Friday, January 27, 2012

The Artists' Cottage in Gloucester (Flashback Friday #4)

This is the kind of pastel portrait I learned to do during my studies in 1979 and 1980 from a model sitting. This is on Canson Paper and of my eldest son Adam who was a very good model as was my youngest and late son, Jason. However, the middle son couldn't sit still for anyone. Both Adam and Jason modeled for Daniel Greene's summer portrait classes while middle son Aaron mowed Dan's lawn!

The top photo is of a typical group of artists (art students studying with Dan) outside of the little cottage I so abused while living there that summer. I am on far right with my late son Jason right next to me and in front row was one of my art students, Jen Gillen from Cheshire,CT. In the lower photo were two of my adult students who joined us in Gloucester, MA, Louise Meisel and a lovely woman whose name escapes me!

The cottage was so completely booked I had to schedule 10 min. times staggered for each boarder to use the one bathroom in the house. I had the septic system cleaned each month! To make it easier on our guests, we hooked up an outside shower with a double curtain around it just outside the actual indoor shower to make things go faster.

A wonderful young woman artist named Frances Hairfield from the south, was a trooper and loved showering out of doors with or without the curtains!LOL  Frances was a talented painter and did a mean "Clog" I think they call it.

Frances Hairfield in top photo on far left and on left below as well. She had reddish blonde hair, the most delightful accent and posed for me too.

This is a pastel sketch I did of Frances on dark green paper. I always loved this gentle sketch of her and that beautiful profile and long neck. This is one of those works I just lost track of and can't find anymore? Frances now lives in Morganton, NC and paints and teaches there.

In top photo is Erika Greene, Dan's daughter who was there drawing  and modeling all summer and Pamela who was one of our great models there. All three of my sons took a shine to Erika and fought over who was going to spend time with her. One day my son Aaron asked me if he could take her out to Blackburns Tavern for a clam chowder lunch and I said OK while I stayed in the studio. When they returned, I asked him how the lunch went ? He said fine, she couldn't eat hers so he ate both lunches!! Aaron was only about 12 or 13 I think. His older brother Adam would have asked to be seated, pulled out his guests chair and used his napkin politely. He was the smooth one.

Erika was lovely to all my boys and with Dan's permission, even came to our house in CT,  for a weekend with us.

Top: Portrait demo of Erika and bottom is of Pamela by Dan

Pam always modeled on the models stand with her dog. It was a small white and black spaniel and was so cute. I remember one day when I had the last choice in class for my spot at an easel, I was very upset for some reason. I wanted to paint her from one position and that was taken. She was nude.  So I decided to sit on my feet on the floor using a propped up, upside down chair for my easel. It was ok for several days. Dan said nothing to me just observed quietly.  He would critique my portrait very calmly while bending down on his knees! 

However one day when the bell rang for lunch break, I started to get up from sitting on my feet and my feet would not work, they were completely numb. As I stood up on these numb feet , I began to fall forward and down . Pam the model in the nude caught me and her dog, barking and running around the studio made quite a scene. I broke my foot in Dan's class!!! 

I had to go to the hospital and was put in a cast up to my knee and had to walk with a crutch for a month or so. The next week when I came to class (three flights of stairs up to the studio) and there was a new model for the following two weeks and it was time to pick names for positions at easels. Dan walked over to me in a cast and on crutches and said "Some artists will do anything to get a good spot at their easels!" LOL

I got first choice and learned that the best spot doesn't necessarily guarantee the best painting! So many lessons to learn!

Couldn't resist putting one more photo of art students renting in the cottage, at Wheeler's Point in Gloucester, MA, because it includes my late son Jason one more time on far right and in front a promising young art student of mine back then, Jen Gillen. She came to see me recently at a demo I did and what a nice surprise to see the lovely woman she grew up to be!

Pastel of Eleanor the model I did in class there in Gloucester. She insisted on holding her head way up high to not make her double chin obvious. We couldn't convince her otherwise. I did a Dan Greene finish with my strong drawing lines on the left and letting the pastels go out into the paper on her garments. I thought I was slick.

1 comment:

  1. I love the portrait of Eleanor, Claudia! You WERE slick--and still ARE!