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.

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Post-Truth

The Oxford Dictionary has designated "post-truth" as the word of the year. The general meaning being that we live in a time where what one believes to be true is more important than what facts may indicate.

Female Nude, oil pastel on toned Canson paper
10 1/2" X 8", 2016


For too many of life's endeavors it is difficult to quantify what is true or false. To my thinking, at least where the arts are concerned, questions involving truth speak to integrity. On occasion certain works simply ring true.


Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Doubt Revisited

I wrote a post three years ago about doubt (see December 30th 2013). For most artists some doubt regarding their work is unavoidable and even desirable. But I have always viewed self doubt as a lack of confidence and therefore a character flaw. That is until I came across this quote by Henry James: "We work in the dark - we do what we can - we give what we have. Our doubt is our passion, and our passion is our task. The rest is the madness of art."

Female Nude, oil pastel on toned paper, 10 1/2" X 9", 2016

I am currently going through an uncertain period with my painting. To say that I have doubts relating to multiple aspects of my work would be an understatement. Before reading James I would have been doing some major hand wringing right about now. But what a comforting option he has given me.


Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Baby Won't Wait

I know artists who work best under the impending deadline of a show. Other than the rare commission I haven't worked with any real deadlines since art school and I like it that way. A couple of weeks ago I got word of another expectant mother in search of an artist (see July 18th, 2016 post). Her main interest was to participate in a body positivity exercise. She had already posed for a drawing group and found the experience enjoyable and empowering.

Pregnant Nude, oil pastel, 11" X 7", 2016

We set up a meeting where it quickly became clear that her pregnancy was in its ninth month. In all likelihood we wouldn't have the luxury of multiple working sessions before she gave birth. All live model sessions come with built in time restraints but this one had an extra sense of urgency and finality. The above drawing is one of three attempts from our lone session. I find working with pregnant models very appealing but I think a seventh month starting date might be better for my nerves.


Saturday, December 3, 2016

Don't Go There

It has never occurred to me to discuss politics on this blog but unless one has been living under the proverbial rock the topic is hard to avoid. I will only broach it in a general sense because in the aftermath of our recent national election so many in my social circle seem to be concerned. I am sensing a genuine collective angst.

Male Nude with Bullwhip, oil pastel, 11" X 7", 2016

Media coverage reached absurd frenzied levels in the lead up to the election. Comedy shows no longer had to write scripts. Actors could simply recite actual dialogue. In the wake of all this my soul saving stance has been to shut out the media including Television, internet, radio and newspapers. I went cold turkey. The first week or so was unsettling. Missing the emotional rush and filling newly available time was disorienting. I got through it. I'm on the other side. I'm reading books, drawing and painting.

We are in an emotional time for our country. My best prediction is that it will bring out the worst and ultimately the best of our nation.