Ilya Repin St.Petersburg State Academy of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture - Page 14
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  1. #391
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hyskoa View Post
    Unless you end up making non realistic work, it's not really different for everyone. They use what has worked for 300 years for all of their students. The other schools seem to have concocted their own stuff which only works under ridiculous circumstances.(sight size being a good example of this).
    Working on your own, you're doing 4 -6 times the amount of work and have a large risk of growing into bad habits as well.

    It's both illogical and detrimental to an education of any artist to not have a solid base.
    I have to disagree. I think it's a mistake to assume their is only a single way. Everyone learns differently and some better in different circumstances. Any basic psychology book will tell you that. I do not claim anyone should abandon 300 years of art information, but if you think for 300 years it was exactly the same everywhere as it is in Repin you would be mistaken. In addition realism is subjective in many ways as well. Also I believe their are many things a school like Repin does not teach depending on the direction you wish to go with your work. Examples: Exaggeration, Storytelling, Media Exploration, Ideation.

    I do think Repin is excellent and if possible I would study there myself.

    Everything depends on your direction. You may create bad habits, but maybe one persons bad habits becomes another persons way of expressing his or herself. Many good artists exist throughout the world who have never attended the Repin academy. I studied under Robert Liberace this summer for a week and I personally think he is extremely skilled. Besides him I enjoy Richard Schmid and many other painters in the US.

    Yes, I agree it is extremely important to have a strong base to stand on, but many places can offer that. Not to mention the world is full of excellent books on art to help you build that base. The most important thing is practicing drawing and painting from life. That is the only way to build a strong base. It doesn't need to be in any particular place. I think it helps to be surrounded by artists who are passionate and better than you. Even as a professional that kind of environment will only benefit you.

    @BookGuru
    That sounds great, but I would try pushing for days that are Dec 10-22 or June-August. This would allow currently studying students to attend as well. I would be very interested in attending myself, but I think I cannot afford it. When you get some prices please let us know so I can attempt to save. Also, if you are interested in having a workshop in the US I can connect you with a few places in Florida.

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  3. #392
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    Quote Originally Posted by threecharles View Post
    That sounds great, but I would try pushing for days that are Dec 10-22 or June-August. This would allow currently studying students to attend as well.
    This is so true !
    I personally would love if the location was Finland because I'm from there, and I would be attending if my semester in Holland is over. August would be perfect, that's when everybody is usually free. I'm guessing your locations would be in Kotka and/or Imatra?

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  5. #393
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    threecharles,

    I'll let Hyskoa answer your thoughts on "It doesn't need to be in any particular place" and other things you've mentioned. He's really good at making valid discussions.
    If he doesn't, I will.
    -----

    It seems like August will be a perfect month to all (for Finland). Both students and professors are on vacation, so it will be much easier to arrange master classes at such time.

    December - impossible. All professors are too busy with exams, evaluations, exhibitions, etc. Very hectic and busy time here.
    After January 12 until first days of February is the only possible option for winter time as there is a short winter break at the Academy, so again professors are free at that time.

    Thank you for that Florida connection offer. I'll be happy to hear about our options there. You can send PM, if it's more convenient.

    ~~~

    Lumisade,

    I won't tell you a location yet, but I'm sure you'll like it.

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    There was a sign on the Academy building, “Free Arts”. “What’s that?”, we asked our professor. – “That’s to be able to create anything, but to create what you want to.”
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  7. #394
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    How much will it cost?

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  9. #395
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    Quote Originally Posted by Book Guru View Post
    threecharles,
    I'll let Hyskoa answer your thoughts on "It doesn't need to be in any particular place" and other things you've mentioned. He's really good at making valid discussions.
    Some people get Stockholm syndrome with their education and fail to see it's errors and ignore the validity, necessity and logic of a decent education. My time is best spent drawing and painting instead of talking to a proverbial wall.

    Same thing happens with Angel/Faa/Cecil students in Firenze, it's impossible to talk to them after they've spent a few years in those schools. They start to glorify their bad times there and say it's because of their lack of practice or skill that they're still bad. Or even worse, call bad works good (except for a few, fundamental flaws ofcourse).

    Now Repin isn't the end all, start all of education. If I had a choice, I'd go to a french atelier around the 1900's, but since that's not possible, Repin is by far and wide the best contemporary school.

    Best education would be individual practice for 4 years, Repin 5 years, Ted Seth Jacobs for another 2-3(to offset the pure construction of repin and gain some new insights, always important) and maybe artcenter for another 2 years in the fine art program to get some contemporary theory as well, but honestly, who has that kind of money anyway.

