I Have Given My All


"Every great artist has a closet full of bad paintings," is a post I saw on Facebook. I reposted it without thinking about it. It should be "Every great artist has a closet full of paintings." We think every great artist sells every painting they do, which is far from the truth. I exhibited in a gallery with a biggie, a real biggie, and for several years whenever I went to the gallery I saw the same old paintings. Twenty years later I saw those same paintings at a different gallery. Even the greats have great paintings that do not sell. My attic is full of paintings, I'm in the process of filling Jordan, my managers house, with paintings. I've also sold paintings that were not my best. To me they were not my best, but to the person adopting them they were.

I have been using the idea of paintings being adopted instead of sold because they are my children, good or bad, and the people adopting are deciding to live their lives with my paintings. Every day they will have to look at my painting and be cheered up by them, I hope. These days people downsize, and my paintings maybe ones that are sent out into the world on their own. I won't be around to speak up for them, but I know they will be OK because I have given my all to each and every one of them. I send them out with good composition and design, good coloring and good drawing behind them, helping them to survive. 

Those in my attic just haven't been found by their true owner. Jordan and Adrienne will have to aid them on their way. My job is bringing them to life and seeing they get all they need, seeing there are no imperfections to stop a perspective owner from making the commitment of adoption. 

Perfect Drawings of Imperfection

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What to do with drawings of imperfection? I make mistakes drawing all the time, some of these I keep, others I toss. The ones I have problems with are those drawn from models who do not fit the norm of what we think of as perfection. I am not talking about models a bit overweight or those with a nose a bit pronounced.

I posted a drawing of a young man who had, what I call, a sloping eye and scar on the other. His mouth seemed to be frozen on one side. He was posing at a sketch group, so I did not interact with him like I normally do with the ones who pose one-on-one in my studio. Not sure if I would have asked about his eyes or frozen lip had he been in my studio or not. I was lucky enough to capture the great pose he took and do a portrait. I screwed up capturing his lips but I nailed the eyes. I had a few comments about that drawing when I posted it on Facebook… 

Then the question came, if I post another such drawing should I explain it? Several times I have drawn a gentleman who has a leg four inches shorter than the other due to curvature of the spine, he also has an eye missing and a finger missing. At a drawing marathon at the famed Palette and Chisel I made several drawings of a married couple. He was 6 ft. 6 in. tall, she was under 5 feet. Several people thought the drawing was of a man posing nude with a child. 

Models are not alway perfect, it's what makes drawing the nude from life interesting and challenging. God or nature has their own ideas of perfection. To me drawing such so-called imperfection brings out the beauty in all of us. A good drawing is just that - a good drawing. Fechin created great works of art through his drawings, without using the stereotype beauties selling us cars and cereals loaded with sugar. 

Some will be mistakes, others will be perfect drawings of imperfection. You will have to guess which is which.