Tuesday, November 30, 2010

A seated pose in reverse

I wanted to call this ‘the proper way not to sit’ as a follow up to my previous post, but I didn’t think I could and still have clarity. But wait a minute - Clarity isn’t always what it’s cracked up to be - I’m not sure what I mean by that.  More times than not I fake it. In this case ambiguity and indulgence are my guiding principles. But not to lose us altogether, that is if one hasn’t already shrugged one’s shoulders and turned the page – I had a brief but intense fling with Dr. Photoshop,  who is responsible for the second image. I took photoshop on a  30 day trial and had some interesting moments in his wild lab of possibilities – dove in  and  hardly understood a bit of what I was up to. I think for the time being I’ll return to the straight and narrow.  But what the heck, a deviant path now and then to while away the approaching winter nights. Excuses, excuses. My knee is now 98.8% better.

watercolor and pastel on watercolor paper 
13"x17" 2007 - 08

this is an image of the above watercolor 
inverted by photoshop

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The Proper Way to Sit

My right knee has been sore and stiff for the past few weeks from crossing my legs while sitting at the computer which I sometimes do for ungodly stretches of time - a bad habit, sitting like that. 
I am now with great mental effort, resisting that habit of crossing my legs. Today my knee feels significantly better and I went for a long walk to consolidate it's improvement. But I could never take and hold a recumbent position like the one that Ed has taken below. 
When I sleep now or read in bed, I put a pillow under my right knee and it relieves the soreness and tension. I recommend it. No, I am not a hypochondriac.

recumbent pose no.1 18"x24" 
chalks on strathmore

Thursday, November 18, 2010

A Ritual

Every three or four days after D shaves, we go into my studio where he poses, either sitting or standing. We listen to music or talk or it's just silence  - and then I’ll say “This isn't too difficult is it?”  After a lengthy pause when I figure he's not going to respond, he says,  “It's not as difficult as waiting for the bus.” Occasionally he asks,  "are you going to give me any hair?"  Of course I say in due course.

 portrait of David, clay, life size unfinished

Sunday, November 14, 2010

One out of three

I did three fifty minute drawings today, unfinished. This is Ed leaning back  on a stool looking down. There are some things I ought to resolve and tidy up. Tidy I'm not or rarely so, even at the best of times. But I do make frequent trips to the sink to wash my blackened hands - just like Lady MacBeth, but in my case without the guilt and ambition. Once I reconcile myself to my mistakes I try to make the best of things, making mental notes to study the structure in the rib cage more closely and around the neck and then while I'm at it why not the whole ball of wax - hands, toes, fingers, nostrils, chin, feet - hollows and the nether regions, etc.

chalk on cartridge, 18"x24"

Monday, November 8, 2010

buddy can you spare a dime?

Concentrating on ten minute poses when you haven’t drawn for a while,  can feel brutal, like threshing around in sub zero water.  Or else you want to tune out, focus on where to go after it’s all over – maybe an espresso, maybe pho. I try to remind myself to think about the distance from arm pit to arm pit, nipple to nipple etc – obviously no time to give a second thought to ratio – the Japanese music so and so just put on is soothing – come on I say to myself, concentrate dammit!  

recent charcoal drawings, 18"x24" manilla

Friday, November 5, 2010

a merry chase

Earlier, I was looking for a small painting of daffodils,  to no avail, that I did a while back,  - but instead found something else - this acrylic still life I did a few years ago. It turned up with  other loosely related items in the piano bench.  

The other  thing that turned up which gladdened my heart immeasurably, occurred last week when I found a set of keys II'd been searching for since late August. They had fallen into a hiking shoe beneath a small drafting table in my bedroom. 
I was looking for a pair of socks, and a glint of light from this shoe I seldom wear alerted me  to the fact that this was no mere sock stuffed in my old shoe. There they were - three keys - one to my daughter's apartment in Toronto, one to my studio in Hamilton,  one to my bicycle lock and also I guess, one for the road. Not a bad idea, I could use a key to wind myself up in the morning!
So the pell-mell and clutter of my house keeps me on my toes as it were. 

acrylic - pot and bottle - gessoed watercolor paper 8"x10"