    And the people who do, the rich buggers, usually lack any motivation or willpower to even go through that much stuff. So yes, in that aspect, no education today will turn you into a Rembrandt, Velasquez, Repin or other.
    And that's mostly because of a lack of willpower, a lack of money and a decay of education filled with misinformation, sloth and uninformed, fanatic, blind students who want to be an "artist"/amateur rather than sacrifice everything to be a draftsman and figurative painter as a full time profession. As these positions are very rare anyway these days.

    But if you want to raise up from the mediocrity that is the contemporary art world with limited time and with a upper middle-class budget, Repin will be your best bet. No question there.

    Last edited by Hyskoa; August 5th, 2011 at 09:43 AM.
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  11. #396
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    @Hyskoa
    I agree with most everything you said and highlight this:

    Best education would be individual practice for 4 years, Repin 5 years, Ted Seth Jacobs for another 2-3(to offset the pure construction of repin and gain some new insights, always important) and maybe artcenter for another 2 years in the fine art program to get some contemporary theory as well, but honestly, who has that kind of money anyway.
    I feel like this examplifies what I have been saying. Repin is a fantastic place to study. I don't doubt that. Yet, their are still other very good places and people you can learn from as well.

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  13. #397
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    kunfyoozdish,
    It's a bit too early to announce exact price. I'll let you know when it's certain.

    threecharles,
    Yes, there are "good places".
    But we're talking about the Fine Arts education. As of today, there is no alternative of such level. If you know at least one, please let me know.

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    Russian Academy of Arts thread - all about it

    There was a sign on the Academy building, “Free Arts”. “What’s that?”, we asked our professor. – “That’s to be able to create anything, but to create what you want to.”
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  15. #398
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    Quote Originally Posted by Book Guru View Post
    k
    Yes, there are "good places".
    But we're talking about the Fine Arts education. As of today, there is no alternative of such level. If you know at least one, please let me know.
    The surest sign of zealotry is the inability to find any errors or deficiencies in the self so as to ensure that the opposition may never claim to offer anything of equal or greater value in the pursuit of the common cause.

    Repin does not - and never has or will - have some ironclad claim to how and what it teaches. If you're claiming that Repin grads attain a high level of technical ability because of the arduous nature of the curriculum, fine, but this continuous horn blowing about "construction" exclusivity and the superiority of the Russian approach in draftsmanship and painting is becoming increasingly sophomoric with each successive post.

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  17. #399
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    burning_chrome,

    First, you’re at the Repin thread, which is completely dedicated to the academic system that's taught there since the 18th century.
    So here yes, there are might be some “zealotry” in my feelings to this art school, and that’s why I’m in this thread.

    Second, I repeat, if you know at least one [such school], please let me know. As of today there is NO, I repeat, there is no school remained in the world that follows the academic traditions of the past. Recently born art ateliers have too short biography for claiming to follow these traditions.

    Finally, if reading 14 pages of discussion the methods of this school and seeing samples of its best exponents gets on your nerve, then please don’t read it.

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    There was a sign on the Academy building, “Free Arts”. “What’s that?”, we asked our professor. – “That’s to be able to create anything, but to create what you want to.”
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  19. #400
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    threecharles,
    Yes, there are "good places".
    But we're talking about the Fine Arts education. As of today, there is no alternative of such level. If you know at least one, please let me know
    Well, I can't say that everyone goes to Repin only interested in Fine Arts. So, I will make use of more simple language. An education in Drawing, Painting and Picture-Making.

    It's likely any school I mention will not suffice being that the Repin Academy is almost your family. Although, it is my opinion that the Repin academy certainly is a leading educator of art.

    I have heard great things of the Moscow School of Art of which I am told Levitan, and many other great artists came out of. A gallery in Sarasota held many of their graduates paintings for a time. Very beautiful landscape and nature works still with some very nice figurative as well. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moscow_...d_Architecture

    A few other schools I think are very good.

    http://www.laafa.org/
    http://www.wattsatelier.com/org/WattsAtelier/cms.aspx
    http://www.nyaa.edu/nyaa/index.html

    and of course the school of the owner of this website
    http://www.theartdepartment.org/

    I personally think each place offers many different things. The Moscow school offers more opportunities for landscape work than the Repin I believe. Some of the other schools allow for education of non-naturlistic art that still require skills in naturalistic drawing and painting. Unlike the Repin Academy some of these schools are more flexible with scheduale. Allowing an artist time to study and learn but also not being such a full scheduale to hinder their personal work.

