May 14: Mentoring with the Masters

SCNY'13-Mentoring : Faust - 17(Photos by Anthony Almeida & Kate Faust)

A one day mentoring workshop provided the opportunity to paint alongside four of Salmagundi’s top instructors in three of the club’s most appealing rooms; the Pool Room, Parlor and Library.

The Mentors:

Gregg Kreutz is an experienced teacher conducting one of the most popular classes at the Art Students League of N.Y., where he has taught for well over 25 years. Internationally known, Gregg authored the classic artist’s guide Problem Solving for Oil Painters, now in its twentieth year of publication.

Kreutz says, “For me, painting is an opportunity to learn what is meaningful. Each picture is a visual separation of the highly significant from the less significant. Painting is really a window into the essential.”

Leah Lopez is an eminent teacher at the New York Academy of Art and a mentor for aspiring artists.  She is frequently invited to conduct classes up and down the East Coast and in Europe. Drawing on 15 years of teaching experience, her instruction is aimed at equipping each student for a lifetime adventure.

Leah says, “Each artwork is a volume of experiences felt first, by the Artist when creating then, transmitted to the Viewer from the moment it is beheld. The Viewer’s very reaction to the artwork is his or her response to the Artist’s communication. Some viewers have ongoing conversations with the artist for years, in this manner. This is the thing that sets painting apart, making it unique among the arts.  It is a communication that transcends temporal and verbal limitations, goes beyond subject matter, beyond technique. Consequently, the Artist is responsible for her message. She must ask, ‘What do I communicate?’ ”

Sherrie McGraw is an instructor emeritus of the Art Students League of NY whose drawing and painting workshops continue to be highly sought-after worldwide. She authored The Language of Drawing, thought by some to be the definitive book on drawing and is one of the founders of The Artists Guild, an online mentoring program designed to help painters develop into artists. She is slated to have a solo exhibit at the Butler Institute of American Art in September of 2014.

Sherrie says, “A painting is more than the subject matter or the story it might depict. Good painting carries an undercurrent of beauty that expresses something beyond subject matter, beyond the tangible reality. It is this level of seeing that makes a painting a living thing, something that speaks even centuries after the artist is gone.”

Lea Colie Wight is a regular instructor at Studio Incamminati in Philadelphia, an intensive Atelier founded in 2003 by renowned artist, Nelson Shanks. She also served as teaching assistant to Nelson at the League for many years as well as presently conducting her own workshops nationwide. Sought out for her comprehensive knowledge of painting and drawing, she teaches for such prestigious organizations as Weekend with the Masters and The Portrait Society of America.

Lea says, “Painting connects people and cultures in all directions—across centuries and between strangers. A profound painting can bring awareness and create a common pathway. It filters, enhances and brings beauty to the viewer’s attention. It creates a common experience.”

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