Thursday, January 10, 2008

New Figurative Work

I am doing figurative work, both in pastel, charcoal, and oil. I do exploratory drawings first to familiarize my self with the model. Then on to an oil that, hopefully, will be informed by the previous studies. "Donna" has a magisterial bearing, and is very colorful. This is actually the first sketch, which is the most inventive, as far as use of color, and line. I have been drawing with a bamboo pole holding the charcoal, which gives more excited, agitation to the line.

As this is the last of this series, I was able to abstract forms in color areas, and in the robe, my need for details and "finish" having already been satisfied. This is another sequence of visual thoughts on paper, supporting the oil painting. This one keeps details painterly, and with interesting brush work, while remaining realistic. My predilections and skills seem to go naturally in this direction. Pulling it all together is the continuing fascination, and the reason that I paint...

This was such fun for me. After being on the other side of the canvas, I finally got to do some modeling, filling in for an absent model. Sitting there and watching the painters painting ME, was quite educational. The grimaces, and concentration that I have experienced, were now visual proof that what we all go through trying and trying to get it right.

Here are some of the results of the short 2 + hours. Married to an artist, you would think the he would love to paint his live-in model. Not so! So this was really a treat for me and I loved the results from artists of different skills and intentions.

Self Portraits are something that challenges the artist. It is at once a chronicle of your aging self (problematic, especially for women) and an opportunity to study your inner-outer self in various lighting conditions and places.

"Shelli, Self Portrait '08"
oil on canvas, 14" x 18"

An advantage is that the model is always available. Rembrandt did MANY of his best works in this manner, Bonnard, and Beckman to name a few others.

Done in interior florescent overhead lighting, the colors are cool, and the shadows are below. At first I was concerned with an attractive, flattering painting, then I got into the challenge of the lighting influencing the colors, as well as a likeness, and the short time allotted to the painting (3 hrs). It shows pensive, concentration, and a likeness - which is what it is.

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