First and foremost, I would like to say thank you to Leslie Lienau for laying the foundation of Oklahoma Academy of Classical Art. Through your leadership you have created a wonderful home for creatives to practice their craft in the Classical Tradition. We appreciate all of your hard work and dedication to the Oklahoma art community.
I am delighted to be the new Director/ Principal Instructor for OACA.I look forward to maintaining the important fundamental ideals that Leslie put in place, as well as expanding the curriculum to employ the contemporary techniques that I learned in my time at Ani Art Academy Waichulis.
In the Adkisson Atelier, students will be allowed to continue previous/current creative projects as well as work through tested exercises that advance understanding of how to translate subjects from life to a 2D surface. In addition to working from life students will learn how to photograph references, photoshop basics, lessons in composition, and how to create a realistic piece using a photograph reference. This and other classes will resume the week of July 13th and registration will be available on the website on July 3rd.
I look forward to working with Claire, Chris and Tracey to grow OACA and instilling a passion for virtuosity in the students that choose to study with us! I look forward to seeing you all in the studio soon!
If you have any questions, please feel free to email me at email@example.com.
We are excited to announce that we are reopening July 13th! First and foremost we want to assure you that protecting the health of our students, our staff and the community is still our top priority. We’ll be practicing social distancing by reducing the number of students per class and regularly sanitizing our shared spaces. In order to maintain a safe environment we will be following these precautions:
Twelve years ago, I opened a small teaching studio in my garage. It began as The Conservatory for Classical Art. I started with just a handful of students. Shortly after opening, I moved the studio out of my garage and into the beautiful space where the school now resides. In that space, the school has grown and thrived.
The Conservatory for Classical Art (CCA) is rebranding and I want to give you a little background on why we are making this change.
I am very happy and proud to say that this year we are celebrating our 8th anniversary! Over the years we've had so many amazing people walk through our doors to study with us. Some of those artists continue to study and teach, while others have gone on to bigger and better places. Many of our past and current students travel from all across Oklahoma to attend weekly classes and workshops. That’s incredible!
Because of this tremendous community, growth has been steady, but little has changed as to what we do and why we do it. For a few years I’ve had a strong feeling to change the name of the school but I’d read that rebranding is risky and often makes existing customers nervous and hesitant. The whole idea and all that’s involved caused me some fear, but I’ve since realized that fear is simply a negative expectation of a future event and I choose to assume the best for the future of our school.
Sometimes, change is good. It can revitalize a person, a family, a business and a community. That’s one reason for our choice to rebrand. Another is the desire to include Oklahoma in the name. I am proud to have built a successful business in Oklahoma and if it weren’t for the people here who support it, it wouldn’t exist. Finally, the word “academy” describes our school better than the word “conservatory”.
We came up with the new name through an informal studio focus group. Everyone who participated voted on the best name for our school and the overwhelming response was for Oklahoma Academy of Classical Art.
Our school name is changing, our brand colors are changing and our website may change a little too, but our studio community is the same. We will continue to aim for excellence, serve artists with the best possible training through classes and workshops, and, of course, all the love and encouragement we can give. That will not change.
Founder | Principal Instructor
Emily Taylor began her studies with me four or five years ago and it's been a gift for me to watch her grow and expand her artistic horizons. Emily works diligently at her craft and she is a naturally gifted draftsman and painter. She exhibited her work at Oklahoma City Festival of the Arts Youth Show for years and has exhibited her work for three years in art exhibitions at the CCA. She is homeschooled and this year has begun her final year of high school. Emily serves as an officer on the CCA Teen Artist Guild. I interviewed Emily for this profile and I am excited to share her work and responses with you!
~ Leslie Lienau
LL: When did you discover that you wanted to be an artist?
ET: Ever since I was little I have always loved to draw. I remember one day I was probably 5, I drew a bird and everyone I showed loved it and said It was amazing. Of course I was five and everyone just happened to be my parents, but they gave me hope that maybe someday I would be an artist.
LL: Who and what inspires you in your creative process?
ET: Events in my life. Whether it is going to a festival and people watching, a simple bike ride, or a cherished memory. One of my most recent inspirations was at a swing dance club. Occasionally the vision is clear but I have learned sometimes one has to look for ideas to see them, and once you train your mind to see life through a transparent canvas you will have more revelation than you want. I sometime carry with me my "ideas book" and when I see a potential painting or a possiblesculpture I make a quick sketch.
LL: Have you studied different styles of painting and drawing? Do you have a preferred style for yourself?
ET: I have mostly learned the technique of drawing and painting though realism. But it is an ambition of mine to expand my artistic horizons and to practice other styles and mediums. I once took a gestural figure drawing class and I learned how to draw the human figure and to capture the gesture in a short amount of time. I have used that method mixed with realism to capture moments of a persons life and turn it into a two dimensional memory.
