Posts Tagged ‘artists’

more life drawing

October 18, 2009

I’ve been enjoying sketching this lovely model who’s been posing for a couple of drawing groups.  She is so elegant and graceful, and I’ve never known a model who could hold a pose so well.  I don’t know how to spell her name…Ilema? but I’ll have to find out.

Not much other news; it’s been a very busy week with lots of work to do for WAAM; mostly I’ve been working on creating a blog for the organization. WordPress makes it pretty easy, but there are still plenty of tricky bits to work out.  Here ’tis: http://www.waamblog.wordpress.com .  Any suggestions are welcome.  The openings last night were great fun–lots of people showed up and the shows were much admired.  After, I wandered across the street to see Polly Law’s show at Oriole 9.  Her work, as always, looked spectacular.  I let Lenny Kislin convince me to show there next month…but I’m a bit nervous about it.  Some of the work will go directly from the Doghouse Gallery into the restaurant, because I don’t have time to make a lot of new pieces, but I hope the clientele is different so it doesn’t look like a rerun.  Whatever, it will be fun.  From Oriole 9 some friends and I went back to Saugerties to try out the new Fez restaurant, and were delighted with the food and ambience and prices.  The waitress (part owner maybe?) really had her hands full as the busboy didn’t show up, so it was just her and the chef–and the place was super-busy.  An odd closure to the evening: peeking into Dave’s Coffee House next door, we beheld something not often seen on Partition Street–a live lion cub!  Well, my companions saw it, but by the time I looked it was back in a covered cage…so they might  have been hallucinating….

One more note: I’ve put the entire Doghouse show (my work, not Mary Anne’s) here: http://loel.smugmug.com/Art/doghouse

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catching up

October 8, 2009

Well, this is weird.  I wrote and posted, and then saw that the entire first paragraph had disappeared…now, what was I saying?  That the Doghouse Gallery opening was last Saturday evening, and it was a terrific party.  Lots and lots of people came, lots of wine was drunk and cheese eaten.  Mary Anne and I both sold a couple of things, which was wonderful.  I would have liked to sell more, of course…had  hoped to pay for my framing costs…but I didn’t really expect to, and I’m delighted to have sold anything at all. Nice things were said about the work, and it was gratifying to have it seen, and to be in the company of so many dear friends…and some new friends.

These events are draining for the artists showing work…I am NOT complaining, mind you, not at all, and of course it was great fun…but after the stress of getting everything finished, framed, hung, polished, cards and invitations made and sent, and then the high of the opening itself where you try to talk to everyone and remember names and not spill wine on yourself, or drink too much of it…well, then there is a sort of crash.  It takes a few days for the adrenalin to depart, days in which all I want to do is sit and stare into space.  I’ve learned to accept this period and just go with it; I’m going to be unproductive anyway so I might as well enjoy the little island of calm.  I am managing to do some much overdue house-cleaning; I can’t seem to get work done in the studio AND keep the place tidy at the same time, it’s gotta be one or the other.  There’s more to do, but the bills are paid, the cobwebs brushed from the corners, the papers cleared off my desk.

And then there’s the reflection, the doubt…why do we artists keep doing this?  I think of all the hours spent making stuff, sometimes full of joy and sometimes anguish, the expense of framing, the hauling and hanging, only to bring home yet another pile of pictures no one wants and find a place to store it.  I can only say I do it because it’s what I do.  I don’t think I can say I love it, though often I do…do I “have” to do it, as many art-makers say?  Maybe.  I don’t know; I wonder if that’s just a romantic myth.  I do get grumpy if I go for very long without making something, that’s true.

So what’s next? — a question that follows every such event. I’ll have a show in the next few months at Oriole 9 in Woodstock, and next November a solo show at WAAM, more reasons to keep on working.  Right now I need to shift my focus to figuring out ways to make an income; having recently been dropped by my longest and most faithful illustration client, my financial situation is on the verge of being dire, and my job skills are nil.  Well, there’s always Wal-Mart; they might need a greeter!

Opening, me with guests, and Tom, the gallery ownerwe drank a bit of wine...gallery door

life drawing

May 9, 2009

red nude

This is a 10-minute sketch I did at the life drawing session at WAAM on Thursday, when we had an amazing and beautiful model, a graceful young woman who could hold a pose without the slightest movement for a full 25 minutes.  The sessions are on alternate weeks, and I try not to miss a single one.  Life drawing is forgotten by many artists as soon as they leave art school, but I think it may be the single most important practice for an artist at any stage of his or her career.  It’s not about producing beautiful final works, it’s about seeing and training the hand to cooperate with the eye.  It’s about patience, and about speed…to catch something of the model during a one-minute pose is a challenge.  My greatest satisfaction comes when I feel that I have connected with the model, that I’ve captured something of her being…that doesn’t happen very often.  The practice itself is infinitely interesting to me…at first I try to match the media to the subject; some models need a light delicate pencil stroke, some demand great bold swaths of charcoal.  Good models bring themselves to the process; they care about what they’re doing, they’re into it, and it feels like there’s an energy transmitted between model and artist…when it’s going well my hand isn’t moving a pencil across paper, it’s in contact with the subject, following directly the line of a shoulder, the curve of fingers.  Hard to explain, but drawing from life is where I feel closest to pure Being, closest to meditation.

And it’s just fun, too, as are my pre-drawing lunches with Marcie and Annette…

PS–there’s a fabulous book about drawing, and many other aspects of art that I highly recommend: Undressed Art: Why We Draw