Because I like to keep a record, and also to show you, I've uploaded my untouched drawings from The Keyhole Session last night, the last life-drawing session of its kind ever.
They're all charcoal drawings, some with watercolour crayons, some with Cretacolor Aquarelle oil pastels. The first eight are approximately 15" x 11" and on 130lb archival art paper; the last is 16" x 12" and on triple-primed cotton canvas sheet.
The theme was The Fight Club and there were about 20 models arrayed around the room. The Madame's sense of performance, dramatic poses and grand spectacle shone spectacularly in the spacious Mod Club in Toronto.
Below, there was still time after drawing the first image, so I began on the 2nd, for which I had only a minute or two left - it's much more gestural. Except for that one, they are 15 minute sketches, with the final group one being 45 minutes.
All in all, I'm fairly happy with my work last night. My artist friends, Jen Hosein and Jacques Albert, also came and the camaraderie was nice.
Sonia Barnett, the mastermind and Madame behind these sessions, took the photo below and posted it on Facebook while the session was in-progress. You can see me bottom centre, and the model directly in front of me is who the first drawing posted above is of. It was quite an event, as you can see from this terrific photograph.
Wednesday, December 12, 2012
Sunday, November 15, 2009
Dancers After Midnight, 2009, 8"x11", 20cmx28cm, oil pastel, India inks on paper
It's called 'Dancers After Midnight' because I sketched it in the midnight air, and finished at maybe 2am, when the air was still dark smoky blue-black.
Recently I've been 'put through the paces' over my work by someone I considered a friend but who turned out not to be supportive of my painting. In summarily dismissing almost all of my work, it was called 'abstract,' a label that mystifies me. I would say that if one liked a more Classical style of painting, stillness, realism, then my work would not be adequate, but neither would I call what I do 'abstract.'
How can I explain my art? Let me try.
When I work I like to create something realistic enough for you to recognize the subject matter, yet I like imperfection because life is like that. I like to see the brush-stroke, which to me is like the breath of the artist breathing onto the canvas. And a calligraphy of drawing, the poetry of the lines, is crucial. As is motion: rhythms of colour, sweeps of brushstroke, moments of tension between forms.
Slick does not suit me; I like it raw.
When I paint, it tears my heart out of my chest. Can you see my pulse beating there, in the dance of oils and inks?
I like beautiful, on this side of frenzied.
If I had to accept a label, I would say my art is somewhere between drawing and painting. My main influences are an incredibly diverse range of artists both contemporary and throughout history. I think the way you paint is linked to your biological gesture in the world. That paint and inks do not come out of tubes or bottles but fingertips.
My ex-friend and I have parted ways.
I guess the lesson is that you have to believe in yourself. That's most important.
Be true to yourself and follow your vision.
It's important not just to support and nurture the talents of others, but to have friends who support and nurture ours. When there is a balance, of give and take, a crucial reciprocity, we can freely explore and express our gifts, which are, afterall, our sacred offerings.
Friday, November 06, 2009
Women in Winter, 2009, 29"x21½", 74x55mm, oil on 300lb Waterford archival paper.
I waited 6 months for this painting to dry, and applied a matte varnish to it. Today I finally photographed it in sunlight (it's the last image in the slideshow). Now I must, must, must make myself finish the series (of 4 paintings, all of the same woman from the same lifedrawing session, each one named after a season, can be seen on the home page of my Art & Writings website).
This one is raw, the green and the blood. I painted it last Winter, and dedicated it to my son.
Slideshow documenting the developing painting:
Direct link to album.
Monday, August 25, 2008
If anyone knows the code to reverse the order of a Flikr slideshow I'd appreciate it. It's currently running backwards, from finished painting through all the stages to the drawing, which is a bit awkward. Women In Summer, I'm happy to say, is finished.
(Clicking any of the images will stop the slideshow and provide more of the info I included for the picture.)
Also, I've grouped this series on one page by the tag, WomenInSummer, at Flickr, here.
Friday, July 25, 2008
(28.5"x20.5"; 72.5cmx52cm; oil & watercolour on Waterford paper, click here for larger size & press F11 for full screen)
The women on the right appeared ghostly from a distance.
The greens of Nature and the poppies and marigolds much stronger.
She wondered if that was a statement.
The ocean has turned into green.
She had to put the water back in for depth.
Otherwise she'd be flooded.
Where was he anyhow?
Why were the women always waiting.
They were naked and waiting.
Even she who was born from a seabrush
of sea foam.
Monday, July 21, 2008
awake in night, sleep soon, hope, embroiled by my painting, get overalls on, go at it again
complexity of colours & figures driving me nuts. ready to throw it out. obsession. unscrew tubes of oil paint, try this, that. mess of reality.
where painting has progressed to, or regressed to.
(click here for larger size, you might need to press F11 if you'd like to see its whole cacophony)
Sunday, July 13, 2008
Clipped 2 clamp lamps each with 100Watt daylight spectrum bulbs on either side and snapped it. Blue is a bit bright, slightly darker in the original. The lower right quadrant a little darker than in the painting, but running the Dodge tool in Photoshop over it even at 25% didn't bring it to its shade of colour. Every monitor's different anyhow. My old iMac & new Dell laptop each present colours differently. Overall, and I worked on this awhile, between the 2 computers, the coloration's not bad.
Anyway, how's that drawing I posted going? Eh. Tinkering, dabbing, letting it grow in its own fashion. Slow, but I'm enjoying slow. My paintings used to be done in 20 minutes and that felt fine then only now I want to linger longer, enjoy the process continuously. A dab, a little bit of paint, wait a day, see what's next. This piece, however, who knows, it seems quite complex to me as I work on it, and I don't know in which direction it'll develop.
I just spread the blue of her back into the other blue to syncopate the rhythm across the page better because alone it overwhelmed, was too strong. I started using watercolour pencils because they're more forgiving, and I can test the colours first.
Do I like it? I'm not sure. It's growing on me. It seems diagrammatic. A blueprint. Though of what, I cannot quite say. Groupings, images of women.
72.5cm x 52cm/28.5" x 20.5", oil and watercolour on paper (click image for larger size) or go directly here (you might need to press F11 to see it all).