` S Richard Shook-Fine Art Studio
S. Richard Shook Fine Art Studio
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July 18, 2017

Figure Drawing Workshop   6-8pm

Octagon Center for the Arts

Working from a model, students will learn the basics of figure drawing, including gesture and shading. This is a great opportunity for all skill levels to work and practice their skills at any one or all of the scheduled workshop dates. Students should bring drawing paper, charcoal, and other materials they wish to use. The Octagon will provide some paper, drawing boards, some drawing pencils, oil pastels, colored pencils, easels.


Mar 07, 2017

Motivations and Intentions

People are endlessly interesting, and some go so far as to be fascinating. Whether I can capture that quality varies considerably. A portrait, for example, requires a willing and interested participant to be the subject. I’ve experienced occasions when a commission is made, but the subject won’t make themselves available and no amount of pestering will get them ready for a sitting (even though a sitting takes less than half an hour since I use that time to take reference photos).

Quality is also related to the balance between time for experimentation and practical application of artistry. Time and skill. Both are limited resources even though with time and experience, efficiencies are discovered and skills gradually increase. That leads to the question of audience expectations that tend to drive creative efforts toward a more narrow and profitable direction. Aka, “what do people buy?”

That’s my thought process. I look for subjects that will be interesting and hopefully fascinating and then I make time available to explore and create a product (that’s a nasty word) that someone would like to own.

What I hope to do all the time, is to work in the direction of a positive and virtuous cycle in which I enjoy the work I do, and I have an audience that enjoys the work that I do. All the while, knowing that once an artist reaches that virtuous cycle, they are doomed to eventual boredom if they don’t take risks toward innovation, even though I know there are those artists who become comfortable with what they’re doing. Because I know about survival, I have no judgment to make. Eating is good. Health care is good. Shelter is good. Besides, the drive for survival is one of the potential facets of what makes people fascinating.

In my experience, women and girls are my best subjects. Not merely because of gender, though that’s a factor, but because women and girls change their appearance a lot. They put their hair up, they put their hair down. They wear a great variety of clothing and colors. Their expressions are fluid. Their bodies are always changing. While a man can certainly be a good subject, generally women have a very strong sense of self, associated with an awareness of being observed, for good or ill. As a man, the power of women is 'mystery'. I suppose that men can also be mysterious, but on most days I’m an introvert and don’t care. :--) (That’s supposed to be funny.)

I reserve the right to remove any blog post that could be used against me.

Mar 06, 2017

What You Do

Artists are often encouraged to write about themselves and their work. I admit that I hate doing that and I know I’m not the only one who feels that way. But I try because I know I need to help my audience understand my motivations and intentions. After all, I have my own way of doing things and I make my own choices even if I don’t, of all people, fully understand those choices.

Mar 05, 2017

I'm Back! Maybe...

In January my website wasn’t accessible because of a DDoS attack on my hosting provider’s servers that lasted a couple of weeks. I finally moved to a new hosting provider and decided that I needed to give my website an overhaul. I’m still working on that. A lot of it is backend stuff on things behind the scenes, but I’m getting there.

My apologies to anyone who tried to reach my work online through my website and wasn’t able to do so.