Saturday, February 7, 2009

Studio Incamminati Followup

The class at Studio Incamminati in Philadephia was very good. It was a challenging re-appraisal of the basic tenets of color theory and modeling, based on the philosophies of Nelson Shanks, the founder and artistic director, and Henry Hensche. The studio fills two floors of a building in downtown Philly, and the walls are covered with gorgeously lit and colored and modeled interpretations of still lifes and the human figure. You could also tour the faculty offices, including Nelson Shanks space, with a huge figure painting. Marvelous.

The focus of the class was to introduce students to the techniques and methods used in later programs. Very quick, very intense. Very patient teachers; a great deal of humbling was required on my part.

Hensche's philosophies on color were transformative, even at my very basic level of exposure. I've painted for years, using the standard color pallets of the Renaissance, updated by modern media. At SI they laid out 21 colors – absolutely luscious looking oils – around the rim of an 18x24” palette. No black, of course, but a lot of titanium white. Instead of flesh tones from alizarin crimson, yellow ochre, and white, for instance, we used cadmium green and cadmium orange. Wow. Beautiful.

I appreciated the chance to be there. I've never seen a more devoted faculty. I learned a lot – dipped my toe in, actually, but a door was opened. Very cool.

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