The next step

I have worked from the live nude periodically since the early 1970's. This blog started August 9th, 2012 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.

Friday, April 4, 2014


Years ago a friend got his pilots license and took me on a plane ride. Before taking off he went through a detailed check list. People who fly know human beings are fallible. We are capable of overlooking even the most basic and obvious things. You may have flown thousands of hours but you always go through the list.

After a lengthy hiatus I recently returned to The Art League in Alexandria, Virginia. On Wednesdays they host an uninstructed five hour session. When the model was settled in her pose I selected a piece of paper that fit my mood and expectations. I made deliberate decisions regarding page placement of the figure. I started at the top and worked my way down. When I got to the feet later in the session I realized I was out of room. The bottom foot just fit but with no border. OK, so I miscalculated the scale - it's not the first time and won't be the last - no big deal.

Female Nude, oil pastel, 10" X 11 1/2",  2014

It wasn't until I got back to my studio and taped the drawing on the wall that I realized my oversight. The piece of paper I had chosen was a rectangle. I placed it on my drawing board horizontally. The pose obviously called for a vertical composition. Had I simply rotated the paper 90 degrees there would have been plenty of room. (Thinking back I felt "off" the entire session. I suspect my wrong way paper contributed to this sense of unease).

So now at the age of 62 I'm starting a preflight checklist. My list will consist of a series of questions: #1. What direction does the paper go?

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