LL: Do you wish to continue your art studies after high school?
ET: Yes. I will always paint, draw and hopefully learn how to make a living doing it. But I do not plan to attend an art school immediately after I graduate from High School.
LL: If yes, what would you like to study?
ET: I am not sure yet.
LL: What are you currently working on?
ET: I am currently working on a master copy. Edgar Degas the Star. It is a painting of a ballerina on stage striking a graceful pose. This has been a fairly difficult project. The original was painted with pastel and some of the strokes are very prominent, so it has been a challenge to try to duplicate that with a paint brush. But it has also been a great learning experience.
This blog post is long overdue. I have been remiss in writing regular blog posts about our Conservatory's events, classes and other important news. This post is dedicated to our teen board , The Teen Artist Guild, which was launched in October of 2013. The brainchild of forming the board was presented to me by Karen Prior, who is the mother of our third year Youth Atelier student, Katie. Karen spearheaded the organization of the teen board which has been nothing but successful and entirely fun since! The Teen Artist Guild offers students of CCA and community youth the opportunity to learn leadership skills, get involved in the community by volunteering their time and energy and enjoy the camaraderie of fellow students with similar interests and the pursuit of art education. We have monthly meetings that include art projects, presentations by local artists, field trips and more!
I will present to you a gallery of photos that represent the events and fun times the youth have enjoyed thus far. If your child is interested in the CCA Teen Artist Guild, please contact me @ firstname.lastname@example.org. You may follow us on Instagram @ccateenartistguild. Here we go! Please enjoy. We want to know what you think, so please send us your comments!
All the best,
Teen art guild very first meeting
Teen Art Guild curates annual youth art exhibition
December 15, 2014. The Teen Artist Guild curated the First Annual Youth Art Exhibition. They did everything from collecting the work to hanging the work and even framing several pieces. They organized and hosted the opening reception for the community and their families. It was so much fun! We had great food and live music by Kyle Reid too!
Teen art guild day long retreat
This day long retreat was lead by Karen and Dave Prior. The board members learned about various aspects of being on a board from conduction meetings to organizing events. They learned all about The Robert's Rules of Order. It was a lot of fun! Here are some pictures of some of the art projects they got to do during the retreat, which included making tattoos on bananas!
I am pleased to present a second guest post from my student Kiana Daneshmand. Kiana has been studying with me for several years and her talent is exceptional. She was another willing and eager beta tester for Miira, the mobile application I developed for iOS. I believe that Kiana’s story will be inspiring and motivating.
~ Leslie Lienau
Using the Miira app to get a likeness
By Kiana Daneshmand
When I first started drawing Audrey Hepburn, I used the Miira app on my iPhone to achieve an envelope fast and accurately. But getting the envelope down was only the first step. There were still all of the features and shadow shapes to think about. Plus, since Audrey Hepburn is a well known actress, I knew it was important to make sure there was a likeness. In order to accomplish this, I used the line tool to help find the placement of things such as her eyes, nose, and mouth. After getting those down, I was able to block in the shadows and start to see a good similarity. I was able to check my work as I went along and make minor adjustments when needed using the overlay tool. When I was pleased with the foundation I had built, I was ready to start adding details. Using the Miira app made it easier to get a really good likeness and a satisfying finished product.
Born in California, Kiana Daneshmand is a beginner artist who enjoys working in the medium of painting. Prior to taking art classes about a year and a half ago, she worked mainly with graphite and some charcoal. Although she has only just begun painting she hopes to develops her artistic abilities in years to come. A couple of Kiana’s favorite artists include Thomas Kinkade, and Kelvin Okafor. They inspire her to work hard and one day be as good as them.
Share your MIIRA app story and images with us via email at email@example.com.
A couple of years ago I founded Miira Artist Tools out of a need to invent tools to help me be a better instructor. One of our products, Miira for iOS, is a powerful mobile app that I believe changes the way the artist sees the natural world. I've had the privilege to work with a remarkable young artist, Katie Prior, who has studied drawing and painting with me for several years at the CCA. When we began to develop our mobile app Katie was eager to be a beta tester. Her input was instrumental in making the Miira app work even better. Katie's story about her experience using the Miira app will be eye-opening and I believe will influence your perspective and approach to your work. I trust you will enjoy this story and I invite you to download the app, try it and share your story with us too!
To link to Miira's website, click here
Using the Miira app to create an envelope
by Katie Prior
Standing in front of a blank piece of paper, with the expectation of drawing my very first drapery study, I really didn't know where to start. I know about drawing shapes and the light and dark, but it was still overwhelming. I decided to use the Miira app on my iPhone. I started with the outline; sliding the guides on the app to create an envelope, a simplified outline, around the study. I then transferred the envelope to my paper, making sure that all the angles were correct.
