by Maria Kozak (MFA 2011)
August is a slow month in the art world as almost everyone is on vacation, however there are a couple of see-worthy openings this week:

R. Nicholas Kuszyk - click for a larger image
If you are near the Academy in TriBeCa on Friday night (Aug 20) then check out this pop gallery opening featuring Nick Kuszyk at 186 Duane St. between Greenwich and Hudson from 6-10 pm. Kuszyk makes intricate, sometimes Bosch-like paintings of his ever-evolving robot society.

Francesco Longenecker

On Saturday night (Aug 21), check out the opening of New Paintings curated by Academy alumna Renee Bovenzi. A snapshot of what artists are painting right now, it features many other alumni including Francesco Longenecker and Ali Banisadr. The show is at 560 Broadway, 3rd floor, Suite 305 and the opening is from 6-8 pm.

Aurel Schmidt

If you are out East on Saturday night, then stop by the Fireplace Project in the Springs for Aurel Schmidt's solo show, opening from 6-8 pm. Schmidt makes beautiful drawings composed of decay and rot. Her work is included in the 2010 Whitney Biennial.

Also, don't miss Glenn Horowitz in East Hampton with Will Cotton's amazing cake sculpture.

Will Cotton

Start the Presses!

The printmaking program at the Academy is getting a big addition - as in a 1300 lbs. lithography press and several hundred pounds of litho stones!

This new equipment will facilitate a more robust printmaking curriculum offering a Printmaking track which will include courses such as “The Figure in Lithography” and “Narrative Printmaking.”

Chair of Faculty and Printmaking coordinator, John Jacobsmeyer stands next to the Griffin Series I lithography press prior to its final installation in the printshop at the Academy.

For more information about the press and the new Printmaking track, please email John Jacobsmeyer.

Snapshots in Giverny

Faculty guide Wade Schuman shares some snapshots of things he likes in Giverny.

The Giveny Group: Gary, Ian, Jessie, Emily, Cara, Amber, Jason and Steve.
A detail of Louis Brandin's Jonah and the Whale at the Louvre.

With a vase of roses, Emily Adams' studio space at the Terra Foundation.

A Rose is a Rose is a Rose

by Emily Adams (MFA 2011)
Here in Giverny, the air has a floral scent. Morning glories and hydrangeas line the paths to our studios, where Clair Matins and the climbing Zephrine find their way up the sides of old stone buildings.

This is the opposite of the desert. Last week, I was in the Sinai Peninsula, where I spent some time drawing in the Blue Desert. In the 80s, artist Jean Verame made the actual desert landscape the canvas for an earth-art piece in honor of the Egyptian-Israeli Peace Treaty. The blue paint was still visible on some of the rocks that he painted, flaking from decades of exposure to the sun. Perhaps it is in contrast to this barren expanse that the flowers in France seem extra saturate in color and scent.

Rose Study, oil on color print on canvas
(a study for the pieces I'm doing here)
I have been painting roses. There were roses in the monks’ gardens at the Saint Catherine's Monastery, roses in the early Byzantine-syle icons that have survived for centuries within the monastery walls, roses on the dress of a lady standing in line at the Egypt-Israel border, roses on the plastic-wrap of the airplane utensils.

After a long day, Steve, Wade, Cara, and Amber
relax amongst Rubens at the Louvre
Yesterday, instructor Wade Schuman took us all on a serious tour of the Louvre. In attempts to appease each of our druthers, we spent ample time with the Italians (fighting back the Mona-Lisa crowd in a valiant attempt to see the Veronese), with Rubens, with Corot and Millet, with Bosch and Memling, and the list goes on. I was, secretly, on a bit of a rose-hunt, finding it to be a most fruitful line tying together some of the most disparate of paintings.
Fra Angelico, Coronation of the Virgin
A decadent rose-wreath from 16th-century Spain (Juan de Arellano) and a 19th-century French still-life (Fantin-Latour’s fleurs share, to my surprise, some of the same subject matter as a Fra Angelico. Afterwards, exhausted, we rested our weary legs with the Greeks before heading back to the train.

Now we are back in the garden, preparing for our first critique, taking place in just a few days.
Gary, Jessie, Jason and Steve sketch at sunset in the cornfields

The Birds are Chirping; Time to Paint.

by Jessie Brugger (MFA 2010)
A couple days ago, I woke up at six in the morning with a bolt of energy, so I decided to go for a run through the town of Giverny. That might sound like a huge athletic feat, so I will leave it at that... Okay, truth is…The town is incredibly tiny. But it is incredibly packed full of life! Buzzing bees, gurgling cooing doves, little red insects that look like flattened lady bugs, chirping crickets. (You might guess that I am not a insect and wilderness "guru." In fact; I think I have been in the city too long because the sound of silence is something that scares me out of my boots.) I have fallen in love with it here, though. It's gorgeous and it's an Artist's Paradise. It's lush and the colours are stunning, and the evening light warms up the whole countryside.

