Posts Tagged ‘drawing’

Back to the Real

November 4, 2011

After my solo show of assemblages and mixed media works a year ago, I felt tired of the mess and bother, the glue and little bitsy pieces of stuff, and decided to return to painting and drawing, focusing on technique and simple subject matter.  The decision was aided by the fact that it was winter, and my “mess” studio, a closed-in garage, gets very cold…and is expensive to heat.  I set up a working space in my “clean” studio (which isn’t all that clean but at least doesn’t have paint on the floor) – the “family room” of my house.  And I started taking classes with Manhattan/Woodstock artist Chris Gallego, whose work I have greatly admired since first seeing it at his solo show at the WAAM.  (See his art at http://www.chrisgallego.com). I painted still lifes, something I’ve never done before, and found it completely engrossing, especially under his expert tutelage.  After an arduous painting of a plastic bag, pencil and paper called to me and I’ve now started a series of drawings…below is the first one, the subject of which is a rack of old clothes in a vintage shop in Virginia.  I’m obsessed now, seeing drawings in everything.  This coming weekend I’ll be doing an intensive 2-day workshop in Chris’s Woodstock studio, and I can’t wait.  It’s always surprising to me how very much more there is to learn about even the “simplest” art techniques, and how much I don’t know.

A few of my new paintings follow the drawing. I’ve sold two, and one will be in NAWA’s “Vernissage des Femmes Artistes” show in Miami during Art Basel week.

 

 

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Sketchbook: Waiting room

March 22, 2010

It was my birthday, bitter cold and snowy in Illinois.  My daughter was in surgery at St. Francis Medical Center in Peoria, and her husband and I had some nervous hours of waiting to do.  Sketch models were abundant, so I passed the time scribbling away while he worked on his laptop.  Overheard while I was working on these pages: “…and there was so much blood on the floor, I thought, man, this boy is dead….almost cut his whole arm off…locked  her in the basement with the dog.”  Well, I’d love to know more about that story….

15 minutes…

March 20, 2010

…well, maybe 5 minutes, of fame…or, okay, not exactly fame, but they’re my minutes.  Grey Morris posted this little video of me working on a piece on his wonderful artists’ site, Hudson Valley Fine Art.  http://www.hudson-valley-fineart.com/feat_loel_video.html. If you’re an artist in this area, it would be well worth the trouble to sign on to his site, and if you’re an artist anywhere at all, check out Jonathan Talbot’s arts map and get your studio or gallery listed: http://www.theartsmap.com/.  Grey’s blog is a real treat too: http://greyivor.com/wordpress/

Next pages in sketchbook: Son-in-law studying, with cat Solange….

Sketchbook

March 19, 2010

Wow, I hadn’t realized how very LONG it’s been since I did anything here…I started a blog for the Woodstock Artists Association and Museum (www.waamblog.wordpress.com) and when I got busy keeping up with that, I let this one languish.  And…I’ve never felt anyone was really that interested in my daily comings and goings.  My photographer friend Sue suggested I post pages from my sketchbooks, so I thought I’d go with that idea for awhile…sketching is pretty much my favorite thing to do.

I’ll start with pages, a pair every few days if I’m not too lazy or busy, from my current Moleskine book.  I love these sketchbooks, with their solid binding, smooth heavy creamy pages.  I use a ballpoint pen almost exclusively…love the way it flows across the paper, the variations in texture and line I can achieve without worrying about pencil sharpening and smudging.

The first group of pages are from a trip I took to Eureka Illinois, in January. My daughter teaches at Eureka College there, and had to undergo a small procedure to cauterize an errant nerve in her heart.  I had many subjects in the airports and waiting rooms where I spent hours, as well as in the home she shares with her husband, a professor of religion at the same school. This pair of pages was sketched at the Detroit Airport, waiting for my flight to Peoria. (My daughter is fine, by the way!)

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

blogging my butt

March 6, 2009

Yep, I finally did it, the dreaded colonoscopy.  I was scared shitless, but just as people told me, it was as easy as falling off a log, and in and out procedure.  Everything came out okay, and I’ve now repooperated.  bullcolonoscopy

To change the subject (please), I’ve just made some more ACEO’s and sent them off to Arts Upstairs.  I felt inspired by the antique paper collages of Cecil Touchon, loving the colors and textures of the papers and the simple and elegant way he placed them. http://cecil.touchon.com/antique-antique-papers/index.html

Of course I don’t want to copy him in any way, but I dug through my old family stuff and pulled out some lovely pieces: my grandfather’s diaries, a great-aunt’s autograph book, letters from my grandmother to my dad when he was in college, etc.  Now, it’s not easy to tear pages out of these precious relics, and I’m careful about how I do it, but I’m liking the results and the sense of history/mystery they give these tiny objects.  Here are the recent cards—not all use the old paper, there’s a mix here, but I never can stick to doing just one thing!

New ACEO's

New ACEO's