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 28, 2016

Changing Roles

My first exposure to figure drawing came in college where a lifelong appreciation of the discipline began. For the next three decades still life painting dominated my work but whenever possible I sought out live figure sessions. Until very recently the last ten years have been devoted predominately to the figure.

Portrait Study, oil pastel on toned paper
10" X 7", 2016

Throughout each stage figurative work played distinct roles in my development as an artist. First as an exciting learning exercise. Then as a welcome break from the solitude and static nature of still life. Most recently the figure has provided a much needed compelling and difficult challenge. Now I am aware of the figure taking on a new role as the binding agent to all my artistic pursuits.


Sunday, October 16, 2016

Labels (part two)

I didn't drop the title "professional" artist without some deliberation and sole searching. I had few concerns regarding what others would think but was unclear how I would react. Now, after nearly three years, the consequences of this change are clear - there isn't any real downside. It turns out I have been drawing and painting for so long that no label will change how, what, or why I paint. Ultimately how you define yourself is what matters.

Standing Nude, oil on linen, 18" X  9",   2006

One morning a few weeks back I woke up not really in the mood to paint. I'm a hobby artist after all and don't need to go to work if I don't want to. Problem is I was nearing the end of a long term painting that is season sensitive and the summer light was waning fast. So I hit the street and ended up having a very productive plein air session. Walking home that afternoon I never felt more professional.


Thursday, October 6, 2016

Labels (part one)

Hobby artist. For someone who has devoted their life to drawing and painting it would be hard to find a more derogatory term. But that is what I officially am now. I quit being a "professional" artist three years ago when I could no longer muster the will to keep detailed business records. It wasn't that the task was particularly daunting I just resented the time it took away from my work. So I stopped checking the sole proprietor box on my income tax form and started checking "hobby artist".

Two Models, oil pastel, 14" X 10", 2012


I'm not breaking any tax laws with this change. In fact the new designation is a good fit for my current circumstances. My main takeaway from this exercise is that how you define yourself is more important than any official label. I will elaborate in my next post.