Wednesday, July 09, 2008

drawing class

Last night I attended my second drawing class. I was too shy to ask the model if she wouldn't mind sweeping back her hair which was obscuring the head/neck/shoulder connection. I think the uninspired results I got are because of this. Getting the basic frame down on paper was challenging. Like trying to place clothing on hangers in a pitch black closet. You make guesses, but that I could have done at home.

I am not ordinarily seated three feet away from a naked woman. The experience was for me entirely nonsexual, as in entirely nonsexual, as in, I mean, really nonsexual. The model was certainly voluptuous and I suspect that there may have been a heterosexual male in the room who might have been aroused by her body. Me? I was distracted by that damn hair, and by the tattoo of a strawberry placed strategically, and, alarmingly, when one considers the pain its execution must have caused on what is undoubtedly the most sensitive part of anyone's body. (I think this fruit would not have been visible were it not for her extreme shaving.)

While sketching away, my mind wandered into thinking about the simple and obvious logic of the human anatomy. The parts are designed to fit. Not like what sometimes happens at the Home Depot where one might purchase a box full of something only to find out at home that the attachments don't couple correctly or that key parts are missing. I wondered if my lifetime insistence about the docking of my own fittings and couplings ought not to be amended to include what the manual would probably recommend. But I have never read my own manual. No one reads the manual we are each born with, so we don't know whether or not it directs us all toward the same performance of the obvious plug-and-outlet insertion, or, are ten percent of us born with more exotic manuals, written in French....

After the two hour session was over, and we were walking out into the parking lot, I said to a lady artist with whom I was chatting , "What would you think of a man who owned a perfectly good toaster but never plugged it in?"
She responded, "What would you think of a woman who was headed to the supermarket with a craving for strawberries?"

12 comments:

R J Keefe said...

But the whole point, so to speak, is that you do NOT own a perfectly good toaster. And you respect that!

tater said...

I loved both comments! The drawings are good, a little more attention to detail on this round. I find that interesting because to me it suggests a difference in the way you perceive your subject matter. The last two charcoal sketches were more in line with your male drawings as a function of form, What order did you complete these sketches in? I would find it interesting if the bottom few sketches were last to be completed.

Father Tony of the Farmboyz said...

Dear Tater,
This class follows a schedule of several two minutes poses, a few ten minute poses, and then some combination of thirty or forty minute poses. The ones at the bottom are from the two minute group.

Father Tony of the Farmboyz said...

Dear RJ,
I'll have you know that in some urban and in all rural circles my toaster is considered deluxe.

circleinasquare said...

I have found that in figure drawing, it helps to know the underlying anatomy of muscles, tendons + bones.

No slavish study is necessary; an afternoon perusing the drawings in "Grey's Anatomy" over coffee is enough to give a sense of what is going on under the dermal veil. You discover that knowing where all those bulges and bumps begin and end, and their movements in relation to one another, helps you to mold a "true" feeling figure - how ever much you choose to abstract it.

cb said...

I really like these sketches and am envious of your skill. I also like the hints of color added-- very cool.

Birdie said...

Your work shows innate talent and training. Do you have any of your own works hanging on the wall? We'd love to see them.

Father Tony of the Farmboyz said...

Thanks, Birdie.
No training. Little talent. Lots of chutzpah.
Got stuff on the walls and maybe I'l throw some more up here.

kitchenbeard said...

I found that when I was doig life modeling, I learned a great deal about my own body by merely being forced to stand still for 20 to 30 minutes at a time. Does that toe ache? Why does it? And that spot of dry skin I noticed last week? Still there because it itches now. And did I use enough soap when I was showering? Perhaps a way to learn about your models is to learn about your own body by doing the same thing.

keronaldo said...

you have been an artist since childhood. it all started in the margins of textbooks. you always had an eye for decolletage.

tornwordo said...

I like the two minute one bottom left. I answered in my head, "He probably doesn't care for toast" and "Perhaps she's pregnant."

SteveSchalchlin said...

Bottom left. Very nice lines. If that's the 2 minute one, it seems you do your best work when you don't have time to think about it, perhaps?

I knew this bartender in New York at my first job there. He loved to draw. What he made himself do is draw a full portrait of someone sitting at the bar, but all in one stroke. He wasn't allowed to lift his pen off the paper until it was done.

I was astounded at how good he was. But I think part of it came from the fact that he couldn't overthink or correct any lines.