Sunday, October 29, 2006

Learning Experience

Portrait of a Man, after the Workshop of Velazquez, ball point pen on Moleskine Sketchbook
It was time for me to visit the Met once again. I love that place and can't seem to get enough of it. This museum is one of the main reasons why I wouldn't leave New York. Every time I go there I come out feeling rejuvenated and with more excitement to paint. It is truly a learning place, especially for artists. Who cares about the titles, descriptions and provenance placed on the wall. I just look at the paint applications and try to take it all in. At the last minute on Saturday evening I decided to take my usual trip to my sanctuary. To my luck I can make last minute decision since the museum is open until 9 p.m. on Saturdays. I took with me my sketchbook and a pen just in case inspiration kicked in. Like always it did. I have decided that I will try to paint more portraits, and who better to teach me the ways than the masters at the Met. I made a quick sketch of a portrait painted by the Workshop of Velazquez in hopes of learning from it. Jotted down some notes on my observations hoping to apply them on my work.

Head of Christ from Supper at Emmaus, after Velazquez, ball point pen on Moleskine Sketchbook

It seems like I was having a Spanish painting night since I couldn't resist sketching a Velazquez painting. This is a detail of his Supper at Emmaus, a piece that according to the curators was influenced by the style of Caravaggio. Maybe that's why I like it so much.

Pieta, after Juan de Valdes Leal, ball point pen on Moleskine Sketchbook

Once again I was hypnotized by another Spanish painting. I had made a post of this back in July and on that same month I showed a quick sketch of this painting. Last night I went back to the same sketch and re-worked it with pen as I stood in front of the work. I couldn't help it since the curators at the Met decided to keep this painting out of storage since then. Very good move by them since this painting is incredible. I don't know who Juan de Valdes Leal is, but he's alright in my book! My visit to the museum did not end in the Spanish Painting galleries, I made my way through the new European galleries they had closed for renovations many months ago. Got to see more work that has been in storage...that's always very exciting! I also got to see the show Americans in Paris, a very good show about American painters who were drawn to the art scene of Paris during the Impressionist era. I will try to visit the show again and show some images of it next week since this is the last stop after traveling from London and Boston. After this visit I came home and got to work on a portrait I've been working since the summer of 2005! I'm planning on finishing it this week. Wish me luck!

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