Thursday, May 9, 2013

Looking at Line: recent nudes

These two recent models, Brittany below and Lauren right, both young women relatively new to me, inspire excellent work. Both have real presence and poise even in simple poses like these, making drawing a real pleasure. But subject is not everything.  Sometimes the things that bring a drawing alive and make the drawing truly interesting, are the lines, the marks themselves.  Following the line and comprehending the form described is pleasure - little to do with the subject.  Its like listening to music or poetry.  Some evoke a mental picture, a place, an action, - but for me most often it's the sound itself that is the joy and here in drawing it's the line.

Here, I started with contour line, added white highlights, then went back and strengthened some lines. Like a poet raising his voice to point up important parts or just emphasizing the ends of lines -  the period at the end of a sentence.

Back in art school (100 years ago!) we were taught that given lines weighty enough, reduction for reproduction would minimize the problems of a line drawing. Some- how seeing these at about a tenth of original size belies that idea. Seems I see parts not important in the original given unintended attention to the detriment of the drawing! Perhaps to see a drawing in a different context has you see things not noticed as you work, something like the practice of holding your work up to a mirror in order to see things you've missed in the doing! Like reading your poetry over out loud to hear the sounds, you have to spend quality time with your work, really looking, following the lines along to feel the flow and get the meaning - the form.

"No object is mysterious. The mystery is in your eye."   Elizabeth Bowen

"Is it not instructive that music can have color and art have rhythm?"    Ian Semple

"Contemplation is the root of awareness and creativity"   Sandra Chantry

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