31 January 2014

Drawing from Life

I last wrote about recruiting models for particular scenarios, essentially staging a tableau for me to photograph.  That put me in mind of how much I appreciate the enduring tradition of life drawing. 

In sessions with the Pattee Canyon Salon, I have less control over poses and perspectives. In the best of ways, I take what I can get, pencils in hand. I recognize that along with the value of direct observation, the call to improvise is a good stimulus for me as an artist. 

I rarely want to save the drawings I generate there, much less exhibit or promote them. These are mere artifacts of the process of seeing -the real treasure in the experience.

24 January 2014

Notes on Models

Models play many different roles in my figurative work. Yes, they supply poses, gestures, visages, as one might expect, but they also provide content. Whether "sketched" with pencils, paint or the camera, I usually take in more than I ever sought.

How often do I stage an envisioned scenario, only to discover something different, perhaps even divergent, in the modeling session? Almost always. And for that creative stimulus, I am deeply grateful to those who have made themselves available to my process.

Here is some evidence of a recent collaboration with Danica and Teresa:

[Pour I, II, III, 2014. Graphite on Paper, 8x10" each.]

15 January 2014

in the studio today

Another intriguing day in the studio.

Recently, I have been working for a stronger synthesis of drawing and painting in my work. The drawing has always been there, but ultimately buried under painting. Now I am striving to keep drawing alive throughout the process. By "drawing" I do not mean merely traditional drawing media (charcoal, graphite, chalk....), or conventional use of line, though these are elements in this evolving method. By drawing I mean a continuously refreshed engagement with composition and development of the imagery. Here is one of the first pieces I have resolved in this fashion. Given the naturally muted palette of this imagery, incorporating the graphite as line and value came readily. We'll see what arises in other seasons and scenarios.

[Delivered, 2013. Mixed media on wood panel, 10x8". (sold)]

10 January 2014

The ancient story of Demeter and Persephone fascinates me. As a mythic explanation of the changing seasons it is poignant. This tale of sorrowful separation is reflective of the grief I (an avid gardener) so often feel when the growing season ends. In this myth the pomegranate becomes irresistible, forbidden fruit. In the midst of Winter, so cold and nearly colorless, the temptation is evermore palpable. 

[A Sunderance, 2013. Oil on art board, 10x8".]