Friday, August 29, 2014

Friday Memoirs - Art School Confidential

I think I've found one of the biggest problems with a young artist wanting to go to school and become a fine artist.

First off, let me preface this by saying that I don't think there are many young fine art students that would benefit from going to a college or university to further their aspirations.  If your style of art is throwing paint at a board or piling up some old shoes in the middle of the floor and calling this art, then you don't need college for that.  I guess the exception would be the connections you might make in the modern art world.

If your aim is to become the next Rembrandt or Monet, then the vast majority of college level art departments are not where you want to spend the next four years of your life.  You would be better off looking into one of the smaller art schools around the country that specialize in the kind of art you want to engage in.  The atelier system is alive and well in this country and is growing each and every year, and there are some world class studios that can hold their own against the best European schools.

Anyway, I didn't think to write this article to talk about the advantages or disadvantages of going to art school here in the US.  I was looking through a website of a major, university level art school and decided to look at their fees and see how much it would cost to get a BFA.  Talk about sticker shock.  This is one more good reason to NOT go to a university or college for an art education.

This university of fine art would cost you $52,776 per year to get your BFA and that's if the fees don't increase at all while you're there.  Lots of luck with that.  This amount included your tuition, your books, your room and board, your studio space, transportation and a couple of other minor items.

Add all that up for four years and you come out with $211,104.  And with increases each year I'm sure you'll be homing in on a quarter of a million dollars by the time you're done.  That is for a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree.  Are you kidding me?  I could buy a very nice house with four bedrooms, two and a half baths and a two car garage for that much money.

I mean, we're not talking about turning out a brain surgeon or a heart specialist here.  We're talking about teaching some kid how to draw and paint and from what I've heard from a lot of artists who've gone this route, they don't do a very good job of that.

If you were able to get some grants and scholarships to cover half that you'd be doing good.  But, what about the other half?  Student loans?  Let's say you get loans in the amount of $100,000.  To pay it back in the ten years that they ask you will pay over $1000 a month and will have paid over $23,000 in interest alone.  How many artists, fresh out of school, do you know that can afford $12,000+ a year in loan payments?

Granted, going to college isn't cheap and I'm not one of those people that thinks a college education should be free to all.  But, those kinds of numbers are staggering when you consider that when you come out of the school, you probably won't have learned what you really needed to to become a professional artist.

Finding an atelier is going to be a much better choice for you.  First, you find one that teaches the style you want to learn.  It does no good to go to an atelier to learn to paint like Rembrandt if they only teach students how to paint like Picasso.

Some of the top tier ateliers in this country are not cheap, but you probably won't have a whole lot of debt when you're finished because you won't find any banks willing to provide you a student loan to go to them.  So, you'll probably have to have the money up front or get a job while you're there.  But, you're lucky in that regard because you won't be required to take a lot of useless classes to get your degree because, well, most ateliers don't offer degrees.  What they offer is an art education and nothing else.  And when you're finished you will know how to draw and you will know how to paint, providing you went there with the desire and intent to do those things.

So ends another long winded rant about something in the art world that set me off.  Stay out of debt, go to an art school that teaches the art you want to learn and draw and paint until your fingers bleed.  That's all there is to it.  As Hemingway said, "There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed."

Oh and one last thing.  If you want to get a taste of the college art experience, find the John Malkovich movie Art School Confidential.  I know it's a bit over the top, but I've been told by those who went the college and university route that there is an amazing amount of truth in that movie.  Poor Jerome.  The kid had talent and that school did everything it could to beat it out of him.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

140828 - Kitchen Painting - Lemon 004a 6x6 oil on gessobord - Dave Casey - TheDailyPainter

140828 - Kitchen Painting - Lemon 004a 6x6 oil on gessobord - Dave Casey - TheDailyPainter.jpg
Kitchen Painting - Lemon 004
©2014 Dave Casey
6x6" - oil on gessobord

Tried to shoot a quick video of this painting, but the camera fritzed out about one minute in and I didn't notice it. I was too involved in the painting process by then. This was also an experiment in using one, large brush to do the whole painting. It came out okay, but I miss my little details that can't be done with the large brush.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

140826 - Kitchen Painting - Olives 001a 6x6 oil on gessobord - Dave Casey - TheDailyPainter

140826 - Kitchen Painting - Olives 001a 6x6 oil on gessobord - Dave Casey - TheDailyPainter.jpg 

Kitchen Painting - Olives 001
©2014 Dave Casey
6x6" - oil on gessobord


Three nice, juicy olives for your viewing pleasure. Of course, I prefer black olives and I prefer them on pizza. But, beggars can't be choosers at this moment.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

