Monday, May 16, 2016

Introduction (Post #1)

Hi everyone! My name is Jess Dowicz and I’m a rising sophomore, majoring in painting/drawing within the IFA program. I particularly love to use watercolors as my main medium in painting, as it goes hand in hand with a very expressive nature of the brush strokes. I also love to use lots of different colors in my work in order to stimulate the viewer and transport them into another world of sorts, but also because I just love painting with all colors of the rainbow.  I am a passionate individual with every intention in using my artwork to change the world for the better and create a more conscious society.  

I’m very excited to have the opportunity to work alongside my host, Neal Hughes, an extraordinary Plein-Air oil painter. For those who are unaware, plein-air pertains to the style of painting that is outdoors in open air, in order to capture the natural light and atmosphere, opposed to artificial light found in a closed indoor studio.

So far I have helped Neal get ready for his plein-air competitions by preparing the frames so that they will be able to hold finished pieces and hung on the wall. I have also prepared the boards that Neal will use to paint on. I’m used to only stretching and using traditional canvas to paint on so it was really interesting to see all the different methods that one can use to paint on. I also got the chance to go to a recent plein-air competition that Neal and many other talented artists competed in. I was able to witness first-hand how these competitions are structured as well as seeing all the different types of styles and works produced. The competition was held in Wayne, PA and each day a new venue would be selected within the local area. The day I went, the venue was the Chanticleer, a beautiful botanical garden and estate. I would recommend visiting the garden even for a day trip to anyone (maybe even for a picnic J.)

By working more with Neal, I’ll be learning about studio practices and preparing materials for painting, new painting techniques and procedures, correctly photographing work to be shown online and make giclee prints (ink jet), keeping records and inventory of paintings, and becoming versed in the plein-air community and the competitions/festivals. Within the sort amount of time I’ve spent with Neal, I have learned so much and I’m looking forward to what else I will be exposed to.

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