Vitruvian, studio visit Chicago
My husband and I were recently in Chicago doing a home exchange with a family who enjoyed the refreshing cool mountain air in Gibsons, BC while we enjoy the humid muggy heat and sights in Chicago, IL.
Our first day was spent just riding bikes around the local neighborhood of Evanston, where we were staying in a very nice older building. Our second day, we battled the Chicago transit system and eventually made our way to meet Melinda Whitmore and David Jamieson who run the Vitruvian Fine Art Studio in Lincoln Park.
They’ve run this classical fine art school since 2008. It offers traditional education in anatomy and realistic rendering of the human form in drawing, painting and sculpture. A life drawing session was in progress when we visited and the students all seemed very advanced and capable. Their teaching space is very well set up for excellent visibility and well lit.
Human skeletons and plaster casts provide good foundation for aspiring artists of all levels.
Their courses usually run in 8 week blocks or over weekends and are designed for people who are not ready for full time academic education or who are already holding down a job or other obligations. This way, the student can advance along their own long term goal as well as have a life, too.
On the large table were some brightly colored balls which will become color wheels in 3 dimensions, showing intense values and how they relate to each other on the color wheel.
David works in still life painting (seen above with the balls) and some small displays were set up here and there to paint from but as this pair were just getting ready for their own summer holiday to Maine, David had no work in progress to share.
Melinda’s lovely sculptures were bursting out from the wall overhead. She moved from working in fibreglass to casting with Aqua-Resin for its lower toxic values and health risks, especially when working in a shared studio space. She paints on metal surface treatments which evolve with changes in the atmosphere and create some lustrous and sometimes surprising effects.
We thanked them for a great visit and hopped back on the 72 bus to our next artist, Joyce Polance.