Luiz Rosa Nanini
16 March 2017
Mentor Visit Assessment 2
Mentor: Mary Vernon
Profession: Professor of Art
Location: Meadows School of the Arts, 6101 Bishop Blvd, Dallas, TX 75205
Date: March 06, 2017
Time: 3:00 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.
Painting can be weird at times; it is possible to enjoy and stress over a piece as one paints it. The process of learning something new is exhilarating, but its challenge can bring about some stress. I would not go as far to call it anxiety, but it is most definitely stress. In a way that is how most of my mentor visits have played out. I do not see that as a bad thing, however, because overcoming the difficulties of painting feels incredibly rewarding. During my most recent mentor visit I finally got the chance to paint a portrait. I have never painted as many portraits as I would like, but they are my one of my favorite types of paintings. They not only do they portray emotion in a dramatic way, but they are also one of the most challenging types of paintings. I desire to learn more about them and how to perfect them.
Our assignment was to paint a plaster bust in two different ways: the venetian and and florentine. The first method involved painting a dark red imprimatura, the first layer of one color in a painting. (It usually gives it a distinct dark tone) One that is dry we had to paint an underlayer, so we could establish the dark and light values, of black and white. The second painting was a much lighter one. There was no imprimatura, instead we had to create the underlayer completely in green. Painting on top of the red imprimatura feels natural. I enjoy using the background as a source of color and painting with the white is exciting. It reminds me of a drawing, making the process feel familiar. On the other hand, painting an underlayer in one color is something I am used to doing. However, usually I am allowed to use white. Not this time; to make a lighter tone I need to use a thin layer of paint. The idea would be to embrace the white background as the lighter value. Even after three hours and many mistakes, I still was not finished. I found it difficult to paint the bust correctly. My proportions were off and I was forced to restart, but Ms. Vernon urged me to keep painting and improving. She explained that failure is part of the process, if not the most important part.
I struggled to complete the painting, but I learned a great deal in the process. For one, I learned that painting value involves looking at the subject and its surroundings. Painting the background helps the artist get an idea of what the final piece will look like. Also, light and dark values, despite their contrast, depend on each other. Having a light value next to a dark one makes the light one stand out, and vise versa. Knowing this not only helps me gain a better idea of how to paint, but I feel that is not as important as the fact that I found painting this way enjoyable. Finding out what I enjoy most in painting will lead me closer to finding out my true passions in painting, which is something I have been trying to narrow down throughout my whole ISM experience. I will probably continue to do so as I develop as an artist.
I believe that if I continue to practice these skills I will bring out more life in my paintings, and focusing on what I enjoy will allow me to pour passion into the painting with ease. Doing so, I believe, will make my paintings richer and will help me become a better painter. I will continue to paint like this by practicing more of this kind of painting once a week or so. Especially now that I have finished my one hundred paintings, I have more time to work on other things.
It is encouraging to learn these different ways to paint. I feel like I am actually developing as a painter. I see progress, which I deeply cherish. In reality, I do not think I have improved this much in such a short amount of time ever in my life. I am proud of my initiative and I am motivated to continue improving. I know I can do so, all I need is to continue having the initiative to pursue my goals. Finishing the assignments I have been given by Ms. Vernon will be the best way to continue growing as a painter, but I cannot get too far ahead of myself. I still need to study some different art shows to apply to. I need to continue painting while also applying to art shows and making my documentary. Balancing all of that will be difficult, but necessary for my development as a painter.