I’m still in a funk. Not depressed–I am very active, working 20+ hours each week in gainful employment (preparing tax returns); going to classes, art receptions, movies; picking up and delivering artworks for exhibiting; playing bridge one afternoon of each week; cooking and cleaning (as minimally as possible); watching way too much TV. But I haven’t picked up a paint brush for weeks. Months.
Nevertheless, every waking moment not required by the above-mentioned activities I ponder, to paraphrase Gauguin: Who Am I, Where Am I Going?
This concern over direction started long ago but I have suppressed it, hoping I suppose that the answer would eventually reveal itself without any extra effort by me. In December I took a 2-day workshop on how to behave as a successful professional artist, and the difficulty I had in composing an Artist’s Statement brought home to me the quandary in which I find myself. I paint landscapes en plein air. I paint figures and portraits from live models. I paint animals from photographs. I paint impressionistically. I paint realistically. I paint post-impressionistically. Every now and then I even try to paint abstractly. I struggled to find a common theme that doesn’t fall back on metaphysical or philosophical musings. There isn’t one.
At this point, after some months into aforesaid hard pondering, I see myself with one toe in the Realistic Realm and a whole foot in the Van Gogh Wannabe Realm. Is it time to lift that foot with the toe in Realistic Realm and swing it around to plant it perhaps beyond Van Gogh–perhaps as far beyond Van Gogh as . . . Tommy Thompson? Eric Aho? Just as soon as I try to imagine that happening, I start to regret my animal portraits, my nude figures, my painted portraits, all that I love about capturing a real life moment.
Clearly, nothing can happen until I pick up a paint brush again.
Meanwhile, I am keeping fit by continuing the class with Deidre on Advanced Figure Drawing. Three hours a night, once a week on Tuesdays. Here is my output since the last blog:
The Guard Unclothed was a 2-week pose, and I used the extra time to perfect the modeling of his body and to describe the background. Standing poses are the most challenging to me, perhaps because I would prefer a pose that no model could hold for more than ten minutes. Standing poses are academic and boring, which may be why I worked so hard on the background.
Two Views — of another pose that spanned two weeks. Two Views are not a matched pair. The paper is different, true, but they differ mostly in my handling of the modeling and background. One has background but little modeling. I have no title for it yet. The other, which I am calling “The High Priestess”, has no background and a lot of modeling. I think I prefer the first, rougher version, but that might be my preference for a back view. Breasts are so complicated. I love the head and shoulders in Priestess.
Next time, there will be another pairing of two views of one pose, as I finished this week’s drawing (below) and next week will move to the other side of the podium, whence I might avoid the breasts by doing a head and shoulders portrait. At least it’s not a standing pose:
Aline Lotter is currently exhibiting:
At the Bartlett Inn in Bartlett; at the Bernerhof Inn in Glen; at the Red Jacket Inn in North Conway; at Twiggs Gallery in Boscawen; at the Audubon Massabesic Center in Auburn, as part of an exhibit of Manchester Artists Association paintings and photographs; at the Norris Cotton Cancer Center in Manchester, part of the Healing with Art program; and at the law offices of Mesmer and Deleault at 41 Brook St in Manchester.
As usual, you may view paintings with prices and order prints, phone cases, pillows and the like at my Fine Art America page. If the painting you are interested in is not there, or if you prefer to bypass that experience, you may contact me by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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