Saturday, April 21, 2012

Self Image, Drawing

O.K. Fair warning: This post is all shameless self promotion!  These drawings are a group I did one day a year or two ago as I sat in front of a mirror admiring myself.  The one on grey paper was first and I initially rejected it as showing me as too tough. Tough guy?  Yes, strong steely eyes and steely strong jaw set against a steely grey background vs. an unsympathetic multi-hued world.  (The story of my life!)  A stressful day drawing went on and on and I was forced to deal with paper of more emphatic colors.  I'm sure I became more and more tired.  I certainly see some sequential sagging in the body from first to last, - grey-to-orange-to-blue.

There are some good things here.  I am happy with the hands in both blue and orange versions. These are not generic hands but  are particular hands in typical "Me, Drawing" positions.  At first I hadn't considered the expressive power of the hands so allowed them to hide in the sketch-book pages on my lap and thereby lost an important aspect of myself, - the fairly famous steel-nerved artist hard at work. When I realized the mistake I made sure to highlight them in subsequent drawings. Much better, yes?  BTW, I do not know how to draw hands from memory - they are really difficult, - but I do know how to look and see edges as lines, one after another making up the complete hands.   (Tho' not in that nice (sigh) grey version!)  Actually, I'd guess a combination of the three poses could add up to a fairly accurate portrait. (1)  Grey = the competent broad shouldered artist, earnestly involved in the job at hand.  (2) Orange = the experienced craftsman, a bit more introverted but ever ready with strong sage advice.  (3)  Blue = the bone tired artist guy, hoping to avoid confrontation and put the tough day behind.  You can call me after my nap!

Yes, I was kidding, mocking myself as I wrote above,  (See the "Tongue-in-cheek" grey paper pose.) just having a bit of fun.  Friends and family kid me about my penchant for grey clothing, saying I'll wear any color so long as it's grey! - it's all a lie!  I occasionally wear dark blue or a dull heather green.

So, what am I saying, seriously?  Contour drawing is lively art!  Direct drawing without an eraser in hand keeps you on your toes!   It's like going out sailing in variable winds, - you are constantly having to adjust to wind and wave while keeping your eye on the compass.  In life "stuff" happens.  You may not move through the day / month / year quite the way you had expected, so you adjust.  It's the same in contour drawing!  The line may stray some as you work, you make adjustments and make it work, as I did above.   I often say, "Work hard, look hard, etc." but retain your sense of humor, -  enjoy yourself too!  Relax, have fun and then the hard work, the serious preparation may morph into a creative moment.    Researchers often emphasize those steps to creativity,  ending in a new way of seeing things.

(Strangely enough, here in these most recent drawings I look older than in any other published drawings.  I've just checked the mirror and the causes are obvious.  I'm certainly more tired lately and not drawing quite as well as I usually do.  My eyes have been giving me problems,  the arthritis is stiffening my fingers and no doubt... my sneakers are too tight!  There are always excuses. Just stay at it! Let the variations happen and they may lead you to better concepts. Look how handsome I am on the grey!

"The essential ingredient for creativity is wasting time."  Anonymous

"Creativity can be described as letting go of certainties."   Gail Sheehy

1 comment:

  1. I am drawn to the orange papered self portrait. I think it captures your personality the best...seems warm & true...thanks for sharing!