I was fortunate enough to have another artist residency at the Whitney Museum again this year. http://centerofthewest.org/2015/07/27/in-out/ It is part of an incredible group of museums at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West in Cody, Wyoming... What an opportunity!
I spent my week in the museum copying paintings. I have not done that since art school and was excited to work with paintings that had figures in them. I started working on a copy of a Russell painting that I was drawn to due to it's color intensity. Every time I have gone to the Whitney I look for it immediately. It had added intrigue to me because the figures were not necessarily the focus of the painting - hence they were more simplified and abstracted. It was such a treat to take time to really study the colors, composition and focal development of the painting. I was captivated by the sophistication of movement through this piece and learned a lot studying it. The other thrill was mixing colors to match the intensity and hue. I spent a fair bit of time trying to match colors but quickly caught on to a style and palette of mixing. All in all I was pleased with the outcome and the amount that I learned.
The second piece that I copied was a N C Wyeth. The Whitney has a few of his works displayed right now that are FULL of action. I do not have a lot of experience in painting figures and was thrilled to have opportunity to spend time with his work! This piece had me working with atmospheric perspective and figures in motion. I was working smaller than the original so I took the details only to a certain point, but was pleased. It is amazing to spend a lot of time with any given piece of art and try to figure out what the artist was thinking while they worked... I was mesmerized!
I was visiting with museum goers while painting which also helped me to define what it was that I was doing as they were curious to know. The combination of visiting and studying was perfect for me as I welcomed the distraction for a mental break!
The first week of the residency I spent teaching in their classroom. I had two classes daily and WE HAD FUN!!! We had lots of helpers and fantastic students... Yes, I am spoiled!!!
Painting was the highlight of the experience as resident artist, but I also had opportunity to share what I was learning with the guests at the museum. I was thrilled to be able to communicate how exciting the week was for me. The staff was helpful, comfortable and super supportive; the environment is stellar and my only complaint was that time went too quickly!
I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West for making this experience available to me. I also would like the share a great big thank you to the Wyoming Arts Council for making this artist residency possible!
The Whitney Museum at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West is an amazing place. To be a part of it for a few days is an experience that will affect my art permanently. I am humbled and grateful.”