Volume #10, No. 1
September 2010

Spotlight on Cate Aichele: Figure Sculptor and Anatomical Drawing Instructor.

Teachers Outside Our Walls

Sean Beavers, our popular Representational painting instructor, is featured in a glowing article in this month's American Art Collector Magazine and has a show that is up until September 15th at the gallery Quidley & Company on Nantucket.

The Secret Life of Dusk

Sculptor or Movie Star?
View Christopher Gowell (Owner/Director, Sanctuary Arts) on YouTube working in clay with a nude model and giving a selective tour of Sanctuary Arts' new Sculpture Garden. This Gossip Lady segment was the brainchild of local arts writer and sculptor Jeanne' McCartin and was wonderfully executed by seacoastonline's photographer and video master, Deb Cram.

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If you can't see this video in this email, please view it at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6fGo0f0wly8

Our catalog of Fall classes is now available, both as a brochure and on our website

Sanctuary Arts
117 Bolt Hill Road
Eliot, ME 03903
(207) 438-9826

nude in chair

I first met Cate years ago when everyone kept saying I should meet the “other sculptor church lady”.

I was busy creating Sanctuary Arts in an 1850's Methodist Church and a bit later, Cate was converting a Pentecostal Church in downtown Portsmouth into her residence and sculpture studio. We eventually met and I was very impressed by Cate's classically inspired figurative work. She began coming to my classes to work from the figure model, and eventually began teaching here as well. She met her husband, artist Carl Aichele here at Sanctuary Arts, and they now have two beautiful children. We sometimes share working from models and have developed a nice artistic friendship. I took the time to chat with Cate about her upcoming class and her artistic roots.

male nude
I'm always fascinated with the details of an artist's background- what is the path that took them from childhood scribblings to substantial art careers? In Cate's case, her mom loved to cruise junkyards and refurbish her finds as antiques. Cate spent her time sanding and painting old trunks, creating beautiful objects. Falling in love with the painting aspect, she nursed the idea of becoming a painter. After majoring in Art & Anthropology at UVM, Cate worked at an upstate NY job working for a special effects/ make-up artist who made manikins, sculpting the disemboweled policeman for Silence of the Lambs.

She heard about the New York Academy of Art from friends she met at Skowhegan and enrolled in the graduate school part time (she was working as a fiduciary). Rollerblading was her transportation of choice to the school in Tribeca and her studio. Wanting to be immersed in the  program, she decided to take out a loan and began attending full time. A sculpture class was a requirements (and one Cate didn’t like). But showing lots of potential, the chairman of the sculpture department, Harvey Citron, who had a studio across from hers in Tribeca, eventually talked her into changing her major and never looked back.

female nude

Cate learned her anatomical drawing skills at the New York Academy, a recreation of the French Academy of the 19th Century and the perfect place for her desire to acquire classical training in the figure. Like most of us, she lacked the discipline to study drawing on her own and needed the structure of school to push her to draw intensively. There, she learned tricks that aren't in the books. She learned from professors who observed how “Old Masters” drawings were created, studying things like line, hatching, and the tone of the paper. Cate says that drawing helped her sculpture skills enormously. Students endlessly copied plaster casts, drawing and painting tonal studies. She studied surface anatomy, working from cadavers and plaster casts of cadavers, creating ecorche' figures (skeletons with an overlay of surface muscles) until she really knew anatomical structure.

Cate's Anatomical Drawing class will be a fertile combination of Old Master and Anatomical observational studies. The class will be looking extensively at Old Master Drawings, teasing out their secrets for students to understand and build on. Their drawings can look deceptively simple, but we can see their knowledge of anatomy even in the quality of the line. Students will be challenged to go for that extremely subtle simplicity, using traditional wash to tint papers so that they can start with a lovely neutral tone that can push darks and lights into bringing real volume into drawing. Students will also create anatomical studies of parts of the body, learning surface anatomy, drawing with conte', beginning with standard drawing paper and working their way up to heavier, better quality paper.

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