Hilo Fine Art Center is proud to present an exhibit of works generated by artists attending the Figure Session held at the Cultural Center every Tuesday evening. These weekly sessions have been hosted for the last few years by Julianna Graper, nee Ziegler, and the exhibit is a thank-you to her for her good work. Mahalo, Jules, you have done the room proud!
I grew up as a painter in a similar room, working the figure. Though I could draw from life since high school, I had painted almost exclusively from photographs. At thirty, I was mostly self-taught and solitary. And dissatisfied with my work.
In 1987 I was about the eighth person to sign up with the newly formed Art Students League of Denver. Founded by Philip Levine, it was based on the New York model. One Tuesday evening I walked into the room (Long Pose Painting),set up my flimsy aluminum easel and student grade paint, and flailed away. It was the most humbling three hours and three bucks I have ever spent. I sucked. But I went back. And I sucked again, a little less. And back again. About the fourth or fifth time, I started to get it. Over time I got comfortable. (And the others in the room started looking me in the eye. I was getting less awkwardly bad…) I made some good friends, became a painter among painters. I found my Tribe. My work got much better.
Drawing and painting the figure is the calisthenics of making art. It’s the Great Hunt- you got 20 minutes and what can you capture? It’s live and RIGHT NOW. And again. And again. It’s where you develop your eye and your chops. It’s the most fun ever.
It’s also the most egalitarian and friendly room in the art cosmos.
(An aside. Though I grew up as a painter in the room, I truly became a man the night I walked into the room with my classy new French Easel-and student grade paint. Good paint followed soon, and I still have the easel. Faithful old thing.)
“Real artists work the figure” is one of the few good snobbisms left. Come see some real good work by some real, good artists!
Opening reception: Friday, May 1, 6-9pm. Closing party Saturday, May 23, 4-7pm