I used Miira’s overlay feature to check that the envelope on my paper matched the actual piece of drapery. Having the envelope correct to begin with saves tons of time later, so that in the middle of blocking in shadows you don't realize that one fold should be another inch to the left. From this point, I was able to draw in the shapes of light and dark.
I've spent many hours on this study and it's almost finished. The Miira app has helped me many times along the way to confirm the shapes and angles in my drawing.
Katie Prior is a second year Youth Atelier student at the Conservatory for Classical Art in Edmond, Oklahoma. Her preferred means of expression are computer pixels, vine charcoal, and the written word. www.katieprior.com
We are proud to announce our First Annual Youth Art Exhibition and Sale. Artists who will be featured are studying in my Youth Atelier or attend youth classes with CCA youth instructors, Ella Moore and Emily Bruce. This year, the exhibition has been curated by our newly formed Teen Art Guild. Under the guidance and tutelage of Karen Prior, our junior high and high school students are learning leadership skills and the many aspects of participating on a teen board.
A special thanks must go to the youth who have helped to curate the exhibition: Kiana Daneshmand, Julian Houston, Katie Prior and Emily Taylor. Thanks to Karen Prior too! This endeavor would not have happened if it weren't for her enthusiasm and diligent efforts!
A Brief History of Perspective
By Leslie Lienau
The Mirriam-Webster Dictionary defines perspective as “the technique or process of representing on a plane or curved surface the spatial relation of objects as they might appear to the eye; specifically : representation in a drawing or painting of parallel lines as converging in order to give the illusion of depth and distance; or the appearance to the eye of objects in respect to their relative distance and position.
For the artist, seeing, understanding and expressing perspective is an age old problem. Very early artistic drawings and paintings did not show perspective or foreshortening (an aspect of linear perspective which occurs when the size of a form or space is distorted when viewed from a distance or at an unusual angle). Long ago, paintings and drawings made by artists showed the spiritual or thematic importance of figures by size and placement on the picture plane which made space and depth appear distorted.
The Greeks and Romans understood perspective, but over time, their knowledge was lost. Plato wrote, "Thus (through perspective) every sort of confusion is revealed within us; and this is that weakness of the human mind on which the art of conjuring and of deceiving by light and shadow and other ingenious devices imposes, having an effect upon us like magic... And the arts of measuring and numbering and weighing come to the rescue of the human understanding – there is the beauty of them – and the apparent greater or less, or more or heavier, no longer have the mastery over us, but give way before calculation and measure and weight?"
It was 15th Century Italian architect and engineer Filippo Brunelleschi who rediscovered the laws of perspective. He demonstrated a mathematical approach that proved how forms and space shrink in size according to their location and distance from the eye. In 1435 Leon Battista Alberti discovered the first theory of linear perspective and published his treatise Della Pictura (On Painting) in which he too relied on mathematics as the common ground of art and science. Alberti’s discovery had an enormous impact on European artists and is still used by artists, designers and architects today.
Artists throughout history have devised mechanisms to aid in the recording the reality of the three dimensional world. Leonardo Da Vinci, who was influenced by Alberti and who wanted his paintings to reveal the world as it actually appeared, invented a machine called a Perspectograph. The Perspectograph was comprised of a pane of glass that fit into a frame and which also held a small viewing slot. The framed glass could be placed in front of the scene to be painted. The artist could look through the viewing slot with one eye and then sketch the outline of the scene directly onto the pane of glass. The outline served as a rough sketch for the final, well defined painting.
The 1525 German artist, Albrecht Dürer published The Artist’s Manual which included illustrations of perspective machines similar to Leonardo’s Perspectograph, that were designed to enable the artist to make precise measurements of a subject or scene by tracing what was seen through a frame placed directly in front of the artists line of sight.
While studying in The Hague, Vincent Van Gogh used simple perspective frame with grid lines and adjustable legs which he used to quickly and easily translate what he saw onto his paper or canvas. In an excerpt from a letter written to his brother Theo, an excited Vincent Van Gogh states, “I think you can imagine how delightful it is to turn this spy-hole frame on the sea, on the green meadows, or on the snowy fields in winter, or on the fantastic network of thin and thick branches and trunks in autumn or on stormy day. Long and continuous practice with it enables one to draw quick as lightning - and, once the drawing is done firmly, to paint quick as lightning too.”
Translating the reality of the visual world to the flat picture plane is, indeed, a challenging task for the artist and the attempt to discover new and innovative ways to make the process easier and faster will most likely never cease. Conversely, the simple understanding of concepts and theories is an essential aspect of the practice of drawing and painting from direct observation. The use of machines to aid in the discovery of the natural world is a method of enlightening and educating oneself and seems to be a sensible endeavor.
Leslie Lienau is the founder and principal instructor at the Oklahoma Academy of Classical Art, formerly The Conservatory for Classical. Thanks for reading - hope you enjoy!
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