Working Hard : Snapshots

The best art we can make comes from a combination of finding ourselves at ease, and working to build skill and understanding.

Here are three snapshots of working hard for more understanding.

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Melissa Weiss
Review

Reviews are important moments in our lives.  They are a point of reflection in a body of work - of close looking, thinking, talking and/or writing where we consider what we’ve been doing and take note of our intentions.  

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Melissa Weiss
What Does Easy Look Like?

How does it feel to make art in flow? Can we create from a sense of ease and from a position of groundedness in the very moment? And if so, what’s that like for us? Can we hold onto all of the skill we’ve been learning, and without thinking about it, let it pour through us and into the work?  I know we can.

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Melissa Weiss
Donuts

These four artworks were made in the order they’re shown by a current student of mine. She’s just begun a series on donuts after seeing a painting of one that inspired her. They’re hanging in the student area of my studio, and I get to look at them all the time. 

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Melissa Weiss
Finding Flow

IT’S A NEW YEAR! And many things will be coming at us fast and hard.  How do we slow down?  How do we make the connections with our interests and ourselves that are meaningful?

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Melissa Weiss
The Ease of Simplicity

My lovely Sunday afternoon student came to paint this weekend. She’s been working with me for about twenty years. (!) I can’t really call her a student anymore. She’s become a friend, and an artist. In her calm, extremely thoughtful, and right-minded way she’s also a powerhouse in the business world.

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Melissa Weiss
Making the Time

Last week wasn’t my finest. I had a cold, my husband was out of town, we had constant rain and two rainout days at school which meant that my three boys (age 10 to 15) were home. With me. In rain. With nothing scheduled.

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Melissa Weiss
The String Drawing

Below is a drawing assignment I’m giving some of my students this month.  I’ve been using it for years and love the way it pushes us to look closely.  Anyone can do it!

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Melissa Weiss
Light and Truth

Below is a drawing assignment I’m giving some of my students this month.  I’ve been using it for years and love the way it pushes us to look closely.  Anyone can do it!

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Melissa Weiss
Starting a Landscape Drawing I

I always think it’s a good idea to warm up before starting a prolonged study. Before beginning any drawing we want to ground ourselves in the moment – get ourselves here rather than remain in our heads about what’s already happened today. 

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Melissa Weiss
Processing Bonnard

I went to the Legion of Honor in San Francisco last week and saw the Pierre Bonnard show. I was so excited to visit all of his color again! I had seen his work in Washington DC when I was in my early twenties.

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Melissa Weiss
Perspective Drawing Made Easy

Perspective in drawing is a technique used for drawing architectural objects that move back in space. It is the skill of drawing solid objects so that they give the right impression of height, width and depth in relation to the surroundings.

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Melissa Weiss
Connecting with Art II

One of the reasons why I like the show at the Asian Art Museum by Hughen/Starkweather (discussed in the previous post) is that it speaks to making art in a non-linear way. It isn’t drawing or painting directly from looking at something.

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Melissa Weiss
Connecting with Art I

I recently saw a wonderful show at the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco by Jennifer Starkweather and Amanda Hughen.  The artist team interviewed six staff members and asked them to describe an artwork in the museum collection from memory.

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Melissa Weiss