Of Hands and Feet…and a foolish clown

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My life drawing class with Jim Morphemes is sadly winding down, I’ve grown accustomed to my regular sessions with a live model and I will miss that . I will also miss Jim, he is a heck of a nice guy and a great deal of fun to chat with. Thankfully there is a Life Drawing II.

Our next to last assignment is to produce a  drawing of hands and feet, so the above is my offering. As with most of the assignments given  I have taken the opportunity to benefit my studio practice in general and this assignment is no different. I  have wanted to explore the similarities and differences between real flesh and blood and that of the antique- namely Roman works for some time but have never really taken the time to do so properly.  I am far from the first artist to do this, my great hero Nicolas Poussin (1594-1665) avidly emulated the ruins being unearthed in Rome seeking to comprehend their beauty and power. I have always admired how so many of Poussin’s figures possess a certain stiffness, possessing a theatrical formality, a chill even and I would venture it has much to do with his study of the marbles. Folks rant and rave over the dirty feet of Carravagio’s peasants ( a contemporary of Poussin) but for my money, give me the gods of Nicolas. The following is a study by Poussin taken after the antique now in the Musee Conde, Chantilly, France.

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I still haven’t picked up a brush after my critique. I don’t want to think that I am still rattled , much has been demanded of my time in the domestic sphere, household duties, the beasties, homework assignments. But I am anxious and will just need to jump in at some point and try anew. I’m told my Seizing Sanctimonium  is SO close to being a worthwhile painting, but now I fear I haven’t the tools or the understanding to bring it to completion. That I guess is where faith comes in. I have however put together a self portrait (part of the final project for Jim’s class) and it makes me chuckle, hoping you like it.

Until next time, be well, LG

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The Ghost of Versailles

 Lately I have been working rather diligently on experiencing lucid dreams; doing this so that I may better  discern my unconscious mind. An although my dreams have been extravagant , I have as of yet, had only two lucid dreams. Last evening being the second.

It seemed a short dream , which was a pity as it was set in the Palace of Versailles (a place I have not had the chance to visit and which I fear I may never actually visit). In this dream I have the ghost of Louis XVI on my back and he is directing me from his suite to the ground floor. He is doing so through some sort of night goggles, the images are sepia toned, and I soon realize I am having a lucid dream . From my knowledge of the palace, I begin to direct myself downward, it is dawn, barely lit and we are all alone. But as we descend to what I know will be the grand staircase it all evaporates as thoroughly as the Ancien Regime itself.

 This charcoal sketch is my accounting of the dream and aside from my commedia dell’ arte costume which is how I  often designate myself in drawings, it pretty accurately captures the mood of the dream.

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2016

charcoal, pastel and a bit of collage on charcoal paper

12 by 18″

As I mentioned, I have been having many other vivid dreams as well, and this image Out on a Limb was inspired by two recurring dreams, none of which were lucid, but which still moved me deeply. In one series of dreams I am consistently losing my right hand ( my working hand) which of course is quite disturbing . In another I am in a snowy metropolitan area, high above mankind, as I looked down I see the most pitiful bat-bird like creatures slowly freezing to death. No matter how much I alert others to their plight and no matter how I try to disentangle them from the ice, I cannot save them. The dream left me breathless and despondent. I tried to capture that sense in this graphite drawing.

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Out on a Limb

2016

graphite and colored pencil on charcoal paper

19 by 25″

That said, I will close with the good old boy himself, have a great week.

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New Print: The Proposition

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The Proposition (red)

2016

relief print on paper, 10 by 14″

series of eight

$300.00

I am rather pleased with this print, once again utilizing the pochoir technique in addition to a cut plate.The alignment is pretty good and I feel it has a satisfying composition of color and line that I admire in German Expressionist prints ( and film).  I am also enjoying taking a painting and making a print of it ( or the other way around).

The Proposition 2015 oil on panel 8 by 10"
The Proposition 2015 oil on panel 8 by 10″
Initially this print was printed in black which I like but I delight in color.

The Proposition 2015 relief print on paper , image size 8 by10"
The Proposition 2015 relief print on paper , image size 8 by10″
I sense I am going to be returning to commedia figures in this upcoming year as they seem to keep popping up in my random sketching . They have long fascinated me since boyhood and I look forward to further exploration.