Sunday, August 11, 2013


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The Lyme Academy of Art is in the village of Lyme which is typical of what I’ve been seeing here. Neat white houses, white fences, beautiful trees. A lovely, peaceful village. Typically,  if you are visiting the coast, you’ll see coastal paintings, boats, seascapes etc. In New England, I expected some neat white houses. An academy has a different perspective. But, I’m ahead of myself. The first gallery is the faculty gallery in which I found the painting above.
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The only painting of flowers we saw was also faculty.
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It didn’t take long to realize that the human figure is emphasized as a starting point in the academy and that is how it should be.
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These two lesson drawings by a student show the intensity of studying every muscle, limb, joint, and gestures and how they interact under clothing.
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The students draw from live models. Two student’s paintings of a woman sitting in a chair.
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How different they are.
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The students are encouraged to each do a self-portrait. This woman discovered her mother in her self-portrait.
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This self-portrait was pastel and under glass so the picture has some interfering glare.
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Also under glass. They are all so different and quite fascinating to me.
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One thing that bothered me about the exhibit was the number of macabre paintings like this:  bloody dead bodies, hazmat figures, holocaustic.
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Faceless. I find them unpleasant and wonder?  Art reflects society, and these are our young people. Is this a reflection of what they subconsciously think about as a future?
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This curious painting has so much going on. A woman swimming while pulling a boat with an unfriendly looking chap in the boat. A kid sticking his tongue out at an older woman walking with a cane. The girl behind her maybe assisting the boy with the blanket as though they are ready to toss it over the woman. It makes the viewer question the subject with an angelic figure on an island in the background. It fascinated me as well as puzzled me.
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Even this bucolic campsite scene has a woman looking kind of brazen and out-of-place, smoking her cigarette in the woods.
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There are a lot of tasteful nudes in the exhibit.
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I particularly liked this one.
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There were few happy paintings, but this garrulous, fantasy crowd was appealing. We are probably looking at  a future children’s book illustrator. Some of the paintings begged the questiion. How are they planning to make a living with their art?
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Compared to 2010, when I visited the academy, I guess I would have to say I was disappointed with the new crop of student’s work. I would loved to have had such an opportunity this academy offers. It is a four-year degree program and costs $22,000 to attend for one year.

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