I am doing a course at MOMA in NY!

Last month I went back to school! Not just any school….I am studying at MOMA. The Museum of Modern Art in New York City!!!

The course is titled ‘Materials and Techniques of Post War, New York Abstract Painter’s’. The instructor is Corey d’Augustine, a curator at MOMA and Art Conservator.

It came about by chance really as I happened to find out about when I was looking up an Exhibition at MOMA which I wanted to go to New York to see. It consists of all my favorite Abstract Expressionist Painters….It’s called ‘Abstract Expressionists of New York’.

It is the most exciting study I have undertaken since I began painting! I have learnt so much already and we are only in our third week. I must admit with all the reading of text and watching of video’s, keeping up with class discussions I have wondered how we are going to fit painting in!

But, of course we are. My family have noticed my absence already with dinner getting less ‘Martha Stewart’ and more of the Baked Bean variety but, they lived through it when I was preparing for the exhibitions at the beginning and end of 2009 and all survived. I am sure they have also noticed my excited approach to each day, so there is a flip side for everyone. It is just so stimulating. I feel challenged already.

As we study different artists and their approach to their work it naturally gets me thinking about mine in a more intellectual capacity. Often my work has been made for my own exploration of color and how it changes and captures mood, also of course for what my materials can do and what I can do with them. I can literally spend hours watching what happens if I paint this color over another color and what happens as drips have free reign along with the gravity that drives them. There is another deeper level of exploration of technique and the intellectual urge to understand or to discover more than just oneself through the act of making a painting, a process of analysing and evaluating what you are doing and why.

So far the course has far exceeded my expectations. It is all online, so I had my doubts about how that could be possible but, it is! It is actually more intensive than being in class for a few hours a day. Every day has stolen moments to check posts from the teacher and other classmates, as well as designated ‘school’ hours.

These people have quickly become friends and the ability to connect through writing posts and sharing our painting exercises for feedback, has meant we have developed a very intimate relationship already! They are a very talented, interesting, articulate group of passionate artists. Who could ask for more. New friends from all walks of life and from all over the world. Just what I needed. People to shared my passion!

On moving to Dallas a few months ago, I have found everyone to be very welcoming and genuinely nice people, but I felt something BIG was lacking from my ‘old’ life in Melbourne. Apart from missing my daughter and family and friends, I was missing being able to share art with them and talk art problems through with my artist friends. I felt a part of me was beginning to wither. When  I saw this course on offer, it made perfect sense on many levels. I am feeling much more myself these past few weeks.

Once again, I apologise for my absence in writing, but there are only so many hours in a day and I am spending 4-5 hours a day in study mode at present, so with that and juggling family needs, there hasn’t been the occasion to sit and write.  I will try and keep you informed of our progress and goings on week by week.

To date we have spent a couple of weeks on stretching canvas’ properly and getting to know our materials  in more detail and I mean more detail. There are hours discussing chemical compositions of various glazes and mediums, how they work together and why some don’t. There have been exercises using oils with different mediums and with solvents. We execute our ‘homework’ and then post digital images of our results for feedback and comments from fellow students! It is fun!  The digital photography and the technical side of using the Haiku program to do the course have been quite challenging growths for me. I have limited experience and just posting photo’s in the right place and the right way up has been rewarding!  I think my typing speed has increased significantly also!

Anyhow, I shall post according to the artists we have been studying. Hope you enjoy the journey too!