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.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Learning to See

When riding a bicycle I practice an important survival technique - ride like you are invisible. Drivers can look right at you and not see you. Looking at something and seeing it are two different things.

The most valuable lesson I took from art school was learning to see. To get into the art program at California State University, Long Beach students were required to pass a portfolio review. I had been drawing since childhood so my portfolio consisted of a collection of what I thought were my best drawings. They got me into the program but it wasn't until a beginning drawing class that I realized I had been drawing without really seeing.

Male Nude Study, oil pastel, 9" X 8 1/2", 2014

The class was working from different still life setups around the room. I was dutifully drawing from one when the teacher sat down next to me with his drawing pad. I watched as he began a simple line drawing focusing on a small section of my setup. He was carefully observing shapes and angles and reproducing them on his paper. I had been doing a version of this but only an approximation. In that brief lesson a lightbulb came on for me that permanently changed the way I see things.

The teachers name was Orval Dillingham. I'm sure he is long gone. I never properly thanked him. Wish I had.

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