140824 - Kitchen Painting - Tangerine 007a 6x6 oil on gessobord - Dave Casey - TheDailyPainter

140824 - Kitchen Painting - Tangerine 007a 6x6 oil on gessobord - Dave Casey - TheDailyPainter.jpg
Kitchen Painting - Tangerine 007
©2014 Dave Casey
6x6" - oil on gessobord

Wanted to do something a little easier than what I tried all day to do. I had two wipers earlier today. They just weren't working. So, after getting a bit of dinner, I took a couple of deep breaths and put brush to canvas again. Well, to gessobord. And I thing this one came out pretty nice. It's good to know I won't go to sleep this evening having failed completely to get a small painting done.

Friday, August 22, 2014

140822 - Kitchen Painting - Apple 009a 5x7 oil on linen panel

140822 - Kitchen Painting - Apple 009a 5x7 oil on linen panel - Dave Casey - TheDailyPainter.jpg
Kitchen Painting - Apple 009
©2014 Dave Casey
5x7" - oil on linen panel

It may seem like I've been away, but it only seems that way. I've been doing a lot of sketching and I have had a number of "wipers" when it came to my painting. Here is the first painting I've done in a week that I am happy with. Well, that's not strictly true. I am still working on that larger figure painting, but that isn't ready for public display yet.

As I became more and more frustrated with what was coming off the end of my paintbrush, I decided to go back to something familiar, something I could paint in my sleep. Which, by the way, has happened more times than I care to admit. Another nice, juicy apple.

Friday, August 15, 2014

140815 - Landscape - One Tree One Barn 001a 8x10 oil on linen panel

140815 - Landscape - One Tree One Barn 001a 8x10 oil on linen panel - Dave Casey - TheDailyPainter.jpg
One Tree One Barn
©2014 Dave Casey
8x10" - oil on linen panel

Decided to do another landscape painting. I need to do more of these. I definitely need the practice.

Monday, August 11, 2014

140911 - Kitchen Painting - Apple 008a 5x7 oil on linen panel

140911 - Kitchen Painting - Apple 008a 5x7 oil on linen panel - Dave Casey - TheDailyPainter.jpg
Kitchen Painting - Apple 008
©2014 Dave Casey
5x7" - oil on linen panel

Here is the second painting of the day. Came out a little darker than I imagined, but I think it works.

140911 - Kitchen Painting - Onion 001 5x7 oil on gessobord

Kitchen Painting - Onion 001a 5x7 oil on gessobord - Dave Casey - TheDailyPainter.jpg
Kitchen Painting - Onion 001
©2014 Dave Casey
5x7" - oil on gessobord

I did a quickie this morning, among about three or four I intend to do. I am working on a larger figure painting and it needs to dry for a bit before laying in the next layers, so these small kitchen paintings are perfect.

Friday, August 8, 2014

It's always fun ...

BAGA Square Foot Show

... to see your art hanging in a show. You work long and hard to get the pieces finished, packed up and sent off and you hope they arrive safely. Then you get to see photographic evidence, or in this case video, of the hanging and it makes your chest puff up just a little. You start to think, "I have arrived." Life is good. Now the world will start to see your genius.

Then, you tear your eyes away from the images of your works and start to notice the works of others hanging in the show. "Oooo that one looks rea ... oh wow, look at that one ... oh this one is beauti ... now there is the best in show." Then you start to wonder why you even submitted when your works looks like so much dross amongst the masterpieces hanging around it. Then you vow to work harder on the next pieces.

Ahhh, the life of the artist.

You click here to see a video of the BAGA Square Foot show hanging in Bismark, ND right now. 


Yellow Headed Blackbird hanging in BAGA Square Foot Show

Days of Wine and Grapes ver. 2.0 hanging in BAGA Square Foot Show

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Kitchen Painting - Cherry Tomato 001

Kitchen Painting - Cherry Tomato 001a 6x6 oil on gessobord - Dave Casey - TheDailyPainter.jpg
Kitchen Painting - Cherry Tomato 001
©2014 Dave Casey
6x6" - oil on gessobord

Fresh from the garden, ripe from the vine. We're still picking cherry tomatoes off the plants and there are probably at least another three or four dozen left to ripen. And I was noticing some new flowers up near the tops of the plants, so we may be in for another round of tomatoes before these plants are finished. I'm gonna have tomatoes coming out my ears by the time this is over. 

Kitchen Painting - Cherry Tomato 001a 6x6 oil on gessobord - Dave Casey - TheDailyPainter.jpg