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  21. #401
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    Quote Originally Posted by Book Guru View Post
    burning_chrome,

    First, you’re at the Repin thread, which is completely dedicated to the academic system that's taught there since the 18th century.
    So here yes, there are might be some “zealotry” in my feelings to this art school, and that’s why I’m in this thread.
    Yes, this is indeed a thread dedicated to Repin, and as such, the responses and posts of school representatives such as you reflect directly upon the decorum and maturity of said institution as a consequence.

    Quote Originally Posted by Book Guru View Post
    Second, I repeat, if you know at least one [such school], please let me know. As of today there is NO, I repeat, there is no school remained in the world that follows the academic traditions of the past. Recently born art ateliers have too short biography for claiming to follow these traditions.
    Ahhh, unadulterated elitism at its finest.

    Quote Originally Posted by Book Guru View Post
    Finally, if reading 14 pages of discussion the methods of this school and seeing samples of its best exponents gets on your nerve, then please don’t read it.
    Passionately espousing the virtues of your institution and posting student & faculty work doesn't "get on my nerve", it's the continual disparagement of other schools such as the Italian ateliers and other artists (Nelson Shanks comes to mind) that leaves an indelible impression of gross insecurity and contempt on the part of Repin representatives. Does the Repin ego demand knocking everyone else down a peg to ensure that you maintain some unchallengeable confidence about the status and purported superiority of "Tradition"?

    While I may have issues with the Italian ateliers, I still strive to respect and remain cordially open to what they bring to the table along with other schools such as Grand Central Academy in New York and Studio Escalier in France have to offer.

    Keep drinking the Repin Kool-Aid if it helps get you through the day and sleep soundly at night. Zealots do as fanatics follow.

    I've had my say, I'll leave the rest to those who read this far.

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  23. #402
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    another good school

    Another good school is Glazunov in Moscow. There is a new thread with photos from that school which I would dare to say, demonstrates a higher level of technical and artistic mastery from the students. I also suspect that being a 100% subsidised academy, it is more selective when it comes to admitting students. But, unfortunately, it's not open to foreign nationals. I have a friend who is studying there, he is an American but also has a Russian citizenship. They do explore much more in depth the old master techniques and materials. Unfortunately, at the Repin, it's only available to the restoration students. If you compare the old master copies from Repin and Glazunov, Glazunov's students' work is probably better, at least they try much harder.

    The Glazunov Academy combines faculty from Repin Academy and Surikov, which allows them to bring the best of two worlds, more attention to color harmony from Surikov and solid drawing from Repin. I will post a link to their album in the next post.

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  25. #403
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    Glazunov Academy album

    Here is student work from the Glazunov Academy. Someone actually took a lot of time and effort to compile this album of 350 photos from various sources. I hope you can open it http://vkontakte.ru/id9768849#/albums-16966189

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  27. #404
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    Quote Originally Posted by lena murray View Post
    Here is student work from the Glazunov Academy. Someone actually took a lot of time and effort to compile this album of 350 photos from various sources. I hope you can open it http://vkontakte.ru/id9768849#/albums-16966189
    Big fans of Vrubel I see. I like.


    Quote Originally Posted by threecharles View Post
    1Sight-size, too many chefs in the kitchen syndrome => so no.
    2I like this school, decent result, but again, overemphasis on abstracting visual information at the cost of constructional information. But certainly not bad. Alongside bridgeview my only other option in America I would consider.
    3 I see barque copies, so most likely sight-size => no.
    4 I've seen too little work to make an educated guess, but Marshall Vandruff teaches construction well, so I do have hope for the program.
    But the lack of it being a physical institution will have it's price to pay. Be certain of that.

    Last edited by Hyskoa; August 9th, 2011 at 06:03 AM.
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  29. #405
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    Awesome, thanks for the link Lena

    1Sight-size, too many chefs in the kitchen syndrome => so no.
    2I like this school, decent result, but again, overemphasis on abstracting visual information at the cost of constructional information. But certainly not bad. Alongside bridgeview my only other option in America I would consider.
    3 I see barque copies, so most likely sight-size => no.
    4 I've seen too little work to make an educated guess, but Marshall Vandruff teaches construction well, so I do have hope for the program.
    But the lack of it being a physical institution will have it's price to pay. Be certain of that.
    It seems you jump to conclusions very quickly. I am fairly certain NYAA, LAAFA, Watts, and TAD (1, 2, 3 and 4 ) use a number of different approachs including sight-size, construction and abstract visualization. The advantages to these places are getting a good foundation and learning about many different approaches from several artists for your own use as opposed to going to a school that has the one 'right' way to do things.

