Drawings of Rembrant

December 5, 2010 4:07 pm

Drawings of Rembrant vol 1

Drawings of Rembrant vol 2

I can easily say one of the biggest influences on my passion for drawing was the time I spent in the library of the local community college pouring over the pages of these 2 books Drawings of Rembrant vols 1 & 2. I was fascinated by the skill that Rembrandt displayed in his drawings. I found in his drawings something I didn’t in his paintings. While I marveled at his paintings, his drawings were much looser, much more expressive, freer. His drawings showed an ability to express so much with just the right lines. Lines that seemed to flow effortlessly into each other. Studying these drawings was a catalyst for my own drawing, inspiring me to loosen up my sketching hand and becoming far more expressive than I had previously ever been.

Drawings of Rembrant
Drawings of Rembrant
Drawings of Rembrant

Live Nude Girl: My Life as an Object

October 8, 2010 12:02 am

Live Nude Girl: My Life as an Object

I enjoyed this book. In it model and writer Kathleen Rooney gives readers a good insight into life as a nude model. Those looking for ‘exciting’ or ‘revealing’ stories of working as a nude model might be slightly disappointed.

Kathleen leads users into a intellectually insightful side of working as a nude model. While nothing terribly outrages happens during her experience as a model, readers see what its like to work as an nude art model and some of the thoughts and experiences she had while doing so.

Kathleen sometimes highlights feeling objectified as a model. Understandably so. Most schools and even many artists working privately often treat their models as objects. Maybe not consciously so. I think perhaps its easy as a figurative artist to get absorbed in the physical. To become overwhelmed by the amazement of the human figure. Pose this way, move your arm here, move, hold still, 10 mins, 30 mins, etc.

I remember reading once how Degas nearly tortured his models. Making them hold difficult poses for unreasonable amounts of time and becoming extremely upset and irritable when they faltered or moved during a pose. I hated the thought (though I love his work).

I think and revel in the greatest challenge of drawing the figure being that behind the complexities of the anatomy is a living breathing person. The way a model holds their hand says something about who they are as a person. Every experience a person has had accumulates to translate into their physical expression. Its a true challenge to capture not only the incredible physical beauty but the person behind it.

I constantly go out of my way to view and treat the models I work with as people, not objects. I had always disdained the treatment of models as objects in figurative art. I try to pay above the current hourly rate of the schools in the area. I give every model white roses, a as a sign of adoration, respect and appreciation above and beyond cash payment and I try to get the very best white roses in the city. I do not ‘pose’ or ‘direct’ models. Instead letting them take their own poses, feeling my infringement would hinder a models ability to express themselves.

Anyhow this book is a great insight into the life of working as a nude model. A good read for anyone interested in the subject. A relatively short and easy read but enjoyable and worth the effort.

Live Nude Girl: My Life as an Object

Body Outlaws: Rewriting the Rules of Beauty and
Body Image (Live Girls)

September 4, 2010 2:56 pm

As some who know me are aware of I read a good amount of books pertaining specifically to woman’s issues and many in that category fall under body image. My work is constantly exploring this issue and trying to challenge and expand our definitions of feminine beauty.

One of my favorite body image books is “Body Outlaws: Rewriting the Rules of Beauty and Body Image (Live Girls)”

Its a series of essays written by women sharing their experiences with body image. The book is absolutely great. It provides a wealthy insight into the broad array of body image issues faced by women in today’s society.

As a figurative artist whose work tries to focus on these issues I went into this with what I had considered a pretty fair knowledge of the subject. I came away from this book with a new and much greater understanding that body image issues which face women today are far greater than just having curves that don’t fit the societal and male stereotypes. This book provides insight into all sorts of issues, such as tattoos, height, hair, being too skinny, ethnic stereotypes, and others.

Its an eye opening exploration of the topic both men and women should read. It brings to light to the many ways in which we as a society need to expand our narrow definitions of beauty and why such existing definitions are harmful.

This book has helped me to expand and grow my work and constantly keep thinking of ways and ideas I can use my work to expand our definitions of beauty. It along with feedback I get from the women in my life and my work has forced me to reflect on how my work can also be used to heal the damaging effects of narrow ideals.

Many thanks to Rebecca Walker and Ophira Edut and the many women whom contributed their personal experiences to this book for opening my eyes to something greater and providing me with some new and fresh perspectives on body image issues!!!