Here's a recap of yesterday at the Louvre…
Yesterday was Amazing! We were treated to a Lively, Entertaining, Educational filled tour by our fearless leader and Academy instructor Wade Schuman. We spent seven hours soaking in all the stories that Wade could give us about the artwork. Though there were about fifty billion tour guides there with leaders and flags, Wade refused to carry a flag and was adamant about counting his “ducklings” every time we reached a new painting. Even a girl from the Czech Republic stuck close with us to take in Wade's entertaining lectures. I've never heard so many funny little anecdotes about artists' personal lives and their relationship to their art.

Studio-mate Steve sinks into Peter Paul Rubens'
"The Landing of Marie de Medicis at Marseilles 1623-25"
Wade snapped a photo of Jacopo Bassano's
"Two Hunting Dogs Tied to a Tree Stump"

We left the Louvre to find some delicious French grub, and hot chocolate. I wandered off to find an ATM and got completely lost. That's not the first time... and it probably won't be the last - Paris is one of most beautiful cities because of the tiny little streets that wind in and around architecturally beautiful buildings. But for a person like me who gets lost in anything other than the ever-so-easy-to-understand New York grid, it's very confusing, but who doesn't want to get lost in Paris?

Ian's still life - in real life.
Tous bien, we made it back to Giverny happy and safe. Last night, a few of us walked up a hill at midnight to watch the meteor showers. I have never seen so many stars in my life. It was beautiful.

Today is a work day. Off to the studios! I am working on drawings and maquettes that I am turning into a stop animation. Next to me in the studios, Ian has a chicken, into which he has made one of the most beautiful still lifes. Everyone here has such a different approach to their artmaking and that makes it very exciting and inspiring.
We have a crit with Wade soon; so gotta get to work. 
À plus tard, Cheers!

Expansion/Renovations: Break on Through

... to the other side!  Mike Smith, Operations Manager at the Academy, takes us through the new opening which will connect the two buildings for the new New York Academy of Art.

Follow our blog and see regular updates on the project! See our Flickr page for more photos.

Please click here to contribute to the project. Paris to Giverny

Sketching during the train ride.
by Jason Sho Green (MFA 2011)
After a few days in Paris, most of the group met up at Gare Saint Lazare and took the train 45 minutes up to Giverny. We were greeted by some of the Terra Foundation staff who showed us to our new studios, houses, and bicycles. The staff has been lovely, helping us to locate everything from shellac to a nude model to butchered animals for still life painting. The facilities are far nicer than we could have imagined and some of the studios are separated from Monet's garden by just a stone wall. The large studio where four of us are working is gorgeous, as you can see.

Our studio at the Terra Foundation in Giverny
We had most of the afternoon and evening to set up our studios and explore, strolling down to the Seine, hiking up hills to check out plein air painting spots, and even finding some ostriches and kangaroos a few blocks away. This area is filled with unexpected inspiration. When the museum and garden close, we more or less have the village streets to ourselves. After sundown the only illumination outside is from the stars, which is quite a nice break from New York.

Parlé Francais?

Hello Everybody! This is Jessie Brugger writing, graduate from the New York Academy of Art on a residency in France. Right now, I'm in the city of dancing girls, big cathedrals and their stained glass windows, haute couture thanks to the "Sun King" Louis 14th, incredible bread and cheese, protesters, the late Victor Hugo (one of my favorite writers), the famous Moulin Rouge, Coco Chanel, Tour de France, cyclists, the gardens of Monet and, of course, the ever-so-incredible Louvre. That's just a short list of the Ever-So-Incredible-Paris!

My posts, written while I am in residence at the Terra Foundation in Giverny, will be about thoughts, ideas and the trip I am on and the art being made. I have been in Paris four days now taking in the culture and sketching ideas that I will work on during the residency. One of the most amazing places I have been so far is the house of Gustave Moreau. What a prolific artist!!! Looking at his paintings, I thought of how contemporary they looked. Its a four-story house filled from floor to ceiling with beautiful, exciting, intense images that I could look at forever. Just as I was about to leave, I saw a man reach behind a curtain and expose hundreds of drawings that you can sit down and go through. Moreau knew his anatomy! He did many sketches of plants, animals and human anatomy. It was an inspiring visit. I look forward to keeping a discussion with all artists and everyone about art, philosophy, writing and life forever. I am honored to be here and I owe it to my class to make the best out of this trip as I can. Please write any comments you have or ideas you want to share. I would love it. Thank you all for your support!

