Sunday, March 26, 2017

Beneath This Rugged Exterior

Beneath This Rugged Exterior 2017, chalk pastel on paper, 15x15"

"How do you feel today?
-What do you mean?
How do you feel today?
Is that all?
-Best I've felt all year.
Then why choose fear?
-I'm a New Yorker. Fear's my life."
-Jonathan Larsen

"People assume that time is a strict progression of cause to effect. but actually  from a non-linear, non-subjective viewpoint it's more like a big ball of wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey stuff." - Blink.

We are the accumulation of our experiences. The friends we've known, the things we've done, the words left unsaid... all meld together to form the people we are constantly becoming. The effects - visible or invisible - of these experiences influence the way we think, see, respond, engage. It's a fine line between memory and nostalgia; that delicate space is difficult to navigate in words. 

Residue is everywhere - in the physical spaces we inhabit by day and the mental spaces we retreat to at night. Invisible is not the same as nonexistent. Sometimes presence is only most keenly felt in absence.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Crack in the Foundation

Crack in the Foundation 2017 chalk pastel on paper, 22x22" 

Foundation: (n) the load-bearing part of a building; an underlying basis or principle for something; typically, another term for first-year courses in art school

This is part of a new series of larger pastel drawings I am currently developing. I've been thinking about the balance between strength and fragility, about the things we carry below the surface that no one else sees, and about the inherent beauty in imperfection.

There is a Japanese tradition, called kintsugi, of repairing broken pottery with gold and other precious metals. I think that is an incredibly brave and beautiful idea - to highlight, rather than obscure, the broken parts. Those ceramic pieces become all the more precious - both literally and figuratively - for having been repaired.  In fact, one might argue that their greatest beauty lies in the healing rivulets that interrupt the surface. 

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Figure Drawing in the French Academic Method

Last weekend I had the privilege of studying with Peter Green at Manifest Drawing Center. The workshop was called "Figure Drawing in the French Academic Method"; it was a two-day intensive class covering everything from gesture and the envelope to rendering value. The French Method, as Peter explained, is a combination of the envelope, straight-line contour, and rendering light on form. It is a way of understanding the figure from the outside in, rather than the more Italian method of constructing the figure from the inside out.

It was an illuminating weekend. Peter is an excellent teacher, and I learned a tremendous amount that I am keen to practice and share with my own students.

Peter's demonstration at the contour drawing stage, before value...

... and the same demo, after adding both form and cast shadows (my apologies for the glare). Peter was using a variety of Conte pencils, including sanguine, brown, and black.

My drawing from the second day of the workshop... this was about a 4 hour pose. I used Wolff carbon B pencils on Strathmore drawing paper.

To see more of Peter's work, visit his website here: Be sure to check out his drawings from Studio Escalier; they are quite beautiful.