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  31. #406
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    my opinion about schools

    It all depends what your goal is. If someone just wants to learn in a short period of time how to effectively draw comic strip or to get into gaming, these schools are fine.

    Even with all their drawbacks (sight size or too mechanical/photographic approaches) the Italian-American schools or GCA or NYAA are OK for someone with modest ambitions. NYAA is a totally photography-based school, I would not waste any time or money on that one.

    You can definitely advancesomewhat in understanding the portrait or figure or whatever by going to these schools.

    But, with all its current problems and limitations, the Russian schools are still the best if you want to receive a comprehensive foundation in fine arts.

    You may not come out of the Repin academy as a great artist with a very unique vision, and few actually do, but you do acquire a great variety of skills that can actually open lots of doors. You can work from your head, you can make a compositional painting, you can be as good as a landscape artist as you are as a figure and portrait artist.

    As it was said by Lanteri, there are no short cuts to excellence.

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  33. #407
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    glazunov academy

    I am not sure that this link takes you directly to the Glazunov Academy thread.

    http://vkontakte.ru/albums-16966189#...6189_139714254

    If not, just go down to the seventh one down with the Michelangelo slave as its icon.

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  35. #408
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    Yes, I was about to correct that link, as I see a confusion here (mentioning Vrubel by Hyskoa as an example).

    In any case, please pay attention to the time these works have been made. Most are from the last century - 1990s and beyond. And to say that Glazunov school "demonstrates a higher level of technical and artistic mastery from the students"... I don't have too much time for an argument today, but I will comment on this later. Though... thinking of this... Everyone has his own taste for what to consider being "technical" and "artistic".

    ~~~

    Guys,

    I'm really excited, as today we have finally received our 2nd edition of the Academic Drawings and Sketches. Those who're interested, please let me know so I'll send a discount coupon.

    Just a reminder about what's new in the 2nd edition:
    - it's in two languages (in Russian and English, of course!)
    - more drawings and sketches have been added
    - the layout was updated to have bigger images, thus a bigger closeup
    - over 200 color illustrations, 168 pages

    Until soon,

    B.G.

    Last edited by Book Guru; August 9th, 2011 at 03:10 PM. Reason: Changed the word "images" to "illustration". Sounds better.
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    Russian Academy of Arts thread - all about it

    There was a sign on the Academy building, “Free Arts”. “What’s that?”, we asked our professor. – “That’s to be able to create anything, but to create what you want to.”
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  37. #409
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    Is it possible to receive scholarship to Repin?

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  39. #410
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    kunfyoozdish,

    It's only available to Russian citizens. And they have a tough competition for entering the Academy. Even those who finish art schools and art colleges often go to Prep Courses (studying at night after day classes in their schools), only to make sure they're well prepared for exams.

    However, I know that some persistent Europeans and Americans were able to get a scholarship for studying at the Academy. You should probably talk to them about this.
    No scholarship in the world will ever cover your complete 6+1 years of studying here, but at least 3-4 years you can get for sure if you investigate your options on this.

    Btw, I've checked on Armenian flavor at the Academy.
    Actually, there used to be many Armenians from Armenia, but at present there are no any students from that country. But they do have Armenians from different Russian regions.
    So if you speak Armenian and don't know Russian you'll still be able to communicate with some students there as they also speak Armenian.
    And of course, don't forget the Director of Prep Courses, I guess Armenian language will be your only way to communicate with him for quite a while, in case you decide studying art here.

    ~~~

    Guys, two more invitations are coming - for Israel and Mexico.
    After that I'm done with all the paperwork and will be posting helpful info on local Consulates General - addresses and phone numbers.
    Also, assuming there are less than two months left (hard to believe, really!) before the beginning of the Prep Courses program, you might have other questions that are uncovered yet. Don't hesitate to write to my e-mail. But wait for at least a week for response as I gather all your questions and then answer them in one big letter.

    Until soon.

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    Russian Academy of Arts thread - all about it

    There was a sign on the Academy building, “Free Arts”. “What’s that?”, we asked our professor. – “That’s to be able to create anything, but to create what you want to.”
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  41. #411
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    Book Guru, on that person who studied in Repin and is he a Brazilian, you have some fact?, this n brasil at present teaching or perhaps his name? The South people would be of big help pra America, if you think that the USA this one far from Russia, they have no idea what is to live in South america.

