View Full Version : A florence education...
September 22nd, 2003, 06:06 AM
I am seriously considering taking a couple of years off and go to school again, and the closest and easiest way for me is to go to Florence.
This friday I'll fly to Italy and go there and visit the 3 schools there:
a) Florence academy of art
b) Angel art school
I am not sure how many years I would like to invest in them but I have the oppurtunity to go, and I want to learn more. I really want to improve on my drawing skills before taking on any paint program.
Any opinion, experience, or inside information on the school would be very appreciated, thanks!
September 22nd, 2003, 11:40 AM
Hey RM. I researched these places in the Spring as possibilities for studying abroad and narrowed it down to the Florence Academy of Art. If you have the time to go through their program, that's what I'd do, or even to spend a year or two studying there. They have a lot of good instructors for their students, and their work and the students' work is just amazing. This fall they had only a handfull of openings and over 100 applications I think, so it's pretty competitive, but worth it if you get in. If you're wanting to just take some classes, I think the Angel Academy would be a good place. It seems more free there and you still get to learn some of the old-school techniques. I wasn't that impressed from what I read about and saw from Cecil Studios, but I'm sure lots of good artists and work come out of there too. That's awesome that you're going there to look at them in person. Let us know what they're really like, and take some pictures if you can :)
September 22nd, 2003, 03:06 PM
Thank you both for your replies.
Bombesei/ I can tell that you have talked to FAA to.
they told me that there are still 50 people on the waiting list for the drawing course, and that there are no more openings till september 04...
I don't know if I can take any pictures but I will post an update when I come back.
I think all three school have some strenghts and that it is impossible to judge them by their homesites, so I can't wait to visit them and talk to the teachers.
Iffy/ I hadn't seen that article, good link. I read it and I got the impression it was a good show (but it was on artrenewal, so it couldn't be impartial :cool: ).
What I want is to improve my drawing skills and to learn is to paint with oils, and all the schools seam to be able to help me with it.
I haven't made up my mind yet, and I am in the lucky situation where I can actually go down there and visit the schools and get a hands on impression of what I could learn.
My impression of most Italian schools is that they are much more specialized in restauration (italians do have a lot of restauring to do!) than actually painting, but I could be wrong.
No matter, I am really looking forward to go, and what will be a vital factor is how the teachers and students are at the schools.
Any input from the pro's here would be most welcome!
September 22nd, 2003, 05:51 PM
To paint like that, they don't even need to go to any school... it's just loong years of practise, hard work kid...haard work.
September 23rd, 2003, 01:16 AM
RM - Yeah, I heard about that wait list too, haha. It'll be interesting anyway talking to those contemporary classical teachers and seeing how the schools are run.
Iffy - The comment of good work leaving Cecil... It stumped me for a minute because in some ways you have a point, but if there's one thing I've learned at school it's that students are just as if not more important than the teachers, meaning if there are dedicated, serious students at Cecil, even if it's just one or two of them, then associating with them and learning together will create a higher level of work ethic and dedication in you which, in time, leads to better work. If there is a group of them at Cecil, there's your foundation for good work. Manley, Jones, and Puddnhead are examples of what I'm trying to get at, but maybe that doesn't make sense. I think Alex summed it up pretty nicely. You don't absolutely need school, but for some schools are a good guide, and a place to learn with and from others. And can you give a crit on why that show was so bad? It got some pretty big hype, what sucked about it?
September 23rd, 2003, 02:22 AM
Alex/ hard work you say? nah there must be an easier way:D
jokes aside, I am in no hurry, and will make up my mind after I have seen the schools.
you are going to school to right? I guess we are all selftough up to a point, what I am looking for is exactly what bombesei described. a creative place where I can learn from others...
Iffy/ we are all different, and we look for different things. I am pretty sure that the schools I will be visiting have very little to offer you, but I am not sure that is the case for me. That is why I am going there to see them and talk to the people. I want as much information as possible before taking any decision.
I feel that what I need right now is to develop what Targete refers to as "mad skills" and thoose schools look like a good option at the moment, and much better than any of the comic schools all over Italy.
September 23rd, 2003, 11:04 AM
I'd never waste a single dollar for people to teach me how to draw and paint realistically. I did that when I was 17-18 and still in high school, I learned old-master style back then. At that point art begins, other people with less taste or smaller brains believe that art reached it's highest peak when it looks realistic. Some of those are highly admired false magicians like Collins, Assael, Nerdrum the list is very long. Most of them have their clients in USA, they are laughed at in Europe.
And none of them comes even remotely close to Velazquez, or Rembrandt, why ? because they lack the talent and intelligence, artists who have enough of both don't live in the past but in the future. Picasso, Kandinsky, Basquiat, Beuys...
