Architectural Watercolor: Reviving a forgotten tradition

In the name of God, stop a moment, cease your work, look around you. Leo Tolstoy

The inherent dichotomy expressed by Russia’s foremost literary genius in this passionate admonishment has been resolved magnificently by his latter-day native compatriots: Anton Glikin and Irina Shumitskaya.

That fact is revealed well by their exhibition and accompanying catalog and I am pleased to join in heralding its advent here in our design classrooms (the first exhibition we’ve been yet able to feature…) and the fine continuing achievement of both artists.

Anton and Irina long ago learned how to stand still and observe with the patient and discerning eyes of the draughtsman. This act informs their minds and guides their hands.

They stop in order to work.

Of particular interest to the architects, designers and other classically-inclined constituents of the Institute are their drawings of buildings and interiors, whether old and new, which delight the viewer’s eye while also informing the attentive practitioner in search of exemplary lessons for the sake of their own respective design endeavors.  In this way, they record results and inspire anew; and in this way, they demonstrate above all how drawing is a pathway to seeing.

Irina Shumitskaya, The Greek House, East View, 2004, Watercolor on paper, 40x25”

The ICA&CA was pleased in 2003 to recognize Anton with its Arthur Ross Award in Rendering –although it might just as well have fallen in a category of fine art. He transcends categorization. Meanwhile, the work of his wife and fellow traveler, Irina, reveals comparable excellence and reinforces our celebratory impulse on behalf of each.

Anton Glikin , A Rotunda, 2004, Pen on paper, 7 ½ x 5”

Likewise their rigorous studies at the St. Petersburg Academy of Fine Arts, where those enrolled advance to new tasks and assignments only when each sequential assignment has been mastered fully, constitute a fine pedagogical model for the Institute today. This is the case in our fine arts division, the Grand Central Academy of Art, whose curriculum demands years of cast and figure drawing preceding the paint brush, as well as in our classical design certificate sequence and its close ties to a well-tested progression of skills and aptitude.

Irina Shumitskaya, An Empire Style Garden Seat, , Elevation, 2001, Watercolor on paper, 17x12”

Anton and Irina personify the Institute’s work both in the course of study they followed in Russia and in the results of this preparation achieved in America. It is a joy to know that their contributions to contemporary classicism will continue for many years to come.

Paul Gunther

August 2009

Anton Glikin, A Mosque at Sunrise, 1995, Watercolor on paper, 18x19”

4 Responses to Architectural Watercolor: Reviving a forgotten tradition

  1. Sam Lima says:

    I am very thankful that my school (Judson) has a great architectural rendering in watercolor class!

    Reply »
  2. joundamma says:

    Fantastic, very amazing issue. I will write about it too!!

    Reply »
  3. aion kinah says:

    This is a great article. I’m new to blogging but still learning.I love your blog!

    Reply »
  4. Peter Rosmarin says:

    Love the watercolour

    Reply »

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