    _________________________
    My Sketchbook
    http://www.conceptart.org/forums/sho...d.php?t=226520

    Last edited by Juan_Pablo; August 13th, 2011 at 03:43 AM.
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  43. #412
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    Juan_Pablo,

    I'll find out his name, I promise. Will let you know, please wait a little.

    People everywhere know very little about other countries, this is true for most of us. You have to live for a while to at least start understanding local people and culture.
    But that's a long philosophical conversation...

    ~~~

    We didn't have any nice images posted here for quite a while.
    Today, I visited a temporary exhibition at the State Russian Museum, dedicated to Konstantin Korovin. Love it.

    I hope you'll enjoy the works I've seen there today.
    Btw, those who'll be studying at Prep Courses, will still be able to visit it - the exhibition is open until November 8.

    ~~~

    PORTRAITS

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    www.4-art.org - art educational books
    www.Practicum.org - art educational portal
    guru@4-art.org - my direct e-mail
    Russian Academy of Arts thread - all about it

    There was a sign on the Academy building, “Free Arts”. “What’s that?”, we asked our professor. – “That’s to be able to create anything, but to create what you want to.”
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  45. #413
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    armenians at the academy

    There was an American-Armenian guy who recently graduated. He is back in the US, has a website http://www.valentinmelik.com/index.htm

    I remember seeing him when I was there. He was at the monumental studio.

    Book Guru: thanks for Korovin's pictures, they are excellent.

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    Book Guru mentioned some American students who were able to get enough scholarship money to study at Repin for 3-4 years. Does anyone know where I can find information on scholarships that Repin Institute is elligible for? If there are any American students currently studying at Repin who follow this thread, any information would be very helpful. Thanks!

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  49. #415
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    SolemnWinged,

    Sorry, but I couldn't get any valuable information for you.
    It seems like all American students who study there at present pay their own money. I might again try to ask those who'll be studying this year, but I don't remember any person from the US to mention about applying for a scholarship.

    ---------

    Guys, I wanted to remind you it's only about one month left. Those who didn't apply for your visa yet, please do this ASAP. The process might take the whole month. Of course, you can request your visa to be ready in one week, but be ready to pay a fortune for that.

    ~~~

    I had a good question from one of Prep Courses new students. It's in regards of vacation time. I understand your concern for visiting your homeland, but you'll only have a short winter break for that.
    During Prep Courses you'll have only one winter break, which is a National Holiday in Russia: December 31 - January 11.

    Your summer break starts July 1.
    Entrance exams take place in June. As you've been reading, these exams is not a joke. If you want to continue your studies at the Academy, take your Prep Courses very seriously. For those who plan taking Prep Courses only, you're free to leave right after the last class.

    ~~~

    Finally, I really have to ask you to return to previous posts and read everything related to Prep Courses. I know, it's annoying to read all 14 pages, but if you scan them you'll be able to pick up the most important information.
    I'm writing this as I receive letters with the same questions that have been answered a long time ago, sometimes even twice.
    Sorry, but for answering your questions I also have to search for those posts as I don't remember all the details by heart.
    I hope you understand this.

    ~~~

    And... after you do your home work and read all 14 pages (or whatever are your settings at CA), please feel free to ask me questions that haven't been answered yet.

    And I smile again.

    www.4-art.org - art educational books
    www.Practicum.org - art educational portal
    guru@4-art.org - my direct e-mail
    Russian Academy of Arts thread - all about it

    There was a sign on the Academy building, “Free Arts”. “What’s that?”, we asked our professor. – “That’s to be able to create anything, but to create what you want to.”
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  51. #416
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    Dear... [your name is here],

    In your e-mails you've been asking very good questions in regards of your studying at the Repin Institute (from now, those who'll be studying here, forget about the long one ("the Russian Academy of Fine Arts"), call it simply "Repin".

    I'll be meeting with a director of Prep Courses, Ivan Isakovich Arutyunyan. Tomorrow or on Tuesday. I have quite a long list of questions for him. None of them are urgent, but they all are very good questions that need to get exact answers.

    I'll send you e-mail with the link to my next post with all the answers.
    Until soon,

    B.G. (Kat)
    P.S. I've been visiting the Academy about 2 weeks ago. Ghosts are everywhere. A totally empty building with much knocking on the roof - there is a huge repair work going on. No students, no professors, no nothing... Hard to imagine it will be overcrowded so soon.

    www.4-art.org - art educational books
    www.Practicum.org - art educational portal
    guru@4-art.org - my direct e-mail
    Russian Academy of Arts thread - all about it

    There was a sign on the Academy building, “Free Arts”. “What’s that?”, we asked our professor. – “That’s to be able to create anything, but to create what you want to.”
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  53. #417
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    Dear all,

    Here is the list of Questions and Answers.
    I’ve tried to cover pretty much everything that I've been asked during past several months in your e-mails, though many questions have been answered earlier in this thread. However, I don’t want to refer you to search for answers, but rather post everything in one big list.

