Tagged: brush pen artwork

A view of the Virginia Piedmontese from Thomas Jefferson’s home at Monticello.  Returned to my mother’s birthplace outside Charlottesville, Va for a family reunion and visited Monticello for the first time. This chimney is the remains of the joinery workshop on the estate of Monticello. Here master craftsman James Dinsmore fashioned much of the woodworking and furniture at Jefferson’s home along with the principle assistant, enslaved artisan John Hemings, brother to Sally Hemings, the enslaved woman who bore Thomas Jefferson a number of children.

View of The Rotunda from The Lawn of UVa.

Top drawing done with Faber-Castell Pitt Artist Pens in a Tomoe River Paper sketchbook. Bottom drawing, F-C PAP in an old ledger book.

After a family reunion in Charlottesville, I rode Amtrak to Philadelphia. I think I drew the City Hall tower once before but no idea where that drawing is.

Got in a brief neck-craning sketch of the Philadelphia City Hall tower. The largest city hall in the country btw. And then as I walked through the outside passageway, I took up a position behind a young man playing the violin. Samuel noticed I was sketching him and told me he is learning on his own as he is no longer taking lessons. He also stated he was delightedly surprised to see I in fact got him playing southpaw, which he is. Normally, he has been drawn as a righty. Whaa…? Play on brother.

Pitt Pens in a Stillman & Birn Gamma series sketchbook.

Once more into the breach! Memorial Day. A sober day of remembrance of and for those who sacrificed for a higher goal. Devotion. I’ve spent that day for the last 15  years at the Palette & Chisel Art Center’s 12 hour Life Drawing Marathon, drawing nude women and men, of all shapes, sizes, persuasions, and color, along side artist of similar variety, grateful that I live in a society that has made an effort that we may openly practice the arts and sciences. That the study of the human body can be conducted without shame. That I am in a room peopled by members of my society that decades ago, would not have been able to share this moment, openly practice this craft together, or use the same restroom. Unfortunately, that privilege cost people their lives.

Just this week, two people died in an attack on a Portland public light rail. They died defending the civic and human rights politicians are quick to extoll, one of them was a veteran. A white racist suprematist murdered them when they stuck up for two teenage girls he was verbally assaulting for living in “his” country.

It’s simple thing I do on this special day. I devote myself to a craft I believe in. A craft practiced by millions and millions over the centuries. One that has educated, enlightened, informed, delighted, challenged, inspired, carried meaning and understanding into the future that we may know something of who we were and are. A craft that some have been punished for having the temerity to express new or differing ideas from those who would venture off the well worn path. Some of their efforts were hidden, burned, destroyed. Some of those who practiced were themselves blacklisted, banished, excommunicated, and murdered.

All I do is draw. To me, the craft does demand devotion. And sacrifice, and tho it hasn’t yet cost me my life, there are those for who the sacrifice proved too much. For me, it has been sustaining and has delivered much more to my life than the considerable amount it has required. I love doing it and am grateful that I have been supported in my pursuit first by my parents, and then by boatloads of people, some teachers, some friends and peers, collectors and patrons, and even scores whom I have yet to meet.

I don’t take it lightly that I can so very casually traipse out the door, sketchbook in hand and draw, my society, and the privileges it enjoys. Thanks to those who have given so much that we may have so much. We may still have a ways to go to live up to our inalienable rights, and full equality, and incidents just as that which occurred in Portland show that we live among those who would resist the promise of this country’s Constitution and history, but I sit on that wooden horse in that studio, surrounded by 30 odd people, open my sketchbook, and on that day, as with every day in the year, I am truly thankful to enjoy what so many have worked and sacrificed for. My mother would have echoed that sentiment with, “Amen”.

 

       

 

Haven’t going to life drawing sessions much this Spring. Here is a smattering of models, nude and clothed.

 

The model in the Daisey Dukes was helping me with a logo design. The drawings of the young African American model were from a Friday night session at the Palette & Chisel. My first time drawing her I got modest results and wound up focusing much of my efforts on her head. Faber-Castell Pitt Artist Pens and fountain pen on Tomoe River Paper.

Practice. It must be done. I was a weekly regular at area venues for drawing from life. For various reasons, I haven’t pursued the practice of drawing nude figures from life and it shows in some recent sketches. This 25 minute ink drawing in one of my many ledger books, was executed at a time when I was as relaxed while drawing as the model was during the pose. When figures are bundled in clothes the challenge is to indicate a figure beneath the cloth, and I always feel a little leeway in proportions so I tend to attack the page with more abandon. When the clothes come off, if I haven’t been drawing regularly I typically fret the proportions and contour accuracy and the drawings sometimes suffer from self consciousness with evident stiffness. I thought this would be a winter where I would concentrate on life drawing but……..things don’t always work out as planed.

Drawn with fountain pen filled with Iroshizuku ink and Faber-Castell Pitt Artist Pen.

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