September 24th, 2003, 01:29 AM
Iffy - You should keep posting your take on this stuff, it's a worthy discussion. There are some good things being talked about here; this is what makes you think and develop your ideas. You're totally right about teachers. The first time I heard that idea about students is when one of the greatest teachers at my school said it, but I didn't believe it at the time. He is a great teacher for many reasons: he's f-ing brillinat, he's totally dedicated to teaching and learning about his adopted area, design, and is one of the most respected men in the nation in his area from what I hear. He is totally humble about this though, which is where his comment about students came from, and he learns from his students every day. I told him over the summer that having a great teacher/teachers matter and he agreed because he looks up to a few of the better teachers at this school, but yes, the students are just as important, like you were talking about with Assael. As far as the Hirschl and Adler show goes, I can believe you about the paintings. I thought the size of the reproductions at Art Renewal was pretty laughable/questionable as well. What are your other problems with ateliers? Isn't Manley someone who does hiring in "the industry", and doesn't he, as a representative of the business, advocate strong foundations in working from life? Ateliers and the like aren't the only place to learn those things, but they are focused in that area, leaving out a lot of the extra distractions of a university. The good thing about big art school's and universities is that discussion is focused on contemporary art and relationships within art history related to the present, at least at my school, leaving you with a wider range of knowledge to take ideas from, producing modern artists, or at least artists who are aware of the modern. Where did you go/are you going? What are you up to now?
Kiani - I remember an old post of yours at Living Lines where you posted a bunch of gestures and sketchbook pages and a couple people told you to post some realistic sketches in addition. I didn't think the realistic sketches were necessary, that quick sketch of Anja (?) that isn't on your new site was one of my favorites of yours. I know you can draw and paint from life from your other posts and thought those were a nice departure from the pretty faces and level of realism you had developed at that point. I also remember an old post here where someone asked who you'd study with if you could, and you said Nerdrum. Let me know if my memory is faulty and if you didnít say that, but if you did, when, between now and then, did you change your mind, and why? It's great that you learned those basic old-master techniques when you were still in high school, that you learned the fundamentals and now want to become an artist and push past that point. Those are important skills to have, the purely formal concerns, and were also important to people like Picasso, Kandinsky, Basquiat, Beuys, but I don't think any of those four modernists/postmodernists would discount realism so quickly. They understood it in it's context and wanted to do something else, something new and relevant to the 20th century way of thinking and concept of what art is or had become. I don't know much of Assael's background, but I do know that Collins and Nerdrum both have extensive knowledge about the 20th century, like Picasso, Kandinsky etc had about the 19th century, and have consciously chosen to move away from where they feel art has progressed, or regressed, just as the modernists did in their time. Didn't Beuys visit Nerdrum 20 years after Nerdrum had been his student and say that "Twilight" was one of the most radical paintings in art history? And Collins has Hans Hoffman in his background. Maybe those examples donít mean anything though. These false magicians are not just painting pretty pictures, they're using realism as a rejection of some of the 20th century ideas they donít believe in just as the big 20th century names rejected the ideas of previous centuries, but I think that all of them have a certain respect and understanding of the past and the present, why things happened before, and why theyíre working the way they are now. Iím interested in seeing where you take your own work, how you deal with moving away from realism and into self-expression and experimentation in exploring new ideas and concepts if thatís at all where youíre headed. I'd agree with you that too many people blindly follow these magicians without understanding art history and even without understanding themselves, and I'm glad you've come to an understanding of art history and self by having a grounding in realism before adopting this stance on the greatness of modernism. Sorry if my thoughts and ideas are jumbled, Iím just starting to think about these things myself.
September 24th, 2003, 05:32 AM
-Bombesei: I was a kid back then. A lot has happened in the last year, I've met incredible people, read incredible things,
Witout any doubt, old-master skills are important, but you really don't need to pay thousands of dollars if you can do this all by yourself. I'm not sure, but I also believe that it can accelerate the process of learning those skills if your idols are old-masters. I have absolutely nothing against Realism, in fact I will always love Velazquez, Repin etc, but I would never try to do the same thing in the 21st century. It would be a waste of time and talent.
I know that story about Beuys and Nerdrum. As far as I remember "Twilight" depicts a woman that is shiting, really radical stuff indeed, that work is very brave and honest. But do you know the rest of Nerdrum's work ? It is full of self-pity, its function is rejection of modernism and avantgarde art. I've even read "On Kitsch", it is one really silly book, where he cites Kant, Aristotle etc to claim that his and all old-master art is kitsch. I find Nerdrum silly and sad at the same time.