    Here we go…

    - Arrival
    All Prep Courses students must arrive between October 5 – October 9. Your studies begin October 10. But before that you need to get your registration stamp in your visa. For such, those who arrive before Saturday (Oct. 8), please go to the Academy, bring your passport and visa. At the security check they’ll show you where to go for that. You need a Foreign Education Department.

    For those who arrive on Friday or during weekend, please bring your documents on your first day, October 10.

    Your registration MUST BE done within 3 days of your arrival. This is the law.

    - Schedule
    9:30 – 14:00 – drawing, painting (2 hours drawing, 3 hours painting, later on - composition)
    14:00 – 14:30 – lunch break
    14:30 – 17:30 – Russian language courses
    All your lessons last 45 minutes with 15 minutes break.

    - Stages of Study
    Cast Drawing, Still-Life – October-November
    Portrait Drawing and Painting – starts at the end of November
    Nude Figure Drawing and Painting – beginning of March
    PLEASE! This schedule of stages is approximate. Don't go by calendar, as this all will depend on the group level, they go to the next stage after the previous stage is done and evaluated well.

    - Exams (for those who plan to apply for full-time studying there)
    June
    So those who’ll be applying for full-time studies will have a chance to go home only at the end of June, not earlier. And then you come back in October (you’ll need a new invitation/visa to be done again).

    - Evaluation
    After each Stages of Study (see above). Take this seriously, you get your grades there and they also decide who’s more advanced to have good chances to pass summer exams.

    - Vacation
    Your only chance to visit your homeland is during your winter break. We’ll have National Winter Holidays in January. In this year they start December 30 and last until January 8. I’m not sure you’ll be allowed to leave earlier than Jan 30, but you can try (I understand the X-mas urge), though I can’t guarantee anything.

    - Studying at the art college
    The most desired is Serov Art College accepts only Russian citizens. Those who have dual citizenship can apply there (it's 4 years of study). Yes, there is a direct path from the Serov College to the Academy. As a matter of fact, each year one student is chosen from Serov for each faculty to attend the Academy without taking exams and will study there for free. But that’s crème de la crème.

    - Difference in studying by Faculty (full-time students only)
    Sculpture - copying casts, using different materials; no painting, only drawing.
    Graphics - all the graphics materials and methods: lithography, engravings, etching, etc. Watercolor, no oil painting.
    Painting - lots of lots of lots of drawing (pencil+paper+many other materials & tools) and painting (oil+canvas). All kind - portrait, figure, still-life, landscape... Also there are different departments - Monumental Painting, Easel Painting, Religios and Historical Painting...

    - Working during studies (Making extra money)
    You won’t have too much time for it. But for those who consider this seriously, I only have one thing in mind: Language Schools. Especially for American students and for all those who speak perfect English (e.g., my English is not perfect). There are plenty of good language schools that search for native speakers. Of course, the most popular is English, but e.g. Swedish and others could be in demand as well, as we don’t have so many native speakers in those languages who’re willing to teach. In any case, this is what comes to my mind first.

    - Russian courses is mandatory
    It’s only for 2-3 hours a day. So please take it seriously if you want to get a good connection with your professor and with other students who’ll be studying Russian very hard. Btw, there are will be at least 2 students in your group who speak Russian. So don’t expect them to speak English with professor or explaining to you in English what they’ve been talking about. Learn it yourself! (Just imagine reading Tolstoy, Dostoyevsky and other great Russian writers in ORIGINAL! It’s the same excitement I had when I first read Dickens in English!)
    Btw, I was told that ALL students from other countries (except China) study Russian very hard and show progress very fast. They don’t like what’s going on with many Chinese students - some of them even after several years of studying here don’t speak Russian well. The reason is that they live in their own community, speak Chinese only among themselves, etc.
    So don’t let me down by changing this bright statistics!

    - Rental
    Sorry, guys. Here I can’t help you, really. My life is too crazy already, I feel lucky when I sleep at least 6 hours. So making me working as an estate agent… please, no.
    For those who plan to stay for a week or two at the hotel, I definitely can recommend nice places not far from the Academy ($100-150/night). Probably it’s a good idea as you’ll have a better chance renting smth while being here, comparing to the rip off you can get via the internet (remember, 100% monthly downpayment + 100% last month rental + 100% agent commissions… crazy!)

