Lost and Found Edges

The Jordan's Red Dress.jpg

Looking up from sweeping, there on the wall, was the most impressive drawing of the human figure I have ever seen. Working for Welna Gallery as a gopher I got to see some amazing art by living artists. It was important to me to study living artists, to be able to ask questions of them was such a great help. Looking up at this drawing more answers were coming to me than questions. Most drawings of the human figure are full of highlights, little dots of pure white. This drawing, by Richard Schmid, had not one highlight, making the figure look so real. Richard had captured the look of skin with conte' alone. The other thing that struck me was how he rendered the penis. For me, and many artists, how one deals with the genitals is a major problem, genitals are right there in the center of the body, limiting the poses most artists feel comfortable with. Some artists never return to the nude once out of art school. 

Studying Richard's drawing that afternoon I learned more about drawing and art than I did in a year at school; not that they hadn't taught us the things I was understanding studying Richard's drawing. Looking at that piece so many things about drawing became clear. Lost and found edges, where darks are important and where to use lines and/or smudges. That night at home I went through my collection of Saturday Evening Post covers and found some of the same little nuances in Norman Rockwell paintings. It was very clear. Rockwell's knowledge of the human figure and how to capture it gave him great story telling ability with his art.  

I carry all I learn from drawing and painting the human figure with me when I am out painting. Some of the best plein air workshops are actually taught in life drawing classes. What one learns in one workshop can be applied to other forms of art.  

Paint Leaving the Brush...

First Time

First Time

The process of creating a work of art has intangibles that many people see subconsciously. What I see in a piece of art is determined, due in part, by how I feel. Working with the right person - having an insight into who that person is - adds those intangibles to a painting that turns it into a work of art. Not all those who see my paintings will think of them as works of art, but rather as simple pictures. For art to be art it has to move or connect with the viewer. Personal experiences and feelings come into play in both creating art and appreciating it. My art is a statement on how I see the people and subjects I paint. The color - the shapes, are altered by how I feel; by what senses are in play at the time I'm creating. As a result, it is important that I know my subject and important for me to paint from life. The smells and sounds of a landscape play into how I paint the landscapes I grew up in. The music accompanying a still life comes into play when I paint the objects that surrounded me as a child. Knowing who I am painting is the most important factor in many of my works, for the human figure has become the main inspiration in my life as an artist.  
          There have been three women who I have worked with who have inspired me to be more than simply a painter. They have helped me define what it means to me to be an artist. Working from life opens my artistic eye to who I am painting, adding that intangible needed to create real art. Colors appear that I had over looked before. Knowing who I am - really seeing, adds an understanding to both my own feelings and how I wish to express those feelings. Decisions are made as to what to put to canvas and how I portray my subject. Knowing my subject personally, I become aware of the feel of the paint leaving the brush. Thus, painting has become a moment of understanding.