Sunday, January 1, 2012

New Year in New York New York!

Above - The Art Students League of New York.

Firstly I want to wish all my family, friends and collectors from near and afar a very happy, peaceful and joy filled New Year 2012! Thank you all so much for all your encouragement and support of my work in 2011.

Over the past few months I had been playing with the idea of studying under a master painter at an academy of art. I began my search in Florence and spent some time enquiring about academies, classes and teachers but to no avail, I was not satisfied with the type of training given and thought the academic system there too constrictive for me at this stage of my personal and artistic development.

As many of you know I have spent little time with a teacher and would be considered largely self taught as a painter. I felt that at this stage of my career I would only benefit from being able to have a dialogue with a teacher and other artists. My time spent painting from life at the Royal Hibernian Academy definitely pointed to this. Even though there is no tutelage a dialogue exists with other artists at all different levels of ability and progression and I have found this comforting, interesting and evolutionary.

Then it hit me! During my last trip and exhibition in New York I had the chance to visit a very famous school of art called The Arts Students League of New York. Ken Park, The League's communications officer kindly meet with me and gave me a tour of the school as well as an introduction to The League's current Executive Director Mr. Ira Goldberg. I was really amazed at the school and the number of courses on offer from week to week. So it occurred to me that with my planned upcoming exhibitions in New York at the end of March why not pack up and spend some months with my wife getting to know this most famous city and enjoy all it has to offer. I immediately began correspondence with the school and tutors and have been excepted to join the full time day programme. We fly out to JFK international airport on January 6th and I will begin at the school on January 9th!

The League is housed in the most fascinating French Renaissance building situated on West 57th Street in Manhattan. The College was first established in 1875 and many of my favorite painters both living and past studied at this school, the most notable in my mind being Robert Henri but also include George Bellows,Yasuo Kuniyoshi, Roy Lichtenstein, Georgia O'Keeffe, Jackson Pollock, Norman Rockwell and Mark Rothko.

The school's motto, and the one I will be adopting during my time there is "Nulla Dies Sine Linea" or "No Day Without a Line".

I am so excited and looking forward to share with you my work and development over the coming year.

- Richard

Below, a photo of Artist Yasuo Kuniyoshi in discussion with Art League students 1948.


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