Friday, March 18, 2011

The Birth of duCret's 'Portrait' Open Studio Community!

The idea for a Portrait Open Studio came about strangely enough, from a couple of duCret students. Instructor Paul Casale had caught them painting after hours on the Fine Arts Floor one day last year. "They'd sort of given themselves permission to continue painting after class had let out," Paul says.

Paul and pal Dorian Vallejo, (an artist with a studio in Montclair NJ) who was visiting at the time, began casually painting alongside of the students. To an artist, there's never enough time to paint.  It was one of those things that happens and things just have a way of emerging at duCret due to the volume of creativity that's at hand. Artists are artist's best supporters and fans. One incident, instigated by inspired students led to an underground painter's society of sorts. From week to week, via word of mouth someone new would show up.

"It was peaceful and fun and highly compelling to return, for those who were 'in the know'," says Paul. Ultimately the thought, "Why not?" started up in conversation and soon enough, Portrait Open Studio was launched. Why not share the fun of it? It has taken no time to attract a great crowd of artists to the floor every Tuesday evening. "We've got professional painters, such as Doreen Tighe, Richard Scarpa and mural artist Garin Baker traveling in from as far as Newton, NJ, Pomona, NY and New Windsor, NY," Paul says. The mood is upbeat and the atmosphere is cool & casual. Different than a class, inspiration settles in on a much more subtle frequency level and it's a known scientific fact that relaxed souls 'take in' more information and actually function better than when stressed with agendas.

Here, novice artists just starting out can mingle and pick up tips from mastered professionals without feeling 'not good enough', because accomplished pros know full well the bumpy ride of a blossoming artist. They've been there, done that. It's akin to an elder who's need to share his wisdom before departure is hungrily consumed by the young who are so eager to make their mark in life. Open Studio is a hand-wash-hand, soul-to-soul kind of gig. Now how refreshing is THAT in today's world?

Every week a nude or 'costumed' model is brought in and, set to rhythmic music the creative blood flows, so to speak. Whether one chooses to paint from the model or simply desires to paint or draw from a photograph or from sheer inspiration - the point of it all is to be in the company of other artists. What starts out as a few tentative trips to the Fine Arts Floor becomes a blossoming career for some ultimately, for given time, finished paintings undoubtedly manifest! And with the accomplishment of a finished piece, comes the inner urge to start the next one! If one has ever felt the impulse to draw or paint, duCret Open Studio's are a great place to start. Walk-ins are ALWAYS welcome!

TUESDAY EVENINGS - Portrait Open Studios, 6 - 9PM w/Paul Casale

(Simply bring your own materials: Oil, acrylic, pastel, water color, charcoal, graphite, etc.)

FEE: $15.00 for General Public / $10.00 for duCret students & alumni

WEDNESDAY EVENINGS  -  Figure Open Studio, 7 - 9:30PM w/ Christine Myshka

(This class is drawing only. Bring your own materials: Pen & Ink, pastels, charcoal, graphite, etc.)

FEE: $15.00 for General Public / $10.00 for duCret students & alumni

VISIT duCRET SCHOOL OF ART for a comprehensive list of summer workshops and year round courses, or CALL 908-757-771 to arrange a TOUR / INTERVIEW.