Last week, our team welcomed guest artist Nate Hodge to the lodge, where just like last year, he led the crew for an action-packed week of abstract painting. In just two work days, they created two vibrant, colorful 8’x4′ panels that will hang in the Ave D R-Center. Nate’s loose and expressive style of working was a refreshing change of pace for our artists, who have been focused on the details and nuances of portraiture for the last month or so. During our trip to the MAG last week we had the chance to walk through his hallway he painted there, so the team had a bit of exposure to his work, but for most of the team, getting to paint so freely was a completely new experience.
Kishawn Medley is our newest team member, having come on board just last month. Prior to working with Roc Paint Division, he was a youth worker for the city at the Ave D Center, which made him particularly excited to contribute some creative work to brighten its walls– he was so focused that he worked right through the break both days. Read on for Kishawn’s account of working with Nate last week.
Working with Nate as a youth artist was an amazing experience. We started out with blank panels with sketches that Nate did on them and we began painting on the assigned panels we got based on the group we were placed in. We made progress and the panels ended up looking great. We had to make sure we were on the right color schemes and try to get as much done as possible with instructions from Nate who was a great instructor, helped us to make sure we were doing the right thing and gave us tips and advice along the way.
Compared to what we have done so far I really liked working in this abstract style of art, maybe because I like painting buildings and structures, and the fact that we were rotating between the panels so we didn’t really have to focus on all the small details.The parts that I liked the most about these panels were the reflection-like image of the buildings on the bottom of the panels.
I didn’t really have any problems relating to painting the panels because it was a fun experience. If I had to say something that was challenging about the panels I would say I had a problem getting the paint smooth on the panel but with the help from Britney and adding water, I came up with a solution.
I hope that the children at the R-Centers will appreciate these pieces and look up to these pieces to provide a reminder of the great city they live in.
I joined Roc Paint Division midway through the program but I kind of felt like I was already a part of the program because of the members who were kind and welcoming. I definitely think that this will impact me as an artist and as a person because I had to just start and get use to the program while everyone was already settled and use to each other so I felt like I had to give my best to keep up with everyone. Before I started this program I was a person who really liked to draw and was new to painting because I was recently introduce to it in my art class which really helped me but I never thought I would be able to get a job from it so I’m very thankful for that.
Our finished results!:
Having been completed in only two days, these are our first officially finished pieces! (Hooray!) We love how these came out, and it was a real plus that the entire crew was genuinely happy with both the process and the results. During our first meeting with the center director at Ave D, he mentioned liking the idea of including the Rochester city skyline somewhere in the art at the center, so Nate worked in some of its signature elements to the top piece. We can’t wait to see these installed over there and look forward to seeing the responses of the youth. Check out Alex Freeman’s great mini-documentary about Nate’s process here!
Up next: our newest project and first on-site mural….! Stay tuned.