The next step

I have worked from the live nude periodically since the early 1970's. This blog started in my second year of working almost exclusively from the figure.

In the fall of 2015 I reintroduced still lifes and an occasional cityscape into my painting repertoire. Rather than abandon this figure blog or start a new one I decided to add them to the conservation.

All drawings and paintings posted on this blog were done entirely from live models or on location.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Your First Time

Anyone who has worked from the live nude remembers their first time. Mine was in California in the early 1970's. I was taking a beginning life drawing class at Long Beach State University. The memory is still quite clear. The initial shock of facing a naked model followed almost immediately by the more shocking realization I had to draw something. The scene was exhilarating and a bit frightening.  I regretfully didn't save the drawing.

I'm trying to imagine at that moment what synapses triggered in my brain and where the impulses landed. I think even forty odd years later I still go to that place in my mind when working from the figure. Every live session has some resonance of that first time. Most are toned down versions due to years of familiarity. Some still approach that intensity when the pose and environment are particularly suitable.

Seated Nude, oil pastel, 11 1/4" X 7 1/2", 2012

I have spent the last two years working almost exclusively from the figure but continue to call myself a still life painter. That's what I painted for over thirty years. I'm not sufficiently comfortable or confident with the figure to claim to be a figurative painter. Working from a live model involves another person in the creative process. There are complexities and personalities I haven't explored or even imagined.

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