i was thinking about you yesterday and did some google searches. i just want to know what you are up too. I was you student once a long time ago and i have just started to make art again after a very long “break” -( mostly spent earing money) how are you what are you doing. If you had a painting class who would you have your students look at?
Andy, I often have students look at a range of diverse artists and architects- to give them an optimum range of choices, rather than narrow their options. I also send them to look at museum shows, such as the two terrific new painting shows in NYC- O’Keefe and especially Kandinsky. Its always useful to explore abstraction, to bat around the greats, copy a favorite painting with some cheeky modifications. Worry less about what you are painting and slab the paint on the surface. Be willing to make a big mess and an ugly painting, even if you want a beauty. Its better to wrestle with a monster than a wallflower. No pain, no gain. Look at Jenny Saville- Lucian Freud for figurative works (better seen in the flesh) and throw in Fra Angelico to counteract the acidity. Pierre Bonnard will teach you more about color than 90% of the greats, plus he understood the struggle with the flesh of the painting act. Most painting is better seen in person. Go to as many major museums as possible. Risk burnout. Pick favs and argue with those you hate. (Never dismiss a painting in a museum, as its your own blind ignorance that is the issue.)
You might also consider Francis Bacon. I am certain he’s just a fascinating mess, as the critic Jerry Saltz recently implied, but he certainly made some potent, if evil paintings.
Andy, Great to hear from you. I’m insanely busy in a good way, so the blog is neglected. I was writing for the Examiner up until the semester began at MICA. As for painting, what I’s recommend depends upon choosing between abstraction and realism- I remain a committed fan of Elizabeth Murray- not to copy, but in the sheer inventiveness and her break from painting the literal. Research. What is hot is complex abstraction mixed with organic and geometric elements. It remains a wildly wide open field. But too much of it is self satisfied and falls short of hard work adding greater depth and subtle details, especially color transitions. (good old manipulation of paint.)