Tagged: life drawing

 

For such an unstructured lad as myself, annual events and the observing of rituals play an important role in accomplishments. Three times a year for the past decade, I have gone to The Palette & Chisel to draw from live models for as close to 12 hours as I can push. I’ve had sessions where I took awhile to get started, some days where I never quite put it together. There were days however where I walked in relaxed but fired up, able to see clearly, having clear objectives yet attentive enough to change course should alternative solutions hold more promise. My ability to hit contours and proportions were prime indicators that things were going well and that the day may be fruitful. Fruitful in so much that I might have learned something if not come away with a satisfying sketch.

      

  

  

  

  

  

 

 

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”.

 

       

 

Just drawing the full figure from life enough these days. So this past Thursday and Friday I put in a little time but still got caught up in the partials.

Steven Assael happened to be at the Palette & Chisel teaching a workshop and sat in on the Friday night life drawing session. I was behind him for a couple of poses and enjoyed watching him draw as I sheet he’d him n the act. Also included are a few head studies acquired in transit.

   

Various inks, fountain pens, Pitt Artist Pens, Seven Seas Tomoe River Paper.

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A selection of head and hair studies while out drawing in public. A few friends graciously held still for me, but most were captured while drawing in transit, in cafes, airports, and a couple during life drawing sessions. You can tell these were executed on a variety of papers, some in ledger books, some on watercolor paper, Tomoe River Paper, in various journals, but all of the drawings were made using ink and pigmented pens.

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Can you ever get bored drawing heads and hairstyles??? Trying to capture as wide a range as I can, the tonsure zoo of hair. Dreads, ponytails, crew cuts, B-52s, pompadoured crowns, flips, dips, cowlicks, comb-overs, straight, Boticelli & Michelangelesque curls, sprays, tinted, two-toned, razor cuts, haze cuts, feathered, bed head, pig-tailed, braided, gathered, bearded, moustachioed, Van Dykes, Imperials, goateed, sideburns, mutton chops, pencil-thins, cornrows, bobs, top-knots, bro-knots, high-n-tight, Mohawks, faux-hawks, French braids, Amish bowel cuts, Page girls, conks……yee-gads!

 

 

Hand to chin

More head studies from the last dozen years. Most drawings are on ruled paper and in ledger books drawn with a wide array of inks. And, while a couple of the drawings are from my imagination or after photo resources, the majority where drawn from life.

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