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, April 8, 2016

The Walking Dead

For the two and a half years of this blogs existence I have dealt with relatively specific topics regarding the human figure. If I have preached any broader narrative it would be the benefits of working from life vs working from photos (which now include digital images of all kinds). I have come down clearly on the side of life but have been reluctant to firmly dismiss the photo source side. Until now.

Nude Study, oil pastel, 10" X 7", 2016

I recently saw a large juried group exhibition at a major Smithsonian museum. The theme of the show was contemporary portraiture. Drawings and paintings made up about half of the show. I toured the exhibition with a group of friends whose combined art knowledge could fill a dense volume. The consensus opinion was that the show failed in some deep-rooted way. The reasons given were varied but for me the main explanation was clear. Virtually every drawing and painting in the show shouted photo sourced! Many were expertly rendered but almost without exception they were lifeless.

As disappointing as the drawings and paintings were the photography also came up short. I will explore that topic in the next post.


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