The full-time curriculum starts simply, alternating multiple short exercises with time intensive projects. It is designed to train the eye and mind as efficiently as possible without wasting time on unnecessarily elaborate paintings. Students will progress only when they have shown an understanding and proficiency of each step.
Figure studies will be from 9:00am – 12:00pm every day. Afternoons will consist of a systematic progression starting with Charles Bargue copies, mastering and rendering form through simple shapes, and simple casts through more advanced casts. Most of what is foundational resides in black and white studies; drawing, form, value relationships, and edges. This part of the course will last approximately for the first two years. Once the students have met the standards required, they will progress to color in the figure and through still lifes and portraiture. The senior year will consist of a series of master-level projects geared towards each specific graduates independence, as well as the creation of a solid portfolio.
Being a full-time professional artist is not an easy occupation. There is little romantic glamour, it is mainly hard work. It is very difficult to survive financially, especially through the early years. Great Lakes Academy of Fine Art is only for those who believe that they have no other option than to create, who can’t be talked out of it, and who are determined to become the best painters that they can possibly become. In preparation for the difficult life-style that the students have chosen, much will be asked of them. Instructors will be firmly honest in their critiques and expect hard work and commitment, but will also pour all of their knowledge and experience into the students to give them the best possible education and advantage towards success.
With all that said, by keeping the school small, it is our goal, not to turn out a lot of good artists, but rather to turn out a few GREAT artists! It is my observation that in this world, people who do great things often are compensated accordingly.