Wednesday, May 5, 2010

two tree gestures

pastel 11" by 14" pumice ground on illustration board

I did this pastel two years ago around this time in late spring,  – an oak tree I believe which had an incredible amount of character, I ought to go back there – muskeg swamp beside the rail trail off hwy 52.  I remember how relaxed I felt, sitting in front of this magnificent tree without a coat on,  one of the very  first really warm days. I was able to sit with my materials spread around me as though I were at a picnic. It felt luxurious.

This weekend we’re off to Spain for two weeks, Barcelona and Madrid. Making a pilgrimage to Gaudi, El Greco, Goya and Velasquez among others. While it’s nice to look at art on my computer it doesn’t compare to the physicality of standing in front of the real thing. It’s one of the reasons I resist  working from a photograph I might take, which becomes a copy of a copy of a copy.
Yet I'm not going to Spain without my camera or my recently acquired ipod touch with skype. Oh so brilliant and yet mindless these gadgets! It seemed to take forever to get the hang of it. Yes, at times I fall into the 'oi' syndrome - the voice of complaint -  but then miraculously I recover into the wow and yay  syndrome. One fluctuates as it were.

gesture of a willow tree early March 2010,  9" x 11"
Kozawyk farm near Waterdown
pastel on rowney pastel paper

Monday, May 3, 2010

rest along the way

 seated figure carbon pencil 18' x 24' Fabriano paper

This was another theme pose. The same person who conceived of the Easter crucifixion theme  presented us with the  notion for this pose – he wanted to ‘drama it up’ as it were.
It  was a three hour pose with breaks for all of us to stretch and for some of us to sharpen our pencils.

So our model last Sunday was meant to be a pilgrim taking a rest on her way to Santiago. But in reality the model at the end of the afternoon would just be heading back to Grimsby, a lovely town to the south of us on the Niagara escarpment – where there are vineyards and wineries. And at this time of year - orchards of fruit trees in blossom! That indeed would be worth a pilgrimage.