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Nymphs and Satyr, by William Bouguereau (Detail)
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  • A virtual academy

    by Ngaire Winwood

    Fred, I agree with Evan's ideas proposed to ARC. I am a late starter (at 42) and as an adult student struggling to comprehend exercises with no instruction when doing Bargue, etc., not knowing techniques, fundamentals to be used and with the added difficulty of having no avenues to draw models due to small town obstacles or financial isolation, it gets overwhelmingly frustrating at times and only makes the struggle longer and harder. This proposal would be great for ARC to not only take on in this regard, but to prove there IS a growing quality Art History for all of us to experience BUT to also carve the way by continue being a TRAILBLAZER for what Art is really all about from a student's point of view educating one to the ultimate prime artwork in a master's career. ARC is in an integral [opportune] position to assist in the production of ongoing well educated students to help gain atelier education even if they are isolated by geography or finance. Students like myself need to see that with the traditional education and relative hard work that goes to becoming such an artist, that there are rewards to cling onto with, with heros to admire and inspire and mentor us on in our long and lonely individual journeys. The forum is a great idea thanks by the way and at times we are shown glimpses of some pro's current work but that is not where the lessons are. It is in the establishment of these work that is the lesson we so desire. Only then with the increase in these emerging skilled artists and their work will the public become educated. The idea of a section membership of emerging artists to keep an eye on, who would also be judged with specific ARC criteria so that galleries, etc, can look at for being future patrons to, would be great too. Knowing I am working to specific related benefits (possibly by being selected to be on an ARC Apprentice Page website with small profile and 2 images) helps me find the passion and fuel to overcome and overshadow moments of difficulties and frustrations. A site visited by galleries and investment patrons.

    ARC can and will educate and stomp over all those who preach Modernism as fine art. Then and only then hopefully, will the art judges and critics become clearly educated as to what is good art and the follow on affect would be that we could all envisage a start to us all being rewarded. Judges need training in good art foundational criteria to judge with, like an ARC school qualified judges membership (members trained specifically, maybe letters after their name e.g. like ARCO (ARC judging official) otherwise we will continue to see ghastly poor work winning the praise and money at comps locally, nationally and internationally. What a site it could be, Fred. Imagine if we could stand in front of winning painting, knowing that this was the epitome of excellence in standards governed by an officially trained ARC qualified judge who used only time honoured criteria to isolate this work over others (the ultimate praise) to artist and audience. Competition money will be become more worthwhile to these established and upcoming artists as well as being part of this total education process as well as to the general public as the audience to these works (because they were judged by these official judges and their much publicised training regime).

    The biggest aspect should rely on a specific fundamental course maybe also for serious students or to those unable to attend ARC affiliated ateliers because of isolation issues or criteria. It good also be enhanced by series of demonstrations by respected and qualified ARC masterclass artists. A simple how to series with WIP. Sometimes words do not convey what is needed in an exercise.

    My ultimate challenge and dream is to be trained only by the best, as I don't trust everyday artistic training and my career being mishandled by being taught the wrong way. Time is precious to us all and becoming bogged down with what is a damaging and unnecessary current curriculum that is only available by sometimes well meaning uneducated modernist university trained teachers is just simply, A waste of time.

    I cannot stop my burning desire to gain as much training as I can so I will be able to do the justice to my visions, ideas and philosophical issues that I want to or need to paint, that are screaming out within me on a daily basis if this also includes pot boilers, so be it. These are only some of the frustrations and head banging moments I like others am continually trying to come to grips with. I have the Bargue, Harold Speed and Andrew Loomis books that I am training myself with, but I am only guessing what I need to use to gain my training with, I do not even know if they will conflict with each other yet, like I said I am training myself, the blind training the blind to see. Can ARC help students like me in any of these regards?

    If I had a magic carpet, I would attend an atelier in a minute, just to experience the work of a real Professionals hand move around the canvas just for starters, or even just to stand in awe in front of a real masterpiece like what I see on ARC, in person, at a museum or to even look at a poster of a masterpiece in my hands, so I could study it. These would not only blow me away but the experience itself would be mind blowing to me, this would be one of the ultimate experiences I dream about, at this point.

    Five weeks ago, I got so tired of some of these frustrations and continual struggling I sold off secondhand possessions to finance my move away from these small town problems and have moved house and home to a nearby bigger town. Here, thank heavens, there is a life drawing class but the poses are no more than 20 minutes long and with bad lighting. The library is poorly referenced but bigger. There is only modern teachers here and have not found a classically trained skilled artist as yet, just modernists. Believe me, I am not complaining, as I all too remember, where I have came from and where I am going. I am really progressing now, next is to get a job then save up some money to finally go to the closest museum which is 2 and a half hours away (I just hope they have something worth looking at when I eventually get there). I still have ARC site thank heavens to wonder through when I have the money for the internet.

    Thank you Fred, staff and forum members, you help make my living worthwhile.

    Ngaire