    - Paying for Prep Courses
    No PayPal, sorry guys. We do accept it in our online store, but the Academy doesn’t even know what it is.
    The biggest amount of money you can take at once from the ATM machine here is $500.00. And this is only at Citibank branch (we have them all over the city, including those not far from the Academy). E.g., at Citibank they don’t charge me anything for withdrawal with my Bank of America debit card (BofA charges me $5.00 for each transaction).
    However, if you go to BMP Paribas or Reiffeisen – they let you withdraw only $200.00 and $300.00, no more.
    The bottom line is, use your own calculation. You either need to bring at least 3,000 euro in cash (first semester), and then ask your relatives to send you another 3,000 euro in January (second semester), or you go to the Citibank branch and withdraw $500.00 several times (daily limit is $1,000.00).
    If you bring cash, please open an account the same or next day of your arrival. Don't risk of keeping money at home (or hotel!). Of course, I can recommend the Citibank again. The Academy account is in St. Petersburg Bank, so you might prefer to open an account and deposit money right there. In this case you won’t be charged for transferring money to another bank. Though, again, as of today Citibank has never charged me for transferring money to another bank. And they speak English (citibank.ru).

    - Campus
    There is no campus for Prep Courses students. It's available only to the Academy full-time students. The campus is in huge demand, to Russian students it's free (conditions are so-so), to those who pay – conditions are better. Many Chinese students prefer to live in a campus.
    Let them (Department of Foreign Education) know you're interested in campus when you begin your studies at Prep Courses. So if you pass entrance exams in June you'll be already on the list.

    - Eating options
    There is a nice café within the Academy building, and you can also get your business lunch at nearby cafes for about 150-300 rubles (usual price is 200 or 250 rubles and includes: salad, beverage, soup, main dish with garnish). In about 1-2 months you’ll find your favorite place to eat and to buy food for cooking at home (there are also plenty of pre-made options sold here as well). Always check the expiration date. It’s a bit tricky in Russia. The date that you see on the product is not an expiration date, it’s the date it was produced. Then you need to read the label where it says for how long this can last. Please be aware that Russian products use less preservatives, thus last not as long as in the US. Milk – 5-10 days, cheese – one week (unpacked) or 1-3 months if sealed, sausage – 2-3 weeks (some only 2-3 days), cakes – 48-72 hours, etc. (We eat much healthier food here!! Eh…)

    - Bringing your family member with you
    If you want to avoid the hubbub with tourist visa application (and payment) each 3 months, there is an option for your relative (or friend) to receive a student visa. They can apply for Russian language courses (and to pay for it, of course). In such case they’ll be able to stay with you the same duration – the whole year. The good part – they’ll know Russian better than you because they won’t have anything else to do (unlike you all).

    - Average students age
    Prep Courses – 18-22
    Full-time students – 20-30

    - Your very first Evaluation Exam
    Please don’t be nervous about it at all (I know, it’s easy to say!) But as long as the works in your portfolio are really YOUR works, there is no reason to worry about. I’ve mentioned earlier about several cases when students wanted too much to enter the Academy so they've sent someone else’s portfolios. Yes, people DO stupid things sometimes.
    In any case, as I’ve said (too many times), your first evaluation will take place during first week of your studies (1st or 2nd day), only to see your level, your way of drawing. This really helps to understand what are your strong and weak sides. So help your professor – be yourself.
    Btw, don’t take your acceptance for granted. There were several foreign students rejected this year. Interestingly enough, a couple of them have completed their studies at some art schools. Bad, very bad portfolio. So you all guys are in quite a good shape. Though please be prepared to see how much improvement each of you is needed. Just don’t be discouraged at any stage. At the Academy they don’t say compliments. (I have to freshen up my memory, but one great Russian artist, while taking an art class, made a note in his diary, “My professor complimented me several times today… Is my work THAT bad??!!”)

    //…to be continued…// - I’ll update this post with more answers a bit later.

    Part 2.

    - Foreign Students Group
    You all - those in my e-mail list + several more students from Europe - will be in one group. Russian prep courses group will study separately, the same goes for Chinese group. You all will be close to each other, I’m sure you’ll have a chance to communicate with all Prep Course students sooner or later. That includes, of course, evaluations.

