It has been so long–months– that I have allowed myself to get sucked into the vortex of earning money on a timed and output basis. I had intended to work a part-time job preparing tax returns for the clients of H&R Block, but part-time became full-time (even some overtime) and the clients became mine. I hardly had time to do laundry and cook. Recorded TV programs mounted up. I would try to watch TV when I got home after 9 o’clock, but I kept falling asleep. But now I am free again and so grateful for the privilege.
The only art I kept up with during this period was the Saturday life sessions, so I have photographed my favorites for discussion purposes. First, I’ll show you the ones that could not be finished because they were only 5 or 10 minutes poses. Works in progress help illustrate my approach to drawing the figure.
The first thing I try to capture is the “gesture”. The gesture will underlie the finished drawing and is therefore critical to a good result. I make a lot of errant lines as I splash around trying to fit the pieces together in correct proportions–all without losing the movement of the gesture.
With a little more time, I can eliminate some of the errant lines and start noting where the shadows fall. The shapes begin to acquire depth.
The next stage contains most of the notes that I would need to bring the drawing to a finished state, but without the model in pose, I don’t usually get care enough to finish the piece.
Despite the time constraints, occasionally I do finish a piece. Such a piece will be one that contains fewer details or complexities–for example, the back of the figure instead of the front. The pillows and fabric must be dealt with also. The white pencil is a favorite tool of mine at this stage.
Color is sometimes added to enhance the drawing when I have a lot of extra time.
I prize this last one highly for the sense of volume, of flesh, but regret the horizontal lines that have permanent ruined the piece as a whole. They happened when I was preparing the paper with hard charcoal with flat sweeps that etched those dark lines. How could I not have noticed before it was too late? Oh well.
I have scaled way back on the number of places to exhibit my paintings. I did that partly because of the time constraints and the “day job”, but also partly because I felt a little glum and pessimistic about the effort turning in sales. Nevertheless, two paintings sold from the McGowan Gallery in February, and my contribution to the Currier Museum staff and volunteer exhibit has found a home with one of my fellow docents. Opening next week is a 3-person exhibit at the Massabesic Audubon Center. The emphasis will be on NH landscapes but I might sneak in an animal or two. The Opening Reception is scheduled for Friday May 5, 5 to 7. I probably won’t get there until 6 o’clock because that Friday is one of my Symphony dates–Trip to Boston for Museum of Fine Arts and Boston Symphony Orchestra matinee.
I have not advertised my participation in the Audubon exhibit much, due of course to the “day job”. But I still hope to see some familiar faces at the reception when I get there.
Other places where you can still catch a few examples of my works:
- NH Antiques Coop in Milford NH
- Bartlett Inn in Bartlett NH
- Mesmer & Deleault Law Firm in Manchester NH
As usual, you may view paintings with prices and order prints, phone cases, pillows and the like at my Fine Art America pages, which are, like this blog, way overdue for updating. 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 email@example.com.
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Welcome back Aline! It is great to hear you chatting about arty matters again. I felt a big WOW when I saw your second drawing. It is so assured and economical of line but says enough to tell the whole story. As if you have just dashed it in, so fresh and confident. Congratulations! The others are good too, but the second stands out as masterly. Best wishes, Philippa
So good to hear from you too. I concur that fussing over a drawing often robs it of its confidence. Why must everything be exactly correct, anyway! Another factor might be working in favor of the second drawing—the shortness of the requested pose (ten minutes, I think) allows the model to take more creative, action-oriented positions. The longer poses, on which I have the luxury of developing slowly and in great detail, tend to be pretty static because a living human being has to keep the pose as still as possible for (usually) 20 minutes at a time. I want my cake and I want to eat it too! I guess that’s what photography is good for.
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I hadn’t thought of the pose length, but yes, that adds freshness. So many of the longer poses (in my memory) end up a bit like Goya or Manet classics. Not my paintings (!) I rush to add, but the models. Your drawings are much more pleasing than photographs would be. It is difficult to create lively life work from them too! Cake is for enjoying so you can have it both ways I’m sure. Kind regards, Philippa
It’s hard to be fresh (in the newness meaning, not disruptive) when drawing or painting something that has been drawn/painted millions of times before, many by artists of incomparable skills. But one keeps trying! I do loves me my cake.