Student class

Work from the Drawing Course at Thomas More College, Summer 2013

Here is the work produced by the students who attended the summer that took place at Thomas More College of Liberal Arts. It was a two week course offered in conjunction with the Ingbretson Studio. Students spend the working days at the studios learning to draw using the academic method (which can trace its history back to figures such as Leonardo). In the evenings and at the weekend in the middle there was a full program of talks and museum visits plus daily Mass, in the Extraordinary Form, first thing each morning. With its origins in the earlier High Renaissance, the method was developed to teach the naturalistic style of the baroque and reached its zenith in the 17th century. The visual vocabulary that it transmits cannot be understood except in the context of the Catholic liturgy. It is this additional component, therefore, that makes the partnership between the Ingbretson Studios and TMC such a unique offering. Most ateliers teaching this method tend to focus on a 19th century ethos, which is different and non-Christian. The 19th century style of naturalism, though superficially similar, was a sterile neo-classicism. It was the reaction to this that caused the modern art movement.

Cast drawing is the at the core of learning this method, by which students learn to think tonally and in see and draw in shapes rather than lines. These are the product of two weeks' hard work.


Teaching the Western Tradition - Work from My Students at a Recent Painting Course in Kansas

This summer we held a painting course in Kansas City, Kansas at the Savior Pastoral Center Kansas. I taught it and it was sponsored by the Diocese of Kansas City, Kansas which runs the center. I thought I would show some of the work done by students. This is unusual in that we focussed on 13th century gothic illuminated manuscripts from the School of St Albans. This one is a St Christopher painted by a master of the school called Matthew Paris. The students, Paul Jentz and his mother Christi (who kindly took and sent me the photographs) worked from the image shown top left. They constructed a grid as a help but drew the design by hand. While giving them guidance, I gave each freedom to vary the border and the colour schemes. I think you'll agree that they did a good job.

We have already booked up to do two more courses next summer, so those who are interested might even contact the center now. This year the places went quickly and we could have filled the class more than twice over. The center website is here.

At group of about a dozen adults attended the course and the level of experience varied. Some were themselves teachers of icon painting classes (who were interested in learning about the gothic style); and some were complete beginners. What was exciting for me was that all took to this western form of sacred art very naturally and were enthusiastic to keep doing it and develop this as a tradition for today.

Next month I will feature work by other students who worked on the Visitation.