This last summer, I was able to travel to New York and study for a month at the Grand Central Academy. It was a wonderful experience. I took classes from Scott Waddell and Will St. John, to immensely talented artists.
Below are two of the studies that I did while I was there. The model was John Forkner. If you have been to the GCA blog, you have seen him before. He is in excellent shape and has a beard to end all beards. It was just getting started in these painting. If you are an artist in NY, track John down and hire him, he is a great guy and model.
click the images to enlarge
I attended the GCA because I felt that their approach is most inline with the artists who I have admired for so many years, namely Bouguereau, Gerome and Tadema. It was a challenge to take the time off from work, but it was so worth it.
It isn't always easy to get out of your normal routine and do studies, but I highly recommend it. I made new friends, learned some new things and reinforced some principles. I find myself thinking about the experience almost every day and it added a little more fuel to fire. Now to figure out how to get back to Florence, Italy...