Grace Benedict, originally from Canada, and now residing on the Gulf Coast, will visit Clatsop Community College for a workshop entitled “Design and Figure Drawing” on March 7, 2014 from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the Clatsop Community College Art Center Drawing and Painting Studio, Room 112, 1799 Lexington in Astoria, OR.
The workshop will overlap the timeframe of the Winter Term life drawing class, but limited spaces are available to the public for a fee of $25. Please contact Kristin Shauck at 503-338-2472 for registration information and a materials list.
Selected by juror Clint Brown to exhibit in the 2013 Au Naturel exhibit, Benedict was chosen for a special workshop award. In addition to this workshop, RiverSea Gallery will exhibit recent drawings based on the figure that showcase Benedict’s color and design sensibility. Please join the artist for the gallery reception on Saturday March 8, from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m.
“Design and the Figure Drawing” will emphasize design principles which can be applied to understanding the underlying energy, structure and vision of any composition. Initial drawing exercises with the live model will lead into a sustained drawing which will explore and build a conception of space: observing, measuring and processing, making visual connections and generating a personal vision. Increasing creative awareness, which includes planning, is a key component to the workshop. After the morning session, Benedict will share a brief presentation of drawings of figures within design frameworks and discuss how her work has evolved, both unconsciously and intentionally. During the final session of the hands-on workshop, participants will introduce a surprise element, yet continue to use the power of observation and interpretation to add new meaning to their original drawing. Benedict will challenge and encourage each person’s design strategies toward a successful integration and harmony of elements. A variety of papers, drawing materials, both dry and wet, including color, are encouraged.
Grace Benedict has taught drawing for 35 years and is currently working as an artist in Ocean Springs, MS. From 2002 to 2013 she served as the Foundations Drawing Coordinator in the Department of Art & Design in the School of Visual and Performing Arts at Purdue University in West Lafayette, IN. She holds a BFA degree from the University of Windsor in Ontario, Canada and an MFA from Tulane University, LA. As an emerging realist artist in the 80s she was a two-time recipient of the Elizabeth T. Greenshields grant. Her life drawings are spontaneous and undisguised, yet hold very conscious conceptions of the figure, the portrait and other thematic constructions. In addition, she works on highly developed colored pencil drawings. A focus on historical cemetery figures and statues was supported by an Individual Artist Grant (2005) from the Indiana Arts Commission. Benedict’s drawings have been juried into contemporary figurative national and international exhibitions. As a member of the co-operative gallery Artists Own in Lafayette, IN since 2003 Benedict’s work is widely collected.
Through her work, Grace will show how something that is commonplace can become part of a narrative incorporating new meaning. Ambiguous space as a modern concept – how the surface and the illusion work to create tension – holds the imagery together in a way that makes an impact in the viewer’s mind. “The creative process for me is grounded in realism working from direct observation. Imagery includes the figure, life in the garden and landscape, pattern and references to myth. A composition tends to grow, move in a different direction and knit itself together from some point: at the very beginning, in the middle or closer to the end. The history, tension, energy and play between the actual recorded image and what I impose from the repertoire of motifs in my imagination will gravitate toward a final “design” that provokes a response and impacts the viewer.” These combined ideas allow me to express myself as an individual artist in today’s world. Harmonic connections of drawing the figure and drawing from the natural world can be interpreted as an embodiment of self.
Please direct inquiries to: Kristin Shauck, 503-338-2472.
Image attached: Grace Benedict, Self-Portrait with Ginkgo