Friday, May 9, 2014

The Empty Space in the Vase

Couple more hours at A-Space, figure drawing. This is way intense for me. I burned out at 9:30. I’d already done several hours of figure drawing from photo stock, and then studies of hands and feet. Seeing some improvement, almost every day. Developing my own shorthand for quick sketches.    I was looking at a site with drawings and paintings by graphic book artists. Set me to thinking about what I’m after—both in putting this in perspective, and getting at what I want to get out of this. The comic and graphic book artists are really very good: perspective, anatomy, and all of them, masters of foreshortening—kinda their trademark. What I was thinking, was that much of that skill is what I’m training for.<
I expect, a year from now, I'll be able to do that myself. I sure can’t do it now. But my goals, undefined as they are, are set for something very different—and not just cause I have no interest in drawing sword wielding warrior women with pneumatic boobs. Way beyond subject matter. No more than the photo-realist pencil drawings that keep popping up on the web. In fact, I think I have more respect for the comic/graphic book artists than for that most recent tromp l’oeil trend… I mean, what’s the point? Once you’ve said, wow, that’s very skillful! What’s left? Why not take a photo?

Still… gotta respect what these artists are able to do—the graphic book artists, the pencil photo drawers; it demonstrates the value of work and practice That drawing, representational drawing, is a learned skill.

But I’m not interested in ‘representational’… so what is it then? I want to move into figurative painting. That much I’m sure of. In as much as I can be sure of anything before I do it. And at this point, what I need to be able to do, the better comic book artists can draw circles around me. I gotta respect that. And learn from it. And then find my own way.

Much of which depends on not giving up on what makes what I’m doing now awkward, clumsy, “unprofessional.” In a sense, what I have to remind myself of—is that it’s not the control of craft that’s my real goal. That’s only a necessary step on the way. What I want, is control over the failures. Not control, maybe… but another kind of mastery… of being out of control. The graphic artists are superbly in control of every line… like the best of commercial artists. But they have lost the ability… or have lost interest… in the perfect accident. What every line Picasso or Matisse or Daumier set down on paper or canvas, reveals. What they knew to leave out. The absence, the empty space in the vase that makes the vase what it is.

That’s the part I wouldn’t have gotten had I done this at 15.

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