Sunday, September 12, 2010

Prismatic Palette Painters

Frank Mason taught at the Art Students League from 1951. I studied with him from 1973-1978, and I also studied in his month-long plein air workshops in June. In his landscape class, the students met with him for outdoor painting with instruction 2 times a week, usually one sunrise and one sunset class. The third class of the week was a big crit, where students brought plein paintings that were done during the week (which Frank hadn't seen). He taught by "showing" the student how artistic principles work, so yes, he painted on your painting. Painting is visual, and it is best to teach it visually, so the student not only could hear the teacher's instruction but see it. Students would follow Frank around to the different easels, watching and listening as he transformed each piece. Often, the "crit" or instruction you needed was on another student's painting, that "Aha" moment.

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