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The Beautiful and the Damned - Who is Who?

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I've begun a new journal and have been using graphite and charcoal powder. I particularly like this drawing. There is a synergy between the figures, who are together but not gazing at each other, that captivates me. And if you look closely, you, too, will see that it is simply not possible to decide Who is the Beautiful and Who is the Damned. Either could be either.

I loved the remnants of the powder I had smeared on to begin molding the faces in the paper, and so have included those earlier photos. The first one is of the finished drawing. There is a silvery-pewter quality to the drawing, the way the light catches that, that is hard to photograph, but I've done my best.

 Final.
 Final, detail.
 In-process.
In-process, detail.
Beautiful and Damned - Who Is Who? Brenda Clews, 2013, 16" x 10", graphite and ink,  in a Premium C.D. Japanese Notebook (the paper is like silk).
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Retreat to Beautiful Objects

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direct link: Retreat to Beautiful Objects

When I retreated to my world of beautiful objects.

She was a dream, not the mask but how I composed her in Tangled Garden.

A vegetative force, Nature, birth, life, death, decay, mulch, compost. Beautiful and frightening. Strange dreams, the unknowable body itself. Life consuming life to live, plant or animal. Cells fuse to make new life, new connections, new hybrids. Wood/trees; metal/circuitry; bone/grafts; skin/love. Teeming presence.

I come from a jungle, the nature I write of is not pastoral, pretty. A fibrous network of vast connections. Natural processes. We are Nature looking at herself through her own eyes. This slip of consciousness viewing the universe for a knowing moment, soon to be lost. How can we forget the hungry ghosts, the floral opera singing in us?

An ecology of consciousness. An understanding of the parasitical and angelic. Leave the savageries. Our worlds of beautiful objects call us to retreat.

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Harvest Moon

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Harvest Moon, 2012, 17" x 14", mixed media on 90lb archival paper.
I drew two poses of the same model on the same page, and she is holding a mirror in which she is reflected. Gazing upon the self. Selves who witness each other. The multiplicity of the self. I've called it Harvest Moon to celebrate the model's pregnancy of 6 months.

Last night I went to a Keyhole Session, great models, wonderful crowd of artists, and I'd had a difficult day, emotionally, and somehow every drawing just wasn't right. Not sure if in future that particular kind of stress means stay home, rest, recuperate. My daughter, bless her, likes this one.


Seated Woman, TSA 23 March 2012

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Last night I went to TSA (Toronto School of Art) drop-in painting session (it only took a year to get there). Many fine artists. Perhaps these capture an essence. I'm considering going at the painting with oil sticks, and the pencil drawing on the canvas is going to get an ink treatment.


Woman of the Sea Far Inland, 2012, 18" x 24", 35.7cm x 61cm, acrylic on triple-primed canvas sheet.


Woman Seated, Waiting, 2012, 16" x 20", 40.6cm x 50.8cm, graphite on stretched canvas.

Drawing of a Young Man

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I drew this on Saturday, from life, while wearing two pairs of glasses! An old pair of prescription readers enabled me to see detail at a distance, and a small drugstore pair perched on the end of my nose allowed me to see my drawing on the paper. Hopefully I can get progressive bifocal or perhaps trifocal lenses soon - it was a crazy way to draw! ::laughing:: Though I did achieve a likeness, something that's been inexplicably eluding me in my return to drawing. 
Figure, 21cm x 29cm, 8" x 11.5", 2012, Moleskine folio Sketchbook, graphite.


Daphne Becoming-Tree

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20.5cm x 20.5cm, 8" x 8", sepia ink, Moleskine Folio Sketchbook A4.

A whimsical drawing of Daphne becoming-tree drawn in the park in late spring.

(Click on image for a larger size.)


The Dancer's Backskin

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direct link: The Dancer's Backskin

An accidental drawing - in a new Moleskine notebook, I brushed water over watercolour pencil. The paper shredded badly and cracked like an eggshell when dry. Intrigued with the effect, and having seen Natalie Portman's incredible performance in Aronofsky's 'Black Swan,' the desire for pure art, its passion and self-effacement, and the self-mutilation, hallucinations, madnesses, I thought of the underside of the dancer's life. Or her backskin.

I am working with the album that the music comes from (see also dance/ ...indigo folio leaves), with the musician's knowledge and tacit permission. No More Faith is an album of such variety I felt it could work for a longer project - literally, from neo-classical to this strange fingernail-on-the-blackboard minute and a half of scratchings. The strangeness that I might have felt on first listen has worn off and the sound seems less grating and more intriguing- perhaps, and who's …