Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Fine Tuning the Spirits

Great Grandfather Godfrey
36" x 36"

Great Grandfather Adelbert Congdon
36" x 36"

Great Grandmother Harriet Bullock Congdon
36" x 36"

Some of the portraits for my upcoming Mything Persons exhibit will be more "finished" than others. I will leave some of the drawings more gestural and loose. I just want them all to have a presence...
Here are three of the more finished ones. I have thoroughly enjoyed working on these drawings to this degree of "finish" - it's so satisfying! I used to think that only my fast and loose drawings had any interest or value, when an older and wiser artist friend of mine said, "Martha, these are just two different ways of working - one is not better than than the other."
Words to remember...

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Off the Wall

Jo, Considering... (work in progress)
50" x 48" ink, charcoal, tempra, and pastel on Stonehenge.

A multifigure drawing started in my Life Drawing session last Sunday. This piece measures 50" x 48." I tacked the paper to the wall and drew from the model and some photocopied male figure studies by other artists. The model's poses ranged from 1 - 20 minutes, and I used portions of these poses to piece together this narrative/figure puzzle. Like last week, I used a brush taped to the end of a long stick to paint the figures, then moved in with charcoal and pastel applied directly. I am relishing the freedom and wildness that this size paper and manner of drawing allows...

Monday, October 25, 2010

A Marvelous Night

My husband and I have taken up contra dancing again after a break of too many years. Such great exercise, wonderful live music, and terrific fun. If you've never tried it, I encourage you to find a dance in your area!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Black and Orange Muse

My class demo drawing: oil, pastel, and charcoal on Stonehenge, 22" x 30."

My Friday Mixed Media Portraiture class @ MECA in action yesterday, with Ahna Reichman modeling. Such a great outfit! Happy weekend, all!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Back to Life

mixed media study, 36" x 48," 10/17/10
mixed media study, 36" x 48," 10/17/10
mixed media study, 48" x 36," 10/17/10

mixed media studies, each 22" x 30," 10/10/10

charcoal study, 22" x 30,"9/26/10

mixed media study, 9/26/10

On Sunday afternoons I attend a Life Drawing group at MECA from 3-6pm. We have a model, and Rob Sullivan orchestrates the poses, which vary from 5-20 minutes long. These are some of my drawings, with the most recent at the top of the post. The past two classes I have been working with a fat paintbrush taped to the end of a long stick, starting the drawings with these bold ink lines, and then working into them with pastel and charcoal. I've also been using the long stick to draw/paint with pots of tempera and acrylic. Last week I worked on very large paper, and next week I plan to work even bigger, and will pin my paper to the wall, next to the model stand. Last week I began to put several poses on one page, and plan to do alot more of this next week. These couples, or trios, or larger groups sharing the page create dynamic psychological and emotional relationships on the stage. Drawn dramas, if you will. So juicy and free and FUN. Ahhhhhhh.
I've been teaching life drawing for several years, now, but have not been in a figure study group of my own for a long time. Funny, though. All that teaching - all that looking at the model, and all that time spent behind my students' easels looking with them, has been like time spent drawing. I don't feel rusty - I feel primed by that experience! Interesting...

Monday, October 18, 2010

Catching Up

Here are some of the portraits I've been working on for the past month. There are a couple of them that I consider finished, but the rest still need work. These aren't the greatest shots - I took them on the fly last night in my studio after my Life Drawing class (not teaching, taking!! I'll post about that soon...) I'll have to rephotograph them in the daylight. These are all mixed media on Stonehenge, and are fairly large - 36" x 36." I'm using acrylics, charcoal, charcoal powder, India ink, and white pastels.