Wednesday, November 28, 2007
Last night I had my last drawing session at the Hopper House in Nyack, New York. Dan Duggan, the group's life drawing moderator, has decided to stop running it. I will truly miss the whole of the experience. Set in the historic child home of the painter, Edward Hopper, the group met on Tuesday nights to draw from a live model. Each week Dan brought us different models of different ethnicities ages and body types. All fabulously beautiful whether full and voluptuous or thin and dancer like. And yes we had a male model on occasion. I also loved being in a community of artists. Dan offered no instruction, yet I learned from the other artists by watching and doing. Like playing an instrument, I felt the growth in my skills each week. And of course, I love selling the drawings online all over the world.
Monday, November 26, 2007
Monday, November 19, 2007
After doing all those small miniature paintings I went in the complete opposite direction and created a full size watercolor (22x30") of sunflowers which were drawn and painted at many times their original size. However, many of my working methods remained the same. I started with fresh sunflowers which I am always adding to my grocery cart. Whether I end up painting them or not, it helps my creativity to have fresh flowers in my studio. Usually I don't get around to painting them until they have begun to droop which I actually like to capture in the art. There is something more powerful to me about beauty that is fading which evokes an existentialism. Again I start with the black and white drawing. With this piece I drew the sunflower in pencil directly onto the watercolor paper.
Once the drawing is complete I work very little with the actual flowers, just as I do with my life drawings that I turn into watercolors. I let the painting dictate what I do. In this particular piece I started with the background floating in darks and blues and just playing with color and water. Then I painted the leaves and stems and finally with the flowers. I love leaving some white of the paper showing through and adding touches of blue into the yellow petals. With my fingernails I scratched out pieces in the petals and details in the leaves.
The paper was taped to my painting board so when I was finished I pulled the tape off which left a nearly pristine edge all the way around the art. At first I thought I would fill it in but then I decided I liked the tension of the white edges against the rich background.
I have a spot in my foyer where I will hang this. That spot has been a rotating gallery of art as inevitably the best pieces I place to show off there are quickly sold either to collectors online or friends and clients who come to visit my home studio.
Thursday, November 15, 2007
This morning I took a yoga class and it cleared my mind.
There is nothing like standing on your head to erase negative thoughts.
When I came home I set to work on making 12 new mini watercolor paintings.
Most are based on recent charcoal and conte drawings I have done.
I love creating these pieces because the focus is completely on
the creation of something artistic and beautiful rather than the
recording of what is in front of me. That work has already been
done during the life drawing sessions with the model. The model is no longer
in front of me and I do not work from photos. I reduce the drawing to
approximately 4x6". The miniature size makes all the details
appear intricate. The artwork then tells me what to do
and I have fun experimenting with colors and shapes,
In today's series I had fun scraping paint off the paper with my fingernails revealing the layer of paint underneath.
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
I have a small informal drawing group which meets in my studio
on a regular basis. This has been a great outlet for me. I get to
screen and hand pick the models. Finding a good model can be a challenge, although
there are usually plenty of non-professional volunteers. Last night I had posted a link to my yoga art series on craigslist and I've received 10 offers for models so far.
I like having the model come to my environment rather than working in one of the ateliers around the city. By the time I get into the city I am usually
exhausted and if I don't like the model it can be a huge disappointment.
Today's model was Melanie. Melanie is an artist herself who has been practicing yoga all her adult life. She arrived half an hour past the appointed hour in a cloud of smoke. But I must say she was fabulous. She twisted her body and arched her back into interesting poses making great use of her negative space and creating interesting lines and shapes. I did several more abstract and fluid drawings from this series.