E-Course...Studying Under the Masters

I love to learn.  I do.  I nurture my creative side through e-courses, in person workshops and teaching workshops myself.  These classes all play an integral role in building who I am as an artist.  And although I don't always take tons away from each class, I do find something that resonates and helps to build my art story.  I think it's important as artists that we always push ourselves to look outside of our "box" and extend vocabularies.  It keeps our work fresh, exciting and believable.
The new class I am taking is led by the beautiful Jeanne Oliver.  She has masterminded a 9 week course where 9 different women artists are teaching us how to Study Under a Master.  Basically we are all going back to the beginning....looking at works of art by artists who have left us physically but left behind a rich art history that we can learn so much from.  I like that we aren't copying the actual present day artist, but rather an artist that has made an impact on art for modern times.  It's a different type of e-course.  It's very daring for Jeanne.  I love her for doing this.  It's nice to see how art has evolved over time and how it influences so much of our culture and art today. 
We are on week 2 of the course.  The first week was amazing.  Really.  Jeanne teaches much like I would if I taught High School.  There's a passion for the artist she taught us about that you can only get when you really absorb the work.   I will say the course is quite time consuming.  The first week alone had over 7 hours of videos.  Of course my school has the site blocked so watching during lunch which was my plan, is out the window.  By the time I finally watched all the videos I didn't have time to really make anything because now we are already on week 2 with more videos.  I don't mean this as a complaint but it is a lot of material to absorb in a short time frame.   A week in between each artist to truly absorb the information given and to be a part of the artist's work would have been nice.  I'll never be able to participate in any dialogue or share my work with the group because of time. I think the course is open after the 9 weeks so I can go back and dig in where I missed. 
I did attempt this one piece in a Matisse style....but quickly it morphed into something else completely and is no where near Matisse like.  But it did get me out of my comfort zone and trying something new.  We were supposed to look at a Matisse piece and copy it.  By copying you are practicing and by practicing you become who you are as an artist.  I tried.....but as you see it became a Jenni.  I never paint figures though so that is totally new. I love her.  And it got me in my studio instead of the couch watching LMN.  haha  Have you seen Flowers in the Attic yet?  Oh my....my mother never let me read the book.  I know why now.  It's freako.

So....are you guys extending your art vocabularies these days?  Stretching beyond the normal ho-hum and finding something new to integrate into your work?  I find that my work is beginning to loose it's common thread.  But that's okay because the main thread running deep and wide is that it's all made by ME.

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