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.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Performance Anxiety

At a live figure session both model and artist are in a sense performing. The model acts as the stationary muse while the artist works to capture some essence of the moment. One might think group sessions would be the more intimidating environment. Surprisingly, not for me. With twelve artists in a room I'm less self-conscious about my work than when it's just the model and myself. The group provides a certain level of anonymity.

When starting a private session with a model I find myself confessing that I don't know what I'm doing. I'm not trying to be self-deprecating or humble. I think I'm trying to inoculate both of us to the process we are about to witnesses. As I stand in front of a blank canvas I honestly don't have a clue what is going to happen.

Academic Male Nude, oil on linen
38" X 20", 2014

No one likes to stumble in front of an audience, even an audience of one. When you are working from life sometimes the marks you put down are just wrong. As time passes I'm less inhibited about people seeing my mistakes. Painting the live figure is a journey often involving miscues and wrong turns. The challenge is to keep finding ways back to the solid path.

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