Somewhere I read that Assael was with twenty as good as he is now, that is a truly sad story and I don't wanna end up like that. Just because I love those giant, beautiful three golden letters "ART"
October 5th, 2003, 08:34 AM
Is definitely the most disciplined school. Where they demand hard work. It's a school where they really concentrate on drawing accurately from life. Mostly american students.
Here's kind of the same, but I thought it has a more relaxed approach( not the same demands of quality before finishing a drawing). Some students here tend to be british overclass. discussing philosophy(there are some workshops). Art History here is amazing though. free for all (including wine and crisps every thursday eve)
This place is different. There's only a few students so it doesn't feel like a school and it kinda gets a bit boring in the long run, but teaching is more personal. The style of teaching is different cause they don't use sightsize for life drawing only for casts and bargues.
Anyway, all three schools used to be one and the same.
there is no better way to learn how to draw accurately from scratch fast. I've seen people go from knowing nothing to be excellent in only months and this just doesn't happen elsewhere.
the secret is that they teach you how to see. After a while in this system it just clicks in your head and your in a different reality. It's Magic!!!
October 18th, 2003, 05:15 AM
dont you have to learn the past to create the future? :)P any ways go for those drawing skills and dont let anyone get in your way.
October 25th, 2003, 02:06 PM
where is iffys work?
he comes across as a know it all and a worth authority....but honestly...time to put your money where your mouth is.
you are closed minded.....open your mind.
steven assael can paint circles around you...and honestly can do what you will never be able to do.
the point of going to an art atelier is that you will be able to get the time you need to draw and paint from life. you need that time. you need a lot of it. period.
the commercial art schools are not teaching what you need to know about conceptual art if that is your path....much of that is unteachable...but what is teachable is foundation drawing and painting skills.
October 26th, 2003, 10:06 PM
I agree, I enjoy coming to CA to talk and get advice on issues that burden me and it doesnít help when someone comes on as an authority figure and rips and tears at establishments, such as MJAS, etc. In the near future I need to make a decision as to which route to take and it only complicates matters having to take in such a harsh viewpoint, which doesnít seem to back up much. Iffy needs to post some work of his own to show us all where he is coming from, because frankly all Iíve seen from his posts is a blatant point of view that only acts as a rebuttal to the whole atelier movement in each and every thread. Everyone is entitled to there point of view, but it's getting a tad bit monotonous.
Oh also i was just wondering where all your opinions came from (iffy), seems your more focused on your culinary art skills than those based on fine art...iffy's homepage (http://www.nipponham.co.jp/winny/kazari/index.html)
October 30th, 2003, 10:57 AM
This is an interesting thread and one I've been reading on and off whilst trying to figure out what to do next year when I'm planning to take up art academically. An interesting number of opinions, and whilst the put-your-money-where-your-mouth-is comments towards iffy might've not been contested by him, I found his comments to have kinda hit upon a thought in the back of my mind that is nagging me.
I'm thinking of going to study art at Florence Academy of Art myself, but people have been both advising me to do it, and advising me not to do it. Some people have said that I don't need to study painting but just work on concepts and designs more, whereas (as Jason and others have been pointing out), a good grounding in craftmanship and artistic knowledge is valuable in founding a base from which to move out into conceptual design and illustration.
I guess what I'm trying to say is that I'm totally stuck now...
I can't even remember what my own name is and where I live... :confused:
November 2nd, 2003, 05:01 PM
yup know the feeling, hopefully i'll end up getting hit in the head with a jar of paint and know what to do. But until then keeping the sketches rollin...
Martin de Madrid
October 26th, 2004, 10:22 AM
I don't know the people personally, but. . . I have found that most times when people bash training it is because they do not have the self-discipline to cut it. I have two friends who attended FA for all but the last trimester (ran out of money), they were very good when they entered (we were all fourth year students attending Laguna College of Art and Design in Laguna Beach, CA at the time), and they both felt it was an invaluable experience which helped them improve immensely.
I went the do-it-yourself road, moved to Madrid, found studio space and slogged along on my own. I think it was a valid thing to do, but I also think it would have been advantageous to go with my friends to FA. I am trying to get it together to go to at least a summer drawing session there. Meanwhile I am trying to use the Brague book to improve my drawing skills.
Having the criticism of a good teacher is invaluable. I generally can critique my own work, now, but it is lonely doing it always by yourself. It takes much more discipline too. I don't have daily access to models (other than my own ugly mug!), and that is definitely a disadvantage.
Personally my advice to you is, "Go for it!" You will be able to draw and paint much better than you do now, no matter how good you are. That's just a fact. . . it will happen through practice under those circumstances. Listen to your heart, not only your head. All these nay sayers are really doing is spitting in the soup.
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