Hangin’ in the Garden (from Moses to Monet)

by Emily Adams (MFA 2011)
The week of August 9th, I will begin a residency graciously offered to several Academy students by the Terra Foundation for American Art. Our studios will be located not far from the famed Giverny gardens, which I assume most of us know best as they were seen through the cataractous eyes of the aging Monet. We’ll see how the 'flesh-and-blood' foliage compares to the feeling I got when sitting in the second floor room of the MOMA.

But first, I am headed back in time before I get to work as an American in Paris. I am taking a rather round-about-route, trekking from Israel to the Sinai Peninsula before arriving at Charles-de-Gaulle airport to meet my fellow painters in France. My hopes are to make it to the gates of Saint Catherine’s monastery, where some of the oldest surviving Byzantine icons still reside. They represent an important body of work to art historians and artists, among others. Due to the extremely remote location of the monastery, these paintings are some of the sole survivors of early iconoclastic periods. I look forward to seeing the figurative art of the first millennium in its native setting. These paintings were, arguably, a major taproot of what would become European panel painting (and I’m sure someone out there has drawn up the family tree, all the way to the Brillo Box). The gold in the paintings was made to reflect candlelight and the changing light of the sun crossing the desert sky in the interior of the structures.

In the midst of perhaps the most famous desert in written history, I will be considering a theme that will guide my work at the Terra Foundation: ‘the garden’ in its many incarnations throughout history will be on my mind throughout my journey.

I thought it fitting to leave you with the following poetic snippets... But I will be back, soon, to report from atop a water lily!

O you who dwell in the gardens…
-Song of Solomon

My garden is my most beautiful masterpiece.
-Claude Monet

Madrid to Barcelona to Paris to Giverny

This is Jason Sho Green, a second-year painting major at the Academy. I'm currently writing on the train from Madrid to Barcelona, on my way to Paris in a few days to meet up with the rest of the Terra Foundation/Giverny Residency group.

JFK [airport] gives you plenty of time
on the runway to work on cabin interior drawings...
The sponsors of the residency were graciously flexible with our flight tickets, so the eight of us are flying into various cities in Europe and converging on August 9 in Giverny. I just stayed four days in Madrid, spending most of my time between the Prado and Reina Sofia in the good company of Goya, Velazquez, Ribera, Picasso. I'm on my way to Barcelona to check out the more contemporary scene and hang out on the beach a bit. Then most of the group is meeting up for a weekend in Paris before we take the train up to Giverny.

Giverny is a small village, about 45 minutes outside of Paris by train, where Monet spent the latter 40-ish years of his life. Being half Japanese with French ancestry, I've always had a thing for Monet and his embrace of Japonisme, and am excited to explore these intersections down the street from his old studio and estate.

A little background about me: I got my undergrad degree in electrical engineering, then worked as a self-taught artist and illustrator for a few years, entered into an atelier in Seattle for two years, and now am at the New York Academy of Art. This summer I've explored methods of analyzing my painting process, including stop motion animation, working on top of old paintings, and assembling pieces of previously finished works into new ones. I've also been trying to slip out of some of the academic stiffness (sorry, faculty - I love you all) that I've acquired over the past couple years.

I am a ravenous sketchbook filler, so please also check out where I post drawings and experiments pretty close to daily. I'll be back here with an overview of my project once we all meet up in Paris!

Lightning Rod - David Humphrey

David Humphrey is a New York artist represented by Sikkema Jenkins & Co. An anthology of his art writing, Blind Handshake, was released this year by Periscope Publishing. He is a senior critic at Yale and was a fellow at the American Academy in Rome last year. He currently has a collaborative exhibition with Adam Cvijanovic at Postmasters gallery called Defrosted, a Life of Walt Disney

Does reproducibility contribute to a work's vitality in our increasingly wired culture? How might this effect our thinking about painting and sculpture?

A Crit Is a Terrible Thing to Waste

... as is an artist community.

DAY THREE - New England Painting Tour
by Seth Ruggles Hiler (MFA 2005)

Well, the workshop with painter Jon Imber has come to an end. I spent the morning painting on the porch of Penny's B&B in Deer Isle, Stonington, Maine. Click here to see a short video. And later that afternoon came my final crit. I have shared a portion of it below with a link to the video (and Jon’s permission, of course).

As stated above, a crit is a terrible thing to waste. Critiques are an integral part of the art educational system, from grade school, on up through a masters program. I have always enjoyed them. The class tacks their works on paper on the studio wall, or lean their canvases along the floor. The group gathers around, coffee in hand, as the professor stands in the front, pacing and examining.

