The next step

I have worked from the live nude periodically since the early 1970's. This blog started August 9th, 2012 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.

Sunday, August 26, 2018

The Zone

I have been working in a number of different situations lately. Group and private sessions. Mornings, afternoons and evenings under natural and artificial light. There is no constant except the act of painting from the model. It is clear that the best results occur when I'm working in the "zone" (see 5/18/15 post), that place where your subconscious takes over and your brush moves with a deliberate confidence.

John, oil on canvas, 12" X 10", 2018

Getting into the zone is elusive. You can't force your way there. Sometimes you can't get there at all. The best you can do is relax and let the simple joy of putting down paint guide you in.

Friday, August 17, 2018

Sweet Reality Revisited

In an early post on this blog I talked about the benefits every day life can bestow on ones art (see 10/8/13 post). I used the term "sweet reality" to suggest that even unwelcome diversions or setbacks can prove helpful in the long run.

Seated Nude, oil pastel, 10"  X 6 1/2", 2018

Well into August I find myself heavily engrossed in the figure. Real life, however, is intruding on my artistic fervor. Faced with a busy social schedule, some persistent aches and pains and the death of a beloved family pet, my painting schedule has been disrupted. From experience I know it is better this way. Left to my own devices I tend to dive so deep that I run out of air.

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Year Five

August ninth marks the fifth anniversary of this blog. Somehow, even during a period when my main focus shifted to still life and cityscape, the figure managed to command enough of my attention to keep these posts flowing. Aside from the basic therapeutic benefit of writing, this blog's role as a timeline diary of my figurative work has proven invaluable.

Linda, oil pastel on toned paper
11" X 15", 2012

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Let There Be Light

For some time now I have been in the process of discarding many of my less than successful early figurative oils. While multiple factors relegate these paintings to the scrap heap, a common problem is a lack of inner light. Backlit on a computer screen many of these images, like the one below, appear passable. When viewed under normal lighting conditions, they reflect only deadness.

Oil paintings need proper illumination to work, but no amount of external light can save a picture that doesn't contain an ample amount of its own.

Reclining Figure, oil on canvas, 8" X 10", 2009