Thursday, May 28, 2009

Life Drawing

I've been reading Jack Flam's book about Matisse and Picasso , which is full of little grayscale thumbnails of many works where they played off of one another (or fought off one another, more like). Looking at those, rubbing and erasing charcoal ...

Life Drawing 5/27/09

A sassy long-legged long-armed dancer/gardener for a model!

Friday, May 22, 2009

The Impact of the Unequivocal ("Silence is so accurate")

Oh and then there's Rothko:
"We favor the simple expression of the complex thought. We are for the large shape because it has the impact of the unequivocal. We wish to reassert the picture plane. We are for flat forms because they destroy illusion and reveal truth."

"Scatole contemplative": fugitive, exquisite, and secret

“Screwing things up is a virtue,” said Robert Rauschenburg. “Being correct is never the point."

From Josef Albers, Rauschenberg "gained a respect for the grid as an essential compositional organizing tool."


"Kicking around Europe and North Africa with the artist Cy Twombly ... Rauschenberg began to collect and assemble objects — bits of rope, stones, sticks, bones — which he showed to a dealer in Rome who exhibited them under the title 'scatole contemplative,' or thought boxes."

Around 1959, Rauschenberg developed a "transfer drawing technique, dissolving printed images from newspapers and magazines with a solvent and then rubbing them onto paper with a pencil. The process ... created the impression of something fugitive, exquisite and secret."

Fugitive, exquisite, and secret.....

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Return to Life (Drawing)

Deborah was a beautiful model at Quimper Arts Life Drawing Session tonight. Drawn with "LithoCoal" which handles like charcoal then heat-sets (and although we know from Ray Bradbury that Fahrenheit 451 is where paper burns, it is still possible to scorch the drawing paper in a 250 oven if you put it too close to the element. Luckily the last drawings of the night came out fine.)

Where the dancers came from

Quimper Arts life drawing session in February 2009 (Dava).

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Next layer (dancers)

Next layer: transparent red earth; Indian Yellow (I meant Naples Yellow, on the first layer -- it is more buttery and opaque; Indian Yellow is transparent and warm). Also some titanium white. Putting on and wiping off. (Looking, just a little at a time, at the Rothko catalog from the 2008 Tate show; it just arrived today.) Then some cobalt blue and quinacridone violet, plus a little of the rest.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Five Figures, or two, or one

Started a new larger oil painting today (18x24). Anthraquinone blue, some places grayed out with tiny bit of burnt umber, or lightened with titanium white, or warmed with a tiny bit of quinacridone red. Indian yellow [I meant, Naples Yellow], some places with titanium white. Used Galkyd medium mixed with a little Gamblin Cold Wax Medium (thinned with Gamsol).

They started as tulips

Oil paint; second layer.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Seven Million Dollars and over 39 miles

My friend Sally Light just walked a MARATHON AND A HALF. IN 2 DAYS! In the RAIN! Well, she's from Seattle so she takes the rain part in stride. The big deal is that she and her fellow walkers on the 2009 Washington DC Avon Breast Cancer Walk (successor to the 3-Day that inspired me to make my very first web page in 2001) raised $7 million for breast cancer research and treatment.

So this is inspiring me to upload a video to my blog, another first -- may require Internet Explorer rather than Firefox to view it though. An experiment! Video from the DC-area television news coverage. Sally wrote: "Just after the Arlington girl holding the cardboard sign on day 2 of the Walk, you can see Jyl to the left in the blue poncho and me next to her in the middle in a baseball cap and rain-soaked jacket, brown capris (also soaked). The best news -- we raised 7 million!"

Big cheers for Sally!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Drawing practice

"The mind wants to turn deliberate, newly learned skills into unconscious, automatically performed skills. But the mind is sloppy and will settle for good enough. By practicing slowly, by breaking skills down into tiny parts and repeating, the strenuous student forces the brain to internalize a better pattern of performance."

From a review in the New York Times of two new books about the nature of "genius."