Well, it has never really been that dramatic - except during the fifteen-minute Diploma Project Critique at the New York Academy of Art, where the entire teaching staff, as well as honored guest artists and critics, sit in chairs in the front of the room while your classmates constitute the audience behind them. And you, as the artist-in-training, are the one standing in front, on display, along with the work, which you have poured your heart into over the last two semesters. (I actually enjoy the stress of such situations.) After the initial introduction of your string of prepared words, which may not make any sense at the time, the volley begins between the NYAA instructors and guest critics. Different view-points of art history are shared. And ultimately, you realize that you have added, in some small way, to the slide-show of imagery documenting the evolution (or destruction) of mankind. Unscathed, I graduated and entered my post-master’s studio.

It’s a lonely place. Well, volumes of forefathers whisper in your ear from the paint-splattered pages of you library and brushes of hog bristle and tubes of cerulean sometimes talk to you if you have forgotten to turn on the ventilation system. I know the artist is supposed to suffer in solitude until his or her masterpiece is created... at age 60! But, this is not exactly the environment that helps me to flourish.
On the porch of Penny's B&B
with instructor Jon Imber
and classmate Judith Seelig.

I need a community. I attended a lecture series at the Newark Art Museum in the winter of 2009 called, “So, I’ve Got Talent, Now What?” One of the panel discussions really got me pondering this idea of artistic community. The three panelists where all professionals at different points in their careers, emerging to well established. And they all had the same advice: “create your own community.” Art school provides an automatic one, but once graduated, artists forget to hold onto this idea - and to the alumni connections of their institution. Community is important for several reasons:
1. moral support, 2. creative consultation, 3. networking.

Luckily, I have found these things in several different communities. In my home state of New Jersey, there is a thriving artistic community, believe it or not! You see the same people at every opening and some of them are generous enough to make regular stops into your studio for one-on-one critiques. I am also a Junior Member of the Salmagundi Club in NYC, which is a fabulous, historic and kitschy (in the most positive sense of the word) venue for exhibition opportunities, workshops and social events all centered around traditional and contemporary figurative art. And I am honored to say that I have recently been sworn in as a Membership 
Co-Chair on the board of the Alumni Association of the New York Academy of Art. This team is cultivating a thriving network, which connects Academy grads with their “edgily traditional” alma mater and the rest of the New York art scene. The initiative is spearheaded by artist and instructor Debra Goertz, with support from dedicated staff member and Academy graduate Charis J. Carmichael Braun. The AANYAA offers group crits, professional practices workshops, group shows and reunion events.

So, I am lucky to have found so many supportive communities and to have had the opportunity to take this painting workshop with Mr. Imber. I make a conscious effort to take part in such activities, as they are the only way for me to grow as an artist outside of the studio, and support my efforts inside.


Seth Ruggles Hiler

Seth Ruggles Hiler is an artist and arts educator from Boonton, NJ. He received a BFA from Syracuse University in 2002 and an MFA from the New York Academy of Art in 2005. He is a portrait painter at heart, but landscape is his mistress. Grab your French easel and enjoy the ride!

Aus Deutschland: Exhibition!

by Aliene De Souza Howell (MFA 2011)
We were all a little nervous when, just as the Opening for our exhibition in Leipzig began, it started pouring cats and dogs outside... but then the storm let up and the plethora of guests we were all hoping for inundated us. The hours of preparing food and cleaning and months of artmaking all fell into place. It was so satisfying to see the work up on the wall.

Tyler has embarked on a new mark-making technique on his flowers. By utilizing a brush to work the charcoal the layers of application with the charcoal become more expressive, deliberate and crisp. These soft and rich darks set off the light, giving it a luminous quality.

Rabecca has also experimented with color and brushwork, inspired by the works of Lucas Cranach. This more saturated color adds another dimension into her work, enriching the atmosphere and giving the viewer a more playful subtext to take in the melancholy subject.

Ian's photo series morphed from gauging the intentions of others by using the eyes as an acumen to a series of Leipzig landscapes reflected in his own eyes. This witty approach inverts how we see, giving the viewer unlikely access into the artist's own eye.

I have been pursuing a new stylistic harmony in my work, complimenting more linear areas of drawing with areas of both energetic and tight brushwork striving to create an enigmatic landscape.

We did have one last special treat yesterday - tea and a studio visit with Rosa Loy. It was an excellent opportunity to see her work and hear her ideas independent of her husband, Neo Rauch. She is also working within the New Leipzig School of artists. An overarching theme in her work is about the female perspective in the male dominated art world in the socialist and free political climates of Germany.

Now with all of our critiques and experimentation we have much to consider as we prepare to depart Leipzig. From this artistic flurry we have moved to a packing frenzy as we are all preparing to board planes trains and automobiles. Tyler, Ian and Rabecca head back to the United States tomorrow and I'm delaying my re-patriation a little longer with a backpacking trip into the Swiss and German Alps before returning to our beloved New York.