The next step

I have worked from the live nude periodically since the early 1970's. This blog starts 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 just add them to the conservation.

All drawings and paintings posted on this blog were done entirely from the live model.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Are We Having Fun Yet?

So I'm heading out the door for a figure painting session and my wife says "have fun". I realize this is just a happy send-off but it got me thinking on the walk to the studio. With occasional exceptions I can't honestly describe painting from the live figure as being "fun". The process is just too complex and difficult, harder than any other subject I've tried. I'm afraid that in striving to produce quality figurative work a seriousness has pervaded my art.

Nooo, oil on canvas, 10" X 8", 2009
Collection of Patrick O'Conner

Painting still lifes has always been a joyful experience. Except when working from flowers or perishable items, any problems can be dealt with over relaxed extended time frames. It wouldn't be a stretch to call painting cityscapes outdoors fun. Weather and shifting light are the biggest hurdles but the work environment is open and exhilarating.

The figure is an entirely different animal. I'm humbled by what I don't know. Technical matters have always dominated my learning process. But I am slowly coming to the realization that ones working attitude also matters. The question is can I do the figurative paintings I aspire to with a lighter mood? My hunch is that I can and in fact it would be a big plus. So I'm making a conscious effort to relax and focus on the inherent joy in the process - within limits of course.

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