    - Vacation (update)
    Prep Courses
    Winter vacation:
    December 30 - January 8 (this is Russian National winter holidays, most businesses and all schools are closed during this time).
    Summer vacation:
    1. Those who want to leave and never come back: you're free to go at the end of May.
    2. Those who'll be applying for taking exams: July 1 - October 1 (if you pass your exams in June you go home but then you need to come back by the end of September)

    Full-time students
    Winter vacation:
    January 24 - February 7 (though many foreign students manage to pass their winter exams earlier in order to leave for their homeland sooner)
    Summer vacation:
    The same as Prep Courses (Jul 1 - Oct 1), but most students (including foreigners) go to plain air with their professors. Believe me, it's worth it - if not for the whole vacation period but at least for one month.

    - Academy official papers
    The Academy doesn't provide any papers in English. You get your Russian original paper and get it translated in an authorized translation agency - here or in your homeland.
    What kind of papers the Academy can provide:
    - An official letter stating you’ve been invited to the Prep Course Program, the total duration of the course
    - A certificate stating the total amount of hours and the name of classes you’ve been taking (good for credits)
    - When you become a full-time student you can decide not to go for the whole 6 year program (which is equal to Master's), you can ask for a Bachelor Diploma instead. Please keep in mind that this is an exception from the rule as Russian students can not receive such paper. They either receive nothing or earn their M.A. only after their successful diploma defense and graduation.

    - Art Supplies
    Don't bring any art supplies with you (unless you have some "lucky" pencil or your favorite brush).
    You can buy absolutely everything here. Even more. As a matter of fact, we have customers who purchase our watercolor paints and sauce as their quality is very high and the colors are quite unique. You know what I'm talking about when you arrive here.
    We have wonderful brushes, excellent paints, great grainy and plain paper and canvases, etc, etc. And I must say with a modest pride that much of the stuff is produced locally, which means much better prices (especially comparing to those "made in Germany" or Italy, etc - we have them available as well, of course).

    There are two art supplies shops directly at the Academy, but this is mostly for those being in a rush. All locals buy art supplies in a chain that's located in several districts of St.Petersburg. You'll be very pleased with prices. Besides, don't forget - St.Petersburg is a city of artists, so there is a huge demand for all kind of art-related products, thus keeping prices very competitive.

    - Russian Language Exam
    Many of you ask this question. I understand that you're trying to save a bunch of money. However...
    My answer is that in order to pass a Russian exam you have to understand your professor without a translator. One thing is "basic Russian", but you need to understand professional art language.
    In the past they had a guy from South Africa who arrived with "some knowledge" of basic Russian. Imagine everyone's huge surprise when he started to speak very good Russian in 3 months only!! Thus he was attending Russian classes for only half a year. So it depends on you and your language skills.

    //But if you think your Russian is already quite good, you can start writing me letters in Russian. //

    Last thing to mention.
    Guys, please feel free to communicate to each other. I know some of you might be too busy or simply not “in the mood”. However, at this time it really helps to support each other, to share information, etc. You’ll be studying together in one group for the whole year, it’s never too early to get to know each other. Don’t be shy, send letters – not to me! – to each other!!

    Last edited by Book Guru; September 17th, 2011 at 09:07 AM.
    www.4-art.org - art educational books
    www.Practicum.org - art educational portal
    guru@4-art.org - my direct e-mail
    Russian Academy of Arts thread - all about it

    There was a sign on the Academy building, “Free Arts”. “What’s that?”, we asked our professor. – “That’s to be able to create anything, but to create what you want to.”
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  55. #418
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    Hi, can I ask about the Fundamentals of Painting book on this thread? Is there going to english pdf of a book like with drawing book? And if pre-order it?

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  57. #419
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    Ienrdna,

    At this time we plan to publish Fundamentals of Painting in Russian. Translation, especially good translation, takes time. We can't hold printing the Russian version until it's translated into English.
    In the future, yes, we plan to have this book printed in its English version. But we mostly consider it as co-publishing rather than doing this on our own. Besides, there is another popular book on hold for printing in English, the Fundamentals of Drawing.

    If you didn't see the Fundamentals of Painting yet, you can preview it in our website library.

    You can also ask for more information by e-mailing me.

    Last edited by Book Guru; April 19th, 2013 at 05:58 AM. Reason: website links have been updated
    www.4-art.org - art educational books
    www.Practicum.org - art educational portal
    guru@4-art.org - my direct e-mail
    Russian Academy of Arts thread - all about it

    There was a sign on the Academy building, “Free Arts”. “What’s that?”, we asked our professor. – “That’s to be able to create anything, but to create what you want to.”
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  59. #420
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    I saw that there were 2 Swedish students studying at Repin.
    Do you know if they got CSN? The financial aid we get from the government.

    The requirement I believe is that the school is accredited.

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