Yester- day, my daugh- ter, Geneia, and I did a little im- promp- tu photo- shoot of her Morgan mare, Pelee, in preparation for an Equine Painting Workshop I will be attending in Minneapolis next week.
Just to give you a little personal history with respect to Atelier Lack, where I will be taking the course:
When I graduated from Saint Olaf in 1979, I was intending to go on to Art School….somewhere….to do post-graduate work. I hadn’t majored in art as an undergraduate because art school in the seventies was all about “expressing yourself freely.” What I really wanted was the rigorous training of painting and drawing from life, as well as learning the techniques perfected by artists of the past, that painters of the nineteenth century had had. (Ironically, a commercial artist was more likely to get that training at the time.) I investigated several schools, one of which – the perfect choice- was Atelier Lack. I learned, however, that the Atelier didn’t accept students as old as myself. (I was 25 when I discovered it, so it was a couple of years after my BA.) In the true tradition of the French Academy, Atelier Lack was looking only for the very young to enroll. (I guess, at its inception, it didn’t even accept women!) I was disappointed, not to say offended.
Then, this spring at the Midwest Horse Fair, I met Lynn Maderich, who in her forties had attended and graduated from Atelier lack. (Apparently they had changed their policies!) Click here to see her work. I was delighted to hear that she was teaching a workshop on Equine Painting this summer and would be teaching the methods she’d learned at the Atelier, which had transformed her painting. I gave a summer’s vacation to be able to attend.
We are supposed to bring reference photos because, even though classical realism is all about painting from life, horses simply won’t hold still and nearly all realistic portrait painters nowadays are forced to paint from photographs to some extent. So, the trick is to bring what one learns from painting from life to bear upon the process of painting from a photograph, interpreting 3-D from 2-D.